1. Travelling With Plantar Fasciitis

    If like me you are unlucky enough to suffer from Plantar Fasciitis, then you will know just how miserable and painful it can be. I have never known such excruciating pain as that first morning when I stepped out of bed and promptly fell over as it hurt like hell to put weight on my foot. I was off on holiday to Marrakech that day and despite being able to walk around no problem during the day, I was in complete agony every morning – even resorting to crawling to the bathroom as it hurt so much to walk.

    That’s the problem with Plantar Fasciitis and a travelling lifestyle – you are constantly on the go (and I love walking everywhere) so your feet never get a proper chance to recover.

    I still get pain in my right foot every morning – I have good days and bad ones. Most of the time the pain is nowhere near as bad as what it once was. Whilst I cannot wait for the day when I can get out of bed and be able to walk completely pain free, I know that given my current job and lifestyle that it isn’t going to be easy or quick to get rid of. In the meantime I just have to try everything to help make life just a little bit easier and more comfortable.

    Here are my suggestions to help with the symptoms of Plantar Fasciitis when travelling. None of this is proper medical advice on how to treat the condition but merely my tips on things that I do to help manage the pain and symptoms a little better.

    Shoes and Insoles

    I recently read that if you have flat feet (I do) then it is usually a case of “when” and not “if” you will suffer from Plantar Fasciitis. To help stop the onset of it, wearing supportive footwear is key. Now if only I’d known this years ago as I have spent my entire adult life travelling and walking around everywhere in flip flops. Now in hindsight I wish I could go back and change that.

    Wherever you can wear supportive footwear (such as trainers) with proper arch and heel support – this will help more than anything with the pain. I always feel a definite difference in how good/bad my foot is feeling depending on what footwear I’ve worn during the day. I can definitely count my Asics Kayano 22 trainers as one of the best purchases I’ve ever made.

    I also have a pair of orthotic insoles which I use in my other shoes when wearing them which I’ve found really makes a huge difference to me. I walked several miles around the cobblestoned streets of Prague wearing my winter boots with my insoles and suffered little to no pain afterwards.

    Avoid flip flops and walking barefoot especially on hard surfaces – this is especially difficult for me as I have wooden flooring at home so try to wear slippers as much as I can. I purchased a pair of Totes Isotoner Popcorn Slippers after reading rave reviews online and they really have been that good.

    Use a Night Splint

    Wearing a night splint on my foot has been one of the things that has helped me the most. Whilst it took time to get used to wearing, I can now easily ignore the fact that I have it on and get a good night’s sleep. As your foot is kept at a 90 degree angle whilst sleeping, you are able to take that first step the following morning with no pain. After originally owning a large boot splint, I now use a smaller dorsal splint which easily fits into my suitcase or hand luggage so I can have it with me at all times whilst travelling.

    Roll Your Foot

    After a long day on my feet I always take a few minutes rolling my foot over a ball (which I always carry with me when travelling – it takes up no room in my bag at all) which helps to loosen the tension in the plantar fascia ligament. The first time I tried this the pain was intense but it got less painful each time. You can also freeze a bottle of water and roll your foot over it as the coldness will help reduce any inflammation.

    Use the Swimming Pool and Hot Tub

    This is one of my favourites when travelling – if you are staying at a hotel with a swimming pool and/or hot tub then make the most of them and use them to relax after a long day out on your feet. Being able to take the weight off your feet whilst swimming can feel amazing, whilst sitting in the warmth of a hot tub with your feet against the water jets can help to ease any tightness or pain that you have.

    Stretching and Massage

    There are various stretches you can easily do everyday when in a hotel room which only take a few minutes – there are plenty of videos online and these can make a big difference. However one of my favourite things to do and a regular treat for myself when overseas is to go and get a foot massage wherever I am in the world. I always let the massage therapist know where the problem areas are on my foot and whilst it can be painful, I always feel like I am walking on air afterwards.

    If you also suffer from Plantar Fasciitis, please let me know in the comments below of what works for you…

    One thought on “Travelling With Plantar Fasciitis

    1. Anonymous

      I suffer Plantar Fasciitis and also have a career in Defence requiring me to always be on my feet in a load bearing capacity. I’ve been wearing custom orthodics and can say that these minimise any pain and do not inhibit my movement. I run, jog and walk with ease. The orthodics a designed to fit into any shoe (dress, runners, boots…). As to flip flops look for something with enhanced arch support – I currently wear Teva Sandles most weekend in summer around the beach.
      To get custom orthodics made you will need to visit a podiatrist – but this is money well spent.

      If your PF is giving you grief massage with a frozen golf ball for immediate relief (make sure you add a golf ball to your bathroom bag)

      Good luck and happy travels

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