No, it has nothing to do with anything green in the earth that you must water now and again. Unfortunately, for those afflicted.
For those not familiar, this is a medical term for an inflammatory condition of the plantar fascia (thick connective tissue which supports the arch of the foot) often caused by excessive wear and/or lack of support. Still not familiar? Let me put it in layman’s terms: If it feels like you’ve jumped off a step barefoot and your heel landed on a small pebble, chances are, you have Plantar Fasciitis. This is what I first thought when I felt it. “Geez, I don’t remember stepping on a pebble when I was barefoot, nor do I see a bruise…but I must have stepped on something.” After three months or so of this “got tack hammered on the heel” feeling, I decided to consult an old friend that is now a podiatrist.
His first question: “Does it hurt most when you get out of bed in the morning?”
“Does it also hurt after you’ve been sitting awhile and get up to walk, as well as later on after you’ve cooled down from exercise?
“Does it burn when you urinate?”
Answer: What does that have to do with my heel?
“Just kidding”, he says. I guess when you’re getting free medical help, it’s hard to complain about the bad jokes.
“It sounds like you’re suffering from Plantar Fasciitis.”
He then proceeded to explain what it actually is and list things I can do to help heal it. Get it? Heal it? As in Heel it? That’s my best podiatry humor. I apologize.
So now that I knew what it was, I began to share what was bothering me with my sport-fanatic as well as non-sport-fanatic peers. I quickly realized that Plantar Fasciitis is not as rare as I thought. As a matter of fact, the more people I talked to about it, the more I learned that many of my friends and associates have dealt with it at some point, or at least have known someone that has. From my favorite world class athlete to a friend that just likes walking barefoot in the local Taco Bell, it can affect anyone.
After plenty of conversations and research, I learned that the best thing one can do is to rest it to let it heal. And the earlier it’s recognized and dealt with, the quicker the healing (usually). On the flip side, if it’s ignored or not dealt with, it is something that can become much more severe and linger on for months or even years.
If you’ve suffered from this dastardly affliction, please feel free to share your experiences and let us know what you’ve done to help remedy it!