The Little Mermaid Had Plantar Fasciitis: A Reflection On The Popular Story

In Hans Christian Anderson’s tale, The Little Mermaid, a sixteen-year-old mermaid falls in love with a human prince. Desperate to join him on land, she employs the help of a sea witch. The sea witch gives her a potion to split her tail into two legs and feet, but warns the little mermaid that she “will have to bear excruciating pain to get the legs and bear the pain in her feet like nothing before.” The mermaid can think of nothing else but the prince and agrees, only to discover that every step taken on her new feet is like walking on the tips of a thousand swords. What she describes is what sufferers of plantar fasciitis have described for decades. There is more.

Ongoing Pain and Orthotics

Just like the mermaid, sufferers of fasciitis describe shooting, burning pains in their feet, heels and even up the backs of their ankles and legs. All of this pain is caused by the very flat-footedness of sufferers’ feet, almost as if they were walking on hind tail fins instead of feet. Corrective footwear and orthopedic devices can help ease the pain and even remove it from the legs. A podiatrist, like those at Advanced Foot Clinic, can take measurements and make assessments of your feet in order to create a custom treatment plan. (Too bad podiatrists did not exist at the time this story was created, or it may have had quite a different ending.)

Anti-Inflammatories for Pain

At one point in Andersen’s tale, the mermaid even describes her feet as being “on fire,” This is the inflammation of fasciitis at work. If there had been anti-inflammatory medications to take, the burning sensations might not have been a problem. Even icing the bottoms of your feet can help remove that burning sensation and help you walk more and move more easily. Ask your podiatrist which medications would help if you frequently experience this intense burning sensation on the bottoms of your feet.

Communication Is Key

The mermaid could not communicate the intensity of her pain, nor could she show or tell anyone what was wrong. You, on the other hand, can communicate with your podiatrist about everything that is going on with your feet. He/she can only help you if you are able and willing to tell him/her. You will be relieved to know that pain in your feet caused by plantar fasciitis will not result in death (like the mermaid’s potion and experience) but instead result in treatments that can help.

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