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PF/heel pain

Posted by pamstorklady on 1/18/00 at 00:00 (014866)

I was diagnosed with PF in May of 99. Ihave had some relief from orthodics but only have 1 pair of shoes that I can use them in.I was doing alot better until recently and it has really flared up. I think I have spurs because the pain in the middle of the bottom of my heel is horrible. It feels like a very deep bruise and I can barely walk. I also find that my feet ache more,just literally throb and ache! What is going on? Are there more vitamins I should be taking? What is with calcium citrate,will that help? Any suggestions?

Re: PF/heel pain

VLJ on 1/18/00 at 00:00 (014867)

Hi Pam, Have your read 'The PF Book' yet? You can click on the link at the top of the Message Board and go directly to Scott's treatise on the subject of PF. You will find lots of info there regarding supplements that can help, etc. Also, if you check out past postings on the message board you will find that there is a contingency that believe diet has a big impact. And, for very valuable and encouraging words, check out postings made by RobinB. She has given lengthy descriptions on what she has done that have given her a significant measure of relief.

Did your dr teach you how to stretch? I have found that the stretches I learned from Scott's book and my orthotics to be the best 'treatment'. But unfortunately, PF seems to never 'go away'...flare ups are not uncommon. Most importantly, don't let it get you down! Educate yourself with Scott's book and the postings here. It really does seem with PF that the patient has to listen extremely well to his/her own body to determine the best treatment.

Good Luck!


Re: PF/heel pain

dang dave on 1/18/00 at 00:00 (014868)

If you can afford it, See a doctor. First, probably a general practitioner then, probably a orthopeadic doctor who is specializing in foot dysfunctions. If you can't afford it as many of us can't (me too, expect to pay at least 300 or 400 dollars just for diagnosis and minimal care, if not insured...) read the remedies here on this web site. It's pretty well recognized as an authority.

But I am overcoming this heel pain thing (classic plantar fasciitis) by doing several things:

1. Rest your feet, let them heal. Get adequate night time sleep esp. Tears in the fascia are probably causing the inflammation, thus the pain. If you can't take a couple of weeks off of work (if standing is causing the pain...) then baby your feet with Self massages, (deep knuckle 'em every morning), Stretching the calve muscles (for some reason the calves and lower leg tendons are probably tight and causes much of the pf In my experience and from reading here..), alternatively ice and hot water bathing of feet works wonders after the day on the feet. (get some ice frozen in a bucket of water and conversely bath one at a time 'til it hurts and then put 'em in very warm water.... for some reason that took the pain away for me...)

some anti-inflammatories will give shortterm relief ... but not much. aspirin's probably as good as ibuprofen, and the other off the shelfs didn't do a damn for me.

If you go to the doctor, ask about a cortisone shot. That worked for me marvelously despite what others have said here. But only once in a year should it be used per foot probably as it is said that the cortisone may damage the fatty tissue that cushions the bottom of the feet if used too much. Pain was relieved almost instantly as cortisone is a mild anti inflammatory... but it'll cost an extra 70 or 80 bucks just for the shot... ime.(in my experience)

2. Conversely even while 'resting' your feet from stress, You Most exercise 'em too. Stretch the lower legs every morning and the feet too. (see mild calve stretches on this website somewhere..) massage 'em everymorning. HOld mild stretches of calves (whatever way you can feel it..without pain.) for at least a minute per leg. Then put on sandals to walk around house before putting shoes on. Then gradually build up healthy exercises for the feet as they heal. I've found just standing on the edge of the stairs by my toes and raising and lowering my heels over the edge about 30 to 50 times a day (only if it doesn't hurt) has worked wonders for me. ) The point is that the calve muscles have to be strenghened to take off work from the bottoms of your feet. Also stretch the calve muscles after doing heal lifts (best time to stretch a muscle is when it is warmed up!!)

Then as the pain goes away, get back in shape. Walk regularly I mean regularly every other day or every day... not just weekends (as I did and learned I was hurting more than helping my feet. Now I do two or three miles a day running and walking!! Many athletes get plantar fasciitis, but they get good help and advice and overcome it by training and caring for the feet that the rest of us take for granted.

3. Shoes, boots!! Probably more important than spending dollars at a doctor's office is getting a Good shoe or boot to wear!! Sorry, delicate lady's wear maynot be appropriate. In my experience a good trail running shoe or a mountaineering light approach shoe is the best. A good fit and not too tight (imo, a little oversized is better than tight!!) Lowa and or Merrell boots and shoes are my favorites. (catelogue is on the web under Lowa boots or Merrellboots...) Some people swear by Air Nikes (but i don't support that business...) Between 70 and 150 dollars is the price range. Alternatively, try Birkenstock sandals, they look good enough and some could make it to the office. I don't think many offices are still requireing high heels or 'pumps' are they??
Even IBM lets people wear sports shoes to work now.

4. Inserts!! probably neither last nor least in importance: I like my Superfeet custom Kork insole. Custom fitted at a ski shop it is meant for skiiers who have to deal with multiple G forces on their feet. They work beautifully for me. Costs about 95 dollars. Superfeet makes an off the shelf insole that's almost as good for about 30 dollars (at outing supply stores or mountaineering shops...) . (search for Superfeet on the web...) I think the custom ones are as good as the orthotic inserts and half the price for the custom fitted ones.

5. Splints as described in the web site have a high degree of success for plantar fasciitis. anything that'll give a mild stretch to the calve and feet while sleeping seems good. I couldn't afford the splints and don't want to wear big things in bed so I've developed a mild stretching wrap for the feet and lower legs that seems to do a little help...(splints need about 6 weeks of use to work...) (my method is a little hard to describe ... i could send e photos from my e mail address; davepell@together.net)


5. and the most likely cause of much Plantar fasciitis: Overweight. Sorry I can't help you there. I've maybe lost 2 pounds in the last 3 monthes. Not All Pf sufferers are overweight even if most Americans are. I know some skinny ones.... but they aren't as skinny as they once were.... (also pf afflicts middle aged people more than the young it seems..)

http://www.nytimes.com/yr/mo/day/news/world/un-food-report.html

For another web site that has great advice for plantar fasciitis, try http://www.runnersworld.com/

click on injury prevention for a note on plantar fasciitic. probably the pithiest short description of solution out there.

Good luck. And it ain't right to feel pain in the feet. And it isn't natural, so keep at getting 'em in shape.


PS. the heel spurs are a natural response to stress on the feet. They can be lived with. I suspect most of the population has some form of boney putubrance called heel spurs but don't know it. The inflammation due to tearing of the fascia muscle tissue is the cause of the pain. Reduce the stress and inflammation will go away. The necessary fatty pad at the bottom of the heel should protect the heal and even the non stressed heel spur. Don't worry about the bone so much.. unless a doctor sees something other than PF. Avoid surgical solutions until at least a year of other methods have been tried and found wanting. Get recommended and respected medical advice if you can afford it.


Re: PF/heel pain

john a on 1/18/00 at 00:00 (014873)

Excellent summary of just about everything! Thanks, 'dang' dave!

Re: PF/heel pain

VLJ on 1/18/00 at 00:00 (014867)

Hi Pam, Have your read 'The PF Book' yet? You can click on the link at the top of the Message Board and go directly to Scott's treatise on the subject of PF. You will find lots of info there regarding supplements that can help, etc. Also, if you check out past postings on the message board you will find that there is a contingency that believe diet has a big impact. And, for very valuable and encouraging words, check out postings made by RobinB. She has given lengthy descriptions on what she has done that have given her a significant measure of relief.

Did your dr teach you how to stretch? I have found that the stretches I learned from Scott's book and my orthotics to be the best 'treatment'. But unfortunately, PF seems to never 'go away'...flare ups are not uncommon. Most importantly, don't let it get you down! Educate yourself with Scott's book and the postings here. It really does seem with PF that the patient has to listen extremely well to his/her own body to determine the best treatment.

Good Luck!


Re: PF/heel pain

dang dave on 1/18/00 at 00:00 (014868)

If you can afford it, See a doctor. First, probably a general practitioner then, probably a orthopeadic doctor who is specializing in foot dysfunctions. If you can't afford it as many of us can't (me too, expect to pay at least 300 or 400 dollars just for diagnosis and minimal care, if not insured...) read the remedies here on this web site. It's pretty well recognized as an authority.

But I am overcoming this heel pain thing (classic plantar fasciitis) by doing several things:

1. Rest your feet, let them heal. Get adequate night time sleep esp. Tears in the fascia are probably causing the inflammation, thus the pain. If you can't take a couple of weeks off of work (if standing is causing the pain...) then baby your feet with Self massages, (deep knuckle 'em every morning), Stretching the calve muscles (for some reason the calves and lower leg tendons are probably tight and causes much of the pf In my experience and from reading here..), alternatively ice and hot water bathing of feet works wonders after the day on the feet. (get some ice frozen in a bucket of water and conversely bath one at a time 'til it hurts and then put 'em in very warm water.... for some reason that took the pain away for me...)

some anti-inflammatories will give shortterm relief ... but not much. aspirin's probably as good as ibuprofen, and the other off the shelfs didn't do a damn for me.

If you go to the doctor, ask about a cortisone shot. That worked for me marvelously despite what others have said here. But only once in a year should it be used per foot probably as it is said that the cortisone may damage the fatty tissue that cushions the bottom of the feet if used too much. Pain was relieved almost instantly as cortisone is a mild anti inflammatory... but it'll cost an extra 70 or 80 bucks just for the shot... ime.(in my experience)

2. Conversely even while 'resting' your feet from stress, You Most exercise 'em too. Stretch the lower legs every morning and the feet too. (see mild calve stretches on this website somewhere..) massage 'em everymorning. HOld mild stretches of calves (whatever way you can feel it..without pain.) for at least a minute per leg. Then put on sandals to walk around house before putting shoes on. Then gradually build up healthy exercises for the feet as they heal. I've found just standing on the edge of the stairs by my toes and raising and lowering my heels over the edge about 30 to 50 times a day (only if it doesn't hurt) has worked wonders for me. ) The point is that the calve muscles have to be strenghened to take off work from the bottoms of your feet. Also stretch the calve muscles after doing heal lifts (best time to stretch a muscle is when it is warmed up!!)

Then as the pain goes away, get back in shape. Walk regularly I mean regularly every other day or every day... not just weekends (as I did and learned I was hurting more than helping my feet. Now I do two or three miles a day running and walking!! Many athletes get plantar fasciitis, but they get good help and advice and overcome it by training and caring for the feet that the rest of us take for granted.

3. Shoes, boots!! Probably more important than spending dollars at a doctor's office is getting a Good shoe or boot to wear!! Sorry, delicate lady's wear maynot be appropriate. In my experience a good trail running shoe or a mountaineering light approach shoe is the best. A good fit and not too tight (imo, a little oversized is better than tight!!) Lowa and or Merrell boots and shoes are my favorites. (catelogue is on the web under Lowa boots or Merrellboots...) Some people swear by Air Nikes (but i don't support that business...) Between 70 and 150 dollars is the price range. Alternatively, try Birkenstock sandals, they look good enough and some could make it to the office. I don't think many offices are still requireing high heels or 'pumps' are they??
Even IBM lets people wear sports shoes to work now.

4. Inserts!! probably neither last nor least in importance: I like my Superfeet custom Kork insole. Custom fitted at a ski shop it is meant for skiiers who have to deal with multiple G forces on their feet. They work beautifully for me. Costs about 95 dollars. Superfeet makes an off the shelf insole that's almost as good for about 30 dollars (at outing supply stores or mountaineering shops...) . (search for Superfeet on the web...) I think the custom ones are as good as the orthotic inserts and half the price for the custom fitted ones.

5. Splints as described in the web site have a high degree of success for plantar fasciitis. anything that'll give a mild stretch to the calve and feet while sleeping seems good. I couldn't afford the splints and don't want to wear big things in bed so I've developed a mild stretching wrap for the feet and lower legs that seems to do a little help...(splints need about 6 weeks of use to work...) (my method is a little hard to describe ... i could send e photos from my e mail address; davepell@together.net)


5. and the most likely cause of much Plantar fasciitis: Overweight. Sorry I can't help you there. I've maybe lost 2 pounds in the last 3 monthes. Not All Pf sufferers are overweight even if most Americans are. I know some skinny ones.... but they aren't as skinny as they once were.... (also pf afflicts middle aged people more than the young it seems..)

http://www.nytimes.com/yr/mo/day/news/world/un-food-report.html

For another web site that has great advice for plantar fasciitis, try http://www.runnersworld.com/

click on injury prevention for a note on plantar fasciitic. probably the pithiest short description of solution out there.

Good luck. And it ain't right to feel pain in the feet. And it isn't natural, so keep at getting 'em in shape.


PS. the heel spurs are a natural response to stress on the feet. They can be lived with. I suspect most of the population has some form of boney putubrance called heel spurs but don't know it. The inflammation due to tearing of the fascia muscle tissue is the cause of the pain. Reduce the stress and inflammation will go away. The necessary fatty pad at the bottom of the heel should protect the heal and even the non stressed heel spur. Don't worry about the bone so much.. unless a doctor sees something other than PF. Avoid surgical solutions until at least a year of other methods have been tried and found wanting. Get recommended and respected medical advice if you can afford it.


Re: PF/heel pain

john a on 1/18/00 at 00:00 (014873)

Excellent summary of just about everything! Thanks, 'dang' dave!