I am a 38-year-old man who has lived an active life. I am less athletic than I once was, however, I still manage to hit the treadmill from time to time. In addition to my workouts, my career is in a field where I travel around a hospital day in and day out continuously. The average amount of steps I put in is between 14000 and 17000 steps a day. Also, I tend to move vigorously taking little heed to my foot-mashing style steps.
It was about a year ago when I noticed that getting up in the morning hurt. My first 100 to 150 steps every morning were short shuffling things done on the outside of my feet. I knew that I was getting older and assumed I would have to live with the pain. The sad thing is I was wrong. I wasn’t aware that they made solutions to my very problem, and likewise, I wasn’t even aware of what my actual problem was.
My problem is that I am considered to be afoot masher. In other words, every step I take mashes my heel into the ground and throughout the course of a day, the fascia under my heel becomes tender and has the tendency to become inflamed causing the pain which I have been suffering with for over a year. My wife was the person to initially point this out. I am ashamed to say I had never noticed, even though I have been running my entire life.
I origionally tried to treat this by using the treadmill less or not at all. It turned out that the treadmill wasn’t my main problem. My primary problem was that I was mashing my feet up-and-down the corridors at the hospital which I worked all day every day for 60 hours a week
I wasn’t proactive with my situation. I didn’t search my problem or delve into any possible solutions. I simply lucked out one day when I crossed an endcap in my local retail superstore and found a display of heel cups for men. My wife saw the display and made the connection immediately. After purchasing the heel cups for men we left the Box-store and headed to the car. We were barely at the car by the time my wife had them open. I sat on the driver’s seat with my door open putting the cups in my shoes.
At first, it took a little bit of getting used to before I felt comfortable, however, I did notice the next morning that my heel discomfort was slightly alleviated. Over the years, I had done enough damage that it took some time to fully relieve myself of the pain, but to this day I wake up every morning without the need to shuffle because of wearing the cups.
I found that the heel cups for men worked in 2 different ways. The first way they worked to relieve the pain was by adding a layer of cushion to the center of my heel. This cushion lessened some of the force which was jarring my heels in the first place. The second way they relieved the pain in my feet was by adding a ramp-like structure to all the edges of my heel; inside edge, outer edge, and the back edge. This structure forces you to roll your foot into a step rather than mashing it down heel first. The act of rolling into your steps as well as the extra cushion provided by the heel cups have not only cured my injury but will also prevent it from happening to you!