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Are custom orthotics/night splints worth it? How for recovery?

Posted by Beverly on 4/21/00 at 00:00 (019082)

OK, all you seasoned folks out there:
Are custom orthotics worth it? My doctor makes soft ones, not rigid. It's made out of something that starts out thick and over about two weeks of wearing it, smushes down, conforming to your foot. The nurse says they have been sucessful. I made an appointment, but it's going to take about three weeks to get them.

Also, the doctor has not mentioned night splints? Who likes them? Who doesn't like them? Did they help?

How many of you have had significant periods of pain-free remission living a fairly normal life (six months or more at a time)?

How long does it take the average person to recover? The nurse keeps assuring me that most people get over this even if it does take several months. And she keeps saying be careful so you don't tear it and endup in a 'camwalker' for two months.

Finally, I have an opportunity. I have to survive Easter weekend and then I have an entire week off. I'm planning to do as close to nothing as possible - save a couple movies and trips out to dinner. What do you think a week of 'the rest cure' could do?

Yesterday, my feet (yes both feet) hurt so badly, I practically cried from driving - pedals hurt. That is the worst it has been. What keeps happening is that I spend a couple of days off my feet. I go from total agony to mild discomfort. I get back on my feet, exercising more care than before- pacing myself. (This time all I did was clean my bathroom, work at computer a few hours, and go to the grocery store.) But by the second day of 'semi-normal' activities, I'm back in total agony. So, I'm wondering what could a week of almost total rest do?
Thanks,
Beverly
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Re: Are custom orthotics/night splints worth it? How for recovery?

dfeet on 4/21/00 at 00:00 (019087)

Hi, Beverly. Wow you sound like me. A day or two of moderate discomfort, then SLAM, agony. I have PF and TTS. Initially I had the rigid orthotics-which were suspected to have caused my TTS. Now I wear the semi-rigid-these help a little. The dreaded nightsplints!!!!!! Yes they help. Yes they are very hard for some to get used to-many sleepless nights. I ended up modifying mine with additional velcro elastic straps, and I wear them most every night now comfortably. Recovery time. Hmmm. Well,I can only state that there is good prognosis if you rest and have caught the condition early. Listen to your body. I didn't listen too well. I'm on 7 mos ,and it gets pretty frustrating at times. This board is loaded with helpful info and a lot of support from alot of very kind and caring people.
I too am taking a week's rest-The first since being afflicted. So I'm with you. I plan on doing as minimal as possible-although,with my annal retentive nature it will be very challenging to sit still! Good luck. Hope this helps.-dfeet
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Re: Are custom orthotics/night splints worth it? How for recovery?

john h on 4/21/00 at 00:00 (019090)

i am repeating myself but there are some very comfortable and light night splints available. anyone want me to post the website where you can get them just say so.
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Re: Are custom orthotics/night splints worth it? How for recovery?

Robin B. on 4/21/00 at 00:00 (019094)

Beverly, I can't speak to orthotics or night splints, but I CAN speak about relentless PF and rest.

I support rest -- but the truth is, if your pain is so intense that it has you nearly in tears, then I honestly don't think a mere week will do much for you.

It's important to realize that most of the people on this board are not your garden-variety PF sufferers. Most of us are much more hard-core cases. In my own local community, I have met some of the garden-variety types. They tell of how horrible PF was -- yet they were well over it in 2 or 3 months. Some got NSAIDs, some got injections, others got night splints and stretching exercises, physical therapy, etc.

Most folks on this board well exceed 2 or 3 months. In my case, I have just hit the two-year mark, although I am now pretty well into recovery. From my own experience in being a more chronic case, I do not believe that two or three days off your feet, or even a week off your feet, is going to give you the results you so much want. Truthfully, I have spent well over a year giving my feet rest from abuse (and even 'semi-normal' activities, as you describe them). There was shopping I didn't do. There was cleaning I didn't do. There were art shows and craft fairs and outdoor festivals and carnivals and lots of semi-normal activities I didn't do. I missed a lot, there is no doubt. But I was pretty committed to giving my feet the rest they needed. (I used to be a heavy-duty walker -- 4 or 5 miles every day, plus some charming barefoot-beach walking -- ugh!)

On several occasions I clocked the time I was actually off my feet per day. At the maximum point, it came to about 22 hours out of 24 (although not everyday -- life must go on to some extent). As you can tell, taking care of my feet pretty much took over my life. At the same time, I wear Birks, I used a bike for aerobic exercise, I take bromelain and I follow a low-carb diet -- all of which have contributed well to my recovery.

I have been on this board a long time -- since November 1998. There have not been too many people who have reported 'remission' of 6 months or so. There ARE people who had PF, recovered -- and got it again because they overdid it or didn't continue the safeguards and preventive steps they had learned.

There ARE indeed people for whom 2 or 3 months is enough. Very few people here are in that category. BUT -- at the same time, I can tell you positively that PF CAN be repaired and that recovery IS possible. I hate to say this, but I think it takes a long-term commitment to yourself, your feet, your future and your health -- and a willingness to modify and adapt your life in the short-term. Believe me -- I know it's hard to give up some things and accommodate for several months or even a year -- but it's worth it.

I can walk up to 3 miles now and I never even ice my feet anymore. I just wear Birks all the time, take bromelain, follow low carb and make sure to get some decent exercise mostly every day. Whatever you decide -- splints, orthotics, low carb, whatever -- make sure you give various rememdies enough time to work for you. Something will work -- it is often a matter of finding the right combination.
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Re: Are custom orthotics/night splints worth it? How for recovery?

Jill P on 4/21/00 at 00:00 (019117)

Hi Beverly and all! I have had PF for about a year. (It came on while I was pg, and I thought it would go away after the baby's birth, but actually has only worsened. Baby is 8 months now.) After finding out that my mom also had it, I started looking into it. I spent a lot of time here reading and learning before I went to the podiatrist. My first appt with him was yesterday. My right heel is really bad, but I have it in both feet. The podiatrist gave me some info and a sheet with the runner's calf stretch and another one on it to do. They padded my feet at the arches and taped them on to see if it helps by more evenly distributing the weight over my foot. If the padding helps, they will make orthotics.

Thankfully from reading here, I knew kind of what I was interested in trying first so when he mentioned the cortizone shots not being something to do right away, I was glad. I also knew I wanted to try a night splint from reading here. I am nursing and so his usual course of anti-inflammatory pills wasn't something either of us wanted to try. He said he doesn't usually suggest a night splint at the first appt but since I brought it up and can't do the pills, he said we could try it. They were out of what the nurse called the 'small ones' so she entered with this huge contraption which was quite intimidating! It's made by Johnson and Johnson and was actually pretty comfortable which surprised me because it is so big. It's been just one night, but I was AMAZED at how I woke up this morning. My right foot is at least 10 times worse than the left but this a.m. with my right foot splinted (he said it's hard to wear two at a time so to start with the right), it felt better getting out of bed than my left!!! After being up and on them for a while the right is way worse than the left again but it gave me hope that this will help over time. Also, I was told usually it takes 6-12 months for PF to go away. Since I have had it a year or so now and arch trouble before this for my whole life, I think that sounds very reasonable. (Great in comparision to the apparently life long and baffling pain I have in my left forearm/whole left side thing which I have learned to live and deal with.)

By the way, my mom has had PF which went away, then came back, and now is gone again after faithfully wearing the Reebok Walk DMX shoes all of the time both in and out of the house. There is hope; we just need to be patient and persistant in our recovery and treatment I think! Good to be getting to know you all from your posts! Jill P
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Re: Are custom orthotics/night splints worth it? How for recovery?

Suzie on 4/22/00 at 00:00 (019139)

John, can you give those web-sites?
Thanks
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Re: Are custom orthotics/night splints worth it? How for recovery?

Bob G. on 4/22/00 at 00:00 (019140)

Hi, Berverly, hope you are doing better.

I can relate to your post and am stating here what has worked for me. It took me 10 months of rest to get rid of the pain; all the while I was wearing the nightsplint (not as faithfully as I should have) and pampering my feet.

I agree to no stretching until the pain lessens or goes away.

I am now running, dancing and living life to its fullest - still wearing the night splint faithfully until a higher authority tells me otherwise.
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Re: Are custom orthotics/night splints worth it? How for recovery?

dfeet on 4/21/00 at 00:00 (019087)

Hi, Beverly. Wow you sound like me. A day or two of moderate discomfort, then SLAM, agony. I have PF and TTS. Initially I had the rigid orthotics-which were suspected to have caused my TTS. Now I wear the semi-rigid-these help a little. The dreaded nightsplints!!!!!! Yes they help. Yes they are very hard for some to get used to-many sleepless nights. I ended up modifying mine with additional velcro elastic straps, and I wear them most every night now comfortably. Recovery time. Hmmm. Well,I can only state that there is good prognosis if you rest and have caught the condition early. Listen to your body. I didn't listen too well. I'm on 7 mos ,and it gets pretty frustrating at times. This board is loaded with helpful info and a lot of support from alot of very kind and caring people.
I too am taking a week's rest-The first since being afflicted. So I'm with you. I plan on doing as minimal as possible-although,with my annal retentive nature it will be very challenging to sit still! Good luck. Hope this helps.-dfeet
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Re: Are custom orthotics/night splints worth it? How for recovery?

john h on 4/21/00 at 00:00 (019090)

i am repeating myself but there are some very comfortable and light night splints available. anyone want me to post the website where you can get them just say so.
Vote for or against this post to be in 'The best of heelspurs.com.' vote=-1
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Re: Are custom orthotics/night splints worth it? How for recovery?

Robin B. on 4/21/00 at 00:00 (019094)

Beverly, I can't speak to orthotics or night splints, but I CAN speak about relentless PF and rest.

I support rest -- but the truth is, if your pain is so intense that it has you nearly in tears, then I honestly don't think a mere week will do much for you.

It's important to realize that most of the people on this board are not your garden-variety PF sufferers. Most of us are much more hard-core cases. In my own local community, I have met some of the garden-variety types. They tell of how horrible PF was -- yet they were well over it in 2 or 3 months. Some got NSAIDs, some got injections, others got night splints and stretching exercises, physical therapy, etc.

Most folks on this board well exceed 2 or 3 months. In my case, I have just hit the two-year mark, although I am now pretty well into recovery. From my own experience in being a more chronic case, I do not believe that two or three days off your feet, or even a week off your feet, is going to give you the results you so much want. Truthfully, I have spent well over a year giving my feet rest from abuse (and even 'semi-normal' activities, as you describe them). There was shopping I didn't do. There was cleaning I didn't do. There were art shows and craft fairs and outdoor festivals and carnivals and lots of semi-normal activities I didn't do. I missed a lot, there is no doubt. But I was pretty committed to giving my feet the rest they needed. (I used to be a heavy-duty walker -- 4 or 5 miles every day, plus some charming barefoot-beach walking -- ugh!)

On several occasions I clocked the time I was actually off my feet per day. At the maximum point, it came to about 22 hours out of 24 (although not everyday -- life must go on to some extent). As you can tell, taking care of my feet pretty much took over my life. At the same time, I wear Birks, I used a bike for aerobic exercise, I take bromelain and I follow a low-carb diet -- all of which have contributed well to my recovery.

I have been on this board a long time -- since November 1998. There have not been too many people who have reported 'remission' of 6 months or so. There ARE people who had PF, recovered -- and got it again because they overdid it or didn't continue the safeguards and preventive steps they had learned.

There ARE indeed people for whom 2 or 3 months is enough. Very few people here are in that category. BUT -- at the same time, I can tell you positively that PF CAN be repaired and that recovery IS possible. I hate to say this, but I think it takes a long-term commitment to yourself, your feet, your future and your health -- and a willingness to modify and adapt your life in the short-term. Believe me -- I know it's hard to give up some things and accommodate for several months or even a year -- but it's worth it.

I can walk up to 3 miles now and I never even ice my feet anymore. I just wear Birks all the time, take bromelain, follow low carb and make sure to get some decent exercise mostly every day. Whatever you decide -- splints, orthotics, low carb, whatever -- make sure you give various rememdies enough time to work for you. Something will work -- it is often a matter of finding the right combination.
Vote for or against this post. vote=4
Voter identities: aol.com solar.sky.net uu.net
aol.com


Re: Are custom orthotics/night splints worth it? How for recovery?

Jill P on 4/21/00 at 00:00 (019117)

Hi Beverly and all! I have had PF for about a year. (It came on while I was pg, and I thought it would go away after the baby's birth, but actually has only worsened. Baby is 8 months now.) After finding out that my mom also had it, I started looking into it. I spent a lot of time here reading and learning before I went to the podiatrist. My first appt with him was yesterday. My right heel is really bad, but I have it in both feet. The podiatrist gave me some info and a sheet with the runner's calf stretch and another one on it to do. They padded my feet at the arches and taped them on to see if it helps by more evenly distributing the weight over my foot. If the padding helps, they will make orthotics.

Thankfully from reading here, I knew kind of what I was interested in trying first so when he mentioned the cortizone shots not being something to do right away, I was glad. I also knew I wanted to try a night splint from reading here. I am nursing and so his usual course of anti-inflammatory pills wasn't something either of us wanted to try. He said he doesn't usually suggest a night splint at the first appt but since I brought it up and can't do the pills, he said we could try it. They were out of what the nurse called the 'small ones' so she entered with this huge contraption which was quite intimidating! It's made by Johnson and Johnson and was actually pretty comfortable which surprised me because it is so big. It's been just one night, but I was AMAZED at how I woke up this morning. My right foot is at least 10 times worse than the left but this a.m. with my right foot splinted (he said it's hard to wear two at a time so to start with the right), it felt better getting out of bed than my left!!! After being up and on them for a while the right is way worse than the left again but it gave me hope that this will help over time. Also, I was told usually it takes 6-12 months for PF to go away. Since I have had it a year or so now and arch trouble before this for my whole life, I think that sounds very reasonable. (Great in comparision to the apparently life long and baffling pain I have in my left forearm/whole left side thing which I have learned to live and deal with.)

By the way, my mom has had PF which went away, then came back, and now is gone again after faithfully wearing the Reebok Walk DMX shoes all of the time both in and out of the house. There is hope; we just need to be patient and persistant in our recovery and treatment I think! Good to be getting to know you all from your posts! Jill P
Vote for or against this post. vote=1
Voter identities: solar.sky.net


Re: Are custom orthotics/night splints worth it? How for recovery?

Suzie on 4/22/00 at 00:00 (019139)

John, can you give those web-sites?
Thanks
Vote for or against this post. vote=0

Re: Are custom orthotics/night splints worth it? How for recovery?

Bob G. on 4/22/00 at 00:00 (019140)

Hi, Berverly, hope you are doing better.

I can relate to your post and am stating here what has worked for me. It took me 10 months of rest to get rid of the pain; all the while I was wearing the nightsplint (not as faithfully as I should have) and pampering my feet.

I agree to no stretching until the pain lessens or goes away.

I am now running, dancing and living life to its fullest - still wearing the night splint faithfully until a higher authority tells me otherwise.
Vote for or against this post. vote=0