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My Plantar Fasciitis is so Bad I Can’t Walk

Discover the ultimate guide to relieving plantar fasciitis pain, even if it’s painful to walk, and take the first step towards pain-free feet with our expert tips and remedies!

As we go through life, our feet carry us every step of the way, enduring immense pressure and stress. But when the foundation of our every move is compromised by the sharp, burning pain of plantar fasciitis, it can be challenging to put our best foot forward.

In this article, we'll discuss the intricate mechanics of plantar fasciitis, explore the various treatment options available, and equip you with expert advice on how to walk normally again with plantar fasciitis.

What is Plantar Fasciitis?

In most cases, discomfort felt in the bottom of the heel is due to plantar fasciitis. It's caused by deterioration of the plantar fascia, a tissue that runs down the bottom of your foot.

Most people have a slow buildup of symptoms over time, occurring in the morning and subsiding as the foot warms up. Basically, plantar fasciitis is most often caused by not resting the arch after a foot injury.

Another factor is engaging in high-impact activities without arch-supportive footwear and not following through with at-home therapies when symptoms occur.

Symptoms of Plantar Fasciitis

Here are some common symptoms of Plantar Fasciitis to look out for. If it’s already progressed to the point where you can’t walk, you’re likely familiar with several of these already:

1. Pain

The most common symptom of Plantar Fasciitis is pain. The pain is usually sharp and stabbing and is typically felt in the heel or arch of the foot. The pain may be worse in the morning or after sitting for a long time, and feels slightly different than heel spurs.

2. Stiffness

Many people with plantar fasciitis experience stiffness in their feet. This stiffness can make it difficult to move your feet and can cause discomfort when walking.

3. Swelling

In some cases, people with plantar fasciitis may experience swelling in their feet. This swelling is usually mild and is most common in the morning.

4. Tingling or Numbness

Some people with plantar fasciitis may experience tingling or numbness in their feet. This is usually caused by a pinched nerve and can be quite uncomfortable.

5. Difficulty Walking

As the pain and stiffness progress, it can become impossible difficult to walk. This can make everyday activities like running errands or exercising more challenging, unless you have the right shoes.

plantar fasciitis symptoms infographic

What Makes Plantar Fasciitis Worse?

It's possible to aggravate plantar fasciitis by undertaking certain activities. As discussed, the condition is often brought on by excessive use of your foot. However, there are ways to avoid developing plantar fasciitis.

For starters, this may occur through jogging, hiking, or working in an office where you spend a lot of time on your feet.

Also, being overweight, having high arches, and wearing shoes without cushioning contribute to the onset of plantar fasciitis.

woman jumping pain-free

Treatments for Plantar Fasciitis

The consequences of untreated plantar fasciitis may seem frightening, but it is crucial to remember that they only apply when left untreated. Fret not because many of these unfavorable symptoms are reversible with the proper medical care.

On that note, let's look at what we can do to turn these symptoms around.

Night Splints

Many people also use inserts or orthotics in conjunction with night splints. These splints hold the foot in a flexed posture all night, allowing the plantar fascia and calf muscle to stretch while you sleep.

In doing so, you may relieve the tension that causes morning discomfort.

However, night splints may need some adjustment time. While it may take some time to adjust to wearing evening attire, most individuals can do so within a week.

Walking Devices

If other treatments fail, your doctor may recommend limiting physical activity. For many weeks, you may need crutches, a walking boot, or a stick to ease the strain on your plantar fascia.

These devices are usually reserved for when less intrusive therapies have failed due to the risk of gait alteration.

Shoe Inserts

Extra arch support and shock absorption for your feet are two benefits of using orthotics or plantar fasciitis shoe inserts. But custom orthotics for your feet aren't always necessary.

Rather than spending money on pricey orthotics, you may first try out over-the-counter shoe inserts.

In particular, cork has molding properties. Thus, these may provide a similar experience to a customized pair.

Ice and OTC Medicines

When applied to a swollen area, ice reduces the amount of blood that may flow there. Hence, for 15 minutes at a time, apply ice to the affected region.

Furthermore, painkillers may reduce the inflammation and discomfort of plantar fasciitis. But if you've tried OTC pain medicines for more than a week and nothing has helped, you should see a doctor.

Physical Therapy

One of the primary targets of stretches used by physical therapists is the plantar fascia. They place strain on the plantar fascia when these places are tight or have an imbalance of muscle.

It's best to get approval from a medical professional before beginning any stretching regimen. Misaligned or too aggressive stretching might aggravate pre-existing micro rips, causing more damage than good.

A physical therapist can help you focus on strengthening those muscle groups or correcting any gait problems contributing to your plantar fasciitis. They may also check your footwear to determine whether the absence of support or improper support in your shoes contributes to the issue.

In conclusion, severe foot pain caused by plantar fasciitis can be a debilitating condition that can impact your quality of life. However, with proper care, treatment, and management, you can overcome the pain and regain your mobility.

Additionally, it's important to take preventative measures to avoid aggravating the condition, such as wearing appropriate footwear, stretching before exercise, and maintaining a healthy weight.

Plantar Fasciitis can be a challenging condition to overcome, especially if it’s preventing you from walking. But with patience, persistence, and a proactive approach, you can put your best foot forward and walk pain-free again. Don't let the condition hold you back - take the necessary steps to get back on your feet and resume your daily activities.

Q: What do you do if you can't walk with plantar fasciitis?

A: Resting and applying ice are the first things to do if you can’t walk due to plantar fasciitis. The first step should be to try treatments like wearing insoles, using walking aids and a night splint, and taking over-the-counter painkillers.

Q: Can plantar fasciitis cause you to be unable to walk?

A: In some cases, walking can be difficult if you have plantar fasciitis. The pain can be worse when you wake up or after you've been standing for a long time. Applying immediate treatment is a must to avoid worsening your condition.

Q: Should I go to the hospital for plantar fasciitis?

A: You should go to the hospital for plantar fasciitis if you have a fever or experience redness and swelling on the affected area. Pain when placing weight on the heel is also a sign that you need medical intervention. If your condition doesn’t get better a few weeks after conservative treatment, it’s time to consult a professional.

Q: What is the fastest way to cure plantar fasciitis?

A: Most people who have plantar fasciitis get better within a few months with conservative treatments like putting ice on the painful area, stretching, and changing or stopping activities that cause pain. If these interventions fail, it would be best to seek professional care.


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