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How long should I wait for improvement of my PF?

Posted by Melissa on 4/13/98 at 16:56 (000576)

I was diagnosed with PF in my left foot last week. The podiatrist
wants me to do stretching exercises twice a day and wear Tuli cups in my shoes. I also bought a pair of jogging shoes with heel cushioning and arch supports. How long should it be until I feel some improvement, or how long will it be until I know whether or not this is working? I saw my podiatrist last Wednesday, and already the pain is worse. Anti-inflammatory medications (NSAID's) are not being used because they failed to work on two previous occasions with other foot and ankle problems. Does this problem worsen quickly? Three weeks after my first podiatrist appointment last August I had to have surgery to remove a calcium deposit because that problem was crippling me. Is PF like that? I can't get off my feet because I'm a full-time middle school teacher and full-time graduate student.

Thank you for your help!

Re: How long should I wait for improvement of my PF?

Diana K on 4/13/98 at 21:00 (000577)

Brace yourself. For some people relief may come within a week or less. For many others it's months, or even years of effort. Some people make some progress, then backslide a little, make more progress, regress some, but gradually move forward until one day you find it's bearable if not perfect.

One thing most of us will tell you I think, is to be patient, and not rush things. Find a good doctor who is compassionate. If the first doctor doesn't seem to care, find another. Be willing to try a # of different, little things, that cumulatively may solve the problem. For many PF sufferers there doesn't seem to be a single magic bullet that solves the problem.

Read the many postings in this bulletin board and the guestbook. There are a lot of great comments, a lot of understanding, and a lot of moral support. Even if you have to be on your feet a lot, there are things you can do to work around that. But for the worst cases, sometimes the only solution is to take some time and deal with the problem full time.

Good luck.

Re: How long should I wait for improvement of my PF?

Ed on 4/14/98 at 08:54 (000581)

If the pain got worse after your visit to the doctor, something is wrong. You should call your doctor. My doctor's advice was to call back if I wasn't noticibly better in a month. But I would have called back the next day if I kept getting worse.

You don't mention ice. Are you doing that? I think ice is essential for reducing swelling, inflamation and pain, and for preventing further injury.

I know Tuli cups come in two sizes. I tried the larger and it pushed my heel up so high, it cramped my toes. My shoe rubbed the back of my heel. I can't image how any woman can wear high heels and not have all kinds of foot problems. Anyway, I got very good relief of my symptoms just wearing cross trainers that sound a lot like your new jogging shoes. I think your doctor should check the fit of your shoes, with and without the Tuli cups.

Can you wear your jogging shoes when you teach? I hope so. If you feel hesitant, explain to your principal. Try teaching sitting down as much as you can.

I think getting completely o.k. again takes us all a long time and requires patience. But I don't think you should be patient with getting worse.

Good luck. Please post if you find an explanation for why you got worse. Other people will probably go through what you're going through.

Re: How long should I wait for improvement of my PF?

Melissa on 4/14/98 at 18:43 (000583)

Thank you for your helpful response. I am wearing the smaller Tuli cups. I can't tell that I'm wearing them when I have them in my shoes. Yes, I am allowed to wear my jogging shoes to teach in. My podiatrist wrote a note allowing me to wear them to work indefinitely. I am not permitted to teach sitting down. This is my first year in the public school system, and I had ankle surgery a month after school started. Right now, I'm trying to keep my feet and ankles from ruining my career. I'm wearing a TENS unit on my right ankle (nerve damage from a minor sprain in January). My left ankle had surgery in September, 1997. Now my left foot has PF. The PF is quickly getting worse like my left ankle did last year. I think I'm going to take your advice and call my podiatrist for another appointment. I'm very fortunate to have a compassionate podiatrist who is willing to do whatever he can to keep me on my feet. I just tired of bothering him all the time. I'm also tired of getting shots (three cortisone and one anesthetic in the right ankle in the last two months) almost every time I see him, and reading about cortisone shots for PF on this board has made me a little scared of them. Apparently they hurt much worse in the heel than in the ankle. I have tried ice, but that hurts when I rest my foot on it as I'm sitting down in the evening.

Again, thank you for your response.

Re: How long should I wait for improvement of my PF?

ken on 2/05/99 at 00:00 (004509)

I have had heel problems on and off for about 3 years now.First in my left foot and now my right. The left took about a year and a half to get back to somewhat normal. I went through all the routines: rest, icing ,pt, orthotics, taping ,cortisone shots , and assorted exercise.
It finally took the second pair of orthotics to work. Now my right foot is on the blink. It seems different that the left.I don't have the morning pain like before and it just hurts differently. My doctor says it might be a stress fracture of the calcanus and I am currently in a walking cast.I don't think this is going to work.I am considering surgery for this and maybe tarsal tunnel syndrone.