What he had to say was, but wasn't, a surprise. Yes, I have a VERY high and very tight Plantar which makes surgery a reasonable treatment. Yes I've gone thru all the conservative stuff for two years and that's long enough. Stop me if you've heard this stat......99.9% of PF sufferers heal over time and, more or less, spontaneously. He's a long distance runner and coach of the local Marine runners, he had PF for fourteen months, cured it eventually with orthotics but never stopped running!
HOWEVER! I told him I have much less heel pain these days, none in the AM and it only gets tough to deal with after a couple of hours on my feet or by the end of a long day. He pushed on the 'spur' area (you know the drill...) and it hardly hurt at all. But I still have some very demanding arch pain so....when I showed him where in the arch, he said, (AS did the 2nd Pod), 'hey, that's muscle above the Plantar, not the Plantar, that needs work. It's either atrophied or it's inflamed from a poor PF-induced gait.' So, you may ask, why was it a surprise or not a surprise? I'd begun to suspect a non-PF issue because my heel pain is so reduced (couldn't walk a year ago) and I can no longer feel scar-tissue bumps along my Plantar. Now, mind you, I still get all the aches and pains after a day's activities but I sort of relate it to how it felt when I was first getting PF two years ago. And I became fairly certain that the soreness was sort of buried above the Plantar, not the Plantar itself. (I still wonder, though, if the orthotics are just rubbing things the wrong way....) So guess what lucky me.........I'm goin' back to Physical Therapy. With the head of the department......hope he's cute.
Meantime, I'd like to share what I've been doing because it has been a tremendous help all-around. And it's really not unlike what Bob, Rock and others here have described. I rest my feet about four times a day, during that time I; massage with a golf ball, stretch gently, and ice. Also, 600 MG ibuprofen 3x day as well as 500mg Bromelain 3x day. And, believe it or not, I'm using my orthotics (breaking them in a few hours at a time) There, I said it! What do I think is the single greatest healer? Stretching. Creating more flexibility seems to make quite a difference. Also, I really concentrate when I'm walking any time to make sure that my stride is 'normal' and relaxed. I think that some of my more recent discomforts have been the result of 'holding' my feet in unnatural positions in order to avoid PF pain. It's even helping my 'other arch' problem. Now my goal is to continue with that because it really does help, do the PT, and introduce Mike's PFT's into my regimen. If the heel pain's not completely gone by year's end, most likely surgery.