Mayo Clinic definition: "pain and inflammation of a thick band of tissue, called the plantar fascia, that runs across the bottom of your foot and connects your heel bone to your toes."I can tell by the look in his eyes. This guy is in physical agony.
No doubt all his joints ache. But the soles of his feet, they're in excruciating pain. He feels like gravity is pummelling his soles into the hard ground beneath his feet. If he sits down, for a few minutes of relief, his feet howl at him when he rises again. But staying on his feet for more than a handful of a minutes at a time is a problem too. The pain is more or less constant.
When he's sleeping the stabbing pain wakes him at least once a night, and makes it difficult for him to fall asleep in the first place. Granted, he probably wouldn't sleep like a log anyway, because of the other issues I mentioned, like the existential angst and feelings of alienation. But it's the feet—the plantar fasciitis—which is Frankenstein's monster's numero uno problem.
How do I know this? I recognize that haunted PF look in his eyes because, man, I'm feeling that Frankenstein's monster foot pain big-time. For the first while—and by that I mean, like, the first year—the foot pain didn't interfere with my life very much. My heel hurt a little when I got on my feet after a period of sitting or sleeping and then the pain swiftly disappeared. My doctor suggested I wear supportive shoes at all times, even indoors (staring at this full length photo of the monster, I seriously think he needs to get his hands on some New Balance running shoes!) and I did.
But that didn't help. Instead the pain got worse. Then my knees started to hurt too. Not a lot and not often. But enough for me to return to the doctor, who diagnosed patellofemoral syndrome (runner's knee) on top of my plantar fasciitis. She prescribed physiotherapy, and off I went, happy to hear from my physiotherapist that I should begin to feel better in 2 - 3 weeks and be back to my old self in 8 - 10. Unfortunately, that didn't happen and instead my condition got exponentially worse. After 5 weeks I was advised to drop the physio, and now, about a month afterwards, I'm at a place where the last two weeks have been the worst yet.
The arches of my feet are in severe pain. They're most comfortable when I'm lying down, but even then they feel stiff and achy, like someone else's feet have been roughly attached to my body. Sometimes darting pains wake me up at night. During the day, I can't be on my feet for more than a handful of minutes at a time before the pain becomes unbearable. Sometimes the pain is so bad I'm driven to tears and chills. My knees can't handle stairs and feel like they're being sliced into if I squat or bend at the knee at all, or even sometimes if I don't. My calves are so tight that they feel as though they're about to snap and my IT band is a mess too. My normal gait doesn't exist anymore. I limp and wince.
But these ongoing health issues have been crowding my life since December/January and are some of the reasons that I haven't been online often. I'm almost as tired and beleaguered as Frankenstein's monster looks in the top photo! So once I kick this thing I'm determined to search out the poor monster, share my weapons of choice against planter fasciitis and finally, finally bring him some much needed peace.
Additional reading on the condition:
* Everything you need to know about Plantar Fasciitis
* Plantar Fasciitis article at Sports Injury Clinic.net
* Plantar Fasciitis -- the most maddening injury in sports
* Plantar Fasciitis overview at Patient.co.uk
* Plantar Fasciitis Prevention and Treatment
* No Consensus on a Common Cause of Foot Pain