+drsolly Posted November 16, 2007 Share Posted November 16, 2007 The moment I stood up in the morning, my feet hurt. Quite a lot. I thought it was part of getting old; maybe my bones settling in after the hours of horizintality, or something like that? And the pain faded after a few minutes, so I didn't do anything about it. Then, last August, at an event, I was shocked to find that my left foot hurt so much, it was a major pain to keep up with other cachers. I left it a couple of days, then I went to the doctor (my doctorate isn't medical). He wiggled and waggled my foot, and told me I was suffering from Plantar Fasciitis, which meant nothing to me, and gave me some stretching exercises on a sheet of paper. And he told me to stay off my feet as much as I could, for a while, because this was an overuse issue. I've been caching too much! And lose weight. I did the stretches, a bit. Probably not as much as I should have. No, definitely not as much. And I cut down on the walking a little bit, but not much. Fewer long multis. I didn't lose much weight. The pain, of course, persisted, although not as bad as at its peak. Then, on a thread in this forum, I posted that what I wanted for Christmas, as a new Plantar Fascia. Absurd, of course, you can't buy them on Ebay! But it led me to think a bit. Maybe not a new foot-part, but maybe ... I did some research. The Plantar Fascia is a bunch of tendons that link the heel to the pad of the foot . http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plantar_fasciitis What really amazed me, after doing some research, was the way that all the diagnoses I read, remarked on that "first steps of the day heel pain", which so exactly matched what I was getting. And that made me wonder, why would this be? So I did some more research. It seems that, during the night, things heal up, but because the foot is so relaxed, things heal up with tendons that are in the relaxed position, and it's when you stretch them first thing in the day that you get the pain, because it sort of pulls at it. There's probably a medical term for this. The Wiki also mentioned various ways to help. Some of them I didn't fancy - injections of this or that, and surgery. It's not that bad. But it also suggested "night splints", and that made a lot of sense to me. A night splint is a plastic thingy, that holds the foot in the sort of position it's in when you're standing on it, the foot is held at right angles to the leg. It seemed to me that there was no downside to trying this idea, so I ordered one. I also ordered a couple of gel heel pads to go inside my boot - again, I don't see a downside to trying this out. I've worn the night splint a couple of nights now. Note - don't make the straps too tight, or you wake up in the morning with a very red top-of-foot. And it advises that you shouldn't walk with it on. Well, I'm telling you, walking with it on is almost impossible, even that dozen steps that people of our age sometimes *need* to make in the middle of the night. But it's easy to take off and put back on. So, I'm relating this tale because this is a painful condition, it isn't a rare condition, and cachers do a lot of walking, so there might be other folks here with this problem. As I say, I've only used the night splints a couple of nights so far, and the effect has been dramatic. But I don't know what the long term effects will be. I'm planning to use it for a couple of weeks, then tail off the night splint usage, and see what the result is. If you want to buy night splints, google "Plantar Fasciitis". I paid £35 for mine. Quote Link to comment
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