Hiking With Plantar Fasciitis

Author: Joseph Reilly

Sometimes in life we get some really painful ironies. Ice cream is delicious but makes you fat. You become your wisest when you reach old age, an age where your body starts to break down. And then there's hiking and Plantar Fasciitis. If you know anything about hiking, it's all about walking and using your feet. Now if you know anything about Plantar Fasciitis you know that it's pretty much unbearable to walk and use your feet. So what do you do if you love the great outdoors and hiking on a beautiful sunlit day, but you also happen to have Plantar Fasciitis? Well, just like being able to enjoy your favorite bowl of ice cream, you must know that Plantar Fasciitis is far from a proverbial hiking death sentence. If you love hiking and have Plantar Fasciitis or you have this ailment and just find it unbearable from day to day, in this article we'll not only give you all the information you need to self-diagnose yourself, to explaining what exactly Plantar Fasciitis is, all the way down to how you can actually hike with it. Yes, you can continue hiking because there's a cure!


The first step to achieving 100% relief from Plantar Fasciitis is understanding just exactly what the medical condition is, because when it comes to pain and feet, there can often be a lot of misconceptions, misdiagnosis, and old wives tales. Plantar Fasciitis is a pain that stems directly from the heel of the foot. It can often be categorized as a shooting pain in most instances. This happens because the band of tissue that connects the heel to the foot which is meant to protect both body parts becomes inflamed. The pain usually starts right when one gets out of bed and has their feet hit the floor. People have described a sharp stabbing pain when walking and this can happen during long walks or long periods of standing, which essentially spells out bad news for hikers with Plantar Fasciitis. The reason that this occurs is because the thick band that becomes inflamed acts as a rubber band of sorts. It's meant to endure a lot of pressure over time but when the pressure becomes far too great, tiny tears occur which causes inflammation. But unfortunately there are cases where the cause isn't exactly clear cut. This of course doesn't mean that you can't be healed!


Now you know just exactly what Plantar Fasciitis is. You know what specifically causes this very painful medical condition, but now comes the part where you learn how to tell whether or not you actually have Plantar Fasciitis. First and foremost a disclaimer, it's always important to consult with your doctor before anything else. But with any medical condition ongoing or temporary, there are signs, symptoms, and red flags that you can help diagnose yourself without a doctor. And Plantar Fasciitis is no different, whether a minor or severe case we'll take a look at how to tell whether you have it or it's just a minor sprain.

As mentioned before, one of the strongest tell-tale symptoms is a pain like no other, usually described as a shooting or stabbing pain. This pain derives from the heel. That's where it begins and sometimes shoots to the toes and up the ankle. The thing to look out for here is chronic pain that lasts over a period of time rather than a day or two. A warning sign is also a pain that hinders your usual walking capabilities. Ignoring this could lead to other complications in the body such as your knees and hips.

If you decide to go the route of being 100% certain, and choose to see a doctor then what you should expect at first is a routine foot examine where the doctor may ask if you have the above symptoms. And then they may order imaging tests. These tests will not only prove whether you have Plantar Fasciitis but can also cross off or find other problems in your foot such as a sprain or broken bone.


By now you should know how to determine what Plantar Fasciitis is and if you have it. It's a painful thing to have to endure, so how do you go about Hiking then? It's really not recommended, but there are ways around it. The key to hiking with this condition is knowing your limits and understanding that you're not going to be able to push yourself to the absolute limits. Before your hike, you're going to want to ice your foot and heel. Wherever the pain is, that's where you need to ice it. Going hand and hand with this is rest. Rest is key before and after your hike. When you walk on your hike, an important aspect to remember is that you're going to want to put the least amount of weight on your heels. Pain is going to be a tough thing to avoid but if you can master the art of walking with Plantar Fasciitis then you're good to go.


Aside from the aspect of learning how to hike properly, learning to rest, and learning to how to maneuver properly with pain, there's one other thing that can help you greatly improve your hiking ability with Plantar Fasciitis and that's what shoes you wear. You're going to want to shop for ​ trail shoes, custom orthopedic, Dr. Scholls, boot socks, night splints, and compression sleeves​ . All of these products are meant to work for a specific cause. For example trail shoes aren't your basic shoe, they're designed specifically for the hiker in mind which can help with Plantar Fasciitis.

In the end Plantar Fasciitis is a hard thing to live with that brings on very bad pain at times. But with this knowledge and these tips, it can be a very manageable condition. One which won't require you to stop living life to its fullest.