Our EverWalk Nation has become a hivemind for all things walking. So when a few of our walkers began encountering foot pain, they reached out to their fellow EverWalkers for advice.
They were told: Always visit a podiatrist to determine what is wrong.
So they did, and once they’d gotten their diagnoses, they found fantastic suggestions for healing modalities from our experienced walkers.
This article pays their advice forward to anyone else experiencing foot pain!
Karen Osit, our Westchester Wobbly Walker Ambassador, shares what she learned in this short essay she calls: How the Pandemic Became a Pain in My FOOT!
I am an Everwalker…not fast, not far, but forever!
I work in a gigantic building, but thanks to COVID, I have been working from home for 6 months. At the office, the number of steps from my desk to the bathroom or coffee room is probably 300-400. At home, the number of steps from my desk to the bathroom is exactly 10! I’ll let you do the math!
Before the pandemic, I had begun to experience a lot of foot pain. I won’t lie…sometimes my feet really hurt by the time I got home.
During the pandemic, however, despite the reduced number of steps each day, I found that my foot was hurting more and more. It didn’t make sense to me. Finally, I went to see a podiatrist, who told me that I had Achilles tendonitis and bone spurs.
This is what I learned.
NUMBER ONE: DO NOT SPEND THE ENTIRE DAY BAREFOOT OR IN SLIPPERS!
Anyone may at one time or another, experience some variation of foot problems. Almost all of our daily life activities involve our feet, and yet, except for serious walkers/runners, there is a tendency to neglect them in when it comes to self- care.
After my visit to the podiatrist, I became curious about some of the more common maladies and did a little research. I am neither a medical professional nor a researcher, but here is a synopsis of what I found.
Most foot problems, particularly Achilles tendonitis and Plantar facitis are the culmination of irritation over time. The most influential factors are age, shoe fit, gender, occupation, and weight. For some, it is doing too much, too soon.
The most important take away from everything I read? FIND THE RIGHT SHOES FOR YOUR FEET AND FOOT ISSUES!
- Don’t go for the cute ones…go for the best support.
- Don’t go barefoot or wear flimsy slippers around the house.
- Don’t take long walks in flip flops or sandals.
Here are some of the most common foot maladies:
Bunions: A protruding bump at the base of the big toe.
Not all bunions can be prevented. Some are hereditary. Shoes that are too pointy or too narrow for our feet are the most common cause. There are several options for treatment including bunion socks, cortisone injections, padding or taping, and last resort, surgery.
Inflammation of the Achilles tendon caused by overuse and repetitive stress, tight muscles or doing too much too soon. The symptoms include pain along the back of the heel, mostly in the morning, and swelling of the tendon.
Prevention includes proper warm up and stretches before a walk and proper footwear
Treatment includes rest, icing, stretching, proper footwear, physical therapy, non-steroidal medication, and in severe cases, surgery.
Inflammation of the plantar fascia, the tissue that connects the heel bone to the toes.
Symptoms include stabbing pain in the bottom of the foot or heel, especially in the morning.
Treatment includes rest, reducing the activity, anti-inflammatory medication, Physical therapy, cortisone injections, wearing a boot, heel cups, and icing.
Arch collapses upon weight bearing and entire sole of foot touches the floor.
Pain along the inside of foot and ankle-worsens with physical activity. Can cause sharp burning pain in arch or heel
Treatment includes arch supports and stretching.
THANK YOU KAREN FOR SHARING ALL THIS RESEARCH!
EverWalker Rachel Hollander was also experiencing a great deal of foot pain. When she went to the podiatrist, her diagnosis was plantar fasciitis. She, too was told that she could no longer go barefoot in the house.
When Rachel reached out to EverWalk Nation, she received a ton of great advice.
Sandra Cummins suggested freezing a small bottle of water and using it to roll you foot on!
Peggy DeFrance-Mason wrote that heel cups were the only thing that worked for her.
When Stephanie Kuhn Wright was threatened with casts, she decided to immobilize her own foot with a pair of lace-up boots. This finally cured it. She believes the ankle immobilization also stopped any pronation of the foot. One upside: “They looked pretty cute, actually.”
EverWalk Ambassador Jill Conway experienced completely debilitating plantar fasciitis for about eighteen months. She ultimately decided: “I’m not sure anything works other than time, but I moved to zero drop shoes (Altra), got custom orthotics, did the stretches and it finally got better enough that I could walk. I got injections but they didn’t help me much. Do NOT push walking when it really hurts as I think it will slow healing. Stretch the foot when you get up, before you walk, before bed. I find Kenkoh massage sandals helpful for around the house and I never take a single step barefoot.”
Many walkers recommend shoe brands they swear helps with this. Kathy Walsh Licht suggests Kuru shoes and sneakers, which she swore made walking bearable.
And finally, Jill, Roger Anstine and Lisa Benatovish Brosofsky recommend rolling your foot over a tennis ball!
FOR ANY OF YOU SUFFERING FROM FOOT PAIN, we hope these suggestions from our dedicated walkers help you find YOUR healing modality. And whatever you do, do NOT do it barefoot!
ONWARD in good health from our EverWalk Nation!