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Found a cure

Posted by Gordon on 2/15/99 at 00:00 (004831)

This has been updated from early versions so you may want to check it out.

I suffered from chronic plantar fasciitis for 2 years (could barely walk at all) and tried every method known to make it better and found little improvement. Finally , I think I have discovered a cure that works for me and hopefully it will work for others. It is a combination of many of things you may have read about already, wth a few extra things that make it really work. No gimics, I promise.

I am not a doctor. Take my advice at your own risk.

The following is in a very summarized form. There are no doctors or medical research other than my own to back any
of the advice given in here and I recommend that anyone willing to try my methods get professional medical approval

First I must describe my former condition. I was 35 years old, in fairly good shape when my foot problem s began. It
started out as a result of simple foot abuse from doing a lot of hiking with poor shoes while on vacation. 1.5 months
after I returned from the vacation the pain to started to set in. Of course, I went to a podiatrist who recommended arch
supports and orthodics and anti-inflammatories. I tried all of this but the pain quickly worsened until it felt like a spike
was stuck in my foot. The burning sensations I felt extended through the entire bottom of my foot (both feet)and was extremely
painful at night while sleeping.

The doctor then put me in cast boots to help support the arch and although it helped walking my foot continued to get

I then tried night splints to help stretch the arch but found this just increased the burning sensation no matter how low I
set the stretch to.

After a while I couldn't walk at all without starting serious pain so I got a wheelchair in hopes that my feet would calm
down and then I could resume walking. This felt OK as long as I didn't try and walk. The result was that I was in
worse shape because my feet became tender more easily when I tried to go back to walking.

I then tried professional physical therapy with ultrasound, massage and ice fro several months. I found this helped quite
a bit but didn't solve the problem. I had an acupuncturist stay at my house for 2 weeks and did acupuncture every day.
This helped but didn't solve the problem.

I had two other podiatrists shoot cortisone in my feet several times and I found no relief at all from this.
They wanted to operate and cut the facia. Fortunately I stopped believing in these guys by now.

At this point I took a 3 month leave from my desk job and worked hard at getting better. I found that messaging my
feet and keeping them cool was a big plus and so I messaged my feet using my hands for the next year.

I continued with the standard methods (trying all of the drugs,etc.) for 2 years.

I went to a rheumatologist. She said I had ankylosing spondylitus and that this was the underlying cause. She put me on
heavy doses on indomethicine and nearly killed me. Feet still hurt like hell. Fired the doc. Later, I found out that the
ankylosing spondylitus diagnoses was wrong!

The wheel chair prevented me from getting enough exercise on my feet so I crawled for most of the next year while I
was at home.

Through all of this I was doing all of the stretches and physical therapy that was recommended by the various doctors
and therapists.

I put ice in the bottom of my socks while lying down and found that this helped quite a bit .

I purchased a TENS unit and used this on my feet and found that this help also. The shocking numbs the nerves but
more importantly it causes the muscle to contract and pumps fresh blood through your feet !

I put magnets in my shoes and felt that this may have helped somewhat but I'm not sure.

I massaged my feet a lot and then developed carpal tunnel syndrome in my wrists and then my forearms had the same burning sensation that my feet had. My shoulder and neck muscles would cramp and burn also. A year had gone by with no relief. I quit my job and
was left with no medical benefits because the doctors said I still could work from a wheel chair. I decided that the
medical benefits weren't doing me any good any ways and so I needed to focus my own knowledge and figure this
out on my own. I'm an engineer. I love a challenging problem.

Nearly two years after the problem began I went to Mayo clinic and saw podiatrists, endocrinologists, rheumotoligists,
nerve specialists, etc. and had every test done that could be done. Nothing. They said I didn't have ankylosing
spondylitus and couldn't find anything wrong except maybe I had fibromyalgia but not likely. They recommended
anti-depressants so that the pain wouldn't bother me so much. $5000 dollars. Thank you very much!

I then had a hair sample taken to do a toxicity test (of a different sort than other doctors had done) and then waited to
get the results ($47).
The idea behind the hair sample as opposed to a blood test is that a blood test looks at the blood which is continuously
cleaned by the liver and kidneys etc. Toxic metals etc. get lodged in the cell tissues and may not show in a blood test.
Of course, traditional doctors will tell you that this is a bunch of hooey but they didn't do me any good so I was willing
to try it.

At this point I read a book called 'Anatomy of an Illness' by Norman Cousins. He also had a serious problem that no
doctor could fix but he solved it by taking high doses of vitamin C.
This book helped me a lot. I highly recommend it.

I got my hair sample back and the nutritionalists showed me that my copper level was 4 times the normal and my
calcium was also very high (even though all of my blood tests showed normal except for some minor stuff that the
doctors said were nothing, FYI --->total protein was slightly out of range, Albumin was slightly out of range, AST was
slightly out of normal range, and bilirubin was slightly above normal range, and B12 was 1135 when 250-700 was
normal range). The laboratory that did the hair test has a computer generated report which discusses the results.

The copper and calcium needed to be lowered and the report recommended a list of supplements that this company
could sell you. The supplements were combinations of vitamins etc. which they wanted to sell me for about 200
dollars. By now I was pretty skeptical so I took the info to my endochronoligist (the only real doctors who understand
the chemistry of the body)

On the internet I found an article about how chelation therapy could lower toxic metal contents in your body and how
that High doses of vitamin C could would act as very mild for of chelation.

With this in mind , the endochronoligist and I came up with what we thought were the most likely combination of
vitamins that could help lower the copper content (although he also was very skeptical of the hair analysis meaning
anything). He was wary of the levels of vit C I wanted to try but I did it anyhow.

I have a fairly sensitive stomach and can't take large doses of vitamin C so I tried taking ESTER-C and found that my
stomach was fine.

In the end I found that the Vitiman C worked (still taking it).

During the course of all the above I found the following results:
I made serious progress when I combined the following things

1) Soft, fluidic, Aerobic exercise with a relaxed state of mind and body. Get your cardiovascular system up a couple of
times a day (in the morning for sure). The problem with PF is that blood doesn't flow easily into the injured area. I do a lot of sit-ups and a variety of leg rasing activity and light weight work-outs while on my knees(with a thick cushion). You will notice significant pain relief in a few days if you do this every day. Doctors will tell you it is the endorphins masking the pain when you excersice, but
actually that is only a temporary side effect and a small part of it.
Go on short(very short) easy walks (no hills) every day once your feet are up to it. I started out by just walking up and down my 40 foot driveway. Slowly increase distance but never push it. 'No Pain will gain'. Remember to warm-up and stretch before and after. Ice afterwards before it starts to hurt.

The great part about this cure is that you are going to end up being very healthy and fit because the exercise is required for life.
So make sure you put variety into your routine so that you don't get tendon or muscle problems elsewhere. When you are better you can do almost any aerobic activity that is easy on the feet. Never push it again.

2) Contrary to many of the 'new' stretching methods (hold for 30-60 seconds)I find that if I keep my body moving slightly I can relax the muscle more and avoid pain. Do not bounce while strecthing but rather move perpendicular to the stretch direction very lightly and the stretch should be so light it doesn't even feel like your stretching. Don't go till it hurts even a little .
Be satisfied with slow progress, otherwise you will be going backwards.

3)3000-4000 mg Vit C (ester), 25-50 mg Zinc to replenish what the Vit -C takes out, 5-HTP (L-5 Hydroxytryptophan, significantly improves
state of mind, Iron (small amount), Vit -E 400 iu, also rub vit E-oil on inflamed areas on forearms if burning is near the skin (really helps carpal tunnel), one banana for potassium
replacement. Note take the vitamin C in small doses throughout the day. Say 500 mg ever couple hours. Note: Every
time I stop taking the vitamin C the problem comes back after a few weeks. I tried to slowly stop 5 times so far, but every time leads to pain.
THe Vitamin C is key to this whole solution. It must be taken slowly or you will just dump it out your urine. If you have
weak kidneys take less but keep the level up all day. Vitamin C will take other minerals out so you must replenish a
Vit-E (20,000 iu) can be purchased in large quantities (16 oz. to reduce cost) from the DAY co. in Oregon (direct manufacturer). I got the name off a bottle in a health food store. This will not be needed if no burning near the skin. I also used it on the tops of my feet where the tendons were buring. Makes a mess though.

4)All new diet, minimize meat intake, eat as much fruit and vegetables as possible, protein (fish , eggs chicken, but go very light on protein), No sugars , no milk (I used to drink lots, this was tough).
Diet is very important. I have oatmeal with quaker 100% every morning with water only. Put fruit in it for sweetner.
If you think that you need milk. Do some research on your own. The only people that say you need milk are those that are influenced by the milk and dairy boards. If you do your homework you'll find out it's bunk. Calcium retention is directly impacted by eating too much protein. Cut down on protein (eat 70% fruit and Veg) and your calcium retention will stay high (your family doctor doesn't know this). There are many parts of the world where people consume little or no cows milk and have far fewer health problems than Americans.

5) Lots of positive love, laughter, music.

6) Avoid letting your feet get hot. Keep feet cool (not cold) but take your shoes and socks off when ever you 're offyour feet. If they are cold warm them by rubbing the heel of one foot gently into the arch of other or light massage.

7) Wear your orthodics!. Note: a Good arch support also means that when you bend the shoe with your
hands it should flex near the toes, not in the arch. Most running shoes flex in the arch so be picky.

8)When you ice your feet do it immediately after heavy abuse, and don't immerse the foot in ice. Just make contact
with the bottom of the foot. Lightly message after ice to restart circulation. Also, do toe crunches several times a day if excercise is not an option. Don't sit long at the computer.

9) Remember that circulation of the blood with plenty of oxygen is key to healing anything, and the feet are the hardest
to get to as far as blood goes. Walking is a lot better than standing! but running is too aggressive if they are sore.

10) Do aerobic activity while lying down to avoid straining feet.

11) When your feet hurt take action to relieve the pain quickly. Cool them off. Then get the blood circulating using #10)

12)I massage my feet several times a day with a blunt object rather than using bare hands. Using my hands and fingers directly lead to carpal tunnel after a year, so be careful. Don't massage if they are inflamed or too sore. Calm them down first with ice or doing sit-ups or leg raises bare foot.

13) The main things that fixed my foot pain are a)Orthodics b) exercising portions of my body other than the foot to promote blood flow when in pain (kept feet from getting hot when exercising, no shoes, but no standing barefoot)
c) Large amounts of Vit C (ester) with the other vitamins mentioned above d)massage e) cooling after activity f)no standing still g)mental attitude must not slip

14) When your feet are up for it try light dancing (at home on carpet with orthpdics, short duration) to promote foot strengthening. Sounds crazy but it works if you love music. Go back to working out on your back with shoes off to cool your feet afterwards. Ice a litttle if neccesary

15) You will loose weight (if overweight) on this program. And it is important that you remain at close to your optimal weight.

At this point I haven't confirmed that the Vit-C actually lowered levels of copper but after only four months of the
above I am now an assistant coach playing soccer and basketball with my son who has wanted to play with me for 2
years. I still ice from time to time afer heavy activity as a precautionary measure but not so much now.

From my experiences and observations I believe that the correct state of mind is critical in the healing process, yet
sometimes its the hardest thing to do.
My inability to participate as a father/husband over the last two year was very hard on my state of mind and this is the
most important thing one must battle. Stay positive, happy, and believe that this problem can be made livable.

Re: Found a cure!

Mary W on 3/01/99 at 00:00 (005166)

Thanks for all this info! Will try the exercise, Vitamin C and cooling. Pf is a real shock to me since I have been healthy allmy live (I'm now 51) and I really HATE being disabled. I just got my teaching license and I love teaching! I do not want to do it form a wheelchair.

Thanks again. Good luch to you.

Re: Found a cure

Rick on 2/15/99 at 00:00 (004832)

What kind of shoes / socks do you typically wear when walking and/or working out?

Re: Found a cure!

Mary W on 3/01/99 at 00:00 (005166)

Thanks for all this info! Will try the exercise, Vitamin C and cooling. Pf is a real shock to me since I have been healthy allmy live (I'm now 51) and I really HATE being disabled. I just got my teaching license and I love teaching! I do not want to do it form a wheelchair.

Thanks again. Good luch to you.