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Recent PF injury, requesting help!

Posted by FrankF on 12/06/99 at 00:00 (013399)

I injured my PF labor day running barefoot on the beach. After 3weeks of crutches, I've been told by my Podiatrist that the healing this injury is like trying to build a muscle by weightlifting. That is, I have to 'reinjure' or tear the PF daily and have it repair itself to get stronger. I've had a heel spur for 10yrs and wear orthodics...I've added a cushion under the orthodics (as per the docs instructions). I have morning pain and can barely walk barefoot!
Am I doing the right thing here...? Should I be resting it? How long before I can expect to run again?

Re: Recent PF injury, requesting help!

YokoS on 12/06/99 at 00:00 (013402)

Frank, how come you run barefoot on the beach even though you've had
heel spur for 10years!! CARELESS !!! I've injured PF last Nov (marathon) but ignored condition and continued to run until May. Stop running May-Oct (actually I couldn't run due to pain) and cancelled '99 Nov marathon. Now, 4miles x 2 @week, I can handle.
Resting, and whatever the treatment I can follow on this board, I did.
But first, Listen carefully what my foot said everyday.
I have cusion and ortho every shoes no exception.
Take care.



Re: Recent PF injury, requesting help!

Rick R on 12/07/99 at 00:00 (013437)

Frank,

As absurd as what your Podiatrist said sounds, there may be an element of truth to it. After about 9 years of a sedentary lifestyle and frustration with doctors that didn't seem to take my PF seriously, I concluded I had to make things worse before I could get surgery or whatever, to make things better. I had been taping daily wearing orthitics and running shoes when I could and Rockports when I couldn't. Despite the fact that I could hardly walk barefooted I felt fairly good when taped. I started running again to get the ball rolling. Your Podiatrist isn't the only one with a screw loose. I fully expected to cause a lot of dammage and gain nothing. Son of a gun if I didn't improve. You may notice a number of people have experienced difficulty with the 'good' foot after a period of rest for the 'bad' one. There absolutely is something to building up the strength similar to weight lifting, although suggesting a tear is good seems a bit over the edge(perhaps microscopic tearing is part of the building mechanism?). Stretching is one important component, but be careful, I caused more pain trying to stretch than running. Only after running a few months could I begin to stretch without a major setback. The rest is the proverbial double edged sword. I still believe initially rest is essential. I couldn't tell you when it's safe to start to rebuild. I think running is about the stupidest thing to do; remember I had 9 years of relative rest (which is why I have no clue when I could have started being more aggressive in my aproach). I would check out the exercises described on this site. Now for the bad news. While you rebuild the soft tissue through exercise, the strain may cause your spur to grow. Bone growth is the natural response to straining muscles and their attachments. The weight lifters do it all the time. Forensic anthropologists can determine the activity level of an individual from these attachment points on their bones long after check out time. While I was improving the soft tissue I was also cultivating a fine crop of bone growth. I had 4 years of a much improved life with the aggressive approach and then surgery on the left side 3 years ago. Now I'm able to run better than at any time since this thing first struck. I still tape and wrap, ice right after exertion as needed, heat every AM, use ibuprofin as needed, etc.. and have strict rules to live by but it beats the alternative. However, I think to tell someone to go tear it up falls somewhere between an oversimplification and malpractice. I wish you well and would be glad to help in any way I can.

Rick


Re: Recent PF injury, requesting help!

John C. on 12/07/99 at 00:00 (013443)

Frank,
I just had to respond. Your injury is very similiar to what I have gone thru. Like you, I injured my foot suddenly. Many people on this site develope PF over a long time and never quite know where it came from. Like you, I am a long time runner (25 years).

In April 1998, I injured my foot by jumping off of a downed tree that I was working on and felt the pain immediately. It wasn't bad and I went on working. The next week, I tried to go for my regular 5 mile run. I did well for 4 miles and then it felt like I had stepped on a knife in my heel. I kept trying off and on to run for 4 months. I finally realized that running had to stop. I didn't run for 12 months. I did POD, shots, orthotics, splints, massage, and everything else that I read about on this site. Finally, in July, I started back running. I am now able to run my normal 5 miles with no problems.

During that 12 months, I also did every kind of exercising that I could that did not increase my pain. I'm not sure what your POD meant about the 're-injuring' the foot to get better, but I do believe that exercising the foot to make it stronger and more flexible can be very helpful.

In short, my advice is 1. Don't run. 2. Don't rest. 3. Read Scott's main doc. Print it off and read it more than once. 4. Find out what works for you. 5. Don't overdo NSAIDs.

Like many long time runners, I was verrrrrry reluctant to give up my running. That was the dumbest thing I ever did. By continuing to run, I probably turned a 3-4 month problem into a 16 month problem.

Best of luck. I hope you are back running ASAP.

John



Re: Recent PF injury, requesting help!

YokoS on 12/06/99 at 00:00 (013402)

Frank, how come you run barefoot on the beach even though you've had
heel spur for 10years!! CARELESS !!! I've injured PF last Nov (marathon) but ignored condition and continued to run until May. Stop running May-Oct (actually I couldn't run due to pain) and cancelled '99 Nov marathon. Now, 4miles x 2 @week, I can handle.
Resting, and whatever the treatment I can follow on this board, I did.
But first, Listen carefully what my foot said everyday.
I have cusion and ortho every shoes no exception.
Take care.



Re: Recent PF injury, requesting help!

Rick R on 12/07/99 at 00:00 (013437)

Frank,

As absurd as what your Podiatrist said sounds, there may be an element of truth to it. After about 9 years of a sedentary lifestyle and frustration with doctors that didn't seem to take my PF seriously, I concluded I had to make things worse before I could get surgery or whatever, to make things better. I had been taping daily wearing orthitics and running shoes when I could and Rockports when I couldn't. Despite the fact that I could hardly walk barefooted I felt fairly good when taped. I started running again to get the ball rolling. Your Podiatrist isn't the only one with a screw loose. I fully expected to cause a lot of dammage and gain nothing. Son of a gun if I didn't improve. You may notice a number of people have experienced difficulty with the 'good' foot after a period of rest for the 'bad' one. There absolutely is something to building up the strength similar to weight lifting, although suggesting a tear is good seems a bit over the edge(perhaps microscopic tearing is part of the building mechanism?). Stretching is one important component, but be careful, I caused more pain trying to stretch than running. Only after running a few months could I begin to stretch without a major setback. The rest is the proverbial double edged sword. I still believe initially rest is essential. I couldn't tell you when it's safe to start to rebuild. I think running is about the stupidest thing to do; remember I had 9 years of relative rest (which is why I have no clue when I could have started being more aggressive in my aproach). I would check out the exercises described on this site. Now for the bad news. While you rebuild the soft tissue through exercise, the strain may cause your spur to grow. Bone growth is the natural response to straining muscles and their attachments. The weight lifters do it all the time. Forensic anthropologists can determine the activity level of an individual from these attachment points on their bones long after check out time. While I was improving the soft tissue I was also cultivating a fine crop of bone growth. I had 4 years of a much improved life with the aggressive approach and then surgery on the left side 3 years ago. Now I'm able to run better than at any time since this thing first struck. I still tape and wrap, ice right after exertion as needed, heat every AM, use ibuprofin as needed, etc.. and have strict rules to live by but it beats the alternative. However, I think to tell someone to go tear it up falls somewhere between an oversimplification and malpractice. I wish you well and would be glad to help in any way I can.

Rick


Re: Recent PF injury, requesting help!

John C. on 12/07/99 at 00:00 (013443)

Frank,
I just had to respond. Your injury is very similiar to what I have gone thru. Like you, I injured my foot suddenly. Many people on this site develope PF over a long time and never quite know where it came from. Like you, I am a long time runner (25 years).

In April 1998, I injured my foot by jumping off of a downed tree that I was working on and felt the pain immediately. It wasn't bad and I went on working. The next week, I tried to go for my regular 5 mile run. I did well for 4 miles and then it felt like I had stepped on a knife in my heel. I kept trying off and on to run for 4 months. I finally realized that running had to stop. I didn't run for 12 months. I did POD, shots, orthotics, splints, massage, and everything else that I read about on this site. Finally, in July, I started back running. I am now able to run my normal 5 miles with no problems.

During that 12 months, I also did every kind of exercising that I could that did not increase my pain. I'm not sure what your POD meant about the 're-injuring' the foot to get better, but I do believe that exercising the foot to make it stronger and more flexible can be very helpful.

In short, my advice is 1. Don't run. 2. Don't rest. 3. Read Scott's main doc. Print it off and read it more than once. 4. Find out what works for you. 5. Don't overdo NSAIDs.

Like many long time runners, I was verrrrrry reluctant to give up my running. That was the dumbest thing I ever did. By continuing to run, I probably turned a 3-4 month problem into a 16 month problem.

Best of luck. I hope you are back running ASAP.

John