Here’s How To Ease Plantar Fasciitis Pain

Simple shoe and lifestyle changes are among the recommendations for aggravating foot problem.

Melissa Cox walking down a sidewalk

Melissa Cox

Helping children learn to tie their shoes, hold a crayon or pencil, or ride a tricycle is all part of Melissa Cox’s day. Not because she has two youngsters at home. Helping kids be kids while teaching important fine and gross motor skills is Melissa’s job.

“I’m a pediatric occupational therapist,” Melissa informs. “I mostly work with children between the ages of 2 and 10 who are neurotypical, have autism, special needs or developmental delays. It’s wonderfully rewarding work.”

It can also be exhausting work. Melissa spends most workdays running from one classroom to another, and she’s constantly bouncing from hard surfaces to soft ones and back again. Recently, she began to feel the ill effects of those changes.

“A few months ago, the bottoms of my feet really started hurting,” Melissa explains. “And it was more than just an occasional pain. It was constant throbbing and aching that made it hard to walk and really affected my ability to properly do my job.”

Melissa fought through the pain for several weeks. She soon realized that she was doing more harm than good, so she visited Dawn Chiu, DPM, AACFAS of Sarasota Foot and Ankle Center.

During a thorough examination that included x-rays to determine if the pain was being caused by a bone break, Dr. Chiu determined Melissa was suffering from plantar fasciitis.

One of the most common causes of heel and foot pain, plantar fasciitis is caused by inflammation of the fascia, which is the fibrous tissue that runs along the bottom of the foot and connects the heel bone to the toes.

The condition commonly causes sharp, stabbing pain across the bottom of the foot that is usually felt during the first steps after a long period of rest. That pain can decrease as steps increase, but that doesn’t mean the issue has been resolved.

Although anti-inflammatory medications can help alleviate the pain, the best way to erase the discomfort of plantar fasciitis is through footwear and lifestyle changes. In Melissa’s case that meant wearing supportive shoes more often.

“Because of the nature of my job, I have a tendency to kick my shoes off depending on what I’m doing during the day,” Melissa admits. “And then at home, of course, you usually take your shoes off while you’re running around the house.

“Dr. Chiu did a great job helping me through this problem, and I gladly recommend her.” – Melissa

“Dr. Chiu explained that not wearing shoes with adequate support was contributing to my problem, so she gave me very specific suggestions regarding what type of shoes to wear. I needed a sturdier shoe that provided more support. She also gave me some stretches and exercises to do.”

Melissa has been diligently following Dr. Chiu’s recommendations, and she’s happy to report that her pain has diminished significantly, dropping from “a seven or eight on a scale of one to 10 to a one or two.”

“Dr. Chiu was very thorough and really took her time to educate me about the lifestyle changes she recommended,” Melissa concludes. “She did a great job helping me through this problem, and I gladly recommend her.”

© FHCN article by Roy Cummings. Photo by Jordan Pysz. mkb
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