3 Things That Helped Calm My Plantar Fasciitis The Most

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First off, I want to make it 100% clear before you read this post that I am not a medical professional of any kind. Today I am simply sharing what has worked to calm my plantar fasciitis down from pain so bad that even walking through the grocery store took effort to being able to run 3 miles again (almost) completely pain-free.

3 things that helped calm my plantar fasciitis the most

 

What I share might work for you and it might not. I found out about all the things that I tried from searching “plantar fasciitis help” through Google. I tried a lot of different things until I found a combination of things that seemed to work the best for me.

Regular readers, I know plantar Fasciitis doesn’t fit with my normal writing subjects, but people in real life and through the virtual world of blogging have been asking me how I managed to get my plantar fasciitis to heal enough for me to run again. I was sharing links to products that helped me all over the place when I finally decided to write a post with all the links in it so I can share the link to it over and over. Much easier! And I am all about keeping it simple.

3 Plantar Fasciitis Products I Found The Most Helpful

Night Splint/Boot

Purchasing this particular night splint/boot, in my opinion, did more to help calm my plantar fasciitis than anything else. I am saying calm in this article instead of heal because I am still experiencing pain, but it is very mild.

At first, I was wearing a night sock (like this one) and it was helping. However, for some reason within a month of wearing it, my big toe became infected beside the toenail.  Now I have spoken to many people who have had great luck with the sock and it certainly is less cumbersome to wear than the boot. I am the only one I know who ended up with an infected toe. Who knows why! My body is weird.

Once I replaced the sock with a boot I did something that I think made all the difference in the world. Since the boot is so simple to get off and on I started wearing it not only when I was sleeping, but also during the day whenever I was sitting.

This is not a walking boot. You cannot walk in it, but since it is so easy to snap on and off I just leave it where I sit and work during the day and snap it on and off as needed. The extra time in the boot seemed to make all the difference for me. Once I started doing this my pain significantly decreased within just a few days.

Compression foot sleeves

From the moment I get up in the morning until the time I go to bed, my affected foot is in a compression sleeve. I have tried two brands and so far I like this one best. However, I think it really depends on the shape and length of your foot. I have a narrow foot and wear a size 10 women’s shoe.

Foot compression sleeves simply provide added support, they do not heal, but for me, they make a huge difference in my pain level if I have to walk or stand for any amount of time during the day–especially in the beginning stages of healing. Even with my foot giving me minimal pain now I still wear my compression sleeve most days and I wear it every time I run.

Shoe Insert

Shoe inserts for me dropped my pain level by at least 2 points on the pain scale the first time I put them in my shoes and went walking around the grocery store in them.

I have had great luck with the airplus plantar fascia orthotic (the link lets you see what they look like. Mine are pink for women and I get mine at Walmart for around $9). I chose this brand because I was told by someone that the main thing to look for in a plantar fascia insert is a solid arch support. In other words, if the arch part of the foot insert is flexible it isn’t going to work well for providing relief.

3 Things I Had To Do Physically To Help My Plantar Fasciitis Heal

Stop going barefoot

This one was hard for me. I am a huge barefoot lover. But the more I researched the more I saw over and over “stop going barefoot if you want to heal your plantar fasciitis.” I don’t like wearing outdoor shoes indoors so in the end, I started wearing a pair of clogs similar to these that I can easily slip on and off whenever I  need to walk around the house. I put the inserts I told you about inside them. They work well.

Give up flip flops and unsupportive shoes

Again–hard! Lets face it, most shoes that are fashionable and cute are not supportive. And no flip flops! Torture in the summer time. I am still looking for a good supportive summer sandal. I have tried out a few brands and no luck yet. Some do seem to keep me fairly pain-free but only if I am not walking much in them. If I want to walk a lot I have to switch to runners or my plantar fasciitis will flare up further.

Stop running and rest

I read a few articles that said you can run with plantar fasciitis, but the more I ran the more my foot would hurt post-run. It got to the point where I was hobbling all the time and I had to face facts and put my running shoes up for a while. I first took an entire 3 weeks off from exercise of any kind. Then added in yoga, followed by swimming, followed by stationary biking where I really watched my foot position on the pedal.

Once my pain was down to a 1 or 2 on the pain scale I started walking a mile. Once I realized it wasn’t hurting my foot further to walk a mile I slowly added in running. Currently, I can make it to about 3 miles with only a slight increase in pain at the 3rd mile, but the pain subsides once I get home and put it in the boot for 30 minutes or so.

2 Other Things I Tried That Helped Give Relief

Foot roller

My yoga instructor was kind enough to give me this foot roller. I use it fairly faithfully every morning while eating breakfast and lunch. It feels really good, but I don’t feel like it heals much of anything; it seems simply to provide temporary relief.

Toe Separators

Yep, toe separators–as in what you put between your toes before you give yourself a pedicure. When I was in the worst pain at the beginning of the healing process I would stick these between my toes and almost immediately my pain would go down 2 points on the pain scale. It sounds odd, but it really did work for me.

Once again, I am not a medical professional. I offer this list of what helped me simply as just that a list of items that helped me. Everyone is unique. What helped me may not help another.

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Comments

  1. kathy w says:

    Thanks for the info. You have given me some things to try beside just using inserts.

  2. I cannot recommend strongly enough getting custom orthotics from a podiatrist. They have completely taken away any issues for me at all, and I currently only need to have them in during crossfit. I could barely hobble around for a while, and nothing seemed to help. I pretty much forget this was ever even an issue for me now. I had a set of orthotics, and then I lost them during a move. Without them, I went right back to the pain. They may be covered by your insurance, but if not, they are still well worth the money.

  3. Heather says:

    I had plantar in both feet at the same time, ouch! Deep tissue massage therapy CURED it after 4 sessions. It was terribly painful but with the right therapist it worked wonders. Also don’t forget to freeze a water bottle it helps too. I hope this helps 🙂

    • Massage can definitely help people cure their plantar fasciitis in a couple sessions with the right stretches for the feet and Achilles’ tendon. This is very thick fascia on the bottom of your foot that is inflamed and tight. I’ve cured my own with a smooth round piece of wood I used for a foot roller to massage my own feet, every day until it’s gone. Also soak your feet in warm water, put muscle rubs on them like you would for a sore tendon or joint inflammation elsewhere in the body.

  4. Great article, im definitely looking into a compression sock. Im also curious about the x brace, i found it after following one of your links to amazon. I have PF in both of my feet, and im currently in the middle of dealing with it. Ive had it for a few years now, but it got absolutely intolerable this january, so for 8 months now, its painful for me to walk from room to room in my house, dont even get me started on going down the stairs.
    I recently found oofos, they have flip flops and clogs. I got the flip flops, and they have a pretty good arch support, im able to walk somewhat comfortably while wearing them. I also just got two pairs of vionic tennis shoes, which are helping even more. They have some super cute sandals, and the reviews are very good for them, ill probably get a pair next year.
    My next step with the podiatrist is custom orthotics. Unfortunately my insurance doesnt cover them, so ive been working for about 3 months on getting them. My doctor charges $400. Small price to pay if i can finally be pain free, and enjoy exercising and hiking again, instead of trying to just grit my teeth and get through it.

  5. Your post was EXTREMELY helpful, i have it bad and im desperate to be normal again.. im typically a very fast walker… have been my whole life.. but not lately! I hope this heals soon

    • I hope you can get it under control too. I love to run and walk and it was brutal, especially on nice weather days, to not be able to get outside and do either. So I understand how stopping regular activity to take care of it is so hard!

  6. I’ve tried most of what you suggested and all have given me relief. But I wanted to share with everyone what worked the best for me. Acupuncture! I know some people are afraid of needles but I didn’t feel a thing. Laying face down, the acuputuerist put needles along my Achilles tenden and the sides of my feet. I was told to rest my feet the remainder of the day…no excercise. The next morning I couldn’t believe how much better my feet felt. REALLY! She told me I may need a few treatments and after 1 month I’m starting to feel the pain creeping back in. Going in for another treatment next week.

  7. Celia Mercer says:

    I have to share my plantars faciitis story. I started using custom fit orthotics about 30 years ago and they have gone through a lot of miles running. The orthotics worked great for the first 25-ish years. About 5 years ago I started wearing flip flops A LOT! My feet didn’t have any problems with the flip flops but I was so concerned it would turn ugly. By the way, I quit running about 10 years ago and switched to biking. So, back to my flip flop story…About a year and a half ago I started putting in a lot of miles walking (3-5 miles a day) and the pain returned, but I didn’t make the connection that it was my arch support shoes and orthotics. I was wearing my arch support running shoes and orthotics more and more because of the pain thinking that it would get better. Then I read an article that explained why I should wear flip flops or nothing as much as possible. The arch of the foot needs to stretch and it will do that naturally without arch supports. This made so much sense to me. If I keep wearing the supports, the arch will not stretch. I know this may not be for everyone but it sure worked for me. I haven’t had my arch support running shoes or my orthotics in my shoes for about 6 months now and my arches are better than when I used orthotics. I occasionally have pain but it is brief and usually because I have worn shoes with some support.

  8. Jill Murphy says:

    I got a toe infection from the sock, too!! You’re not the only one!!!

    • I wonder why it does that. I have one friend that swears by that sock. I really did prefer the boot. It was more cumbersome to sleep in for sure but once I got use to it was a lot cooler. I have really hot feet.

  9. Try Mephisto brand cork sandals. I have had foot issues for 15 years and those sandals actually HELPED my feet! They are Pricey. I only buy the Hannel ones since they have two buckles. Because the leather stretches over time and so with the buckles I can tighten to make sure they are still fitting supportively. After I wear a pair out…then I use them for “house shoes”, and I never go without shoes in the house!

  10. Thrpygrl says:

    Try Oofos brand shoes for flip flops. Great arch support and feels like you are walking on a cloud! These shoes helped my PF tremendously!

  11. I was told it is tight calf muscles that cause the tension on the fascia, so exercises to strengthen the front of the leg are ideal. Also anything that releases tension on the calf muscles, massage, and gentle stretches help. I also try to do soaks in baths with Epsom salt. I also like the boot. I found an over the counter orthotic which lifts my heel slightly helps a lot. I have mixed feelings about full orthotics. Mine gave me a lot of grief and didn’t clear its up. Time and always wearing shoes did but large amounts of walking in inflexible souls flared it up again.

  12. Thanks for the info. I myself suffer from extreme pain from flat footedness. And here in this part of the country flat footedness is not that common and easily treated cause not many people know about it. I will definitely try these things. ☺️

  13. Cheryl Webb says:

    I’m wondering what brand running shoes do you use. I can’t seem to find the right brand to help.

    • Victoria says:

      I think the inserts matter more than the brand of running shoe. I went to an actual running store where they watched me run on the tread mill and then helped me pick out a pair that worked best for my natural foot pronation. So what brand I wear might not be the brand you need.

  14. Another option is physical therapy with a certified manual physical therapist. Sometimes there are joints in the ankle/foot complex that don’t move correctly. These biomechanical restrictions can be an underlying reason why the plantar fascia is inflamed and why the inflammation persists. PT that targets the joint/soft tissue restrictions, inflammation control, and appropriate exercise can be very effective in managing plantar fasciitis.

  15. Birkenstocks are great!

  16. Tonie Garcia says:

    Vionic flip flops really help

  17. Great suggestions. One additional thing to consider…if you have pain or inflammation in other places as well, you may have a broader issue. My plantar fasciitis, along with other pain in ankles, knees and hips, was solved when I was diagnosed and began treatment for hashimoto thyroiditis.

  18. Donna Dykstra says:

    I’ve had a bad case of PF in both feet. Right now I am pain free. I found wearing the Birkenstock brand shoe very helpful. In fact, that is pretty much all I wear. Just something you might try, if you’re looking for a sandal. They also offer enclosed shoes. Their footbed gives great support and goes a long way at keeping PF at bay for me. Of course, not everything is the same for everybody. I thought I would tell you of my experience with that shoe, that maybe it might help you too. Thank you for all your helpful information.

  19. Hey, there is a shoe line , sold at shoe station, called Vionic. They have amazing sandals designed for plantar Faicitis 🙂 like $90-$120, but really amazing 🙂 good luck!

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