Where to go for help-Plantar fasciitis and shoes

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I am wondering if anyone can point me in the direction of the right professionals to give me some advice.

I am a 44 year old man in the UK. I have had pain in the feet for at least the last 20 years. The soles of my feet become swollen and sore in hot weather, I get pain around the ball of my left foot and I get pain in right ankle. I was diagnosed with pas cavus (high aches) by the Soft Tissue Injury Dept at my local hospital, which in turn has caused plantar fasciitis in my left foot. Also connected I think, is I get very stiff in my left leg and buttock when walking or standing for more than ½ hour, and I need to stand down and stretch the leg out. 

The pain is n’t a sharp one, more of an ache or soreness, but does make walking long distances or standing a long time very unpleasant.

The treatment I have so far is 2 sessions of physiotherapy and 3 pairs of orthotics. None of these have worked for me. 

I think the main problems are that the orthotics were made just by taking a mould of my feet, and not by looking at the way I walk. I also have very narrow heels, so it is very difficult to find shoes on the high street that fit me correctly. I think the problem with shoe fitting could be a large contributor to my problems, if my feet are “gripping” on to shoes that are too big. In fact I am seriously considering having some bespoke shoes made.

What I need, is to get some independent advice about my feet and the shoes I wear. I’m wary of a lot of podiatrists etc as they are likely to want to sell me new orthotics. Ideally, what I want is:

• a full examination of my feet and any long term damage that has been done

• advice on the type of shoes to wear and perhaps a “prescription” I could take to a shoemaker

• programme of physiotherapy or exercises to alleviate the pain or improve the flexibility of my arches.

I would be grateful for any advice, hints or tips.



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4 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi Andrew I don't know where in the uk you are but i know in glasgow they have a specialist shoe shop called foot solutions. Don't know if they have anything where you are. Also Ecco shoe shop is brill that's where I shop. Good luck and hope you's find some comfort  
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  • Posted

    I would suggest seeking the advice of a Bowen therapist, I find my foot problems improve dramatically after a few sessions.

    If you google "Introduction to Bowen therapy Mitchell Mosher" you should get a link to a youtube video. He is a podiatrist in the USA (not quite the same as a podiatrist in the UK) and explains how he finds Bowen helps with such problems and it certainly parallels my experience. A couple of sessions would indicate if it will help - and is a darn sight cheaper than a pair of bespoke shoes!!!!

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  • Posted


    Have you ever been referred to a Orthopaedic Consultant who

    specialises in foot problems, especially as its been going on for so long? If not I would suggest you speak to your GP & request a referral.

    You could try inserting memory foam insoles into your shoes which

    should help to cushion your tread. I don't think until you've got a definatediagnosis from a specialist that you will be able to get sorted.

    My specialist suggested that a good quality trainer type shoe is often

    recommended because they're normally quite cushioned, spacious,

    springy & relatively softer. However what may be good for one individual may not be as good for another.

    I wish you the best of luck.


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    • Posted


      I did see a consultant a Soft Tissue Issue clinic. I'm not sure if that's kind of specialist you mean. To be honest he was n't that much help. He just said the problems stem from having a stiff big toe on my left foot, and said the only answer was to wear the NHS orthotics. Do you think if I asked my GP and asked fo referral to an Orthopaedic Consultant, I would be able to see someone who give a diagnosis. 

      I agree on finding shoes with cushioning, but the problem for me often seems to be finding suitable good quality shoes that also fit my narrow feet.

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