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What's left?

Posted by Pauline on 6/20/00 at 10:41 (022108)

Please explain, after the inflammation of PF leaves what is left to
cause the pain? I thought my goal is to get rid of the inflammation
and stretch the PF to return it to normal. Is this an imaginary goal? If you have a sprained ankle and the inflammation leaves usually with rest it returns to normal. Isn't this the same for
PF. If the inflammation leaves and the PF is stretched, shouldn't rest and exercise return it to normal? Or course constant watch
after exercise with stretching and icing included. Can we all look
forward to doom and gloom after a PF case. Are there no happy endings

Re: What's left?

Robin B. on 6/20/00 at 17:06 (022126)

Yes, there ARE happy endings. Mine is pretty happy. I am not 100% better, but I am tons better than I was last year at this time and even better than two years ago at this time. My recovery is due to: 1) Birkenstocks, exclusively, all the time, everyday; 2) bromelain -- regularly between meals; 3) a low carb diet that includes eliminating sugar, caffeine, flour and wheat -- and boy, do I feel it when I go off for a few days, as I have for the past couple of weeks; 4) aerobic exercise (bike riding works for me); 5) rest rest rest and -- when better, refraining from abusing my feet.

I will probably never again walk five miles a day for exercise. I could care less. I am NOT in 24-hour a day pain anymore. In fact, most of the time, I am not in pain at all -- and the pain I DO have comes generally from arthritis, not PF. I DO NOT stretch -- not at all, not a whiff, zero, nada. I have no trouble with flexibility in my feet either. I used to be in so much pain that my ONLY relief was going to sleep at night. As soon as I woke up, the pain started again and continued all day, every day.

Recovering from PF is a slow, slow, slow process. It requires patience and a lot of trial and error. It also requires giving various remedies a decent amount of time to work -- not just a week or two, but often several months. Quick fixes don't work. I started Birkenstocks in January 1999. I started low carb in the spring, but didn't see results for several months. I started bromelain in July 1999. I quit walking altogether and started using a stationary bike and then an outdoor bike.

Today, I can shop for 5 or 6 hours on my feet if I want --usually I don't. I guard my feet like there's no tomorrow. I'd quit a job or lose friends to protect my feet. I may never be 100% better, but I'm sure not going to lose the ground I have already gained. Take heart -- there ARE happy endings. It just takes a lot of time and experimentation, and not giving up.


Re: What's left?

john h on 6/20/00 at 17:27 (022128)

pauline: there is some disagreement among experts as to what the pain generator is. some say inflamed fascia and others like dr baxter thinks the pain comes from the nerve (baxter nerve) under the fascia. i suspect there are several pain generators as some of us have been immune to cure. if you continually agitate a nerve over time your problem can become chronic. if you continually tear the fascia and it does ont heal it can become chronic. most of the 6 million new pf patients each year are easily cured by following traditional methods. others like the hard core on this board for what ever reason have not found the promised land.

Re: What's left?

john h on 6/20/00 at 17:29 (022129)

robin: a very good uplifting post with sound advice.

Re: What's left?

Nancy S. on 6/20/00 at 19:54 (022140)

Pauline, there ARE happy endings, and also happy-endings-in-the-making. I believe I'm one of the latter. For eight months I was in terrible pain (partly thanks to an incompetent pod), and then I found Scott's site last December. I've tried many self treatments since finding this board, and as of now I would say my pain level has gone from 10 to around 2 or 3, and some days practically none.
Some days, because I'm not 100% cured, I get discouraged and think not much has been gained. But I can usually remind myself how much better I feel, and last weekend I got a reminder from my brother -- who had not seen me since Christmas, at which time I was in a lot of pain and hobbling around with a cane. Last weekend he said, 'Wow, it's great to see you without your third leg' 'And I can't believe how much better you're walking -- it's great.'
I rested heavily after Christmas for 3 months. I attribute the progress mostly to that, to Birkenstocks, to giving up all orthotics, to a low-carb (actually, yeast-killing) diet, to bromelain. (I'm probably forgetting a few other assists.) I had a couple of setbacks after trying too hard too fast following the rest to get up to speed -- I now take everything pretty slowly and am learning to have patience with that. When I am patient and don't push too hard, the progress becomes one step forward, one step forward, etc. When I get impatient, the progress is more like two steps forward, one step back. Psychologically, I prefer the slower, more constant progress, and probably my feet do too.
I ice and massage when I think I may have overdone it on a given day. Any stretching or strengthening I do is minimal, and most of what I do in that department I learned from alan k.
PF for me is now over a year old, and I certainly have days when I'm tired of the slowness, but I am so much better than I was a year ago -- or even six months ago -- that most days I remember to be grateful. My foot feels fragile, but it is getting stronger, and I try to remember that it is still recovering and that the picture isn't black or white. It's gray right now, but heading toward the light.
If I remember correctly, this bout for you began a couple of months ago, yes? I would urge you to take the best care of your feet that you can -- I think you know how, from what I've read -- and use rest and try to have patience. If you do, I would bet that this bout for you will be shorter than your last one.
By the way, you are using PFTs, yes? How is that going? Are they helping you?
I'm sorry Birks don't help you. Have you gone on a serious hunt and tried on 50 different brands/styles of shoes? If not, I'd recommend it. Shoes are at least half the battle, I think. Haflingers have less arch, I think; I think Naots do too, if I remember correctly from trying them on.
Anyway, at least take heart from Robin's post. Her posts played a big part in the hope I gained when I found this board -- she is a patient, committed fighter, and that has gotten her somewhere.
Best of luck, Pauline.
--Nancy

Re: What's left?

Angie on 6/20/00 at 20:52 (022145)

Hang in there. I too suffered with PF for 7-8 months before seeing a difference. It seemed like nothing I did was the thing to cure me. What I did not realize was that there was not going to be one thing that was gonna cure me. My story is very much like Robin's. As a matter of fact I really can credit Robin's advice to really helping me. I had read that Robin had tried the Birks, Bromelain, no stretching and resting when your feet cried out to rest! I decided to try her ways- what the heck I could not lose! I love my Birks (my feet do hurt somewhat when I wear other shoes beside my Birks, but nothing like I was before). I also take Bromelain everyday at every meal. I also do not stretch at all. Stretching did not help me- but sometimes I felt it set me back. I am not saying that what helped Robin and I will help you (it may). I am just saying there is hope. Listen to the board and get ideas. Try new things- believe me it is all trial and error. I tried other methods for 6 months and nothing seemed to help. I am in my 9th month now with PF (both feet) and I can honestly say I am 95% cured. The 5% of pain is usually when I am not wearing my Birks. I do not run though- never have. I am not sure what would happen if I did- I would be afraid of a setback. I think I will always be careful when it comes to my feet. I do not feel this is a pain I will forget. No one can understand unless they have been there.

Re: What's left?

Robin B. on 6/20/00 at 17:06 (022126)

Yes, there ARE happy endings. Mine is pretty happy. I am not 100% better, but I am tons better than I was last year at this time and even better than two years ago at this time. My recovery is due to: 1) Birkenstocks, exclusively, all the time, everyday; 2) bromelain -- regularly between meals; 3) a low carb diet that includes eliminating sugar, caffeine, flour and wheat -- and boy, do I feel it when I go off for a few days, as I have for the past couple of weeks; 4) aerobic exercise (bike riding works for me); 5) rest rest rest and -- when better, refraining from abusing my feet.

I will probably never again walk five miles a day for exercise. I could care less. I am NOT in 24-hour a day pain anymore. In fact, most of the time, I am not in pain at all -- and the pain I DO have comes generally from arthritis, not PF. I DO NOT stretch -- not at all, not a whiff, zero, nada. I have no trouble with flexibility in my feet either. I used to be in so much pain that my ONLY relief was going to sleep at night. As soon as I woke up, the pain started again and continued all day, every day.

Recovering from PF is a slow, slow, slow process. It requires patience and a lot of trial and error. It also requires giving various remedies a decent amount of time to work -- not just a week or two, but often several months. Quick fixes don't work. I started Birkenstocks in January 1999. I started low carb in the spring, but didn't see results for several months. I started bromelain in July 1999. I quit walking altogether and started using a stationary bike and then an outdoor bike.

Today, I can shop for 5 or 6 hours on my feet if I want --usually I don't. I guard my feet like there's no tomorrow. I'd quit a job or lose friends to protect my feet. I may never be 100% better, but I'm sure not going to lose the ground I have already gained. Take heart -- there ARE happy endings. It just takes a lot of time and experimentation, and not giving up.


Re: What's left?

john h on 6/20/00 at 17:27 (022128)

pauline: there is some disagreement among experts as to what the pain generator is. some say inflamed fascia and others like dr baxter thinks the pain comes from the nerve (baxter nerve) under the fascia. i suspect there are several pain generators as some of us have been immune to cure. if you continually agitate a nerve over time your problem can become chronic. if you continually tear the fascia and it does ont heal it can become chronic. most of the 6 million new pf patients each year are easily cured by following traditional methods. others like the hard core on this board for what ever reason have not found the promised land.

Re: What's left?

john h on 6/20/00 at 17:29 (022129)

robin: a very good uplifting post with sound advice.

Re: What's left?

Nancy S. on 6/20/00 at 19:54 (022140)

Pauline, there ARE happy endings, and also happy-endings-in-the-making. I believe I'm one of the latter. For eight months I was in terrible pain (partly thanks to an incompetent pod), and then I found Scott's site last December. I've tried many self treatments since finding this board, and as of now I would say my pain level has gone from 10 to around 2 or 3, and some days practically none.
Some days, because I'm not 100% cured, I get discouraged and think not much has been gained. But I can usually remind myself how much better I feel, and last weekend I got a reminder from my brother -- who had not seen me since Christmas, at which time I was in a lot of pain and hobbling around with a cane. Last weekend he said, 'Wow, it's great to see you without your third leg' 'And I can't believe how much better you're walking -- it's great.'
I rested heavily after Christmas for 3 months. I attribute the progress mostly to that, to Birkenstocks, to giving up all orthotics, to a low-carb (actually, yeast-killing) diet, to bromelain. (I'm probably forgetting a few other assists.) I had a couple of setbacks after trying too hard too fast following the rest to get up to speed -- I now take everything pretty slowly and am learning to have patience with that. When I am patient and don't push too hard, the progress becomes one step forward, one step forward, etc. When I get impatient, the progress is more like two steps forward, one step back. Psychologically, I prefer the slower, more constant progress, and probably my feet do too.
I ice and massage when I think I may have overdone it on a given day. Any stretching or strengthening I do is minimal, and most of what I do in that department I learned from alan k.
PF for me is now over a year old, and I certainly have days when I'm tired of the slowness, but I am so much better than I was a year ago -- or even six months ago -- that most days I remember to be grateful. My foot feels fragile, but it is getting stronger, and I try to remember that it is still recovering and that the picture isn't black or white. It's gray right now, but heading toward the light.
If I remember correctly, this bout for you began a couple of months ago, yes? I would urge you to take the best care of your feet that you can -- I think you know how, from what I've read -- and use rest and try to have patience. If you do, I would bet that this bout for you will be shorter than your last one.
By the way, you are using PFTs, yes? How is that going? Are they helping you?
I'm sorry Birks don't help you. Have you gone on a serious hunt and tried on 50 different brands/styles of shoes? If not, I'd recommend it. Shoes are at least half the battle, I think. Haflingers have less arch, I think; I think Naots do too, if I remember correctly from trying them on.
Anyway, at least take heart from Robin's post. Her posts played a big part in the hope I gained when I found this board -- she is a patient, committed fighter, and that has gotten her somewhere.
Best of luck, Pauline.
--Nancy

Re: What's left?

Angie on 6/20/00 at 20:52 (022145)

Hang in there. I too suffered with PF for 7-8 months before seeing a difference. It seemed like nothing I did was the thing to cure me. What I did not realize was that there was not going to be one thing that was gonna cure me. My story is very much like Robin's. As a matter of fact I really can credit Robin's advice to really helping me. I had read that Robin had tried the Birks, Bromelain, no stretching and resting when your feet cried out to rest! I decided to try her ways- what the heck I could not lose! I love my Birks (my feet do hurt somewhat when I wear other shoes beside my Birks, but nothing like I was before). I also take Bromelain everyday at every meal. I also do not stretch at all. Stretching did not help me- but sometimes I felt it set me back. I am not saying that what helped Robin and I will help you (it may). I am just saying there is hope. Listen to the board and get ideas. Try new things- believe me it is all trial and error. I tried other methods for 6 months and nothing seemed to help. I am in my 9th month now with PF (both feet) and I can honestly say I am 95% cured. The 5% of pain is usually when I am not wearing my Birks. I do not run though- never have. I am not sure what would happen if I did- I would be afraid of a setback. I think I will always be careful when it comes to my feet. I do not feel this is a pain I will forget. No one can understand unless they have been there.