Oh, The Joys of Backpacking!

I guess it was bound to happen. After years of pounding the trails with a 30-lb camera pack on my back, several months ago I developed Plantar fasciitis. It’s now been 4 months of treatment including two rounds of cortisone injections, icing the affected area, anti-inflammatory meds and $550 worth of orthotics and I’m still in pain. I just left the podiatrist’s office today and will now begin a 6-week try at physical therapy before we go to DEFCON 6, which I understand to be a radical therapy involving beating the bottoms of my feet with electrical shock waves. Ooowie! Sounds like fun.

Anyway, on the extremely remote chance that you might be interested, the plantar fascia, to quote PubMed, is “…a very thick band of tissue that covers the bones on the bottom of the foot. It extends from the heel to the bones of the ball of the foot and acts like a rubber band to create tension which maintains the arch of the foot. If the band is long it allows the arch of the foot to be low, which is most commonly known as having a flat foot. A short band of tissue causes a high arch. This fascia can become inflamed and painful in some people, making walking more difficult.”

The problem for me is that I still have to bring back the goods, so I end up re-injuring the foot (now both feet). Makes no difference if I’m hiking in Zion National Park with my 30+ pounds of camera gear or walking the streets of NYC as I did a few weeks ago. By the end of the day I’m in pain.
If any of you have experience with Plantar fasciitis, please let me know how you cured it. In the meantime, please send your good wishes into the ether that the physical therapy works. I’d like to avoid DEFCON 6 if at all possible.
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