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Progress Report: What worked what didn't

Posted by Chris on 12/14/98 at 00:00 (002684)

In thanks, I'd like to share my experiences.

Since getting spurs in both feet this summer, I was determined to seek alternative treatment. I had already been trying different things as I'm also fighting Arthritis and Carpal Tunnel. (For reference, I am a 40-yr. old male, occupation: pianist, reasonably active prior to the spurs; I was walking/jogging 10 miles a day four days a week.

Based on the info I gathered from other sources and here, [many thanks to Mark, Debbie, and Susan] I tried a couple of things:

Glucosamine sulfate, the results with this were dramatic. Vast pain reduction almost over night. I have been experimenting with a formula called 'Pain Free' made by Schiff. It contains Chondroitin [questionable value], as well as bovine cartilage. As discussed in other posts, I'm guessing I might be just as well off with a straight glucoamine sulfate. Previously I was taking the HDL and never really got any real results.

I had already been following the Dr. Wiel regimen, but I increased my dosage of Vitamin C, and B6. I also started taking a Calcium/Magnesium/Zinc supplement

Acupuncture: After a getting the OK from my chiropractor, I decided to give it a try. With a thanking nod to Debbie, It works. After the first visit, I felt a little bit of pain relief. But after the second, and third the results were downright amazing. I have been able to actually put my weight on my heel. I had been walking on my toes on the left foot for months. The pain is still a constant. But it's becoming less severe. I'm on my fourth visit, and the Dr. has suggested about 8-12 sessions. If you can get over the initial fear and superstition of the whole thing, it's well worth trying out. The needles are sometimes painful but just for an instant. I'm not sure about other's experience, but I decided to seek a true Eastern Doctor, I happened to luck out, as my Doctor is the president of the Acupuncture society. He is using a combination of the needles as well as Asian herbs and tinctures. Although I was knowledgeable about Western herbs, It has been a pleasant education learning about the Korean system.

I cannot agree more about the importance of stretching. I was already doing yoga casually, but I've now gone back to a full 30-minute daily routine, that includes calf and feet stretching. These help immensely.

As to other things: I tried the gel Heel Spur cushions made by Vicolas [about $12] They were very uncomfortable to me. I found the little $4 Dr Scholl Blue heel cups much easier to wear on an extended basis.

I also tried magnetic sole inserts. I'm in Atlanta and couldn't find Walgreen's, but Target now sells a brand that I'm sure are the same thing under a different brand name: 'Homedics Thera:P' [about $20] I was suprised at how well these felt. Though a bit clunky to wear all day, they are great to wear around the house. (Especially for those first painful morning minutes) I was impressed enough to try magnet therapy for my hands and joints.

Also: the Foot Smart Catalog 800-870-7149, contains lots of useful items all very reasonably priced.

Sorry for the long post. I'm feeling better knowing I've taken a pro-active stance on this condition. Just to let you know it's manageable and hopefully beatable. I feel like I'm finally not having these things rule my life anymore. Hang in there!

Many thanks to all who have shared their experiences in this forum. And happy holidays

Re: Progress Report: What worked what didn't

alex on 12/15/98 at 00:00 (002685)

Chris - thanks for the detailed info.
Perhaps you can help me. I am in the middle of a period of acupuncture treatment here in Hong Kong. It's working very well - with significant reduction in pain. I will be in Atlanta for two weeks, Dec 20 - Jan 1, and I would really like to have two or three sessions while I am there. My Dr. here will write a letter detailing what he has been doing, and recommending the kind of treatment. Could you e-mail me with the name and telephone no. of your acupuncturist in Atlanta - as I would much rather go to someone recommended by a fellow PF sufferer. My email address is: (email removed)
Thanks very much for your help. Incidentally, my Dr. here is also using a variety of vitamins and herbs to improve my circulation - also with significant results.
Thanks for your help
Alex Horsley

Re: Progress Report: What worked what didn't

Bea on 12/15/98 at 00:00 (002686)

Hi Chris: Thanks so much for the detailed report. I had the same result with the glucosomine and continue taking it, I am going back to my acupunture to try again(it didn't help much lst time) and now I shall try magnets. I certainly appreciate your taking the time to inform us on the possibilities.

Re: Progress Report: What worked what didn't

Marianne on 12/15/98 at 00:00 (002690)

Where can one purchase the glucosamine sulafate.

Re: Progress Report: What worked what didn't

Gina on 12/15/98 at 00:00 (002692)

Here's what didn't work for me: taping, NSAIDS, glucosamine sulfate, orthotics, chiropractic adjustments, night splint, casting (worst fiasco of the bunch).
On the helpful side: stretching, icing, iontophoresis and ultrasound produced some pain relief. Birks are semi-comfortable, but not a magic bullet. Am now having acupuncture with some reduction in pain; waiting to see how much improvement I ultimately get.

Re: Progress Report: What worked what didn't

suzi on 12/15/98 at 00:00 (002693)

hey chris, please e-mail me the name and phone # of your acupuncturist. I have been seeing someone in la grange GA, and he is great, but I would like to know of other good people in the area.
my e-mail is: puglover1@mindspring.com
thanks alot!

Re: Progress Report: What worked what didn't

debbie on 12/15/98 at 00:00 (002695)

I am so glad to hear the acupuncture is working for you. the more people on this board hear our success with this the more they may be inclined to try it. I have heard so many different stories on how the acu is done. I am curious to know how many needles your Dr. used and where they were put. I have not had a treatment for a month now and my feet are not worse. I am going to aerobics twice a week, just low impact. My foot I have surgery on still bothers me but not as bad since the acu. I wish I would not have had the surgery at all. I may up my aerobics to three times a week next week. Thanks for your input. Debbie

Re: Progress Report: What worked what didn't

Bea on 12/15/98 at 00:00 (002696)

Any health food store. A good dossage would be 1500 mgs. a day.

Re: Progress Report: What worked what didn't-Gina

Bea on 12/15/98 at 00:00 (002698)

Everyone seems to respond differently, that's what makes this condition so annoying. Be sure you were taking Glucosomine sulfate.

Re: Progress Report: What worked what didn't

Chris on 12/16/98 at 00:00 (002709)

No, thank you!


Re: Progress Report: Answers to questions Alex, Debbie, Suzi et al

Chris on 12/16/98 at 00:00 (002711)

Hi all,
didn't expect so many replies so to cut down on the amount typing here's the info:

My Acu Dr is Dr. Kim in Doraville GA phone # is 770-455-6511. His daughter handles the office stuff, and her English is a little weak, so please be patient.

Since this was my first time, I have no idea what the normal amount of needles is, but upon my first visit he used them in my ear, ankles, back and heels. [one each respectively] Each visit has been different. He will usually ask where I feel the pain, and then mark that area. then he will have me lie down and do the 'needle thing'. he has also has as been combining electric, heat therapy, plus a Mox-sesame paste that burns at first, but as he says: helps to 'start the flow of energy '[Chi by Asian definition, Ki by Korean]. I'm not trying to speak in New-Age terms, but that's just what it does. He has told me that some of my problem(s) stems from my lower back, and that has caused many side effects to take place. I may of thought it was just over-use or bad running shoes, but I think he is on to something by looking at the big picture.

In a nutshell acupunture gives the body a push by letting it 'know' where the trouble spots are , helping it to re-direct attention so it can take care of itself. whatever it does, it works. It can't hurt to give it a try. Because of my own ignorance of the whole process, I was almost ready to give up on it after the first visit. I had decided to give it at least 5 vists. IMHO the only way to treat this obnoxious condition is to try everything within reason. I did not make my post to say that I have found a cure, rather that along with some of the other things people have suggested, acupunture has been a very effective tool to add to the arsenal.

Dr. Kim has a wonderful gentle manner, and I think you will find the same results if you do a little research. I am constantly amazed at the level of true caring in the alternative field versus the typical conventional Doctor who perform a 'cash-ectomy' without ever even making eye contact.

I'm still not opposed to seeing a podiatrist, and may do that as well. I would welcome any comments/experience others may of had.

PS: you can buy the glucosomine just about anywhere that sells vitamins. but like most things you get what you pay for. I have found that it's best to rotate brands. GNC, though a bit pricey usually has pretty good quality. You can find many of the Schiff products at Wal-Mart, CVS etc. For what it's worth, I have found Nature's Way products to be the most consistent. And in a recent newsletter from Dr. Weil, Natures Way products had some of the highest content of stated product. Remember that most herbs and supplements take time to get into the body vs. regular medicine. So give it a few weeks to see if you notice any results. . It may be worth your effort to get a work up from a nutritionist or other professional.

thanks to all and best of luck


Re: Progress Report: What worked what didn't

Janet on 12/16/98 at 00:00 (002713)


Cortisone shots: 14 during the past 2 years
Physical Therapy....stretching and ultrasound
Anti-inflamitories.....they tear my stomach up.
Pain meds.....they make me too sleepy to function.



I tried an antidepressant called Limbitrol, and it worked well for about a month.....then it stopped. I was really beginning to feel like my old self. Then the pain came back.

WHAT I PLAN TO TRY: the magnetic inserts, and the 'Pain Free' by Schiff with Chondroitin.

I sure wish that there was an acupuncturist around here.....the closest one is in a town about an hours drive from here....Too far when you have too many responsiblilies daily working full time and have a toddler.

I sure wish you all a speedy recovery....I wish someone would come up with some type of cure....Dream on


Re: Progress Report: What worked what didn't

elaine on 1/03/99 at 00:00 (003016)

I bought mine in the grocery store yesterday... 60 tabs for 20 bucks...today i found them on the internet for about half that price