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Re: a contrary opinion

Posted by Sandra Z. on 5/13/99 at 00:00 (006819)

I also stopped going barefoot--I even bought plastic birkenstocks (Birkis) to wear in the shower. When I was in severe pain, I couldn't even think about going barefoot for a single step. BUT--My physical therapist pointed out that the only way the human body can get stronger is by stressing weak parts. I started working with her after I rested my foot for 6 weeks in a cast. For a few months we worked on stretching, then we added strengthening, and then she told me to start going barefoot. I started really slowly--at first, I just stood barefoot in the shower. Then I walked to the shower barefoot. At first I was scared--but it's working! Yesterday I walked for 40 minutes on my treadmill and covered 2.5 miles, and I'm not in pain today! My conclusion, from battling this PF twice and from reading this board, is that while different things work for different people, the main commonality in people who get better is that they take things very very slowly! You need to rest your heel, then stretch and strengthen it so it won't get injured again, and it may takes MONTHS of rest, and MONTHS of itsy bitsy stretches before you can go barefoot or strengthen. You CAN'T rely on just rest, for that makes your heel weaker, and you will inevitably accidently hurt it again--maybe your child will scream out in the night and you'll jump out of bed and run to him without shoes, or you'll slip on some ice, or you'll need to get out of the street quickly. To protect yourself, you need to slowly slowly slowly build up your strength so you CAN--if you need to--go barefoot or run a few steps.

Re: a contrary opinion

BJ on 5/13/99 at 00:00 (006827)

I totally agree. Persistance in the excerises, stretches is the key!!!!

Re: a contrary opinion

Rosalind on 5/13/99 at 00:00 (006835)

A rule of thumb, I have been told, in beating this is: AFTER you are symptom-free, wait another two months.

Re: a contrary opinion

Lisa on 5/15/99 at 00:00 (006861)

I'm sorry, but I disagree about going barefoot. PF is a condition that, correct me if I'm wrong and missed the point, is a partial result of going barefoot. The ligament (fascia) in the foot has been stressed or stretched to the point of tearing which causes the inflammation and burning. Especially if a person has high arches, pushing down on your foot and flattening it causes the fascia to stretch more and tear more, causing more inflammation. The fascia needs support from shoes or even orthotics to lift it up.

My doctor advised no barefeet ever -- not in the house or on the beach. And patience is the key. Perhaps in time I could go for a short barefoot walk on the beach once the inflammation is down. But this could take years.

My advice from my own experience with PF in both feet for 10+ years is to not go barefoot. You could be doing more damage than good.


Re: a contrary opinion

BJ on 5/13/99 at 00:00 (006827)

I totally agree. Persistance in the excerises, stretches is the key!!!!

Re: a contrary opinion

Rosalind on 5/13/99 at 00:00 (006835)

A rule of thumb, I have been told, in beating this is: AFTER you are symptom-free, wait another two months.

Re: a contrary opinion

Lisa on 5/15/99 at 00:00 (006861)

I'm sorry, but I disagree about going barefoot. PF is a condition that, correct me if I'm wrong and missed the point, is a partial result of going barefoot. The ligament (fascia) in the foot has been stressed or stretched to the point of tearing which causes the inflammation and burning. Especially if a person has high arches, pushing down on your foot and flattening it causes the fascia to stretch more and tear more, causing more inflammation. The fascia needs support from shoes or even orthotics to lift it up.

My doctor advised no barefeet ever -- not in the house or on the beach. And patience is the key. Perhaps in time I could go for a short barefoot walk on the beach once the inflammation is down. But this could take years.

My advice from my own experience with PF in both feet for 10+ years is to not go barefoot. You could be doing more damage than good.