1. Surgical Podiatrist brought me to a 2-5 pain scale relief w/ traditional methods. Two cortisone shots in one heel, one in the other reduced severe inflammation and did help me. Work w/ a physical therapist on right foot helped too. Custom orthodics worn daily and never going barefoot also helped for a long time. These treatments only brought me so far and doctor told me next step was surgery.
2. Ice. I would ice twice a day and still do after walking any distance, working with trainer, or playing tennis to prevent inflammation.
3. Eliminating breads and pasta. A lower carb diet has allowed my body not to build up excess lactic acid which gets stored in muscles and causes tightening and cramping. I noticed a significant improvement within three days of this shift in my diet.
4. Morning stretches such as a runner's stretch in the shower and toe raises on the edge of a step.
5. Ibuprofen cream. I apply this in the morning right after my shower, after rigorous exercise, and in the evening right before bed, (always after I have iced).
6. Working with a QUALIFIED personal trainer. I am lucky that financially I could afford this option. My trainer holds a college degree in Kinesology and played football for Michigan and the New England Patriots. He is the most fit person I have ever met and knows a tremendous amount about health, nutrition, and working out. While we are working on all muscle groups, he has customized my workout to help safely stretch the muscles connected the plantar fasciitis. He asks at every meeting how my feet are feeling and if there was anything that could have hurt them. One exercise did and we stopped doing it. I use the stationary bike for 30 minutes a day when I am not seeing him and have recently begun extended walking one day a week and doing a tennis workout another day without problems. I think the work he has done with me has been very helpful. I am already 10 pounds down on the scale.
Currently, I am exploring holistic medicine approach. Western medicine IMHO is only one fraction of the puzzle which did help up to a certain point. The benefits from a simple shift in diet have me considering what other possibilities could account for this foot condition. When my doctor said that he had done all he could do for me I wasn't ready for surgery. I felt compelled to exhaust all available resources in a sensible way which is why many of us have come to this board. Gordon's Leaky Gut Syndrome theory (if you will) bears some points and evidence worth investigating. Ancient Chinese Medicine has been around for centuries for a reason. The idea of my foot pain being a symptom of other issues beyond my tendon/muscle being too short doesn't explain the problem in its entirety for me. Could my foot pain be brought on by digestion related issues? Possibly. Reflexology may support some of my beliefs about this problem's source too. Polarity my help also. I don't know, but I ask you all to open your minds to a wider range of possibilities than Western medicine will allow. Good luck to all!