Plantar faciitis checklist —

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.

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4 thoughts on “Plantar faciitis checklist —”

  1. FWIW, and it may not apply to you at all…. We’ve been dealing with joint/connectivity issues in this family, and physical therapy has helped a lot. The Teen kept complaining of hip pain, which no one could figure out, and then her kneecap wasn’t where it ought to be, and eventually was fixed by working on her stance (hold feet so they arch), strengthening glutes, and a few other things. I tended to be sore in joints all up and down my left side, then took a 2 hour car ride and could barely stand and walk when it was over because my left hip hurt so much, and decided if the PT was helping the Teen maybe it would help me, and it has. both of us have one side partially rotated which throws everything off. The PT tries to build muscle so we don’t rotate anymore, and then we don’t hurt. That bit about pain in the right hip, so you stood on your left foot for a year made me think you may be setting yourself up for something similar.

    Anyway, it may help you, so I pass it on. I know how much joint pain can hurt. I’m glad just changing shoes helped you – it’s so rare to have something help that fast.

  2. Thanks, Elaine. I’m trying not to stand so consistently with my weight on the left anymore. I know that walking / standing abnormally will cause problems. I will definitely look into PT, especially if the hip continues to be mysteriously painful for no obvious reason. And yes, I was astonished that the shoe thing was so immediately, dramatically helpful.

  3. Set out like that, it’s a pretty impressive list. Do we have other relatives with more than their share of joint problems? I don’t know if anyone has ever bothered to check, but the family tree ought to be large enough for a pretty good sample.

    I’m glad to hear that this, at least, had a simple fix.

  4. Well, Craig, in my opinion, Dad has more than his share of arthritic-type issues. Way more. I’m willing to hypothesize a single-gene dominant that I got from Dad, but on the other hand I’m don’t recall that either of his parents had joint problems. I should ask just out of curiosity.

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