Home The Book Dr Articles Products Message Boards Journal Articles Search Our Surveys Surgery ESWT Dr Messages Find Good Drs video

New to PF - read your helpful postings, but have questions....

Posted by Jerri T. on 10/18/00 at 17:34 (030799)

I just found out yesterday why I was unable to walk after sleeping (or even sitting down for a short period of time) - PF. Was told there is good news - it will get better; and bad news - it will probably take 18 months. Got the Spenco Crosstrainer inserts (full length) from physician. Was told to do the stretching and to never go barefoot.

However, I am somewhat confused about whether I need to try to stay off my feet as much as possible (initially?/longterm?) or if it even matters one way or the other. Is walking on treadmill okay? What about exercise? I am very discouraged at this point. I have recently quit work to be a homemaker and was very excited about being able to begin an exercise routine. Although I stay extremely busy, I WOULD stay off my feet if I thought it would help.

I appreciate everyone's input in advance! Thanks for the great info I have already gleaned from this board!

Re: New to PF - read your helpful postings, but have questions....

Julie F on 10/19/00 at 01:57 (030815)

Hello Jerri

I am also fairly new to PF and this website. Thanks to the information and support here I'm developing understanding of the condition. Plantar fasciitis is an injury, and injuries need time, and rest, to heal.The plantar fascia is soft tissue which encapsulates the muscles that connect the heel with the ball of the foot. The injury is a tear, which usually happens where the fascia is weakest, at the point of its insertion into the heelbone.

It can happen for any one of a number of reasons, or combination of reasons. A full evaluation by a practitioner who is used to treating PF - e.g. a podiatrist or a sports medicine specialist - can determine the causes in your particular case and how they can be addressed, so that you can put together a treatment plan and strategy for recovery.

What I've learned from this board, and from my podiatrist, boils down to this: 'If it hurts, it's being re-injured; if it doesn't hurt, it's healing.' As always, pain is the body's way of telling us to stop doing what is causing the pain. So forget 'no pain, no gain' - avoid doing what hurts, and switch to non weight-bearing exercise, like swimming. Trying to walk or run through the pain can re-injure the fascia and cause a mild case to become chronic and long term. (I actually find standing as detrimental as walking, and have been trying to learn to iron sitting down - don't like it one bit.)

Print out and study the PF Book. I'm sure you'll find this as helpful as I have. There are lots of strategies to investigate. I am finding taping very helpful. I never go barefoot. I wear Birkenstocks indoors and good trainers outdoors. I feel that the most important thing is learning as much as possible about the condition, and understanding it, so that you can be active in your recovery and feel that you're in control of the situation.

There are lots of people on this board who know a lot more about this than I do, and will help you. But I thought it might be useful to have input from someone else who has just recently started the journey.

Don't forget that you can use the search facility to check out earlier postings about any topic you're interested in.

One last comment - NSAIDs may give relief, but can give you false security, a trap I've fallen into a couple of times!

Take care, and don't be discouraged.

All the best, Julie

Re: New to PF - read your helpful postings, but have questions....

alan k on 10/19/00 at 07:24 (030823)

Please do listne to everything Julie said, because sensible care is the most important thing. Most doctors and even some podiatrists don't seem to know some of the simple and practicle things people can do at home to keep things from getting out of hand and to mke them better.

One little detail is that the plantar fascia is like tendon that inserts into the heel and holds the arch up in the foot and runs the course of the sole of the foot. It is not really like fascia that encapsulate muscles. A lot of the functions of the foot are performed relatively indpendantly between the plantar fascia and intrinsic muscles of the foot.

alan k

http://www.acutai.com

.

Re: Note regarding inflammation and anti-inflammatories.

Julie F on 10/19/00 at 09:09 (030828)

Hi Kim

I agree with all you say about the useful anti-inflammatory properies of NSAIDs and am glad they've been helpful to you. The problem with them for me, and the point I wanted to make to Jerri, is that the pain relief they give can lull one into thinking things are better then they really are. That happened to me a couple of times on holiday, when I felt fine and went for a too-long walk, and paid for it afterwards. Now I'm staying off them and keeping in touch with the pain level - which, fortunately, isn't too bad most of the time.

Good luck and all the best,

Julie

Re: New to PF - read your helpful postings, but have questions....

Julie F on 10/19/00 at 09:32 (030829)

Alan, hi. My knowledge of the fascia comes from the PF Book which says 'it encapsulates muscles' - I know it has other functions, but that's not wrong, is it? Or is it? Could you elaborate?

BWT, my IMO order and order for Acu-Flex went off to you today. I also sent you a somewhat shaky tracing of my right foot - if you can't use it I'm sure the small size will be be ok. I look forward to working with it!

All the best, Julie

Re: New to PF - read your helpful postings, but have questions....

john h on 10/19/00 at 10:10 (030831)

jerri: you will get varried answers to this question. I think most will advise against treadmill,walking type activities but may recommend swiming or stationary bike. most will probably suggest rest particularly if you have recently developed this problem. the old standbys iceing and perhaps a NASID and mild non weight bearing stretching. keep reading thru the post because what works for one may not work for another.

Re: New to PF - read your helpful postings, but have questions....

Kim B. on 10/19/00 at 10:48 (030836)

Julie, for your case, I think it is very encouraging that anti-iflammatories did have an affected your pain. For me, I ignored the pain for so long in the beginning, that by the time I was diagnosed and started doing the things to help with the PF, my pain was so severe, the Vioxx didn't affect it much at all. Later, as I got a little better, it did begin to take the edge off of the pain.

I understand completely what you mean by being lulled into thinking you are better and then overdoing it, creating more pain, etc... That point is very crucial for people to keep in mind.

Regards, Kim B.

Re: New to PF - read your helpful postings, but have questions....

Steve P on 10/19/00 at 15:13 (030852)

Jerri --- I say stay off your feet to the extent you can, and do no recreational walking. Extreme rest of the feet is not necessary, but moderate use with no unnecessary walking/standing is reasonable.

Question: when you quit work did you change the type of shoes you were wearing most of the time?

Steve P

Re: New to PF - read your helpful postings, but have questions....

alan k on 10/19/00 at 17:19 (030855)

Oh I thought you meant by that the way that fascia proper encapsulate actual muscle fibers and sort of bundle them up, but I guess you are right that the planter fascia does hold things in place down there.

sorry for the confusion,

alan k

Re: New to PF - read your helpful postings, but have questions....

Jerri T. on 10/19/00 at 21:08 (030880)

Thanks to all for the helpful information. I absolutely couldn't stand the pain and went back to dr. today. He taped both feet and instructed me on how to do it myself. Quite a bit of relief on one foot, but none on the other foot - in fact, I think it might have made the pain worse.

Yes, I DID change shoes - - almost totally barefoot on the bare kitchen floor for extended periods of time. Other than that, not really any change in shoes. I have always worn Clarks for quite some time due to an old foot injury a few years ago.

Again, thanks to all who have responded. The information and compassion on this board certainly mean as much as, if not more than, that of my physician.

Thanks! I'll keep reading the postings!
Jerri

Re: New to PF - read your helpful postings, but have questions....

Julie F on 10/20/00 at 03:46 (030889)

Jerri, if the tape your physician applied hasn't given you enough help, have a look at the taping methods described in the PF Book. I've been using the simplest, which Scott describes as his favourite - two strips of athletic tape connecting the ball and the heel. I'm finding it very helpful, much easier to apply (and economical of tape!) than the more complex method my podiatrist started me off on, and just as supportive. Maybe you'll find that one of the methods suggested gives you more relief.

Re causes: I really think that except in the case of sudden injury, there are so many 'risk factors' for PF that it may not be possible to identify a single cause. I've come to the conclusion that advancing age, flattish feet, and a lifetime of over-pronation all pre-disposed me to PF, and that the slight back problem which irritated my sciatic nerve was the straw that broke the camel's back. In your case, suddenly going barefoot much more than previously may have been the last straw for whatever combination of factors existed for you.

The main thing now is to take control by getting a solid treatment programme that is right for you underway, and for that you really need a full evaluation by a foot specialist. There's lots you can do to help yourself and, as Alan said, a general physician may not know all there is to know, and may not be aware of all that can be done.

Let us know how you get on.

All the best, Julie

Re: New to PF - read your helpful postings, but have questions....

Julie F on 10/19/00 at 01:57 (030815)

Hello Jerri

I am also fairly new to PF and this website. Thanks to the information and support here I'm developing understanding of the condition. Plantar fasciitis is an injury, and injuries need time, and rest, to heal.The plantar fascia is soft tissue which encapsulates the muscles that connect the heel with the ball of the foot. The injury is a tear, which usually happens where the fascia is weakest, at the point of its insertion into the heelbone.

It can happen for any one of a number of reasons, or combination of reasons. A full evaluation by a practitioner who is used to treating PF - e.g. a podiatrist or a sports medicine specialist - can determine the causes in your particular case and how they can be addressed, so that you can put together a treatment plan and strategy for recovery.

What I've learned from this board, and from my podiatrist, boils down to this: 'If it hurts, it's being re-injured; if it doesn't hurt, it's healing.' As always, pain is the body's way of telling us to stop doing what is causing the pain. So forget 'no pain, no gain' - avoid doing what hurts, and switch to non weight-bearing exercise, like swimming. Trying to walk or run through the pain can re-injure the fascia and cause a mild case to become chronic and long term. (I actually find standing as detrimental as walking, and have been trying to learn to iron sitting down - don't like it one bit.)

Print out and study the PF Book. I'm sure you'll find this as helpful as I have. There are lots of strategies to investigate. I am finding taping very helpful. I never go barefoot. I wear Birkenstocks indoors and good trainers outdoors. I feel that the most important thing is learning as much as possible about the condition, and understanding it, so that you can be active in your recovery and feel that you're in control of the situation.

There are lots of people on this board who know a lot more about this than I do, and will help you. But I thought it might be useful to have input from someone else who has just recently started the journey.

Don't forget that you can use the search facility to check out earlier postings about any topic you're interested in.

One last comment - NSAIDs may give relief, but can give you false security, a trap I've fallen into a couple of times!

Take care, and don't be discouraged.

All the best, Julie

Re: New to PF - read your helpful postings, but have questions....

alan k on 10/19/00 at 07:24 (030823)

Please do listne to everything Julie said, because sensible care is the most important thing. Most doctors and even some podiatrists don't seem to know some of the simple and practicle things people can do at home to keep things from getting out of hand and to mke them better.

One little detail is that the plantar fascia is like tendon that inserts into the heel and holds the arch up in the foot and runs the course of the sole of the foot. It is not really like fascia that encapsulate muscles. A lot of the functions of the foot are performed relatively indpendantly between the plantar fascia and intrinsic muscles of the foot.

alan k

http://www.acutai.com

.

Re: Note regarding inflammation and anti-inflammatories.

Julie F on 10/19/00 at 09:09 (030828)

Hi Kim

I agree with all you say about the useful anti-inflammatory properies of NSAIDs and am glad they've been helpful to you. The problem with them for me, and the point I wanted to make to Jerri, is that the pain relief they give can lull one into thinking things are better then they really are. That happened to me a couple of times on holiday, when I felt fine and went for a too-long walk, and paid for it afterwards. Now I'm staying off them and keeping in touch with the pain level - which, fortunately, isn't too bad most of the time.

Good luck and all the best,

Julie

Re: New to PF - read your helpful postings, but have questions....

Julie F on 10/19/00 at 09:32 (030829)

Alan, hi. My knowledge of the fascia comes from the PF Book which says 'it encapsulates muscles' - I know it has other functions, but that's not wrong, is it? Or is it? Could you elaborate?

BWT, my IMO order and order for Acu-Flex went off to you today. I also sent you a somewhat shaky tracing of my right foot - if you can't use it I'm sure the small size will be be ok. I look forward to working with it!

All the best, Julie

Re: New to PF - read your helpful postings, but have questions....

john h on 10/19/00 at 10:10 (030831)

jerri: you will get varried answers to this question. I think most will advise against treadmill,walking type activities but may recommend swiming or stationary bike. most will probably suggest rest particularly if you have recently developed this problem. the old standbys iceing and perhaps a NASID and mild non weight bearing stretching. keep reading thru the post because what works for one may not work for another.

Re: New to PF - read your helpful postings, but have questions....

Kim B. on 10/19/00 at 10:48 (030836)

Julie, for your case, I think it is very encouraging that anti-iflammatories did have an affected your pain. For me, I ignored the pain for so long in the beginning, that by the time I was diagnosed and started doing the things to help with the PF, my pain was so severe, the Vioxx didn't affect it much at all. Later, as I got a little better, it did begin to take the edge off of the pain.

I understand completely what you mean by being lulled into thinking you are better and then overdoing it, creating more pain, etc... That point is very crucial for people to keep in mind.

Regards, Kim B.

Re: New to PF - read your helpful postings, but have questions....

Steve P on 10/19/00 at 15:13 (030852)

Jerri --- I say stay off your feet to the extent you can, and do no recreational walking. Extreme rest of the feet is not necessary, but moderate use with no unnecessary walking/standing is reasonable.

Question: when you quit work did you change the type of shoes you were wearing most of the time?

Steve P

Re: New to PF - read your helpful postings, but have questions....

alan k on 10/19/00 at 17:19 (030855)

Oh I thought you meant by that the way that fascia proper encapsulate actual muscle fibers and sort of bundle them up, but I guess you are right that the planter fascia does hold things in place down there.

sorry for the confusion,

alan k

Re: New to PF - read your helpful postings, but have questions....

Jerri T. on 10/19/00 at 21:08 (030880)

Thanks to all for the helpful information. I absolutely couldn't stand the pain and went back to dr. today. He taped both feet and instructed me on how to do it myself. Quite a bit of relief on one foot, but none on the other foot - in fact, I think it might have made the pain worse.

Yes, I DID change shoes - - almost totally barefoot on the bare kitchen floor for extended periods of time. Other than that, not really any change in shoes. I have always worn Clarks for quite some time due to an old foot injury a few years ago.

Again, thanks to all who have responded. The information and compassion on this board certainly mean as much as, if not more than, that of my physician.

Thanks! I'll keep reading the postings!
Jerri

Re: New to PF - read your helpful postings, but have questions....

Julie F on 10/20/00 at 03:46 (030889)

Jerri, if the tape your physician applied hasn't given you enough help, have a look at the taping methods described in the PF Book. I've been using the simplest, which Scott describes as his favourite - two strips of athletic tape connecting the ball and the heel. I'm finding it very helpful, much easier to apply (and economical of tape!) than the more complex method my podiatrist started me off on, and just as supportive. Maybe you'll find that one of the methods suggested gives you more relief.

Re causes: I really think that except in the case of sudden injury, there are so many 'risk factors' for PF that it may not be possible to identify a single cause. I've come to the conclusion that advancing age, flattish feet, and a lifetime of over-pronation all pre-disposed me to PF, and that the slight back problem which irritated my sciatic nerve was the straw that broke the camel's back. In your case, suddenly going barefoot much more than previously may have been the last straw for whatever combination of factors existed for you.

The main thing now is to take control by getting a solid treatment programme that is right for you underway, and for that you really need a full evaluation by a foot specialist. There's lots you can do to help yourself and, as Alan said, a general physician may not know all there is to know, and may not be aware of all that can be done.

Let us know how you get on.

All the best, Julie