As a new mum, you quickly learn to ignore all but the most unbearable pain, and the usual aches resulting from childbirth are typically managed over the first few weeks with painkillers and strategically placed cushions. It was only when my little one was about three months old that I finally started to question the unrelenting pain in my heels that just didn’t seem to go away and, strangely, seemed to get worse the more I sat down and tried to rest.
So I did the usual Google search and figured out that it was probably plantar fasciitis. Amazingly, the majority of people I then mentioned it to not only knew what it was, but had either experienced it themselves or knew someone who had. This was very reassuring, as were the most common words of wisdom from fellow sufferers – get some good shoes for plantar fasciitis with arch supports.
Once I did that, the difference was noticeable from the very start. I was able to walk home from play group without limping and was much less likely to gasp in pain on taking that first step in the morning. I don’t know if it will ever fully go away, but wearing the right shoes for plantar fasciitis and supporting my arches and heels properly has made the condition immeasurably easier to live with.
Plantar fasciitis is an inflammation of the plantar fascia, a band of tissue that stretches from the heel to the middle foot bone. It acts like a shock absorber in your foot and supports the arch.
There are many reasons plantar fasciitis can flare up, even in people who have never had any previous foot problems. They can include:
- Being obese or experiencing a sudden weight gain (for example, pregnancy) – this puts extra strain on your heel
- Wearing shoes with insufficient arch support
- Walking barefoot
- Switching suddenly from high heeled to flat shoes
- Spending several hours a day on your feet
- Having weak ankle and foot muscles or tight calf muscles
- Experiencing a sudden increase in physical activity (for example, intense training for a marathon) or running on a different surface
- Having arthritis
- Conducting a short-term physical activity that you don’t usually do (for example, DIY such as laying a floor)
Plantar fasciitis is common, with 1 in 10 people likely to get it at some point in their life. It is more common in women, athletes and those between the ages of 40 and 60 years of age.
What are the symptoms?
Pain in the heel is the main indicator that something is not quite right and plantar fasciitis may be to blame. Although it can be felt anywhere on the heel, it’s most common in one place.
The pain is typically most keenly felt after a period of inactivity, for example, first thing in the morning or after sitting for a period of time.
What can help?
In some cases, the condition will naturally lessen and disappear over time. This is most often when the reasons for developing the condition in the first place have also disappeared, for example post-pregnancy.
But for many, plantar fasciitis is a very real, painful condition they live with everyday. Treatments that help can include painkillers, rest, special exercises, proper footwear and arch support. In extreme cases, a steroid injection or surgery may also be an option.
Wearing a wide fitting shoe with the correct support is one of the best ways to minimise pain and lets sufferers get on with everyday activities, from taking a walk to spending the day in comfort at work. A shoe with a broader fit will allow you to fit a range of arch and heel supports which can prove invaluable in reducing discomfort as well as helping the condition to improve over time.
Shoe supports and pad inserts work best if you wear them at all times and should be worn in both shoes, even if the condition only affects one foot.
Find the support you need at Wide Fit Shoes
Our large selection of shoes for men and women can help you to find the right footwear to fit your life and style, with something for every occasion.
Search for what you need on our easy to use website or pop in to our shop for a chat with one of our friendly and informative staff.
Let us make coping with plantar fasciitis easier and find the best shoes to give you the support you need and comfort you deserve.