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I need some advice...

Posted by JanetT. on 2/05/99 at 00:00 (004522)

I've had PF for about 5 months now and still have not had a day without pain. For the last 4 weeks i have worn nothing but my Nike Air sneakers at the suggestion of my podiatrist. and I have to say that my foot does seem to be better. I still have the heel pain but the stabbing, shooting pain has has lessened. now here's my problem-i have another appt. at the podiatrist on Mon. morning. The next step is custom orthtics and I don't know if I should get them or not. The ones I have seen are hard and I am afraid they will hurt my feet since my feet seem to do best in sneakers which tend to be more cushiony. She said there are soft orthotics but she didn't seem to be too wild about them. Do I want to spend the money on custom othotics, which kind should I get, or should I try OTC types first??? I don't know what to try next. I'm very interested in the Birk's since reading about all the success people have had with them on this site. But I'm wondering if they will be to hard for my feet. I tried L.L.Bean wool clogs at the suggestion of my poditrist but they wre so hard and uncomfortable my feet were in agony. Gave them up in a hurry. I have a high arch if that will make any difference in what I should do . I would appreciate any and all suggestions. Thanks!

Re: I need some advice...

Lonnie on 2/05/99 at 00:00 (004525)

I have had PF for several years. I use custom orthotics with my sneakers. It has help me. I've been pretty much pain free for over a year. I do avoid any heavy impact stress on my feet, like jumping, running on hard surfaces (ceramic tile, cement etc.), I even step off the bus slowly and try to land softly on my feet at all times.
I know it's expensive and a major investment. My brother had PF but got relief from a Dr. Scholls heel pad, so it's hard to tell if something less expensive will help you. If you can suffer along a bit longer try the OTC remedies first.
I did have three shots over the course of a year (no more for me). They help me too. Sometimes you need to do a combination of meds, stretching, shoes, orthotics, etc. to find the right combination for you.
Good Luck!

Re: I need some advice...

Helene on 2/05/99 at 00:00 (004526)

I've had PF for 7 yrs. I was told by several drs. that hard orthotics are not right for a high-arched, rigid foot. Even so, some drs. do prescribe it. My feet could never tolerate them. It was a waste of money. I would suggest that you first try an OTC insert & see if you get any relief. If not, I would lean toward a softer custom orthotic. If the dr. insists, show her some of the messages from this board about rigid orthotics. We are the people who are living with this condition, not the dr.! Good luck.

Re: I need some advice...

Susie on 2/05/99 at 00:00 (004532)

Janet T.,
I have had PF for 10 Yrs.and have tried orthodics and also have a
high arch. It always felt like I had a sock bunched up under my arch
but from reading things on this site it appears everyone is kind of
different in what works for them. If you do try orthodics try leather ones, you can get them from a chiropracter and they take a mold of your feet. They worked for awhile but now I use Birkenstock inserts and they work fine, it is just my feet hurt so bad. Birkenstock sandals work for me too. I wish you the best of luck.

Re: I need some advice...

Lyndel on 2/06/99 at 00:00 (004553)

I've had orthotics for about 9 months now. they are the hard plasitc type they call the sport orthotics. It has a leather type cover over the plastic. Mine only come halfway from my heels to the ball of my feet. The first time I put them on they felt funny but after a day or so (like the birks and anything else you try) you cant walk without them. For me, It seems like if I keep changing my shoes, inserts and keep changing everthing my feet feel better. I also step off high steps carefully anymore. This past week I was running up and down my stairs quite a bit and boy are my feet letting me know that was the wrong thing to do. Sure makes my job of getting in and out of the back of my service pick-up a pain! I crawl down while the rest of the guys I work with jump off the sides of the truck. They are calling me the old man and I'm only a few years older than them! I'm only 36 and feel like a crippled old man! Hate to think what lifes gonna be like in just a few years!

Re: I need some advice...

julia on 2/06/99 at 00:00 (004562)

When I went to the Podiatrist that was all he recommended. I just could not see spending $400 on something that wasn't sure to work for me. I have tried soft inserts and just recently bought Spenco hard orthotics (bought at Foot Locker for $30.00). I like them much better than the soft inserts and wear them in my sneakers to exercise and my boots in the winter. In the summer all I wear on my feet are Birks. I was skeptical at first about the Birks and thought how could that be so comfortable. But I tried them on and was in heaven. I wish all my shoes could be so comfortable! Good luck with your decision.

Re: I need some advice...

Gina on 2/06/99 at 00:00 (004579)

I was told (too late for it to do me any good!) that if the podiatrist tapes your foot and it feels better you will probably benefit from hard orthotics. In my case, taping has been a painful experience and so have hard orthotics!

Re: I need some advice...

Lisa in WA on 2/06/99 at 00:00 (004584)

I've been suffering with PF for three years now. My left foot I've had surgery on as a last resort, anyway that's another story. I also suffer with it on my right and the hard orthotics helped it not to get worse. I tried all kinds of soft orthotics and spent lots of money on them, there a waste.

Re: I need some advice...

Dayna on 2/07/99 at 00:00 (004600)

If you can, try OTC inserts first. I tried Dr. Scholls and several others, the only thing that helped me is custom hard orthotics. I agree with someone else here, the first few days it was rough but now I live in them literally, I don't stand up without them. I know they cost a lot, and almost no insurer will pay for them, but if all else fails, how much would you pay to be able to walk again?

Re: I need some advice...

carolyn on 2/09/99 at 00:00 (004668)

Hi Janet-
Obviously there are two different camps about the hard inserts. My orthotics have been a life saver. I received them in early summer, yet didn't even try them for almost two months, because my doctor warned me they would take some getting used to. At that time I was already in pain everyday and had to do a lot of walking because of my job. So, I didn't want to add to the discomfort. Boy, was I stupid to wait. When I first put them on I thought they felt very strange. But within minutes of walking I could feel the difference. The first day I wore them for 7 hours without much problem. Now, I wear them all of the time, and I am positive that without them there would be no way I could exercise, walk the dogs, etc... Yep, I still have pain - but not while I am walking, doing step aerobics, and other activities. When I am using the othotics,I can do a one hour difficult step aerobics class without once thinking about my feet. So, for what it's worth, my orthotics were well worth the $375 investment. Good luck!