Plantar Fasciitis (or walking on cut glass.) - NRAS


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Plantar Fasciitis (or walking on cut glass.)

Briefencounter profile image

I’m new to the delights of Plantar Fasciitis .

I’ve read nearly everything that has been written about it . I’m icing , stretching etc .

I have a much longed for trip coming up in five weeks time but I can hardly move . Does anyone have any well tried tips to help me .

I should mention that I have RA and have just recovered from “deep tissue injury” after a fall in May . And now this .

All suggestions gratefully received .

66 Replies

I suffered and still suffer PF for nearly 4 years . The thing that made a difference the most was having insoles made just for the me . Only get pain ( it’s nothing compared to what is was ) if I don’t wear them .

Briefencounter profile image
Briefencounter in reply to J1707

Thanks for your reply . I'm sorry to hear that you suffered this for 4 years . I've been looking at various orthotic insoles . Not sure where I'd get custom made insoles , but it's a thought .

J1707 profile image
J1707 in reply to Briefencounter

A private podiatrist is where I got mine due to the long nhs waiting list . Not cheap but a God send.

I got some from my Nhs podiatrist which are £25 a pair on line. They have helped greatly. Also my podiatrist recommendation was to wear foot ware which has a none flexible sole and wear them all the time. Got into a habit of wearing slippers while working from home and after a reminder from my podiatrist on a phone consultation. It helps greatly. Good luck 🙂

vonniesims profile image
vonniesims in reply to Tkat10

Yes, I was told to wear running shoes by the podiatrist which helped. The physio had told me to wear sketchers which are apparently too flexible

I wear sketchers all the time . So comfortable. I guess I'm going to have invest in a pair of lace up trainers. Anything to help the pain .

Sure its not a Mortons Nuroma ? as thats like walking on broken glass. A GP can hear it click, I only ask as if it is, a simple injection can stop the pain almost straight away. If it's not then sorry I can only suggest perhaps Gabor rolling soft trainers might help and my husband does these strange leg stretches as he has this but not RA.

Thank you Med-way lady . I described my pain to the nurse practioner and she pressed a spot where I said it hurt most , sending me through the roof . She agreed it was PF . I'll look at the Gabor soft trainers . I expect you're husband is doing the same exercises - they are a bit odd .

I recently saw an NHS podiatrist and was surprised how quickly the appointment came through so it might be worth seeing how long the waiting list is in your area.

I don't have your sort of problems but he gave me two types of insoles - and general advice - and they're working really well for me.

Thanks Boxerlady - I'm seeing my rheumatologist in a week's time . I'll see if he can help with a referral . I've met a couple of people who have PF and they say most medical people are sympathetic but just offer the same advice re icing and exercises . I'm told it can take over a year to recover - the thought fills me with dread as I can hardly stand because of the pain .

My rheumy nurse said that she would refer me last year but when I rang to ask about it I was told that I had to self-refer. As I said, I was pleasantly surprised by the short waiting list.Like everything, I think it can be different depending on area or health authority.

I hope that you get help quickly 🤞

Thanks . I know I've been told with other medical issues that I must refer myself then when I try I'm told I must go through my doctor . I think everything is very tightly controlled at the moment - even tubes for collecting blood for testing .

Tkat10 profile image
Tkat10 in reply to Boxerlady

That is really bad but each area has its own referral pathway unfortunately.

Funny you should mention that - I had a text message earlier saying that all blood tests have been cancelled until 17th September because of global shortage of test tubes 😕 I've just rebooked mine (for a couple of weeks time) on 17th September...

I was lucky . On Tuesday I had to have blood to fill about six bottles . The message came the next day .

I have RA and PF, the best thing I ever did was buy Vionic’s shoes, expensive but worth every penny. They are shaped so you don’t need insoles so I can wear sandals 😎, you can try for 30 days and still return if they don’t help. I was virtually pain free within a couple of weeks and have even bought some slippers.

That sounds amazing . I’ll have to check them out . I’m desperate so expense isn’t my first thought . Although , I have to say I’ve already spent a lot of money on different things which haven’t worked .

You can try Vionic shoes on QVC for 60 days and if they don’t suit you ….you can return them for a full refund except the P&P.I have taken the insoles out of Vionic trainers and put them into slippers and they do help.

Thanks , AgedCrone 😀 I have had quite a few people mention Vionics . I think they have a sale on at the moment. Useful if you can take the orthotics out and put them in othere shoes .

You can’t remove the orthotics from all Vionic shoes..I think it’s mainly the trainers.Have a look on Vionic clearance in QVC…As I said you can try them for 60 days & if they don’t suit you, you can return them for a full refund.

I have never needed to return them…,but I have returned other expensive items & they have always refunded my money without a murmur l

Sounds good . I’ll take a look .

In case you don't see it , Aged Crone , I've just written a general "thank you" to all who recommended Vionic shoes for PF . I've just received a pair of Jessica Mary Jane shoes purchased during their sale . My PF seems to disappear when I wear them and as they have a velcro strap I can manage them easily with my arthritic fingers . I've sent off for another pair in case they disappear.

I must admit I knew they were comfortable, but I didn’t realise how much they helped my feet overall.I have just moved…I kept out a few pairs of shoes to wear but unfortunately not a Vionic pair… I have been walking around the house barefoot…& I I started again to get the numbness & pIns & needles in my feet as soon as I got in to bed!

But two days after the Vionics turned up….I realised no numbness or


Might just treat myself to another pair In celebration!

Glad they help you too!

ketiv74 profile image
ketiv74 in reply to 99Michelle

Yes, I second the Vionic shoes. I actually have their Shoes, Slippers & Sandals. These are the only footwear I am using for last 2+ years. They all definitely help. You would need some time to get adjusted to the arch support but once you do, you will feel the difference.I would also strongly recommend deep stretches of Calf muscles along with foot stretches. These are the 2 things that helped me the most when it came to PF pain. It was excruciating when those PF attacks come on.

Yes ketiv74 , I’m beginning to appreciate ( or not ) the agony of PF I’m looking at Vionics and someone mentioned ASICS as well . I do find buying new shoes a daunting experience and have a cupboard full of unworn mistakes . Even going to shoe shops , rather than online , I still make mistakes even when they feel OK in the shop .

I’m doing the deep calf stretches amongst other exercises and I’m finding some comfort . It’s just first thing in the morning and last thing at night that it hurts so much . Then I feel I’m going backwards instead of forwards .

Have just invested in a pair of Vionic trainers . Waiting for them to come .

Hope they help, let me know how you get on 🤞

To 99Michelle and anyone else who has suggested Vionic shoes for Plantar Fasciitis . I have just received a pair of Jessica Mary Jane's bought in their sale . They are fantastic. No , or very little heel pain while wearing them . I immediately ordered a second pair before they all go . So thanks everyone. 😊

So glad they've helped, definitely worth the money

Try for a second opinion. I returned a few times to our 2 GPs who specialise in muscular skeletal problems and was told to carry on with the exercises, which hurt a lot to do, and be patient . It turned out to be a broken heel and dead bone in the ankle !

Wow , that was a different problem . Hope you managed to get help with your heel .

Yes, got referred by rheumatology to foot surgeon. It has settled more for now unless I have a flare

I was the same but the fact you can try and return appealed to me, I bought two pairs initially and returned one because they were too big and the returns process was so easy. I took them to my local shop 7 am on Sunday morning and I had an email Sunday afternoon to say the refund had been processed. I don’t think I’ll ever buy any other type of shoes, they do everything, heels, flats, trainers, boots , I signed up for emails and bought my sandals half price in the sale 😀

Thanks . I’ve been looking at their shoes . Trying to decide which style would be better and suit my painful feet . I have a cupboard full of unworn mistakes which normally end up in charity shops .

I got special insoles from the shroropody shop within a week the pain started to ease off. They where expensive £45 but worth every penny. I spent a fortune on all sort of insoles and shoes

Thanks - I have one fairly close to where I live . Will check it out .

If the pain is at the heel and the pressed area was painful it could be a calcanial spur. Which can be relieved with arch supports Have you tried some ready made arch supports from Boots or a local podiatrist might be able to help until the NHS one can see you .

Briefencounter profile image
Briefencounter in reply to Cal48

Thanks . Yes I’ve sent off for some orthotics which someone mentioned above.

4 years ago I was in so much pain in my left foot when walking, but mainly in the heel area. I compensated by walking more on the ball of my foot which then started to cause knee pain etc. I paid to see a private consultant because the NHS wait list was too long and I was in too much pain to wait. He diagnosed me with PF and offered a steroid injection in the arch of my foot which took two weeks to be effective … but since then it’s not caused me much trouble at all. At the time he said one injection could offer relief for up to a year although for others it can remain effective for longer. 4 years and counting for me 😁👍

I also look after my feet better now and make sure I have good arch support in my footwear. As someone else has said Vionics are brilliant and I even wear there arch support slippers around the house. They are expensive but they have good sales on from time to time when I stock up. I also like the Clark’s Trigenic range of footwear. The soles are cut so that they flex so more easily when you are walking which causes less strain/resistance against the foot. Hope you find a solution I know how painful it can be. 🥰

Thanks Cagney Mum . I have thought about steroid injections and I’ll be asking my rheumatologist when I get an actual f2f in 2 weeks time . My only concern is that I’ve had RA for many years now . In the early days I was given quite a few injections in various joints but to no real effect . I also had “pulse therapy” which I received in hospital . It was wonderful for a few hours after the ‘infusion ?” reminded me what it was like pre RA . But the pain soon returned .I’ve looked at vionics shoes - there appears to be a sale on so I may well splash out .

I would go to a podiatrist. They can give you a definite diagnosis from a position of expertise and also custom made insoles.

Thanks . I think I will ask my rheumatologist to suggest someone when I see him , shortly .

I've had it for 6 months now, but now it's easing after 4 sessions of shock wave therapy, religious stretching and I mean 3 mins at a time and special insoles as I have fallen arches, it's taken its time, but after my 4th session feel alot better, the first 3 it was worse after the SWT.Im stretching the whole leg as mine is coming from my calfs due to an op there 12 years ago!

Please percevere it will ease just takes time and real strictness

Thanks Dave . Several people have mentioned SWT . I know it’s not the same but I have tried a TENS machine on “deep tissue injury” recently , which helped a little , so I’ve sent off for some more pads to give it a go .

I was having to walk on crutches because my PF was so painful - after trying the usual things, none of which worked (I have high arches and shoes with arch supports just irritated more) my rheumatologist did a steroid injection. Worked like magic after a couple of days. That was 10 years ago and I’ve never had any significant problems since.

That sounds great lolacat . It is agony , isn’t it ? I’ve gone back to my walking sticks again to help relieve the pain . I had a fall in the house at the beginning of May . No broken bones but “deep tissue injury” which can take ages to heal . I was just getting better when we went on a long car journey and I developed sciatica from that . Now , just as that is improving the Plantar Fasciitis has started . It’s all on my weak leg , the bruising and PF , the leg that I have a knee replacement. I’m seeing my rheumatologist mid September so I will ask if he thinks an injection would be helpful . I’ve had RA for years and several injections in various joints but they’ve never really worked but this could be the one .

Son is a physio and he sorted my PF a few years ago with a combination of heel dip stretches, rolling a golf ball under foot arch and a very painful session of deep foot and calf manipulation! Barely notice a problem now unless I wear v flat shoes. Problem is, NHS physios do very little “hands on” treatments now so finding a private physio might help.

Thanks for that - lucky you to have a trained physio son . When you say heel dips do you mean standing on the bottom stair step , dropping heel down then going up on toes ? I'm doing that plus rolling feet over iced water bottle and pulling toes and ball of foot towards me with folded towel . I dont have anyone who could massage my feet . Don't think I could let my beloved loose on them . Agree about NHS physios , just hand out a printout of exercises and wish you luck . I wouldn't mind going privately but it's such a luck of the draw and/or word of mouth and can be expensive.

Exactly that re heel dips. Yes, son enjoys the hands on aspect of physio so is now adding a day private practice into his working week!

Have you had a confirmed PF diagnosis? I have lots of different feet issues with my RA. I’ve always found the best route to correct treatment is through my RA consultant who has referred me to orthopaedics where required. A good podiatrist is essential too. I go private as my NHS out sourced this service. Check out a registered one through HPCP. Also different foot conditions will require different footwear. With mine I’m best with structured boots that support the ankle and custom inner soles. Trainer, flexible type make my feet worse. My most comfortable footwear are my mountain walking boots! Hope you find your solution

Thanks for your good advice . I'm seeing my rheumatologist mid September so I'm really hoping for help and advice from him . I'm hoping that he'll suggest a good local podiatrist . I did have the PF diagnosed by the nurse practioner at my local surgery. Although , I do have very sensitive feet thanks to the RA . Keep well !

Thank you SO much to the 43 kind , sympathetic people who replied to my post on Plantar Fasciitis . I’m sorry that so many of you have suffered in the same way . I’ll report back after I’ve seen my rheumatologist in mid September. In the meantime everyone take care .

Plantar fasciitis has to be one of the most painful things I’ve ever had. It’s like a red hot poker goes straight from your foot to your brain.Like you I was trying to get myself patched up in time for a holiday where I knew we would be do8ng a lot if walking.

I consulted Dr Google and did everything suggested there - icing, rolling my foot over a bottle of water frozen in the freezer, heels dangling off the edge of a stair, you name it, I did it. Eventually my Pilates teacher who is also a physiotherapist listened to everything I’d done and she looked at me and said ‘have you thought of actually resting it?’ Of course I hadn’t - I was far to busy fixing it! However I took her advice at that point and it did help.

I did discover that a pair of good fitting supportive trainers helped a lot - I bought ASICS and they were really good. Soft insoles helped - anything firm was useless, I also bought a pair of plantar fasciitis compression sock things from Amazon that were great too. I also bought a plastic adjustable incline thing from Amazon that stretched the tendons on the back of my calves.

Bit like this but without all the padding

As well as doing what I wanted it for it proved to be very useful for raising my feet when we were driving in our camper - my short legs couldn’t touch the floor. Now I only ever wear very supportive shoes, even in the house, I never go bare footed anywhere.

So I’m the elderly lady wearing you see out on a lovely sunny day wearing a dress and clumpy (but very supportive) trainers. I end up with nicely tanned legs, very tanned ankles and pure white feet but what do I care, at least the PF has gone and hasn’t come back.

Hope you can get sorted out in time for your trip. To me it really on of the most incredibly painful conditions I’ve ever had.

Hi again Fruitandnutcase - I have looked at Amazon for Plantar Fasciitis compression socks that you mentioned . There is a huge number of these for sale , some with poor comments . I wonder if you can remember the name of the actual socks that you bought ? Thanks !

I’ve trawled through my Amazon orders and can’t find the order but I think mine may have been these, I have two pairs and these come in twos and I’m sure they came in a box.Mine say FS6 on them and have a logo but no name, they look very, very similar to these though.

I take a size 6 shoe and I bought the Large size. I think as they are tight if you are borderline go for the larger size.

Thanks so much for your quick reply F&NC . I have ordered a pair of the socks you suggested . If they arrive ( have been having delivery problems with Amazon lately ) I’ll let you know how I get on .

Hi Fruitandnutcase - thank you for your great reply . My lovely children have rented a large house , in Norfolk , for my 80 th birthday weekend ( first weekend in October ) with everyone attending , including grandchildren .

We live in the West Country so a long trip , which we’ll break up for a night halfway . So you can see why I’m desperate to get some improvement. I’m not daft enough to know that it will be gone by then , as the problem only started last weekend . I had a fall at the beginning of May , no fracture but deep tissue injury and I was just recovering from that and walking well . I also have RA plus a TKR and plated ankle in my left leg , which is now home to the PF . So you can see my predicament.

Like you I have tried all the suggested exercises and spent a fortune in Amazon . Unfortunately, the Medesocs I ordered from them have been lost in transit , so I’m a bit loathe to order anything else . It’s not the first time and they’re fine about refund but that’s not the problem , it’s the article ordered that I want .

I’m looking at Vionics for trainers and will look at ASICS now . My problem is that I have very sensitive feet so I really need to go to a shoe shop , rather than online , but I don’t feel like trailing around to find some . I’m quite happy , like you , to go to my weekend in all my finery but wearing ugly , clumpy , supportive trainers , as long as I’m not in too much pain .

I’m seeing my rheumatologist mid September so hoping he’ll suggest something . But time is of the essence .

I guess we’re all intent on throwing everything at the dreaded PF but I am trying to rest it as well .

Thank you again for all your suggestions . I’m pleased that you managed to get to your holiday without too much pain .

I bought my ASICS in John Lewis so I was able to try them on. They are so comfortable and so well padded. I’ve got such funny feet that I couldn’t buy online. Basically I live in trainers/ walking shoes, ECCO lace ups or boots., since the PF I never wear even walking sandals and definitely not bare feet. I’ve even got indoor lace up shoes rather than slippers.

My husband on the other hand doesn’t ever try shoes on - not even in a shoe shop - he might - if I really nag - try one on, but just the one. I can’t understand why some men do that. He never has problems though.

What a wonderful 80th birthday present for you 😊 no wonder you want your PF under control by then. You’ve still got a bit of time on your side though so good luck with it. It really is such an unbelievably painful condition for something you can’t really see.

I think it might be worth trying again for the socks, they made a big difference for me.

Thanks again F&NC for your reply . Unfortunately, we don’t have a John Lewis near us and so many of them are closing now , to the dismay of my daughters in law who are both huge fans . However , I’ll try to source some from somewhere but at the moment I can’t contemplate walking anywhere .

I’ll look again at the compression socks you mentioned but the Medesocs with removable ice packs ( rather than the frozen water bottle ) have disappeared , as they have from other sources . There must be a lot of PF around . I always look at the “one star” reviews before I buy anything online to weed out obvious problems .

My husband rarely buys new shoes . He bought a job lot at a Clark’s sale years ago and is cycling through them . I have a lot of reject shoes in a cup board - bought in haste in shoe shops but after several ‘wearings ‘ they have become too uncomfortable . I too have “unusual” feet . I’ve found Ecco and Sketchers work but the pairs I have of both types are well past their usefulness .

I’ll press on with the exercises whilst hunting for shoes that make you feel like “walking on air” . ( some hope) but thanks again for your replies .

Hi F&NC , me again . I have just bought the compression socks you mentioned . I'm wearing them from morning to night . My foot and ankle are no longer swollen at the end of the day .

We took a trip to Clarks Village in Somerset as they have an Asics outlet there . They fitted me with a pair of trainers . Had to have men's size 9 🤨due to my incredibly long big toe . I've been wearing these and the socks for several days now and the difference is incredible.

Thank you so much for all your advice , I'm feeling much more confident now about overcoming PF .

I was told to warm up then stretch my Achilles for this. I also use supportive but bouncy shoes (hoka) - PF seems to be related to my disease activity otherwise

Briefencounter profile image
Briefencounter in reply to jf211

Thanks I’ve been looking at Hoka shoes as well as Vionics . I’ve already bought some ASICS which have proved to be comfortable.

I had this just before my RA started. The best thing I found was very deep stretches of the calf for a long period so it works its way through to the foot and the best way of doing this was to stand on the bottom stair and drop my heel lower than the step. Hope this helps.

Thanks Laura . Several people have now suggested this exercise so I’m trying it along with other favourites that people have mentioned . It seems that PF goes very much in hand with RA . Although , I’ve had RA for over 30 years this is a first for PF . Did it take long for yours to resolve ?

freeze a bottle of water.... roll your foot over it for ten minutes a couple of times per day worked a treat for me !

Thanks ! I have tried that and it does work . In fact all ideas kindly sent to me were very helpful .

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