|I love The Flintstones|
I'm talking about sore feet. I'm not an expert by any means, (and my information on this post comes from the internet and personal experience, always consult your Dr. for diagnosis and professional assessment)
For as long as I could remember, my feet always hurt. I remember going on a school trip that involved A LOT of walking and after half way, being in so much pain that I could barely make one more step.
I also remember the family Dr. encouraging my mom to have me pick up things, like a pencil, with my toes to strengthen those muscles.
For the past 8 years, I have been a receptionist at an orthotics clinic. A good number of our clientele have a diagnosis of plantar fasciitis, also known as heel or bone spur.
Plantar Fasciitis is caused by excessive pull of the soft tissue (plantar fascia) on the bottom of your foot. This unwanted pull leads to inflammation of the plantar fascia and is perceived as sever pain and is amplified with each step. Often it is worst first thing in the morning (or long periods of rest) and gradually gets better as the day goes on.
Some contribution factors to the development of plantar fasciitis can include:
- being overweight
- if you walk, run or stand for long periods of time, especially on hard surfaces.
- if you have very flat feet or high arches
- poor supportive footwear (worn out shoes, flip flops, high heel or flats)
- tight calf muscles
- Rest - reduce or avoid running, excessive walking and prolonged standing
- Ice - this can be done with a chilled can of pop or frozen bottle of water and slowly running your foot over it, concentrating on the painful area for 10 minutes, 2 - 4 times a day. AVOID HEAT
- Weight Control - maintaining a healthy body weight is helpful throughout treatment
- Footwear - try to wear supportive shoes that are cushioned, lace up with stiff soles. and have good arch support
- Custom Foot Orthoses - this is a custom removable footbed to replace the one in your existing shoe, placing your foot in it's proper position.
- Oral medication or cortisone injections - an anti inflammatory, such as Aleve, can be helpful, a cortisone injection would come from your doctor.
- Night Splint - a device meant to put your foot in a stretch position that is worn at night in bed (think plastic ski boot) and there are a number of options and styles.
- Stretching exercises - some simple exercises to stretch the inflamed area that can be done at home. Doing them twice a day is beneficial.
Heel pain exercises: before getting out of bedPlantar Fasciitis causes many people to experience intense heel pain in the morning, when taking the first steps after getting out of bed. This pain comes from the tightening of the plantar fascia that occurs during sleep. Stretching or massaging the plantar fascia before standing up will help reduce heel pain.
1) Before sitting up, Stretch your foot by flexing it up and down 10 times.
2) While seated, roll a rolling pin or tennis ball with the arch of your foot. If you are able to, progress to doing this exercise while you are standing up.
After these exercises, put on your shoes (with orthotics inside them) or wear supportive sandals. Do not start the day walking barefoot on hard floors or tiles, or your heel pain will return.
Heel pain relief exercises: during the day
Calf StretchStand facing a wall with your hands on the wall at about eye level. Put the leg you want to stretch about a step behind your other leg. Keeping your back heel on the floor, bend your front knee until you feel a stretch in the back leg.
Hold the stretch for 15 to 20 seconds. Repeat 4 times.
Achilles Tendon StretchStand on a step as shown. Slowly let your heels down over the edge of the step as you relax your calf muscles.
Hold the stretch for about 15 to 20 seconds, then tighten your calf muscle a little to bring your heel back up to the level of the step. Repeat 4 times.
Hamstring StretchExtend one leg in front of you with the foot flexed. Bend your other knee and lean back slightly. Your pelvis should be tilted forward. Keep your upper body upright as you hold the stretch for 10-20 seconds, then switch sides.
You should feel the stretch up the back of your extended leg (all the way up your calf and thigh).
Place marbles on the floor next to a cup, as shown. Using your toes, try to lift the marbles up from the floor and deposit them in the cup. Repeat exercise 15 times.
Towel StretchGrab a rolled towel at both ends, holding it under the ball of your foot. Gently pull the towel toward you while keeping your knee straight. Hold this position for 15 to 20 seconds. Repeat 4 times.
Original source for exercises can be found here
At our clinic, we made our custom orthoses on site from start to finish. We take a plaster cast of your foot, build the orthotics off of that mould. This allows us to easily make adjustments.
When you get new orthoses, we suggest you break them in slowly, just like you would new shoes. An hour today, two hours tomorrow, etc.