This may be handy information for the folks who handle “repetitive walking” claims from correctional officers of Illinois’ Menard Correctional Center. And since our industry sees its fair share of foot related issues from a variety of jobs that are hard on the feet, this may be useful to a broader group as well. The good news for me, while the condition I discuss was not related to work, was the path to an apparent solution was surprisingly simple.
For well over a year (probably closer to two) I have suffered from Plantar Fasciitis; a condition that can cause extreme pain in the heel and bottom of the foot. For me, the worst of it was after even brief sedentary periods. Rising from a chair or bed I looked like a 95-year-old man, barely able to walk and hobbling in pain. As I moved about the pain would subside, but I should note standing stationary for any length of time would also aggravate the condition. As it first developed, I had the issue in both feet, but eventually the problem in the left foot subsided and just the right foot remained a problem.
I did not see a doctor for the condition, mostly because I hate seeing doctors unless absolutely necessary, and because the treatments for this issue are easily researched. Both my wife, who is a Certified Personal Trainer, and my personal trainer (who I work with because I am not compliant with my wife) gave me various exercises and stretching routines to help alleviate the issue. I also purchased inserts to start using in my shoes. While these things helped (when I actually did them), the condition persisted, and the pain continued.
There was one thing my wife tried to get me to do that I resisted for quite some time. The flooring in our home has a lot of ceramic tile, and I am the type of person whose shoes come off the moment I get home. That is a bad combination for someone who is prone to plantar fasciitis. I had started wearing slippers, and even had support inserts in them, but she insisted that I need something with better support for my feet. Providing that support would be the only thing that would allow the foot to heal. She repeatedly told me I should get a pair of clogs to wear around the house.
Clogs? You mean those ugly shoes Danish people wear while yodeling? (I realize I have made several cultural adulteration’s here, but heck, they don’t call us ugly Americans for nothing). I had absolutely no interest in wearing such a shoe. I thought they looked clunky and ridiculous. She insisted that medical personnel and others who are on their feet all day wear them for a reason. I fought long and valiantly, but last month capitulated. I ordered a pair of Sanitas Men’s clogs from Amazon.
Today, they still look clunky and ridiculous, but I don’t care. The difference in my feet is beyond belief. The moment I slipped them on, the pain seemed to vanish. It was literally, for me anyway, instantaneous relief. They are probably one of the most comfortable shoes I have ever owned. Two weeks after buying them I threw convention (and fashion) to the wind and started wearing them outside the house. Just six weeks after that purchase I now own two pair of Sanitas clogs, having purchased a similar model but one that includes a back that is more appropriate for work situations.
Bob’s “Office Model” Clogs
The Slightly Sexier “Backless Version”
I have to say it. My wife is a brilliant woman. Of course, I knew that when she agreed to marry me, but the affirmation is nice to have nonetheless. The condition still exists, as it takes a long time to heal, but the improvement I am seeing has been quite satisfying – amazing, actually. I am absolutely and unequivocally clogging my way out of Plantar Fasciitis.
You or injured workers you deal with might not have the same result, but frankly it is a pretty cheap experiment to make.
Personally, I should not have been so resistant to try something new. I may look at expanding my horizons even further. Who knows? I could even take up yodeling. I certainly have the shoes for it.