One of my favourite pastimes is to go walking. There’s something really satisfying and enjoyable about long walks through our lovely countryside or lengthy strolls along our seafront. However, more often than not, there just isn’t enough time in the day to make use of what we, here in the south of England, have been blessed with. And as I like to walk everyday, I am usually content with just doing two or three miles in and around town.
Then, when presented with more time, I will take myself off and do a really good walk. That is, until recently. Over the last year, I have arrived home following each walk with a very tender right foot. For the first eleven months of that twelve month period, I pretty much ignored the pain as it eased after a few hours and I was able to walk again the next day.
However this past month, I have not been able to even walk around the house without incurring extreme pain. So, after much nagging pleading by She Who Must Be Obeyed, I hobbled my way off to see the doctor.
A few minutes later, I hobbled out again with a five page print out of my condition – Plantar Fasciitis. I know what you’re thinking …
What is Plantar Fasciitis?
The Plantar Fascia is a broad, thick band of tissue that runs from under the heel to the front of the foot. Plantar fasciitis can also be known as a heel spur although they are not strictly the same. A heel spur is a bony growth that occurs at the attachment of the plantar fascia to the heel bone (calcaneus). A heel spur can be present (through repetitive pulling of the plantar fascia) on a foot with no symptoms at all and a painful heel does not always have a heel spur present.
Plantar fasciitis is traditionally thought to be an inflammatory condition. This is now believed to be incorrect due to the absence of inflammatory cells within the fascia. The cause of pain and dysfunction is now thought to be degeneration of the collagen fibres close to the attachment to the calcaneus (heel bone).
So, that’s cleared that up! The more common name (and a lot easier to pronounce) is Policeman’s Heel.
And what can be done to cure the problem and ease the pain? Well, plenty of ibuprofen and rest. Although sitting around with my foot up for rest is not going down too well with She Who Must Be Obeyed.
Another way to ease the pain and aid recovery is to wear shoes with greater arch support which takes the pressure off the heel, so I’m wondering whether I can get a pair of high heeled shoes! Not sure that would go down well either. It was also suggested that I should avoid walking on hard surfaces. Now, I don’t want to be blasphemous here, but I haven’t yet perfected the art of walking on water, and I seriously doubt I ever will!
On that slightly religious note, and with a tenuous link, at church on Sunday I met a fellow struggler (in more ways than one!) who had been diagnosed with the same complaint on the same day. The only difference is that his is in the left foot. However, I guess this means we’d be a perfect pairing for a three legged race!
In the mean time, I have been online looking at all the fantastic footwear I can purchase if I’m not allowed to get my high heels out!
I don’t really fancy any of those, so I guess I’d better get on with the suggested exercises whilst keeping off my feet!
Any support (crutches ideally!) gratefully received. 😉