Thursday, March 13, 2014

SOLSC #13 - Plantar What?

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Two Writing Teachers

Teachers and feet problems are not a good combination.

Several years ago I experienced my first bout with plantar fasciitis.  Now some of you may being thinking, what in the world is plantar fasciitis.  I know I did when I was first diagnosed.  Heck, I couldn't even pronounce the darn thing!  Since then, I have had several flare-ups, and I have met and talked with many people who have also had the foot problem.

There is a thick band of tissue that runs across the bottom of your foot and connects your heel to your toes.  Inflammation of this tissue causes extreme heel pain, especially when you first get up in the morning.  The pain may return if there is prolonged standing.  This condition is also common in runners, overweight people, and those who wear shoes with poor support...well I have two out of three of those...and no, I am not a runner!

Here lies the problem.  I, like most teachers, am on my feet all. day. long.

I have basically been in pain since the beginning of the school year.  I love to wear capris and sandals up until the first frost.  This only aggravates the problem.  I have not taken care of my feet, and now I am paying for it.  (Those cute shoes aren't so cute right now.)

I know that in order to completely heal, I need to follow the doctor's orders.  I have a pair of orthotics which actually support that tissue so your foot doesn't have to.  I have been wearing those in my tennis shoes for support, and have been trying to stay off of my feet during the evenings...which is not easy for me to do.

Tonight, I am sitting here reading slices with my brace as my companion.  This brace flexes my foot and stretches that tissue.  After we finish this little rendezvous, I will be dunking my foot in a pan of ice water to try and decrease the inflammation.  Then it is another does of ibuprofen and off to bed!

So, there is your medical lesson for the day!  If you have ever had plantar fasciitis and have some advice, please let me know - cute shoe season is just right around the corner!  I never learn!


  1. Ouch! I hope your foot will be feeling better soon. Sorry no advice for you, but I'm sure there are readers out there who can help.

  2. It's hard not to have foot problems when you are on your feet all day. Teaching is not a sit down occupation. Hope the pain goes away.

  3. Ouch. Sorry. I wish I could help. Follow your doctor's orders as much as possible.

  4. So many teachers in my building have plantar fasciitis, including me. You can tell because we all walk around in our tennis shoes. :) Follow the doctor's orders and you'll be fine. If it doesn't go away, don't be afraid of physical therapy. It really works! Good luck.

  5. Oh dear...nothing worse for a teacher than foot or back pain. Do you have a teaching stool? I bought one of these when I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia, and it comes in handy all day. I hope you feel better soon, Leigh Anne.

  6. Oh, I've been through it all with plantar fasciitis, so I feel your pain. A few suggestions:
    1) If you can, teach in Brooks Ariel sneakers. Kinda ugly, but they'll help!
    2) If you cannot teach in sneakers, then invest in a couple pairs of Naot shoes. They're among only two brands of shoes I can wear since I started having problems with plantar fasciitis.
    3) If the brace doesn't work, consider Extracorporeal shock wave therapy (ESWT). That is the only thing that truly broke up the problem in my foot. It's not an invasive treatment. It's costly, but like I said, it was the only thing that worked for me.

    I hope you feel better soon. Don't hesitate to contact me if you have any Q's.

  7. Leigh Anne, I can't believe that I fell asleep reading slices last night! Yours did not get a comment! So here it is: When I had mine, I guess it wasn't as bad. But wearing shoes with good support is essential to keep it away! Dansko is my got o brand. I hope that you will heal quickly and can get to back your normal life. P.S. Get cute sandals that are also good for you (orthaheel??)

  8. Leigh Anne - I have had Plantar Fascitis on both feet. Each time, it took exactly 10 months to clear up. Each time I tried different treatments - including physical therapy, taping, cortisone shots, etc. Neither treatments made any difference in the time it took to make improvements. Of course the second time, it didn't help that it flared up right as I was to do a half marathon. I did the half and nearly wanted to cut off my foot by the end. The end results both times - it cleared up and I got orthotics (or new orthotics). I have found that crocs (and there are now some cute ones) are comfortable for standing around all day and I keep my eyes open for various inserts/cushions to make cute shoes more comfortable. Hope the pain goes away soon.

  9. I hear it is extremely painful!
    I never really understood what it was. Now I get it after reading your slice and seeing the diagram!