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Look, Ma . . . no orthotics!

Posted by Nancy S. on 5/01/00 at 22:34 (019749)

Ok, it's only been a day and a half. And I swore to myself that I wouldn't post anything about this for a week. But I can't resist.
I took the BioSoles out of my hiking boots yesterday afternoon and have worn the boots stark naked (I mean the boots are naked, not me!) ever since, including today when I was working, on my feet, for a total of about 4 hours (with some rests). At no time did my feet hurt, ache, or give me trouble in any way, and they aren't doing so now either.
I never wore the boots without orthotics, since I got them about 4 months into PF. They actually have the right slope to them (my heels are about 1 or 1.5 inches higher than my toes), and they have some arch support. The arch support is less than any of my orthotics, but it's definitely there -- and so far it feels pretty darned good.
I wonder if I've spent about $800 on orthotics, inserts, heel lifts, heel cushions, etc., while all along I had this pair of good-for-PF boots that I bought brand-new for $2 at a yard sale! But I do mean I just 'wonder,' so far.
On another note, John H, I absolutely loved your spa idea and got about a five-minute laugh out of it, so thanks a lot. On the other hand, Alan, I'm afraid your idea was, well, on the hellish side. But you know this already! You didn't post about it before John and invite us. You are a wise man.
--Nancy

Re: Look, Ma . . . no hands!

Bob G. on 5/02/00 at 00:14 (019759)

Nancy, that's great! We admire the way you keep experimenting and trying different approaches and keeping so well informed. You have helped many many on this Board with your suggestions and encouragement. Thanks!

Re: Look, Ma . . . no hands!

john h on 5/02/00 at 09:25 (019764)

i have received 5 answers from manufactures of orthotics who i e-mailed last week. my questions were basically which is best for an individual with PF and a normal arch. I forwarded some of the responses to scott. some of the answers directly contridict each other. amazing!!! we really have the same situation when it comes to stretching. for every suggestion there is someone out there who says that the suggestion is wrong.

Re: I'm trying the same thing....

Charlene on 5/02/00 at 09:40 (019765)

My feet are so much better,as long as I take care to slowly allow them to stretch out upon getting up. ( I don't really have pain any more, just occasional stiffness.) I can walk all day without pain....finally. It has taken me 2 1/2 to 3 years to get to this point, so I am being VERY cautious. I needed new sneakers, and purchased some Easy Spirits. I decided to SLOWLY ween myself off the arch supports I've been wearing. Like your hiking boots, my new sneakers have arch support, but not as much as I'm accustomed to with my Dr. Scholl's inserts. But, I can feel it, just not as much. So, I'm slowly breaking in wearing the new shoes without added support. After all, my inserts don't fit in all types of shoes.



Re: Look, Ma . . . no orthotics!

ChrisO on 5/02/00 at 13:55 (019777)

Well Nancy, you may at least go down in PF folklore as the person most willing to be the guinea pig for 100 fellow sufferers! Your pain-free time sans orthotics is astounding and you sure have my vote of confidence. Now, DON'T over-do it! (That's me, your substitute Mom, again....)

Re: Look, Ma . . . no orthotics!

Nancy S. on 5/02/00 at 14:29 (019779)

Hi Chris, yes, I am being very careful not to overdo it. I am mostly resting today, even though I'm on day 3 sans orthotics and am feeling next to no pain. Hope I'm not jinxing myself saying this. . . .
Of all my orthotics, I would still rate the BioSoles the best. But they were not painless, after a few hours. That is why I decided to try no extra anything.
I don't think I would recommend this for anyone in an acute PF phase. Don't think I could be doing it if I hadn't found this board first and started healing. I would say the top three things that got me to a low enough pain level to try this were: Birks, rest, and rest.
I can't help feeling excited. Usually when I have tried orthotics and otc inserts and all that stuff, by day 3 I knew it was not paradise found. Ok, I have to go now and knock on every piece of wood in the house. See ya
--Nancy

Re: Look, Ma . . . no orthotics!

John C on 5/03/00 at 07:27 (019800)

Nancy,

I am a recovered PF'er. Had it for 16 months. During the worst of my pain, I planned a vacation to the Teton National Park. While there, I took a 16 mile hike for the second time in my life. I loved this hike so much, I was willing to take whatever pain came my way. My hiking boots are Merrill's. I used a Dr. Scholl soft insert. During the hike I had some pain and took Advil.

To my great suprise, my PF pain went away for 1 week! It was unbelievable. At the time, I had no explanation for how this occured. I began to realize that, for me, a very stiff shoe was very helpful. I also began to realize that a soft drug store insert worked better for me than a $200 custom orthotic.

Best of luck in you search.

John C


Re: Look, Ma . . . no orthotics!

Nancy S. on 5/03/00 at 07:41 (019801)

Hi John C,
Thanks for the testimonial. I think the stiffness must be one reason that Birks work also.
Did you continue to wear those hiking boots into your recovery? And by soft inserts, do you mean a thin cushion of an insert that has no arch support but rather conforms to whatever arch support is in the boot?
--Nancy

Re: Look, Ma . . . no orthotics!

John C on 5/03/00 at 11:18 (019814)

Nancy,

I did wear them a good bit of the time. I also bought me a new pair of Rockport Pro Walkers. They are sort of a casual dress shoe. They are not as stiff as the hiking boots, but quit a bit stiffer than most shoes.

The inserts I was wearing did have an arch support. They are Dr. Scholl's with Arch Support. Not much of a support, just a slight rise in the arch. My feet are about midway between flat and normal. I still wear these now. They are in my everyday shoes and all of my casual shoes. They are also in my running shoes. I still try to be careful.

I know everyone's different. Good luck.

John C


Re: I'm trying the same thing.... To Charlene

Nancy S. on 5/04/00 at 16:49 (019860)

Hi Charlene. How is it going, the weaning yourself away from extra arch supports? I had a great four days, and day 5 (today) is not so great. But still less pain than before. I'm hoping to wake up tomorrow and find that this fifth day was the fluke, not the four days. I know better than to make any predictions, though. When you say you are doing it slowly, do you mean that sometimes you do wear supports and only sometimes not? --Nancy S.

Re: Look, Ma . . . no hands!

Bob G. on 5/02/00 at 00:14 (019759)

Nancy, that's great! We admire the way you keep experimenting and trying different approaches and keeping so well informed. You have helped many many on this Board with your suggestions and encouragement. Thanks!

Re: Look, Ma . . . no hands!

john h on 5/02/00 at 09:25 (019764)

i have received 5 answers from manufactures of orthotics who i e-mailed last week. my questions were basically which is best for an individual with PF and a normal arch. I forwarded some of the responses to scott. some of the answers directly contridict each other. amazing!!! we really have the same situation when it comes to stretching. for every suggestion there is someone out there who says that the suggestion is wrong.

Re: I'm trying the same thing....

Charlene on 5/02/00 at 09:40 (019765)

My feet are so much better,as long as I take care to slowly allow them to stretch out upon getting up. ( I don't really have pain any more, just occasional stiffness.) I can walk all day without pain....finally. It has taken me 2 1/2 to 3 years to get to this point, so I am being VERY cautious. I needed new sneakers, and purchased some Easy Spirits. I decided to SLOWLY ween myself off the arch supports I've been wearing. Like your hiking boots, my new sneakers have arch support, but not as much as I'm accustomed to with my Dr. Scholl's inserts. But, I can feel it, just not as much. So, I'm slowly breaking in wearing the new shoes without added support. After all, my inserts don't fit in all types of shoes.



Re: Look, Ma . . . no orthotics!

ChrisO on 5/02/00 at 13:55 (019777)

Well Nancy, you may at least go down in PF folklore as the person most willing to be the guinea pig for 100 fellow sufferers! Your pain-free time sans orthotics is astounding and you sure have my vote of confidence. Now, DON'T over-do it! (That's me, your substitute Mom, again....)

Re: Look, Ma . . . no orthotics!

Nancy S. on 5/02/00 at 14:29 (019779)

Hi Chris, yes, I am being very careful not to overdo it. I am mostly resting today, even though I'm on day 3 sans orthotics and am feeling next to no pain. Hope I'm not jinxing myself saying this. . . .
Of all my orthotics, I would still rate the BioSoles the best. But they were not painless, after a few hours. That is why I decided to try no extra anything.
I don't think I would recommend this for anyone in an acute PF phase. Don't think I could be doing it if I hadn't found this board first and started healing. I would say the top three things that got me to a low enough pain level to try this were: Birks, rest, and rest.
I can't help feeling excited. Usually when I have tried orthotics and otc inserts and all that stuff, by day 3 I knew it was not paradise found. Ok, I have to go now and knock on every piece of wood in the house. See ya
--Nancy

Re: Look, Ma . . . no orthotics!

John C on 5/03/00 at 07:27 (019800)

Nancy,

I am a recovered PF'er. Had it for 16 months. During the worst of my pain, I planned a vacation to the Teton National Park. While there, I took a 16 mile hike for the second time in my life. I loved this hike so much, I was willing to take whatever pain came my way. My hiking boots are Merrill's. I used a Dr. Scholl soft insert. During the hike I had some pain and took Advil.

To my great suprise, my PF pain went away for 1 week! It was unbelievable. At the time, I had no explanation for how this occured. I began to realize that, for me, a very stiff shoe was very helpful. I also began to realize that a soft drug store insert worked better for me than a $200 custom orthotic.

Best of luck in you search.

John C


Re: Look, Ma . . . no orthotics!

Nancy S. on 5/03/00 at 07:41 (019801)

Hi John C,
Thanks for the testimonial. I think the stiffness must be one reason that Birks work also.
Did you continue to wear those hiking boots into your recovery? And by soft inserts, do you mean a thin cushion of an insert that has no arch support but rather conforms to whatever arch support is in the boot?
--Nancy

Re: Look, Ma . . . no orthotics!

John C on 5/03/00 at 11:18 (019814)

Nancy,

I did wear them a good bit of the time. I also bought me a new pair of Rockport Pro Walkers. They are sort of a casual dress shoe. They are not as stiff as the hiking boots, but quit a bit stiffer than most shoes.

The inserts I was wearing did have an arch support. They are Dr. Scholl's with Arch Support. Not much of a support, just a slight rise in the arch. My feet are about midway between flat and normal. I still wear these now. They are in my everyday shoes and all of my casual shoes. They are also in my running shoes. I still try to be careful.

I know everyone's different. Good luck.

John C


Re: I'm trying the same thing.... To Charlene

Nancy S. on 5/04/00 at 16:49 (019860)

Hi Charlene. How is it going, the weaning yourself away from extra arch supports? I had a great four days, and day 5 (today) is not so great. But still less pain than before. I'm hoping to wake up tomorrow and find that this fifth day was the fluke, not the four days. I know better than to make any predictions, though. When you say you are doing it slowly, do you mean that sometimes you do wear supports and only sometimes not? --Nancy S.