Relief for Plantar Fasciitis Without Doctors (Updated)
The bottom of my foot hurts
Do you have dull, burning pain on the bottom of your foot around your heel? Then there's a chance you could have the debilitating condition called plantar fasciitis. The illustration to the right shows where the pain occurrs. It's nothing more than an immflamation of the tendons on the bottom of your foot.
The pain of this condition is quite distinct with a burning pain on the bottom of the foot either in the arch or heel area. Unfortunately, the pain, though not life threatening, can be quite debilitating.
Here are some possible causes of the pain:
- little or no arch support
- overuse or strain of feet
- sudden weight gain
- tight achilles tendon
It seems that almost every doctor follows the same script when it comes to treating plantar fasciitis. A typical prescription might include rest (who is able to do that?), ice, cortisone shots, an expensive boot to wear at night, custom orthotics, and if all else fails, surgery. Yikes! If you've already been to the doctor, then you know what I'm talking about.
Now I'm very grateful for modern medicine, but in this area of debilitaion, I feel that doctors need to look at other more natural alternatives to treat people.
A More Natural Way
Ever heard of an ancient exercise called yoga? You either like it or you don't. If you are a sufferer of plantar fasciitis then I suggest you become a lover of yoga. One of the reasons why your plantar area of your foot is in such pain is because it's tight and needs to be stretched. This stretching is what the orthotic boot I mentioned earlier is trying to accomplish.
If you're not so sure about yoga, try some of these stretches that I posted. When you do these series of stretches, I found that you have to do them for at least 5 minutes. Hold, don't bounce. Focus on breathing.
If you're ready to jump in with both feet and get rid of your painful condition, I highly recommend doing a yoga class. Not only will your core get stronger, but your back will thank you as well.
My Success Story
I'm in the middle of a tennis match about 4 years ago, it's pretty cold outside but nothing too severe. It happens, I pull the tendon on the bottom of my foot going after a ball. Ouch! Somehow I muddle through the rest of the match in severe pain. This marked the beginning of my plantar fasciitis pain. I used to work part-time as a waitress so that added another 15+ hours on my feet every week. Add to that the life of a domestic goddess who cooks, cleans, and runs after children. There was very little time for me to rest my feet. Every chance I could, I would ice my feet.
For some reason, I picked up yoga again. There was a show on Lifetime in the early morning that I had done a few times. For some reason, I began to think about the stretches and how good I felt after doing the exercises. On my own, I began to do some of the exercises I have pictured above as well as the full hour whenever time permitted. Little by little, my problem began to go away.
I'll have you know that I NEVER missed a day of work or a single tennis match due to pain. I made sure to stretch every day and especially before every match.
Yoga is the Key
The pain in your foot is due to tight tendons and ligaments that begin in your Achilles, right? Doctors want you to stretch it out using an expensive boot that your wear all night. I stretched mine out by doing yoga. Not everyone belongs to a gym that offers yoga. Plus, if you've never done it, the thought of doing yoga in public can be intimidating.
Below is a full episode of my favorite yoga guru, Steve Ross. If you don't like the exercises in this one, there's lots more on YouTube. Steve Ross does more of a power yoga in the first half of the show. This is where you'll really feel the Achilles stretch. You'll be tight at first and a lot looser as you keep doing it. Remember to push your heels down when you do the down dog. The second half of his show is slower with just relaxing stretches known as hatha yoga. To learn more about yoga and the differing types, go to my blog called Types of Yoga: Choose the One That's Right For You.
In the episode below, do as much as you can. Every little bit of stretch helps. If you keep at it, you'll see your problem go away.
Free Yoga Class
Now that you know your feet are prone to injury, it's a good idea to think about orthotics. An orthotic is an insert you put into your shoe to help your foot sit in more of a proper alignment.
DO NOT buy an orthotic from your doctor! They can cost a minimum of $300 after insurance cost. It's a waste. There's lots of other places you can get them.
- Footsmart (my favorite). They sell leather orthotics for $30. You can get them for athletic and dress shoes. And they last for YEARS.
- Wal-Mart. Dr. Scholl's has a line of foot products in a specialty kiosk. You have to step onto the machine and let it diagnose you though. One time I tried it out just for kicks and the machine didn't work. The inserts are coded so you can't look for your condition by name unless you dig a little.
- Specialty shoe store. Places like Relax the Back and even PGA Tour Superstore sell orthotics. Last I checked, PGA had them for $50. The nice part about these stores is that they come with a live person you can talk to.
I highly recommend you get some kind of insert for your shoes. Otherwise, you'll be in pain again in no time.
Ladies, look for dress shoes that won't aggravate your feet. Shoe designers are not on your foot health's side.
Stay away from:
- pointy toe
- too narrow
- open toe
- medium heel height