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Sarah, in answer to your question below---

Posted by Carol E. on 9/21/99 at 00:00 (011107)

about discontinuing my arch supports. I have had PF now for one year. I had excruciating pain for six months before I discovered this site and was able to put a name to it. Unlike a lot of you, due to a financial setback, I simply did not have the money to go to a doctor or spend tons of money on treatments, orthotics, or medications. All along, I had been wearing the same incredibly comfortable Ecco shoes which have only a slightly elevated arch. When my PF was at it's worse, I could no longer wear these shoes. When I went barefoot, it felt like my arch was collapsing and my foot would tend to roll inward onto it. I did buy a pair of Birkenstocks and wore them part of the time but after an afternoon of wearing them my arch would just ache from resting on that hard prominent arch all day. I tried wearing every other pair of shoes I owned and bought a few different over the counter heel cushions and arch supports but nothing helped. You will laugh, but I finally went to the craft store and bought some of that craft foam that comes in sheets like squares of felt and went home and made a pattern of the arch support in my Birks and experimented with layering pieces of craft foam over the arch of my favorite Ecco shoes and a pair of hiking boots that I ocassionally wore. It's hard to believe that only that tiny thickness of one piece of foam added to my existing arch supports could make such a difference for me. It felt pretty good. I wore them in my shoes for 2-3 months and as my foot has healing (with the help of my low-carb diet) my arch began to feel like I was stepping over a 1/2 inch rod of iron. One day, I decided to just take the thing out of my shoe and see what happened. It felt great and it has now been 3 weeks and still no pain. I go barefoot all of the time. My arch no longer cramps and tightens up in the evenings like it used to. Pretty much, I only feel a bit of tightness sometimes when I get out of bed in the morning but no longer have any pain. I am optomistic that the end is near. There appears to be many different reasons why different ones of us have PF and what worked for me likely won't work for someone else. All I know is what worked for me.