Meet Brooke. She’s a twenty-something girl, slightly overweight, and trying to get healthy. She’s never been motivated to exercise consistently. When people have tried to encourage her and help her find a fitness routine that works for her, she always has an excuse: it hurts my foot and ankle.
Before we get to Brooke’s foot pain, there’s a backstory. When Brooke was younger, probably around the age of 5, Peter Pan was her favorite movie. Brooke always wanted to fly to be just like Peter Pan. So she tried. She would climb on top of the wood stove fireplace, start flapping her little arms (wings) and jump. She usually landed just fine, but failed to actually fly. Since Brooke didn’t have access to fairy dust she decided she needed more height. She climbed to the top of the treehouse in her backyard and threw the cat out the window as a test. The cat landed on its feet, so Brooke figured she would too. She stood in the window frame, flapped her little arms, and jumped. She landed on her feet before toppling over and twisting her ankle. She’s wasn’t badly injured, but her foot and ankle were never the same.
Brooke has always used her foot and ankle as an excuse for not getting involved in anything that causes her too much physical exertion because she truly has experienced foot pain on and off ever since her flying accident. Since she’s made the decision to get healthy she’s been going to the gym and exercising 4 or more times a week. As soon as she started up her foot started to hurt again. This time though, Brooke decided to have a physician take a look at it. What she learned is that in addition to her old foot and ankle injury she also has something called plantar fasciitis.
Plantar fasciitis is a common cause of foot pain. It occurs when the plantar fascia, the thick band of tissue that runs along the bottom of your foot and connects your heel bone to your toes, becomes inflamed. There are a number of reasons why someone may experience plantar fasciitis. In Brooke’s case it’s most like related to:
- The type of exercise she’s doing – Activities that place a lot of stress on the foot, such as running or dance aerobics.
- Faulty foot structure – Brooke’s early foot injury may have created tears in the ligament that never healed properly. If she’s flat footed or has an abnormal walking pattern this can also contribute.
- Obesity – Since Brooke is overweight this puts extra stress on her feet.
- Occupation – Brooke is a hairdresser, so she is standing on her feet all day. Standing on a hard surface for extended periods of time can cause damage to the plantar fascia.
There is hope for Brooke. She’s already taken a step in the right direction by committing to a healthy lifestyle. She should also make sure she is wearing shoes that offer her adequate support throughout the day, and especially when she’s exercising. Resting her feet at night and doing certain stretches can also help. Custom orthotic shoe inserts may also be recommended. Ignoring the plantar fasciitis can lead to future problems causing pain in the knee, hips and back, in which a revolutionary treatment called HyProCure may be an option.
If Brooke continues to experience chronic foot pain she should consider visiting a New York podiatrist at Adler Footcare for a free consultation. We believe feet shouldn’t hurt and neither should their treatment.