August 24, 2011

TRAVEL ESSENTIALS: Heel Pain Away

I worry about my foot more while on the road rather than the train/bus schedules, budgets and accommodations, I got MJ for that already.

People don’t usually pay attention to their feet unless it’s in pain (or unless your shoe doesn’t match the clothes you are wearing). Well I’m in pain and it’s becoming a problem and it’s called Plantar Fasciitis, an inflammation of the tissue that connects the heel to the toes. Basically, it’s that stubborn heel pain that refuses to go away. It’s excruciating during the first steps in the morning or after walking or standing for a long time.

Plantar Fasciitis is common among people who are always on their feet like athletes, hikers/trekkers and travelers because of the amount of weight that the heel absorbs.

Heel pain is also most likely to occur when you are flat footed and have high arches and walk with excessive/over pronation, are overweight and wear shoes that don't fit well.

But when you’re a lakwatsera like me, you tend to do a lot of walking because that’s what you do when you travel, you walk and walk and you walk some more and it doesn’t help that I was born with a flat foot either. And I admit I’m a bit over weight (diet is not an option) and used to wear slightly bigger shoes so now I suffer a great deal of pain.

There’s only so much you can do to ease the pain, pain relievers and anti inflammatory to reduce swelling, mom’s old method of applying ice also works. Heel cups and shoe inserts designed to cushion the heel helps lessen the pain, foot splints are also effective but are very hard to find.

 left: FUTURO NIGHT SPLINT holds foot at recommended therapeutic angle throughout the night
right: PEDIFIX ARCH BANDAGE gives lift to fallen arches or flat feet and ease heel pain
HEEL CUPS provide cushion and reduce heel pain

The number 1 treatment of course is rest. Cut back on the activities that make my foot hurt, sadly it also means cutting sightseeing short. But there are times that shortening the trip is out of the question, so now I’m always on the lookout for better shoes. It’s become an absolute importance to pick a shoe with good arch support and a cushioned sole.

Getting the right shoe can reduce the amount of stress that is placed on my foot. My doctor strongly recommended Crocs but I went against pulling off Mario Batalli’s look and decided to go get Nikes instead. (No this is not a sponsor post but Nike you're welcome to pay for this space.)

Nike has done comfort down to science. It doesn’t matter if the shoe is intended for running, training, tennis, outdoor - they all have been engineered to be very light and flexible but still have enough cushioning and support, exactly what the doctor prescribed! Plus it comes in cool colors with stylish and slick designs. Gotta love them Nikes.

Nike's footwear finder will help you determine what type of foot arch you have 
and will recommend the right shoe for you: 
http://nikerunning.nike.com/nikeos/p/nikeplus/en_PH/footwear_finder?intro=go

DISCLAIMER: This post is not meant for you to self medicate.  It is best to consult a physician if you are having problems with your foot.

  

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