My best effort at helping youPosted by Rosemary on 1/24/99 at 00:00 (003844)
I have very high arched feet that supinate (strike on the heel and then roll to the outside). Normal foot strike would roll back in and off the inside toes. My plantar fascia keeps getting twisted as the foot rolls out. Had tarsal tunnel surgery 10 years ago which went well. It had been incorrectly diagnosed as having PF. Since August of 1998 I have been diagnosed with PF. I am getting better slowly and I have been to two orthopaedic surgeons. Without improvement, I would need to have the heel bones broken and realigned and the plantar fascia released. This has been great incentive to do everything I can to improve the situation. Two family physical therapists evaluated my feet at Christmas and I have searched the Internet endlessly.
Stretching is most important. I have a homemmade device that slopes up to 4 inches in height. Doc said stand there 20 minutes three times a day. Physical therapists said three one minute stretches on the board and lean your weight forward would be better for me. Use both bent knee and straight knee. That makes six minutes per leg. Do this numerous times a day. Either take the board with you or find places to do the stretch using inclines where you are. I also like the site http://www.rrca.org/publicat/plantar.html which was recently mentioned on this board. If the stretching causes foot pain or other pain in the body, quit and try another stretch.
Doc gave me Bauerfeind ViscoSpot heel cushions (instead of orthotics) and night splints. I like both.
Ice with the frozen Coke bottles or a frozen gel pack for a minimum of 10 and a maximum of 20 minutes.
Birkenstock Arizona sandals are best for me at home. Athletic shoes carefully selected for my foot type with the ViscoSpots are the best shoe away from home.
I was already using Naproxen for a back problem and I continue to do so. Have also taken some Vitamin C and Glucosamine Chrondroitin.
I am supposed to correct my improper gait to alleviate PF and hip pain. Flat footed walking has made the hips hurt too. I try to strike on the heel, stay on the outside of the foot and then roll in and off the toes bringing the big toe into action. This will also help stretch the plantar fascia. Flat footed walking does not stretch the fascia at all. Walking on a treadmill uphill forces me to get the toes involved, and I can actually do this--had thought there would be too much pain. I have not tried any longer than a few minutes yet.
Replace shoes often--as often as every 6 months. Worn out shoes can cause PF. Watch out for sloping ground or sloping anything. Cleaning leaves out of the gutters while walking on the roof increased my pain. I go out of my way to avoid hilly ground or grab someone's arm for support if I have to walk down a hill. Going down steps I discovered was a problem. Then I found a site on the Internet that agreed. I am very careful and slow now and get the entire foot on the step. Even scooted down the basement steps during Christmas to handle the extra college laundry. Anything that prevents that forward motion that pulls the fascia. Even stepping on the step with a sideways foot is better than the usual motion. This silly discovery has helped me a lot. Feet hurt more on Sundays--church steps. Feet hurt more in the basement--steps. Become aware of anything you may be doing that aggrevates the problem.
I go to the Y and get in the pool for sanity sake and for some exercise. I had to give up water aerobics and work in the deep end with a floation device. I am finally able to do some of the aerobics again. In the water, anytime the foot is pointed, there can be pain. The plantar fascia is being shortened. At the time the pain was the worst, I kept my feet in the neutral position--ninety degree angle to the leg. The pool is also a great place to get some of the stretches in without worrying about body weight. I do all the stretching I can there. Also that concentration on proper gait works well in the water.
Rest when you need to and ask for help doing shopping, etc. My husband had to help with the Christmas shopping. My goal was to not worsen over Christmas and with his help, I met the goal. I actually improved.
Expect a gradual improvement and pray. Continue to read this message board. Good luck and I hope this helps someone.
Re: My best effort at helping youBea on 1/25/99 at 00:00 (003872)
Rosemary, I'd like to thank you so much for taking the time to give us such usefull info. Very unselfish of you and I will certainly try your suggestions. Thanks again.
Re: My best effort at helping youSandy in Ohio on 1/25/99 at 00:00 (003874)
Thank you Rosemary also for the good tips. I like the idea of rolling a coke bottle, and the idea of the exercises in the pool. Thanks again for sharing and caring too!