Home The Book Dr Articles Products Message Boards Journal Articles Search Our Surveys Surgery ESWT Dr Messages Find Good Drs video

Hi, I am having some progress with PF at last. cortesone worked with good flexible shoes and exercise and my unique wrapping of feet.

Posted by dang. dave (aka dangerousdave) on 1/04/00 at 00:00 (014356)

Now first the bad news: I finally went to the doctor and could only get a nurse practioner and still I was robbed. I've learned more from the web. But at least my own diagnosis was varified by the overly expensive X rays.

Like many PF sufferers I don't have insurance and my old policy wouldn't have covered it anyway (high deductible)

I was billed 238 dollars for 15 minutes of this clinic's time... but I insisted upon the only benefit that I got there ... and that was a cortisone shot in the left heal that was unbearable a couple of weeks ago and is now much better (with the precautions advised by the nurse). I know that many people say cortisone's not a good idea but I am here to vouch for it.. with precautions. (do not stress injured area for 3 days approx. after shot... and effects will wear off in a couple of weeks... but by then relaxation of the swelling will alow other conservative options to take effect. )

Now the good News:


By the time I am finished paying for the unexpectedly high bill above (for me almost a week's wages!! ) I couldn't afford the two other recommended conservative curatives: a orthotic insert and the foot and ankle splints... ) I had already purchased an expensive insert and saw that the orthotic offered by the orthopedic's office wasn't any better than my molded cork and injected Smartfeet... so I passed on that major expense... and now I see that the common plastic splint is probably no better than the neat trick that I've developed with a couple of elastic sprain bandages.

any one who wants to have an example of it I could email them a pic. via my email address: (email removed)

(within reason...) I describe it at the end of this note...

this wrapping is working and bringing me pleasure in my feet.... the stretching of feet at night is a benefit.

I also add that there is another factor I feel that everyone is ignoring and that is Strengthening the feet through exercise... when pain isn't present....

after I awake in the morning I take off my wraps of my feet... (very similar to the sock with a stretching device as seen here at heelspurs.com) ... I then do some stretchs of my feet and calves (as in the Stretching book by .. someone named Anderson..) then massage agressively the bottoms of my feet... then step into my Birkenstock sandals and walk around a bit getting breakfast, checking email etc/

Then I do something that many perhaps ignore too much: I do an exercise for my calf muscle and that is doing about 40 Lifts and Lowerings of my heels hanging over a step supported by my toes and balls of my feet. I am certain that part of the problem of Pf sufferers is that we've maybe let our feet do too much 'passive' work by not having stronger calves.. (esp. anyone who spends too much time at a computer like me...) this strengthening of my calves seems to be helping as I can also get a good stretch of them after my 30 to 40 reps of the heel lifts...

Also I have spent nearly a thousand dollars on boots and shoes in the last two years... and have to say the best so far have been hiking and walking shoes by Lowa.. which unlike other hiking shoes do not have a stiff sole insert... that I've found to be causing much of my pain in some of my other top name boots and shoes. Merrells also make a good boot and shoe too... but almost too flexible.

when shopping for shoes test the bend of the front sole... an Even consistent responsive bend from tip of front to almost 2 fifths back (but not half in the middle) is important.... too much bend in the middle can wreck havoc on the foot... but no bending at all can be worse as some sort of hard plastic foot bed can accentuate heel pain. I have some real nice boots and trail shoes by addidas, raichle, and garmont... but they are too stiff and are just sitting around while my Lowas are my main shoe for now.... (but I wish they had Vibram soles which are the best for us hikers.)

and yes? That foot wrap I was telling about. I'll try to explain it:

First those off the shelf 'ace' type stretch athletic bandages (the 2 to 3 inch width) : I curl my toes up stretching the bottoms of foot cocking the foot up at an sharper than normal angle in relation to the ankle (as comfortably steep as possible). Then put end of tape under big toe and bring wrap back behind ankle (up about 8 inches fron heel) and wind it around back of achilles tendon back to under toes and back and forth until about only a foot of tape is left (experiment with tensions that are comfortable... while shooting for the most tension ... that is comfortable...) as this wrap loosens through the night and isn't but gentle even though it looks radical. I then wrap remander of tape under my arch and then over the foot thus holding the tape suspended above top of foot down to the foot... and tieing by merely tucking the tape in and out with the first underfoot length.... this puts a gentle stretch on my calf tendon and my toes and thus my plantar fascia.... Also wear socks before doing this as the tape seems to stay on through the night easier although I've done it barefoot. Also socks may allow better blood flow. Rarely does the tape bind and cause pain... if toes feel pinched just reach down and make adjustment and after only 2 weeks I am feeling relief in both feet (I only had a cortisone shot in one foot... )

also iceing feet after work and alternating with warm water helps too....

I did two hikes over a couple of miles each this weekend and my feet haven't felt this good in 6 monthes (when this latest episode of pf started... although now I know I've had it for most of my life!!)


Re: Hi, I am having some progress with PF at last. cortesone worked with good flexible shoes and exercise and my unique wrapping of feet.

alan k on 1/04/00 at 00:00 (014361)

Thanks so much for your inventive input. Sounds like you are on a great path and I am very happy for you, and jealous.

You didn't mention birkenstocks, which are a sight cheaper than orthotics. You can get $40 birks from germany, as opposed to the $400 I spent on orthotics which made my feet worse. Birks are the only definite thing that has helped me.

Your foot night wrap looks interesting. I'll try to puzzle my way through it. I tried to make my own once and failed. One caution: be very CAREFUL about overstretching the big toe. If most of the pull is coming from pulling back the big toe, this could be a problem in the long term, and easy to miss. I hurt this spot using the footflex, but luckily I found posts on the board about this big toe problem and was not confused, as other people were, that the soreness on the ball of my foot under the big toe was 'just my pf.' So do be careful with that. It's too early in the morning for me to read your wrapping instructions carefully enough to tell if the bend is coming only from pulling on the end of the feet, or also from the arch (the latter of which would be good). Pulling only on the toes as in the Strassburg sock could lead to this over stretching like in the footflex.

Thanks for mentioning the Anderson stretching book. I have it but I completely forgot about it this whole painful time.

Your foot strengthening exersizes sound like they are working for you. Be gentle, and write back again about how you are doing with them. Also, there are some other exersizes you should do also, to balance the muscle formation: 1) toe curls where you snatch a towel and pull it closer to you with your heels on the floor, and 2) writing the alphabet on the floor or in the air with your feet, and 3) sitting with legs out straight, point toes together, and make arched soles face eachothe as much as possible, which may cramp at which time you flex your feet for relief (and repeat).

It is important in exersize to do many different kinds to stress opposing muscles, thus avoiding imbalance. Your stair exersize is a lot like the use of pilates performer which some people have been healed by.

good luck, and let me know how the exersize goes....

alan k


Re: Hi, I am having some progress with PF at last. cortesone worked with good flexible shoes and exercise and my unique wrapping of feet.

alan k on 1/04/00 at 00:00 (014361)

Thanks so much for your inventive input. Sounds like you are on a great path and I am very happy for you, and jealous.

You didn't mention birkenstocks, which are a sight cheaper than orthotics. You can get $40 birks from germany, as opposed to the $400 I spent on orthotics which made my feet worse. Birks are the only definite thing that has helped me.

Your foot night wrap looks interesting. I'll try to puzzle my way through it. I tried to make my own once and failed. One caution: be very CAREFUL about overstretching the big toe. If most of the pull is coming from pulling back the big toe, this could be a problem in the long term, and easy to miss. I hurt this spot using the footflex, but luckily I found posts on the board about this big toe problem and was not confused, as other people were, that the soreness on the ball of my foot under the big toe was 'just my pf.' So do be careful with that. It's too early in the morning for me to read your wrapping instructions carefully enough to tell if the bend is coming only from pulling on the end of the feet, or also from the arch (the latter of which would be good). Pulling only on the toes as in the Strassburg sock could lead to this over stretching like in the footflex.

Thanks for mentioning the Anderson stretching book. I have it but I completely forgot about it this whole painful time.

Your foot strengthening exersizes sound like they are working for you. Be gentle, and write back again about how you are doing with them. Also, there are some other exersizes you should do also, to balance the muscle formation: 1) toe curls where you snatch a towel and pull it closer to you with your heels on the floor, and 2) writing the alphabet on the floor or in the air with your feet, and 3) sitting with legs out straight, point toes together, and make arched soles face eachothe as much as possible, which may cramp at which time you flex your feet for relief (and repeat).

It is important in exersize to do many different kinds to stress opposing muscles, thus avoiding imbalance. Your stair exersize is a lot like the use of pilates performer which some people have been healed by.

good luck, and let me know how the exersize goes....

alan k