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initial pain

Posted by Peggy on 1/31/01 at 09:38 (037835)

Hello,
I just started having heel pain yesterday and this morning I have spent several hours reading the information on this site and a couple of others, the chat room, etc. I don't want to inadvertently do harm since the pain just started and perhaps I can avoid a long painful recovery--if recovery is even possible; it is discouraging to find so many people in so much pain after so long a time. At any rate, here is my story.
I got up yesterday morning and within a few steps felt a twinge in the arch in my right foot. Since I have had infrequent but occasional cramps in the arch of either foot, I noticed but didn't pay much attention. I had an easy day at home at the computer, then did a few errands around home and in the car. By about 3 pm I was aware of foot pain but it was not severe. After I took off my shoes (running shoes with hard custom orthotics in each shoe), my right foot got very crampy feeling--to the point I had to start hobbling and ended up sitting most of the evening. By 8pm the pain was definitely in my right heel, the heel and back half of my foot were red, hot, swollen, and very tight; the heel was lumpy and hard. Overnight things relaxed and I had no pain until rising and then again, within a few steps, pain started and increased. After reading the required 2-part information document I have to add: flexibility of foot and calves is excellent (I have always been active and for 18 years did lower back stretching exercises which I've now discarded because I found them doing harm--but my range of motion is actually greater and more comfortable than it has been in 20 years), I have REDUCED my usual exercise regimen due to a move back to the States from overseas and settling in. I usually walk 6-10 miles about 4 times or more a week. I have been walking MAYBE 5 miles once a week and 1-2 miles another time or two. I did have a small 'injury' over the weekend but whether within the previous 48 hours or not, I cannot remember. (I think it was Saturday afternoon and the pain started Tuesday morning.) I tripped over a broken picture frame and while the immediate pain was in the left foot--I cut a toe and bruised the outside of the foot itself--I did lunge forward 2 or 3 times on my right foot, trying to catch myself. Which I didn't, by the way; I ended up actually falling to the floor, so it was a severe movement.
My question now is, how should I treat this injury? What should I do and what should I not do? Please help me. I will soon start a new job but in the meantime, I have one, maybe two weeks at home. I am not at all comfortable walking--certainly do not feel like exposing myself in public hobbling and limping--and even feel I can safely drive my car because of the crampy feeling in the arch as well as heel pain. And, while I hate the idea of not walking every day (I LOVE to walk!), I am willing to sacrifice in the short term for permanent, successful long term recovery. What do you suggest? Rest? Ice? Stretching or not stretching feet and calves at this time? HELP! And thanks.
P.S. I noticed while sitting at the computer that with my legs crossed, the right foot actually feels better placed with toes on floor and heel nearly straight up off the floor than with the left leg down and right leg crossed on top, keeping all pressure off the right foot. Significant?

Re: initial pain

Dr. Zuckerman on 1/31/01 at 10:42 (037838)

It sounds like you inflamed the plantar fascia of the right foot when trying to regain your fall from the picture frame.

So Rest, no walking, no bare feet. Hot soaks. Gentle stretching of the ankle and foot before you placed weight on it whether it be first thing in the morning. I would take some adavi so long as you have no health reason not to

So staret with this simple plan. If the pain gets worse. If there is any redness, swelling. the cut doesn't heal. Go see a doctor. The above is a simple first aid plan for pf and any injury after twenty hours. Ice is within the first twenty hours.

RICE

Rest Ice Compression, Elevation. Don't do the ice at this point in time for the injury. REST is REST not just walking but any kind of long walks to the stores etc thata aren't absolutely necessary. Boy am I kill joy

Let us know the status after a few days. Any doubts see your family podiatrist.

Re: initial pain

JudyS on 1/31/01 at 12:05 (037854)

Peggy, I know the doctors here (which I am not) will respond to you accordingly but I wanted to let you know a couple of things; one, your recent affliction does not necessarily mean you're in for a long haul of pain and non-movement! I know that reading some of the posts here can make one think so but that's rarely the case, the posters here are a slim minority so don't let your mind go there! Two, the fact that you're checking your injury out immediately is what will end up being your single greatest move. Many of us long-time sufferers are so because we failed to give our heel/foot problem the attention it needed right away. We ran, walked, stood, danced, etc. 'through' it and waited for it to go away! Instead we made it worse to the point of chronic problems.
So, follow your docs orders diligently, keep reading/asking on this site, and you'll probably have relatively quick relief.

Re: initial pain

Peggy on 1/31/01 at 15:49 (037882)

Dr.Z and Judy--Thanks for both the advice and the encouragement. I will stay off my feet as completely as possible.
DR.Z: By the way, how long should/might that be?
(Another 'by the way', LEFT foot got tangled in the picture frame, torn up and bruised, but is completely healed; it is the RIGHT foot which did the lunging that is in pain--probably not important, but I thought I'd clarify.)
What a godsend this website is--thank you again.

Re: initial pain

Dr. Marlene Reid on 1/31/01 at 23:38 (037935)

It sounds almost like a 'charlie horse' - what ever that really is!! I agree with Dr. Z on the rest and icing and gentle stretches (you don't want to overdo it if it is an acute strain) and gentle massage. If it continues for more than a week or so, you should go see someone.

Re: initial pain

Julie on 2/01/01 at 01:42 (037939)

Peggy, assuming that your problem is the result of sudden injury (which it sounds like) I wouldn't advise you to do any stretching at all for now. Just rest, as much as you possibly can, give it time to heal, and keep monitoring your pain level.

You've started to deal with the pain and its probable causes quickly and, as Judy says, this will be a huge factor in your recovery, whatever is wrong. I hope it's a temporary inflammation and starts improving soon. If it doesn't, you'll need a full evaluation and diagnosis so you can get a treatment plan under way. While you're waiting to see, it might be a good idea to investigate the foot specialists in your area - podiatrists, sports medicine clinics, orthopaedic foot and ankle specialists - so that you can go for a full evaluation if you need to without further delay.

I agree with Judy about not getting hooked into the idea that you might be in for a long haul. You probably aren't, and you're handling the situation well, so be optimistic.

Do keep us posted on how things go.

Julie

Re: initial pain

Peggy on 2/06/01 at 21:47 (038322)

Thanks to all who gave advice and encouragement. I almost hate to say anything at this point in order not to jinx my recovery, but the pain has just about gone away. I stayed off my feet Tuesday of last week and then, after reading Dr. Zuckerman's advice, I added heat (heating pad) (though not much elevation as I pretty much stayed in bed reading) for the next 3 days. Saturday I moved around the house doing housework, Sunday I took a short walk--soreness set in at the 3/4 mile mark so I returned home. And yesterday I walked about 2 miles, today over 3, and while I am aware of my foot, it is not in pain, and I think if I take it easy for a while longer, things will heal up!! Dare I suggest SUCCESS?! I hope so. Thanks to you all.

Re: initial pain

Dr. Zuckerman on 1/31/01 at 10:42 (037838)

It sounds like you inflamed the plantar fascia of the right foot when trying to regain your fall from the picture frame.

So Rest, no walking, no bare feet. Hot soaks. Gentle stretching of the ankle and foot before you placed weight on it whether it be first thing in the morning. I would take some adavi so long as you have no health reason not to

So staret with this simple plan. If the pain gets worse. If there is any redness, swelling. the cut doesn't heal. Go see a doctor. The above is a simple first aid plan for pf and any injury after twenty hours. Ice is within the first twenty hours.

RICE

Rest Ice Compression, Elevation. Don't do the ice at this point in time for the injury. REST is REST not just walking but any kind of long walks to the stores etc thata aren't absolutely necessary. Boy am I kill joy

Let us know the status after a few days. Any doubts see your family podiatrist.

Re: initial pain

JudyS on 1/31/01 at 12:05 (037854)

Peggy, I know the doctors here (which I am not) will respond to you accordingly but I wanted to let you know a couple of things; one, your recent affliction does not necessarily mean you're in for a long haul of pain and non-movement! I know that reading some of the posts here can make one think so but that's rarely the case, the posters here are a slim minority so don't let your mind go there! Two, the fact that you're checking your injury out immediately is what will end up being your single greatest move. Many of us long-time sufferers are so because we failed to give our heel/foot problem the attention it needed right away. We ran, walked, stood, danced, etc. 'through' it and waited for it to go away! Instead we made it worse to the point of chronic problems.
So, follow your docs orders diligently, keep reading/asking on this site, and you'll probably have relatively quick relief.

Re: initial pain

Peggy on 1/31/01 at 15:49 (037882)

Dr.Z and Judy--Thanks for both the advice and the encouragement. I will stay off my feet as completely as possible.
DR.Z: By the way, how long should/might that be?
(Another 'by the way', LEFT foot got tangled in the picture frame, torn up and bruised, but is completely healed; it is the RIGHT foot which did the lunging that is in pain--probably not important, but I thought I'd clarify.)
What a godsend this website is--thank you again.

Re: initial pain

Dr. Marlene Reid on 1/31/01 at 23:38 (037935)

It sounds almost like a 'charlie horse' - what ever that really is!! I agree with Dr. Z on the rest and icing and gentle stretches (you don't want to overdo it if it is an acute strain) and gentle massage. If it continues for more than a week or so, you should go see someone.

Re: initial pain

Julie on 2/01/01 at 01:42 (037939)

Peggy, assuming that your problem is the result of sudden injury (which it sounds like) I wouldn't advise you to do any stretching at all for now. Just rest, as much as you possibly can, give it time to heal, and keep monitoring your pain level.

You've started to deal with the pain and its probable causes quickly and, as Judy says, this will be a huge factor in your recovery, whatever is wrong. I hope it's a temporary inflammation and starts improving soon. If it doesn't, you'll need a full evaluation and diagnosis so you can get a treatment plan under way. While you're waiting to see, it might be a good idea to investigate the foot specialists in your area - podiatrists, sports medicine clinics, orthopaedic foot and ankle specialists - so that you can go for a full evaluation if you need to without further delay.

I agree with Judy about not getting hooked into the idea that you might be in for a long haul. You probably aren't, and you're handling the situation well, so be optimistic.

Do keep us posted on how things go.

Julie

Re: initial pain

Peggy on 2/06/01 at 21:47 (038322)

Thanks to all who gave advice and encouragement. I almost hate to say anything at this point in order not to jinx my recovery, but the pain has just about gone away. I stayed off my feet Tuesday of last week and then, after reading Dr. Zuckerman's advice, I added heat (heating pad) (though not much elevation as I pretty much stayed in bed reading) for the next 3 days. Saturday I moved around the house doing housework, Sunday I took a short walk--soreness set in at the 3/4 mile mark so I returned home. And yesterday I walked about 2 miles, today over 3, and while I am aware of my foot, it is not in pain, and I think if I take it easy for a while longer, things will heal up!! Dare I suggest SUCCESS?! I hope so. Thanks to you all.