Don’t try this! Walk to the South Pole with feet that aren’t up to snuff. But guess what-- this is exactly what Prince Harry plans to do for the UK Charity called Walking with the Wounded. He will be walking 208 miles with a team of servicemen and women who lost limbs in Afghanistan hoping to raise 2 million pounds for the charity even though he broke his toe not long ago.

Now I think what Harry is doing is great. I have a son who is in the Coast Guard and love our men and women in uniform, but as a Seattle podiatrist I cannot recommend that he go on this trek with faulty feet.

Many of you may be weekend warriors yourself. You don’t want to give up running, hiking, or skiing even though your feet are telling you otherwise. You may not have a broken toe like Harry, but there are lots of other foot conditions--if not treated--will leave you in a world of hurt.

One of those common conditions is plantar fasciitis or heel pain– this condition will not just go away on its own particularly if you keep playing tennis or any other sports where you are pounding your feet on the ground. The pounding plus your body weight is causing the plantar fascia to stretch further than it wants to, resulting in inflammation and pain in your heel and possibly other parts of your foot.

Not everyone who is active gets this condition, however, it is likely to occur if you have flat feet or other biomechanical foot issues, are overweight, or are wearing unsupportive shoes.

Some things to try before you call my office are:

  • Stop all high impact activities
  • Avoid going barefoot around your house
  • Stretch your calf and Achilles tendon
  • Ice it!

If you still feel pain after doing all that, you can reach us at 206-368-7000 or request an appointment online.

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