A few weeks ago, my family and I went to my friend Jarrod’s birthday celebration. He had invited a few families over to help celebrate his big day.
As we all stood around talking, Jarrod shared with everyone that I work for Schuler Shoes. This is always fun because almost all of the time people love Schuler Shoes and have a favorite shoe, brand, sales person or store they want to talk about. This is always lots of fun because, well…I love Schuler Shoes too!
As we talked about Schuler Shoes, the discussion shifted to Plantar Fasciitis (this happens quite a bit as well, as SO many people suffer from this extremely painful heel pain). Well, my friend Jarrod is a successful real estate agent in Maple Grove and is on his feet all day long and he suffers from Plantar Fasciitis. Once he shared that he has Plantar Fasciitis, about 4 other people said they suffer from the same issue. In fact, one guest said that his heel hurts the most when he is simply standing around (usually barefoot or in socks) at home.
Jarrod wanted to know what he could do to relieve his symptoms. I told him that his best bet would be to visit with a CPED or shoe fit expert at one of our stores. They are very knowledgeable about Plantar Fasciitis and they know the best shoes and/or over the counter orthotics to relieve pain. If you haven’t first seen a physician, make sure to have your symptoms diagnosed by a medical professional to rule out any other type of foot issue.
I did share some things that I know because I have not only suffered from Plantar Fasciitis, but I also work quite a bit with our in-store Board Certified Pedorthists. They really helped me out so much when my Podiatrist first diagnosed my Plantar Fasciitis. So, this is what I shared with my friend…
– Buy shoes with really good arch support (even if you are flat footed).
– If your shoes don’t have built-in arch support, buy an over the counter insert that does offer the proper support.
– I run quite a bit and Super Feet over the counter insoles have really helped me.
– If you exercise a lot, make sure your shoes are in good condition and appropriate for your activity. We carry New Balance athletic shoes for running, walking and cross training in a wide range of widths and sizes.
– If you have hardwood, tile or stone in your home, get a good house shoe or slipper. Haflinger is very popular with our customers. Put them by your bed and when you get up in the morning or during the night, put them on. Not only to support your feet, but to avoid that shooting heel pain you feel when you first get out of bed.
– Do foot strengthening exercises on a regular basis.
– Stretch your calf muscles.
– Avoid wearing fluffy, cushy slippers. You need to support the arches of your feet. Fluffy slippers offer no support.
– Avoid going barefoot for long periods of time or wearing flip flops in the summer.
– Wear sandals that offer arch support or have a cork based footbed that will mold to the shape of your foot. We carry a wide selection of sandals that are good for your feet.
– Wear a sandal with a back strap. This will keep your sandal in place and better support your foot.
I have had quite a bit of luck relieving my heel pain, once I got into the right footwear.
One thing that did confuse me though, was that I did wonder why I needed to support my arches if the pain was in my heel. I asked my friend and in-store CPED, Dan Husom. Dan explained that the the plantar fascia is a thick band of tissue that runs along the underside of the foot and connects the toes to the heel. The heel pain is caused when the arch of the foot is flattened (you put your weight down on your foot) and the band is stretched, causing minor tearing and irritation at the point where the fascia or thick band connects to the heel. In fact, at night, when you are sleeping and you are not bearing weight on your feet, the fascia begins to heal. When we get up in the night or first thing in the morning, we experience shooting pain because we are re-damaging the fascia.
If you have been diagnosed with Plantar Fasciitis and you are not sure what to do next, come in and visit with us. We have a great staff that loves to talk about footwear and they know quite a bit about Plantar Fasciitis. I know they would love to help your feet feel better, because they helped me.