Just got back from my first appointment with the physical therapist for my plantar fasciitis and thought I'd give some info on what we are doing. I've gotten a few emails and comments from others who suffer from this tremendous heel pain wanting to know what I have tried/am doing, so here goes.
I have had this extreme pain in both heels for more than 6 months now. What I have done over 6 months that has NOT worked, healed it, or even improved it long term:
stretch my feet before getting out of bed each morning
an exercise where you grab a little towel with your toes and pull it towards you
rolling various sizes of balls under my feet while I sit (golf ball, tennis ball, dog's ball)
*rolling a frozen water bottle under my feet
soaking my feet in Epsom salts
taking Advil and/or Aleve for weeks on end
taking 800 mg ibuprofen (for knee bursitis) for 6 weeks and staying almost completely off my feet
severely restricting my walking and standing
propping my feet to keep them flexed at night while I sleep
*wearing special cushioned Thorlo socks
going to a specialty shoes store, having my feet scanned by a computer and measured and being fitted with supportive stability shoes
*wearing various orthotic inserts including Dr Scholl's and Superfeet (green)
always wearing supportive shoes, including Brooks, Orthaheel, Oofos, FitFlops clogs, some others
*taking antiinflammatory supplements such as fish oil and turmeric every day
*stopped eating sugar
stopped eating grains
took oral steroids for a week
I have starred the things above that I feel were most helpful, although nothing has entirely alleviated the pain yet.
Today at PT they evaluated my range of motion in my ankle, which was good. They checked my strength, which was also good. They showed me some simple calf stretches to do several times a day; I place my hands against a wall and lean in, one leg behind me to stretch the calf, and then do it again but with both knees bent. Then I got to lie on my stomach and they did a massage of the foot, ankle, and calf tissues by hand and using metal tools (the "Graston Technique"). There were definite knots and tightness in my lower calf muscles, which they said affects the foot. Then they wrapped my feet in ice and hooked me up to the electrical stimulation machine for 15 minutes (little sticky pads on the heel and bottom of foot). That was it. It took an hour and I am supposed to go twice a week and see how it helps.
Weigh in today: still 221. Mixed feelings on that. Counting calories again today and aiming for 1100-1200, low carb, high protein, about 50% fat.