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Let's share our recent Successes

Posted by Rock on 8/09/00 at 10:03 (024964)

Let's share our recent Successes.

Here goes with mine.

I have spent weeks getting to the right orthotics guru here in east Tennessee. You know the drill, initial contact, doctor visits, prescriptions for PT/Orthotics, casting, PT, waiting and finally the new orthotics with exotic (to me) forefoot posting. This process took 5 weeks.

Then came the pain of new orthotics. I wore them first in a controlled environment (gravel track) and by the finish, I was sure my socks had turned red due to burst blisters. Well the blisters were there, painfull but not burst.

After just biking and swimming for 3 days I tried the new orthotics again, this time on a trail and with the bottoms of my feet armored with DUCT TAPE ! By 2 miles from the end I was once again sure my socks had turned red due to burst blisters (actually I wore black socks for that very reason). Well, I was in pain and I had grown some blisters under the duct tape, but they did not burst (success!).

Last night I wore the new orthotics with new New Balance 580 shoes on the gravel track and while my feet seemed oddly hot, I did not have the dreaded AT pain during or after. That has not happened since March !

My plan is to keep doing exactly the same treatments and activites as have lead to this minor success before I increase the activity levels.

Please share your successes, no matter how minor, so that we can learn from each other.

Rock.


Re: Let's share our recent Successes

Ann G. on 8/09/00 at 10:46 (024971)

I recently got a call from a friend who is a dog trainer, to come to the dog show so I could get a pair of 'gel' insoles. I spent the $30 and wearing them with my athletic shoes I can go all day. I was expecting pain after being at a dog show all day on a concrete floor. I only have to get used to the feeling of pressure on the top of my feet from the insoles. They can be worn inside my dress shoes and that helps my shoe budget. I cannot believe the shoes I've acquired this year.

Re: Let's share our recent Successes

BarbS on 8/09/00 at 11:39 (024973)

I had my original orthotics altered because they were made incorrectly with a gap in the arch. I fired the Podiatrist who made them because he was as friendly as a toad, explained nothing to me and made me feel that he just wanted the $400 insurance money for the orthotics. I now have a new Podiatrist who altered the orthotics for me. He also added heel pads to the orthotics and I love him for it. Combining the 'new' orthotics with deep tissue massage therapy once a week, icing several times a day and doing more stretching than I can mentally handle, I have felt some relief for the first time in many months. I'm supposed to be doing a compression(?) soak - 5 minutes in ice water then transfer directly to warm water, but I haven't done that yet. My stomach cannot handle any kind of anti-inflammatory and I need to get the swelling down. The soak is supposed to help that.

My new Podiatrist has told me, however, that if I do not feel really good in two weeks, I have to go back for a steroid shot in the heel. I'm hoping that a daily regiment of the things I listed above will make my pain improve before then. I have 10 days left to avoid the needle. Night splint will be next if the shot doesn't work.

Good luck to all. I am excited to read further posts since I am willing to try anything for more comfort at this point.


Re: Let's share our recent Successes

Nancy S. on 8/09/00 at 13:15 (024978)

Rock, thank you so much for your great idea! Successes (especially the small ones, which could add up to big ones) often get lost in the shuffle, so to speak.
The biggest foot success I've experienced in a long time was finding a wonderful sports med. dr. last week -- he is knowledgeable and caring and gave me his full attention. He is the only good dr. I've found in 15 months.
This morning I got a phone call from my physical therapist. Turns out my doctor had called her about me and went over my case with her in detail -- how extensive the inflammation is and exactly what she should do with me over the next six weeks. He had written it down on a form for me to give her, and I think for most doctors that would have sufficed, but he went the extra mile.
I see him again this Friday, and then begin the fattened-up therapy regimen on Monday.
Your post made me realize even further what an important find this doctor, as well as the therapist, is.
--Nancy

Re: Let's share our recent Successes

Terry on 8/09/00 at 13:23 (024979)

Barb S. - Maybe your pod could go ahead and give you the nightsplint and hold off on the shot for a few weeks. That would be my vote. Also, isn't it warm water followed by cold water? Who is doing your deep tissue massage, chiro, PT? Thanks, Terry

Re: Let's share our recent Successes

Nancy S. on 8/09/00 at 13:39 (024984)

Barb, I vote with Terry. In my opinion, skip the shot and move on to the night splint. It gets much better results and doesn't carry the risks that the shots do. --Nancy

Re: Let's share our recent Successes

BJC on 8/09/00 at 15:35 (024989)

These successes are probably not going to be popular with many, but they are options that should be considered:
1. Correct orthotics - rigid and semi-rigid
2. Surgery
3. Cortisone shots
4. Ankle/arch support/ taping
5. Heat
6. Anti-inflammatories (lodine, Celebrex)
And most importantly
7. A great podiatrist who is compassionate, skilled and knowledeable.
(and these are available in East Tennessee!)

After all these things I am doing pretty well, and at least feel I have my life under control once again.


Re: Let's share our recent Successes

Beverly on 8/09/00 at 16:58 (025002)

Great idea. We need to hear our positive stories as well as our woes.

My progress report:

I am doing much better with stretching. I have now (as of Monday) been promoted to a very gentle wall stretch. I only do five per foot and hold to a count of five. My feet are close to the wall. It is kind of like a calf stretch, but it is not intense or straining like a calf stretch. My feet are closer together. Just one foot a little in front of the other, leaning into the wall. There is NO way I could have done this a month ago. I would have been in total agony. I did it today with only the slightest pulling sensation... no pain at all.

I began just barely do passive stretches... five at a time per stretch.
Now I am up to 10 per exercise and I hold for a count of 10.

My flexibility score when I began PT was a negative five on my right foot and a negative 15 on my left foot. Now, I have a postive 8 on the left foot and a positive 10 on the right foot. So, in terms of flexibility, I am almost normal.

My pain level has not changed much. I still feel pretty good when off my feet and get immediately sore after a brief time (very brief) on my feet. It is frustrating. But my PT says that my stretching success and flexiblity score is a good sign. I am still scared but more hopeful.

My doctor (at the therapist's request) extened my PT perscription by an extra three weeks. Nancy, you are so right when you say it is vital to have a good PT as well as a good doctor. Even more than that, one who believes your pain and is supportive. My current therapist is SO different from the ones I worked with for my neck. I honestly did not know the difference until I encountered it. There really was not anything wrong with the previous PT's other than they seemed disinterested and burned out. This woman is so dedicated to what she does, and you can tell she really likes her work. That does make a difference. Plus, her husband had a bad case of PF for almost a year.
So, she has personal sympathy.

Let's here some more successes no matter how small. They are uplifting.
Beverly


Re: Let's share our recent Successes

JudyS on 8/09/00 at 21:14 (025029)

Beverly, funny you should mention your stretching.....I had a bunch of things to do today but for whatever reason while I was driving about town, I started wondering how your stretching was going...now I know and what good news that is!

Re: Let's share our recent Successes

JudyS on 8/09/00 at 21:20 (025032)

Another good idea on your part, Rock!
I think I have two 'success' stories. One, today's schedule included one hour of baseball, PT, shopping for new shoes, then about 2 hours of cutting up a major branch that had broken off of a tree in my front yard and had blocked the driveway. (Shari knows what I'm talking about!) The point being that I accomplished that stuff with bearable discomfort and no real pain until the last hour or so. (I would never choose to spend 2 hours cutting up a tree if I didn't have to ). The one hour of baseball was my treat to myself because I've stayed away from that fun, mid-week workout for well over six months. It was a blast!
The other success story? My big toe finally responded to my attempt to bend it at PT today! The PT was more excited than I was!
Thanks Rock, for the idea.

Re: Let's share our recent Successes

JudyS on 8/10/00 at 10:41 (025075)

Barb - just wanted to share my opinion about that steroid shot-I had several in each foot over the course of a year's time. To me, they were more painful than anything I've ever known (Pod said that was because I had so much thick, dense scar tissue to get through) and, because the pain of the shot lingered and confused things, I never really felt relief from the shot.
On the other hand, there really are people who not only feel relief, their PF never comes back as the cortisone shot has done it anti-inflammatory job.
The concern about the shot is more black and white than it's possible pain-relieving abilities. The concern is about the steroid itself and the possibility that it can create more problems, in the foot itself as well as systematic. (I understand that the risk is more possible with repeated shots as opposed to just one)That's why the wise doc gives the patient the info on the steroid as well as the choice to use it or not. The reason I chose to do it more than once? One, because I felt no ill side effects, two, I spaced them apart by a minumun of three months, and three, I kept hoping that they would be effective in light of reduced inflammation through the usual home treatments. I did a total of three in each foot but won't be doing them again.

Re: Let's share our recent Successes

JudyS on 8/10/00 at 10:51 (025077)

Terry - I just noticed that you were asking about the deep massage...I had the so-called ART massage for about 15 sessions with a Chiropractor. I found him in the San Diego area by calling Dr. Leahy's office in San Jose for a referral. I honestly think that massage was one of the key factors to beginning to feel relief. I have since started back in PT for a new tendonitis in a different foot muscle (caused by a poor, PF-induced stride) and he's doing exactly the same massage! He says it's not Myofascial release, but rather a deep massage to sort-of separate the different layers of muscles that have atrophied. I wonder if the deep massage we talk about here is basically the one designed to break up scar tissue? Is it possible to do that?Anyway, as I read more here about massages with different titles, seems to me that it all boils down to the same deep massage! And yes, I think that the PT's massage has been a very effective stepping-stone to progressive stretching and strengthening.

Re: Let's share our recent Successes

BONNY L on 8/10/00 at 11:53 (025091)

I AM EXPERIENCING DISCOMFORT WITH ORTHODICS,WHAT WAS YOUR EXPERIENCE?

Re: Let's share our recent Successes

Terry on 8/10/00 at 14:04 (025108)

Judy - That is exactly what I am talking about - deep tissue massage. I called Dr. Leahy's office and there is no one in my area or state or anywhere close. The PT that I went to last year only did iontophoresis and ultrasound, no massage. The trick is going to be to find someone that does this - and they are in my PPO. Thanks, Judy. Terry

Re: Let's share our recent Successes

BarbS on 8/10/00 at 16:41 (025139)

Judy, I think I've pretty much decided to skip the shot. My mom has had a few over the years for her shoulder and it never does anything to really help. My Pod also told me that he doesn't give more than 3 a year because the steroid causes the fatty tissue in the foot to break down. Gee, that was encouraging news. That combined what I've been reading here, I'm just going to avoid it at all costs. Thanks for your opinion.

Re: Terry, here's my opinion of Reflexology

Kim B. on 8/11/00 at 23:04 (025302)

Hi Barb,

Basically I agree with you. When I think of reflexolgy, I think of 'the ultimate in foot massage techniques'. I don't that it ever 'cured' anthing on me except a headache or a bad mood. But when you think of the theory behind how accupuncture works, then accupressure and reflexology has some merrit too. Like I said, I wouldn't expect more than an extreemly good foot massage. The difference is it is from someone who had studied the foot extensively and is less likely to agrevate the wrong nerves and tendons than someone who is less foot specialized.

Regards, Kim B.


Re: Let's share our recent Successes

Ann G. on 8/09/00 at 10:46 (024971)

I recently got a call from a friend who is a dog trainer, to come to the dog show so I could get a pair of 'gel' insoles. I spent the $30 and wearing them with my athletic shoes I can go all day. I was expecting pain after being at a dog show all day on a concrete floor. I only have to get used to the feeling of pressure on the top of my feet from the insoles. They can be worn inside my dress shoes and that helps my shoe budget. I cannot believe the shoes I've acquired this year.

Re: Let's share our recent Successes

BarbS on 8/09/00 at 11:39 (024973)

I had my original orthotics altered because they were made incorrectly with a gap in the arch. I fired the Podiatrist who made them because he was as friendly as a toad, explained nothing to me and made me feel that he just wanted the $400 insurance money for the orthotics. I now have a new Podiatrist who altered the orthotics for me. He also added heel pads to the orthotics and I love him for it. Combining the 'new' orthotics with deep tissue massage therapy once a week, icing several times a day and doing more stretching than I can mentally handle, I have felt some relief for the first time in many months. I'm supposed to be doing a compression(?) soak - 5 minutes in ice water then transfer directly to warm water, but I haven't done that yet. My stomach cannot handle any kind of anti-inflammatory and I need to get the swelling down. The soak is supposed to help that.

My new Podiatrist has told me, however, that if I do not feel really good in two weeks, I have to go back for a steroid shot in the heel. I'm hoping that a daily regiment of the things I listed above will make my pain improve before then. I have 10 days left to avoid the needle. Night splint will be next if the shot doesn't work.

Good luck to all. I am excited to read further posts since I am willing to try anything for more comfort at this point.


Re: Let's share our recent Successes

Nancy S. on 8/09/00 at 13:15 (024978)

Rock, thank you so much for your great idea! Successes (especially the small ones, which could add up to big ones) often get lost in the shuffle, so to speak.
The biggest foot success I've experienced in a long time was finding a wonderful sports med. dr. last week -- he is knowledgeable and caring and gave me his full attention. He is the only good dr. I've found in 15 months.
This morning I got a phone call from my physical therapist. Turns out my doctor had called her about me and went over my case with her in detail -- how extensive the inflammation is and exactly what she should do with me over the next six weeks. He had written it down on a form for me to give her, and I think for most doctors that would have sufficed, but he went the extra mile.
I see him again this Friday, and then begin the fattened-up therapy regimen on Monday.
Your post made me realize even further what an important find this doctor, as well as the therapist, is.
--Nancy

Re: Let's share our recent Successes

Terry on 8/09/00 at 13:23 (024979)

Barb S. - Maybe your pod could go ahead and give you the nightsplint and hold off on the shot for a few weeks. That would be my vote. Also, isn't it warm water followed by cold water? Who is doing your deep tissue massage, chiro, PT? Thanks, Terry

Re: Let's share our recent Successes

Nancy S. on 8/09/00 at 13:39 (024984)

Barb, I vote with Terry. In my opinion, skip the shot and move on to the night splint. It gets much better results and doesn't carry the risks that the shots do. --Nancy

Re: Let's share our recent Successes

BJC on 8/09/00 at 15:35 (024989)

These successes are probably not going to be popular with many, but they are options that should be considered:
1. Correct orthotics - rigid and semi-rigid
2. Surgery
3. Cortisone shots
4. Ankle/arch support/ taping
5. Heat
6. Anti-inflammatories (lodine, Celebrex)
And most importantly
7. A great podiatrist who is compassionate, skilled and knowledeable.
(and these are available in East Tennessee!)

After all these things I am doing pretty well, and at least feel I have my life under control once again.


Re: Let's share our recent Successes

Beverly on 8/09/00 at 16:58 (025002)

Great idea. We need to hear our positive stories as well as our woes.

My progress report:

I am doing much better with stretching. I have now (as of Monday) been promoted to a very gentle wall stretch. I only do five per foot and hold to a count of five. My feet are close to the wall. It is kind of like a calf stretch, but it is not intense or straining like a calf stretch. My feet are closer together. Just one foot a little in front of the other, leaning into the wall. There is NO way I could have done this a month ago. I would have been in total agony. I did it today with only the slightest pulling sensation... no pain at all.

I began just barely do passive stretches... five at a time per stretch.
Now I am up to 10 per exercise and I hold for a count of 10.

My flexibility score when I began PT was a negative five on my right foot and a negative 15 on my left foot. Now, I have a postive 8 on the left foot and a positive 10 on the right foot. So, in terms of flexibility, I am almost normal.

My pain level has not changed much. I still feel pretty good when off my feet and get immediately sore after a brief time (very brief) on my feet. It is frustrating. But my PT says that my stretching success and flexiblity score is a good sign. I am still scared but more hopeful.

My doctor (at the therapist's request) extened my PT perscription by an extra three weeks. Nancy, you are so right when you say it is vital to have a good PT as well as a good doctor. Even more than that, one who believes your pain and is supportive. My current therapist is SO different from the ones I worked with for my neck. I honestly did not know the difference until I encountered it. There really was not anything wrong with the previous PT's other than they seemed disinterested and burned out. This woman is so dedicated to what she does, and you can tell she really likes her work. That does make a difference. Plus, her husband had a bad case of PF for almost a year.
So, she has personal sympathy.

Let's here some more successes no matter how small. They are uplifting.
Beverly


Re: Let's share our recent Successes

JudyS on 8/09/00 at 21:14 (025029)

Beverly, funny you should mention your stretching.....I had a bunch of things to do today but for whatever reason while I was driving about town, I started wondering how your stretching was going...now I know and what good news that is!

Re: Let's share our recent Successes

JudyS on 8/09/00 at 21:20 (025032)

Another good idea on your part, Rock!
I think I have two 'success' stories. One, today's schedule included one hour of baseball, PT, shopping for new shoes, then about 2 hours of cutting up a major branch that had broken off of a tree in my front yard and had blocked the driveway. (Shari knows what I'm talking about!) The point being that I accomplished that stuff with bearable discomfort and no real pain until the last hour or so. (I would never choose to spend 2 hours cutting up a tree if I didn't have to ). The one hour of baseball was my treat to myself because I've stayed away from that fun, mid-week workout for well over six months. It was a blast!
The other success story? My big toe finally responded to my attempt to bend it at PT today! The PT was more excited than I was!
Thanks Rock, for the idea.

Re: Let's share our recent Successes

JudyS on 8/10/00 at 10:41 (025075)

Barb - just wanted to share my opinion about that steroid shot-I had several in each foot over the course of a year's time. To me, they were more painful than anything I've ever known (Pod said that was because I had so much thick, dense scar tissue to get through) and, because the pain of the shot lingered and confused things, I never really felt relief from the shot.
On the other hand, there really are people who not only feel relief, their PF never comes back as the cortisone shot has done it anti-inflammatory job.
The concern about the shot is more black and white than it's possible pain-relieving abilities. The concern is about the steroid itself and the possibility that it can create more problems, in the foot itself as well as systematic. (I understand that the risk is more possible with repeated shots as opposed to just one)That's why the wise doc gives the patient the info on the steroid as well as the choice to use it or not. The reason I chose to do it more than once? One, because I felt no ill side effects, two, I spaced them apart by a minumun of three months, and three, I kept hoping that they would be effective in light of reduced inflammation through the usual home treatments. I did a total of three in each foot but won't be doing them again.

Re: Let's share our recent Successes

JudyS on 8/10/00 at 10:51 (025077)

Terry - I just noticed that you were asking about the deep massage...I had the so-called ART massage for about 15 sessions with a Chiropractor. I found him in the San Diego area by calling Dr. Leahy's office in San Jose for a referral. I honestly think that massage was one of the key factors to beginning to feel relief. I have since started back in PT for a new tendonitis in a different foot muscle (caused by a poor, PF-induced stride) and he's doing exactly the same massage! He says it's not Myofascial release, but rather a deep massage to sort-of separate the different layers of muscles that have atrophied. I wonder if the deep massage we talk about here is basically the one designed to break up scar tissue? Is it possible to do that?Anyway, as I read more here about massages with different titles, seems to me that it all boils down to the same deep massage! And yes, I think that the PT's massage has been a very effective stepping-stone to progressive stretching and strengthening.

Re: Let's share our recent Successes

BONNY L on 8/10/00 at 11:53 (025091)

I AM EXPERIENCING DISCOMFORT WITH ORTHODICS,WHAT WAS YOUR EXPERIENCE?

Re: Let's share our recent Successes

Terry on 8/10/00 at 14:04 (025108)

Judy - That is exactly what I am talking about - deep tissue massage. I called Dr. Leahy's office and there is no one in my area or state or anywhere close. The PT that I went to last year only did iontophoresis and ultrasound, no massage. The trick is going to be to find someone that does this - and they are in my PPO. Thanks, Judy. Terry

Re: Let's share our recent Successes

BarbS on 8/10/00 at 16:41 (025139)

Judy, I think I've pretty much decided to skip the shot. My mom has had a few over the years for her shoulder and it never does anything to really help. My Pod also told me that he doesn't give more than 3 a year because the steroid causes the fatty tissue in the foot to break down. Gee, that was encouraging news. That combined what I've been reading here, I'm just going to avoid it at all costs. Thanks for your opinion.

Re: Terry, here's my opinion of Reflexology

Kim B. on 8/11/00 at 23:04 (025302)

Hi Barb,

Basically I agree with you. When I think of reflexolgy, I think of 'the ultimate in foot massage techniques'. I don't that it ever 'cured' anthing on me except a headache or a bad mood. But when you think of the theory behind how accupuncture works, then accupressure and reflexology has some merrit too. Like I said, I wouldn't expect more than an extreemly good foot massage. The difference is it is from someone who had studied the foot extensively and is less likely to agrevate the wrong nerves and tendons than someone who is less foot specialized.

Regards, Kim B.