Wow — I can’t believe I have to sit down to put on my clothes! Gail Katz thought, frustration and worry filling her. How am I going to walk across the parking lot to make it to the office?
A salesperson for Hewlett-Packard, Gail lived an active life, full of aerobics and running that had taken a toll on her feet. But one day, she began feeling like each step she took was like walking on shards of glass.
Even simple tasks, like brushing her teeth, left Gail shifting from one foot to the other because the soles of her feet were so painful, and now they were hurting so much that she couldn’t even stand to get dressed in the morning.
With no idea what could be causing it, the North Carolinian started researching online and discovered that famous baseball player Albert Pujols had suffered from an ailment with the same symptoms called plantar fasciitis.
As Gail learned, the pain came from the foot’s plantar fascia, the thick connective tissue that supports the arch of the foot from the heel toward the bones mid-foot. When that tissue is inflamed due to overuse, small tears appear, resulting in agonizing pain either in the heel, or as Gail was experiencing, in the bottom of her foot.
She also discovered that it wasn’t just a problem for pro athletes — in fact, it was common for many people as they aged, especially those on their feet a lot. “I have to find something to help me,” Gail resolved. “Something easy and fast!”
A Simple Cure
A big believer in holistic health, Gail started researching home remedies and was surprised to find an intriguing tip about running a tennis ball (Buy at Walmart, $1.92) under your feet for five minutes a day to help heal the pain. A tennis ball? she marveled. It’s worth a try!
Grabbing two from her garage, Gail sat up straight in a comfortable chair, placing a tennis ball under the arch of each foot. Slowly, she began pressing down firmly, rolling the ball back and forth as if she were massaging her foot between her heel and her toes. And in just two days, she experienced a miracle — the pain disappeared!
Gail continued doing the exercise every night as she watched TV, and now, at age 71, her foot pain is gone and her active lifestyle, once curtailed by plantar fasciitis, is back in full swing.
“I can’t believe such an inexpensive exercise could have such a positive effect!” she says with a smile. “Since staying active is such an important part of my life, I feel fortunate to have found it — and to have gotten back on my feet!”
This article originally appeared in our print magazine, Woman’s World.
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