I remember learning as a child in basic first aid that for many musculoskeletal sprains and strains RICE – Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation – is usually the best treatment to give. I’ve been suffering with ongoing burning heel pain and swelling in my right instep for a while now, and thankfully anti-inflamatory painkillers help take the edge off the pain, as does keeping off my feet whenever possible.
I’ve been religiously sticking to the rest, compression and elevation part of my old mnemonic to try to encourage healing but have been finding the ice part particularly problematic – my already painful tendon seems to go into some sort of tight spasm when I try to apply an ice pack, but heat seems to help loosen it off, so I do that instead although as soon as I start to walk on it again the pain returns.
I finally gave in and saw my GP a couple of weeks ago, and he has diagnosed plantar fasciitis. He reassured me I’ve been doing the right thing to try to help it heal, but has also advised gentle stretching excercises and wearing an orthotic in my shoe to provide the correct support. As one of life’s natural wanderers, I’m finding it difficult to be confined close to base for the duration.
To add insult to injury, I also have a long-standing sacro-iliac joint dysunction in my right hip, usually reasonably well-managed with physio excercises done at home, but walking (limping) so carefully on my sore heel lately has caused my recurrent hip pain to flare up too – double ow! Oh well, I suppose I just need to learn to be more considerate of my ageing body the older I get.
It seems that for me at least, like it or not middle age, as well as old age, does not come alone.. 🙂