plantar fasciitis - What did you do on your trip?

Hello. I posted a question a while ago about plantar fasciitis and got a big response. I've been buying some really good shoes, and working on breaking them in now. Also going to Physio and got some awesome stretches and strength training exercises. We go on our trip this fall so I've got some time and will do all I can until then. What I'd like to know is- If you have had plantar fasciitis and went on a trip what did you do to help it out. I've been thinking a lot about it and what I've come up with is: -Take transportation buses/etc whereever possible -Stretch at every opportunity -Bring some ice to use part way through the day -Bring Ibprofen -Break in my shoes before leaving for trip
-Bring a change of shoes in backpack to change into part way through the day Your ideas please. thanks all.

Posted by Tom
Lewiston, NY
11083 posts

Ibuprofen is fine, but to get the maximum benefit, you have to take it three times a day. Talk to your doctor about other similar medications that don't require as frequent dosing (celecoxib, meloxicam, naproxen, piroxicam, etc).

Posted by Frank
Tresana, Highlands Ranch, CO, USA
14150 posts

I have been brother with it off and on for many years. But believe it can be avoided and prevented with proper exercise and footwear. If I get lazy with the exercises, it will return within a month and takes another month or two to get rid of it. My principle exercise is to stand on a bottom step, grip the front of the step with my toes and drop my heels till it hurts. About ten cycles or so a couple of times a day will prevent the return and more often if I am having problems. The goal is to get rid of it and not to tolerate the pain. If you work at it, you should be able to get rid of the pain by pain and then just kept the exercises going.

Posted by Dick
Olympia, WA, USA
1626 posts

I had this a few years back after too much barefoot beach walking. I put a water bottle in the freezer and then, seated, rolled each foot back and forth on it, getting the ice and stretching at the same time. Did this for quite awhile and wore extra arch support until the problem receded, it took a few months as I recall. But if your trip isn't till fall you should have time to get better. All your ideas make sense to me, but it would sure help to be healed before you start the trip. You can ride as much as possible and you'll still need/want to walk a lot to get the most out of your sightseeing. I'd definitely break in your shoes and bring two pairs. I usually bring Birkenstock slip-on sandals along with my sturdy Rockports, they work well indoors and on short walks outside, at pools and beaches, etc., and they're very light. Arch support is key, imho. But you must be getting some good advice and exercises already. Good luck!

Posted by Bev
Decorah, Iowa, USA
307 posts

Were you given a boot to wear at night? If so, you may want to consider taking it. Having had at least two or three bouts of P.F., I wore my boot every night. I had to go to a week-long conference in Las Vegas and took the boot. I even packed it for a trip to Mexico. Depending on the severity of your problem, the boot may be a good thing. Tie shoes are also better than slip-ons or flats. They may not be the most attractive shoe but comfort will be an issue for you. Also, I have custom orthodics for my shoes that I wear all the time when I travel. I would discuss ALL the options with my foot doctor to get the best recomendations. Since you are going in the fall, you have time to determine the best course of action. I also wear compression socks so that helps my feet and legs whenever I am walking. Not such a great look with shorts and NO, I only wear them with pants. You did get a lot of good information with your March posting about the topic.

Posted by Shirley
Underhill, VT, United States
4 posts

I too have plantar fasciitis, which is fortunately not too bad with rest now. But I know that the cobblestones of Europe will be hard on me. My physical therapist has checked over my spine, hips, knee/hip movement, and foot movement as well. Seems that often plantar fasciitis can result from an imbalance or twisting and weak muscles. Also a lack of flexibility. In my case, I have weak hamstrings, and some twisting of the hips, and some lack of flexibility. My PT says that I will be ready for my trip in June to Europe for 3 weeks. I have to do several exercises working my upper leg muscles as well as heel and calf stretches, which must be done upon getting out of bed. It was suggested that I ride an exercise bicycle until I am able to walk better. Also, my rheumatologist gave me a "burst and taper" of Prednisone to take if my foot acts up in Europe. My PT also suggested that Birks are too hard, and that I should have a lot of heel cushioning as well as arch support. I wear El Naturalistas, and those have proven very comfortable. (I was in London for 2 weeks last June.) Sorry for the long post.

Posted by Ken
Vernon, Canada
24211 posts

Shelley, "If you have had plantar fasciitis and went on a trip what did you do to help it out." After I obtained the custom fitted Ortho in-serts from the Podiatrist, I haven't had to do anything to "help it out". I just walk normally for as long as I want and no exercises, ice, Ibuprofen or other methods have been necessary. I packed along an extra pair of shoes on my 2010 trip, and as long as I used the in-serts in whatever pair I was wearing, I had no problems. Last year I only brought one pair, and still no problems. Cheers!

Posted by Pam
Troy, Idaho, USA
2673 posts

I have not had a bout of PF on vacation, but I ward it off with a product called YogaToes. I wear them for an hour or so at night when my heel starts to feel twinge-y...but you have to work up to an hour. At first 5 minutes or so is all I could do. There are also some softer sock-like toe stretchers called Happy Feet that would probably be easier to travel with. I am headed to Italy in May and have the YogaToes staged for the trip already! There is also a Canadian product which is similar to YogaToes called Joyatoes. I believe the company is from BC. I have not tried these, but have seen reviews comparing them favorably.

Posted by Nancy
Corvallis OR
2905 posts

I've had two bouts of it but never on vacation. With a couple of pt sessions, better shoes, and following all my doctor's and pt's orders it went away in about 2 months so hopefully you'll be done with it before you go in Sept. I rolled a tennis ball with my foot (instead of the frozen water bottle) and did some stretching exercises, iced it and took ibu when it got really bad. There's lots of orthopaedic socks, inserts, boots, braces, etc., some are small and easy to take with you. When you get back to your hotel after sightseeing, put your feet up and stay off them as much as possible and maybe you can avoid the issue. I hope it gets better before you go, good luck.

Posted by Kathleen
Victoria, BC, Canada
214 posts

A single cortisone shot did wonders for me before a week long trip to San Francisco and the Napa Valley

Posted by Nancy
Bloomington, IL, USA
8735 posts

Once I got my orthotics, I haven't had any problems at all, traveling or not. As Ken does, I just move the orthotics from one pair of shoes to the others (they fit all of my shoes).

Posted by Tom
Lewiston, NY
11083 posts

Another shout out for orthotics. For some people, they're more or less curative, provided that you wear them consistently. And one note- there's a break-in period of about 2-3 weeks when the pain actually increases, because your feet have to adjust. So if you decide to pursue this treatment option, give yourself plenty of time before your trip.

Posted by Karen
Fort Wayne, IN, USA
1853 posts

Mine gets worse when my calf muscles are tight and crampy. And that happens when I'm on my feet a lot and dehydrated.

Posted by Shelley
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
257 posts

Great ideas and more ideas to look into. I had gotten orthotics but I've been told by recent pt that they were not correct. That's a lot of money and now to start over. I did watch about the taping and that sounds intersting I'm going to ask my pt about it and the boot at next session. Thanks everyone.

Posted by Ken
Vernon, Canada
24211 posts

Shelley, Just curious, did you obtain the Orthotics from a Podiatrist? If they're not correct, he should be willing to make corrections as required.

Posted by Denise
Lake Forest, CA, USA
1546 posts

Like previous posters, my custom orthodics work wonders. I have never had any more pain in this regard. However, now I am having pain in the ball of the foot. If it's not one thing, it's another!

Posted by Beth
Cincinnati, OH, USA
8 posts

Shelley, I also have had Plantar Faciitis problems. I got custom orthotics from a podiatrist, but I didn't like them becuase they were hard plastic and made my feet sweat. I went to a store where they had the Dr. Scholl's foot analyzer and got a pair of their s. They were much less expensive ($50 vs. $300) and, being made from felt covered rubber, much more comfortable. You might try to see if you can get a pair of these. Good Luck, Beth

Posted by Betsey
New England
293 posts

Hi Shelley, I traveled a couple years ago even though I was having trouble with one hip, which turned out to be a symptom of having trouble with my opposite foot and plantar fasciitis. I could not stand for long without support. 1) I used a cane (similar to this, .. if the link will not show, try nova offset garden cane at Amazon) .. TSA and everyone I met helped when I needed it. 2) I took wide white medical/sports tape and put three strips along the length of my foot each morning. It was an idea I saw online somewhere and it did seem to provide some support. The tape kept the fascia from cracking so much? Or not. I just know it helped me. The strips met on the heel and did a bit of fan up to the pad/base of toes. It's definitely best to buy 'really good shoes,' but I've learned to my detriment that a pair of any brand of shoes (even 'good') that don't correctly fit your foot are Not really good shoes, so instead of 'breaking' in a shoe, I buy shoes that are comfortable from the first moment of wearing. I go to a shoe store with a certified Pedorthist on staff. Just like saving up for a trip to Europe, saving and buying comfortable shoes is important to me! :-) I take only one pair of shoes on my trips and a couple pairs Dr Scholl's insoles (the normal white ones) and swap the insoles daily. I did this before the foot trouble mentioned above and after things got better, too. With months to go before your trip, hopefully your foot is mostly sorted out and you'll only need to do the stretching and have great shoes to wear. Cheers.

Posted by Shelley
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
257 posts

Thank you all for your kind advice. I'm still working on it and I feel that I'm on the right track. I have definetly seen improvement so if I keep at it I'm sure they will be doing better by the time we go on our trip. I'm going to ask my PT about the taping and the boot idea at my next visit this week.