So, sometimes you really don’t need to see a doctor to confirm your utterly typical case of fill-in-the-blank. For example, check all that apply:
Are you a woman?
Middle aged or older?
Do you experience pain in or near the heel of one foot?
That is worst in the morning directly after getting out of bed?
That is also worse when you get up after sitting down for an extended period?
That improves when you walk on it for a few minutes?
That particularly improves if you wear athletic shoes for an extended period?
After wearing athletic shoes all day for two days, do you find the pain has greatly improved?
Do you ordinarily go barefoot a lot?
Does the pain seem worse when you have been barefoot for a while?
When you wear shoes, do you often wear high heels?
Did you develop a problem with your right hip ten months ago so that you have been standing with all your weight on your left foot for that whole time, and now the heel pain is exclusively in your left foot? (I know, this particular category is just for me.)
Anyway, straight checkmarks right down the list for me. Thus my personal diagnosis: plantar faciitis. I am really happy that wearing shoes indoors and out all day has reduced quite crippling pain to near-zero pain. In just days. Evidently many people don’t respond that fast to a change in footwear. There are exercises one is supposed to do, but I confess I have not done them because the shoes alone seem to be sufficient.
Although, yes, wearing shoes at home in the summer is just *wrong.* Hopefully by next summer the problem will have resolved completely.
Incidentally, apparently lots of people do develop plantar faciitis, men and women both. It’s just more common in women.
Anyway, if any of you happen to be experiencing foot pain of this type and wondering if you should do something about it, I suggest a quick change in footwear and maybe you can head the problem off at the pass. I have had pain for just a minute or two first thing in the morning for a couple of years before the problem suddenly got much worse about two weeks ago and sent me to Google. Regular athletic shoes have been great, but I ordered slippers and two pairs of work-appropriate shoes from a brand called Orthoheel. I’m hoping these also work because I hate wearing shoes indoors at home, and I’m really uncomfortable wearing athletic shoes to work.
I have suddenly come up with a new hypothesis, btw. I think I may have some sort of genetic issue that affects connective tissue, because I sure seem to have a lot more than my share of joint problems. To date: jaw, hip, knee, neck, lower back, thumb, other knee, the mysterious hip thing reappearing in a slightly different and more annoying form, ankle, and now foot. I know practically everybody over thirty can check off one or another item on that list, but it seems like an awfully extensive list for one person who isn’t even fifty yet.
Not that I mean to complain.
Okay, yes, I totally mean to complain.