Walking with Plantar Fasciitis

I’m frustrated. I have to lose 60 pounds. I’ve always fought my weight, but it’s been coming on faster the last ten years. I am 52 years old. I want to walk, but I have Plantar Fasciitis in both feet. I know it’s because I pronate, but I pronate because the excess weight changed my natural gait. The doctors refuse to say it’s my weight. They say skinny people get it too. I’ve done physical therapy, cortisone shots, and many home exercises with anti-inflammatories. I need to walk! Can I walk through the pain? Will it cause more damage to my feet?

I can feel your frustration. Plantar Fasciitis can happen to anybody, but your weight may be a contributing factor. Overpronating can aggravate it, as can tight calf muscles. Be sure to stretch your calves many times a day. This can really help – and in fact does relieve Plantar Fasciitis for many people.

I wonder why you haven’t mentioned orthotics. My suggestion would certainly be to see a podiatrist and decide whether a prescription orthotic would help, or if something over the counter would be sufficient to alleviate the pronation and control movement of your foot.

In the meantime, no, I do not suggest walking through the pain. You are only going to aggravate the condition and could make it worse by tearing the fascia and developing painful heel spurs. Talk to your doctor and physical therapist to find other ways to exercise that put less stress on your feet – like bicycling or swimming. I also have foot problems and try to bike during the summer months to reduce stress on my feet. You have to work with what you’ve got!

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