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Getting Better after a Year and a Half

Posted by Carol A. on 7/26/00 at 19:29 (024043)

I've been to a GP...I've been to a Podiatrist...I've been to a Chiro....I saw a highly recommended Orthopaedic Surgeon around mid-May. Took one look at me (actually had me do some little things with my foot and area below knee). He said 'You don't need a cortisone shot, you don't need surgery, and you don't need orthotics' GREAT!! Except already did the orthotics and miscellaneous (you know what I mean) gadgets for shoes, magnets, all those darn pills including bunches of vitamins. Couldn't keep the pill popping up! ANYWAY...he said it's all in my achilles tendon. It's too short, too tight, too whatever...it's not in good shape. The achilles is attached to the plantar. Get the achilles in shape, and I'll get over this, he says. Well, I'm not taking as much Vioxx and I'm back to a 2-mile, very slow jog and I can shop with the best of them. I was a skeptic and probably will be for another year. He said even though I get the achilles stretched out and in better shape it still can take 6 months to a year to get over it completely. I have little tinges but no pain anymore and believe me, I've been on my feet a lot lately. I've been doing 10 heel lowers on a stair once a day. Now he wants me to up that to 10 heel lowers, twice a day. It was so rough and hurt so much at first so I eased into it ever so slowly. Two heel lowers the first day, take a Vioxx, go to bed. Next day 3 heel lowers, take a Vioxx, go to bed, etc. etc. The heel lowers should be done VERRY slowly. Stand on the stair with heels over the edge, lower on a count of 1-2-3....raise to a tip toe and back down. Like I said, VERY SLOWLY GOING DOWN AND COMING UP. I'm coming around and I'm so ecstatic!!! (But I will remain a little skeptical until this time next year. I will never stop doing these stretches. He said anyone benefits from this stretch.

Re: Getting Better after a Year and a Half

Barbara on 7/26/00 at 19:42 (024045)

I am so glad to hear that you are doing so well. You mentioned that you stretch by doing heel lowers on stairs. I heard so many people say that that type of stretching is so dangerous and that stretching should be done non-weight bearing. But I am glad to hear it's working for you. Just, please be careful.

Re: Could you describe that thing you do?

Barbara S. on 7/26/00 at 20:53 (024056)

I'm interested in that excercise... is just the ball of your foot on the stair? How much do you lower the heel? Thanks be to God that you found something to help. Thanks! B.

Re: being careful

alan k on 7/27/00 at 07:54 (024074)

Individuals vary greatly in terms of stretching and to some degree in terms of strengthening. The idea that all stretches should be non-weight bearing is a minority opinion. Most people benefit from weight bearing wall stretches (and I am saying this as someone who is going to be selling a non-weightbearing stretching device!). The stair stretch should be approached with caution however. It is best to build up the muscles for this stretch first: using a towel and pointing feet pull back as you slowly flex feet back, keeping resistance all the way. Repeat several times. After building up strength this way you can do the stair stretch. However, some people may be able to graduate immediately to it. It just depends, and it is always good to hear people's success stories here especially if they differ from the recieved wisdom, so that we don't get locked into a narrow track of thought.


alan k


Re: being careful

Carol A on 7/27/00 at 12:25 (024097)

Yes, Alan, I do agree and I should have thought that everyone is different. I had bought some shoes from a pedorthist and he had me (back last March) doing towel stretches as you describe. They didn't get me relief for the PF but possibly made me in better shape to do those heel lowers. Also, let me say, that this Orthopaedic surgeon I saw cured my friend of PF but he must have had a different cause of his PF. He was given exercises but also it was orthotics that helped him. Obviously, everyone's PF stems from different things so the cure will be a different set of rules. Just like a lot of the messages say...'keep trying different things'.

Re: Could you describe that thing you do?

Carol A. on 7/27/00 at 12:29 (024099)

Yes...just the ball of your foot is on the stair. I use my stairs going to my basement because it has a railing on both sides. That way I can hold on to both railings and keep my balance. My heel lowers about 4-5 inches but it wasn't that way in the beginning. I only lowered about 2 inches. As the achilles stretches you'll become more flexible. Just give it lots of time.

Re: Could you describe that thing you do?

Rock on 7/28/00 at 08:33 (024141)

One again, Alan K. has given excellent advice.

The hanging of heels on the stair type of achilles/calf stretch should be approached with extreme caution. I suspect that it would cause a PF flare up for most any of us. I have been there and done it and it was not fun being set back so much last May.

I seem to be having better success with the classic wall push-off achilles/calf stretch where the foot (in shoes with orthotics) stay FLAT on the floor.

I hope this helps.
Rock.


Re: Getting Better after a Year and a Half

Barbara on 7/26/00 at 19:42 (024045)

I am so glad to hear that you are doing so well. You mentioned that you stretch by doing heel lowers on stairs. I heard so many people say that that type of stretching is so dangerous and that stretching should be done non-weight bearing. But I am glad to hear it's working for you. Just, please be careful.

Re: Could you describe that thing you do?

Barbara S. on 7/26/00 at 20:53 (024056)

I'm interested in that excercise... is just the ball of your foot on the stair? How much do you lower the heel? Thanks be to God that you found something to help. Thanks! B.

Re: being careful

alan k on 7/27/00 at 07:54 (024074)

Individuals vary greatly in terms of stretching and to some degree in terms of strengthening. The idea that all stretches should be non-weight bearing is a minority opinion. Most people benefit from weight bearing wall stretches (and I am saying this as someone who is going to be selling a non-weightbearing stretching device!). The stair stretch should be approached with caution however. It is best to build up the muscles for this stretch first: using a towel and pointing feet pull back as you slowly flex feet back, keeping resistance all the way. Repeat several times. After building up strength this way you can do the stair stretch. However, some people may be able to graduate immediately to it. It just depends, and it is always good to hear people's success stories here especially if they differ from the recieved wisdom, so that we don't get locked into a narrow track of thought.


alan k


Re: being careful

Carol A on 7/27/00 at 12:25 (024097)

Yes, Alan, I do agree and I should have thought that everyone is different. I had bought some shoes from a pedorthist and he had me (back last March) doing towel stretches as you describe. They didn't get me relief for the PF but possibly made me in better shape to do those heel lowers. Also, let me say, that this Orthopaedic surgeon I saw cured my friend of PF but he must have had a different cause of his PF. He was given exercises but also it was orthotics that helped him. Obviously, everyone's PF stems from different things so the cure will be a different set of rules. Just like a lot of the messages say...'keep trying different things'.

Re: Could you describe that thing you do?

Carol A. on 7/27/00 at 12:29 (024099)

Yes...just the ball of your foot is on the stair. I use my stairs going to my basement because it has a railing on both sides. That way I can hold on to both railings and keep my balance. My heel lowers about 4-5 inches but it wasn't that way in the beginning. I only lowered about 2 inches. As the achilles stretches you'll become more flexible. Just give it lots of time.

Re: Could you describe that thing you do?

Rock on 7/28/00 at 08:33 (024141)

One again, Alan K. has given excellent advice.

The hanging of heels on the stair type of achilles/calf stretch should be approached with extreme caution. I suspect that it would cause a PF flare up for most any of us. I have been there and done it and it was not fun being set back so much last May.

I seem to be having better success with the classic wall push-off achilles/calf stretch where the foot (in shoes with orthotics) stay FLAT on the floor.

I hope this helps.
Rock.