Did you know that 1 million people will visit their doctor this year because of plantar fasciitis? Did you know the cost of treating plantar fasciitis is $284 million annually? Did you also know that 10% of the population will experience plantar fasciitis at some point in their lives? I am currently one of those people and I can assure you, it is a very painful problem.
What is Plantar Fasciitis?
Plantar fasciitis is a condition affecting the connective tissue which supports the arch of the foot, resulting in pain in the heal as well as the bottom of the foot. The most painful time is day is known as “first step pain”, or “morning pain”, in which pain is most severe with the first steps of the day or following a long periods of sitting or rest.
Quick facts about your feet and plantar fasciitis (1,2,3,4,5,6,7)
- The Plantar Fascia is one of the largest ligaments in the body.
- The human foot has 26 bones, 33 joints, 107 ligaments, 19 muscles and tendons, which means there are 52 bones in the human feet, which make up about 25 percent of all the bones in the body.
- Middle age individuals between 40-60 years of age are most likely to be afflicted by plantar fasciitis.
- The feet absorb the weight equal to a fully loaded cement truck on an average day.
- The average amount of stress that is put on your feet for every mile walked is approximately 60 tons.
- Women are more likely to have plantar fasciitis than men.
- 20% of individuals afflicted with plantar fasciitis have high arches
- On the flip side, 25% of people with plantar fasciitis have flat feet.
- 50% of individuals with plantar fasciitis also have heel spurs
- Runners are more likely to have plantar fasciitis
- Celebrities are among those afflicted by plantar fasciitis including:
- Paris Hilton
- Angelina Jolie
- Peyton Manning
- Shaquille O’Neal
It VERY painful!
The pain is quite severe. I know of people, through research and discussion on forums, that get steroid shots to help ease the pain. As I stated above, “first step” is AWFUL! It’s hard enough dragging myself out of bed in the morning. (I’m NOT a morning person) But, “first step” makes it even harder. Let me see if I can explain it to you…
You know how your feet feel after spending all day on your feet, right? All you want to do is sit down, take your shoes off and massage or soak them in some hot water. Well, plantar fasciitis pain, or “first step” pain is something like that, only multiplied by a factor of 10. Sometimes the pain is spread out over the whole foot and sometimes just the heal. When it’s just the heal, if feels like someone is stabbing your heal with a knife with every step you take.
Gradually, it gets a bit better the more you walk on it. However, it never goes away completely. I am currently using the inserts pictured above, which are a tremendous help. Further research indicates other inserts work even better, although they cost quite a bit more money. I don’t plan on having this problem for very long, so I don’t want to invest too much money into it.
We know that most inflammation in the body can be dealt with through dietary changes. We have currently switched to a paleo diet in my home. A paleo diet means no grains or dairy and limited amounts of whole, all natural, unprocessed sugars such as raw honey, raw coconut sugar, 100% pure maple syrup and sucanat. (raw, whole dehydrated sugar cane). Along with that, we include large amounts of a rainbow of fruit and vegetables as well as nuts, seeds, pastured eggs/poultry, wild fish and grass fed beef. We have eliminated anything processed, refined or unnatural, including my favorite zero calorie sweetener, swerve. 😥
In addition to dietary changes I mentioned above, I am adding some connective tissue building supplements including
- Great Lakes Collagen Hydolysate,
- Life Extension Vitamin D3 5000 mg,
- Blue Ice Fermented Cod Liver Oil.
I’ve added these to my usual, whole food supplements I take daily. Ligaments are made mostly of collagen, so these supplements should help heal and rebuild the torn and weak ligaments in my feet.
Diet alone isn’t enough –
It’s not enough to eat a healthy diet. One common cause of plantar fasciitis is weak and un-stretched feet (tendons, ligaments and muscles). To strengthen and stretch the feet, we must exercise them. Here’s an example of 3 exercises:
Until now, I’ve been dealing with my pain through the use of nsaids and tylenol. This is not a long term solution and doesn’t work all that well. It is my hope that the above changes to my daily routine will help relieve the pain and cure my plantar fasciitis. I’ll let you all know.
Until next time…Namaste my friends