I have severe bilateral plantar fasciitis. In other words, both feet hurt lots because the tendon on the sole of each foot is severely inflamed, and is sending out lots of pain, sometimes as far up as the hips.
So what causes this? Let's see. Among other things: being overweight. Check. Having tight calf muscles. Check. Repeated pounding on a hard surface. Welcome to my job.
So what do we do about this? Join a gym and start swimming (actually, starting with walking in the water) to try to lose weight. Check. Start physical therapy as prescribed by my podiatrist (twice a week for the next two months, co-pay every time). Check. Nightmare story about that some other time. CONTINUE to try to get my job to buy the damned anti-fatigue mat. Check. Of course, welcome to the government, it's still out for bid, not even up to being ordered yet.
So, the gym. Went for the first time tonight. Felt like an impostor. Put on the new bathing suit, the goggles, the bathing cap. Got in the water. Attempted to swim. Decided I would get enough of a work-out just trying to walk for half an hour. Maybe 20 minutes. Do I hear 10? Yes, I hear ten. Tried to swim again for one of the laps. Pulled a muscle under my left arm. There's a bottle of Advil screaming my name. Now that I have taken myself off the anti-inflammatory, I can take Advil again. With the anti-inflammatory (Nalfon), I could only take Tylenol, which my body considers to be about as effective as Tic Tacs.
The physical therapy. The doctor prescribed several things, including iontophoresis. In other words, sticky pads with acetic acid hooked up to a battery to use electricity to shove the vinegar through my flesh to dissolve the extra bone that we assume has grown. We did 20 minutes on the lowest setting at my first PT appointment. I felt nothing. Until they took the pads off and discovered both heels had blistered. Apparently I'm not a good candidate for the procedure, which they have had little success with anyway. We wont be doing that again. After 10 minutes of ice, I tried to stand up. Note: tried. There are truck drivers and sailors who learned some new words from me. It would appear that people with sensitive skin (read: me) shouldn't have iontophoresis. Of course, no one asked me if I have sensitive skin. However, the other stuff, stretches, ultrasound, and the like, seem to be working. At least, they aren't making things worse.
As for now, time for more food and relaxing.