Just got back from a walk in the woods overlooking the Strait and was marveling at how good my feet feel since I quit wearing my much-vaunted NeoVita orthotics, which I bought a year ago for big bucks to cure a pesky case of plantar fasciitis. I should have sought out a podiatrist, but I wandered into a NeoVita store in Seattle on the strength of their radio commercials, which seemed to promise instant results.
Oddly, several weeks worth of wearing the orthotics did nothing for the PF. What did help was doing some simple stretching exercises before putting weight on my feet. Within days of my starting the exercises, the PF was much diminished and soon gone. But I kept wearing the orthotics thinking that the PF would surely come back and haunt me if I didn't. And anyway, I had all this money invested!
I gave away all the shoes that didn't work with the orthotics, I bought orthopedicky flats and walking shoes, and resigned myself to never wearing pretty shoes again.
But I was still limping around, experiencing pain on the side of my foot and in my hip, and gradually the idea began to grow that maybe the orthotics were aggravating the situation. The orthotics had never become comfortable; they always felt like I was walking on a golf ball. And long walks had become out of the question because of the pain. I'd figured I was just getting oldish and creakyish.
My sister had also been wearing orthotics (she'd actually gone to a podiatrist) and last weekend at the wedding she told me that she'd quit wearing them, that she thought the orthotics were more of a problem than a help. And her pain was gone.
That was all it took. I removed the orthotics (4 pairs of them!) from the shoes they were in, put back the original insoles, and voila! every day since has been better than the day before.
Suggestion to anyone considering orthotics: Go to a podiatrist, not a store. Find out about exercises for PF; you can google it and find info. If your feet hurt after using orthotics for awhile, the orthotics might be the problem. Shout at the NeoVita commercials on the radio; it will do you good!