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Do I really need to quit my job?

Posted by Valerie Se on 3/10/01 at 10:39 (040943)

Hello.
I have been suffering from plantar fascitis (bursitis bilateral) for 6 months, in treatment for 3 with no relief yet. I consistently do the stretching and icing, have tried injections, oral steroids, orthotics, and am now just beginning physical therapy. I am in agony.

At my first visit to the PT, he seemed to feel very strongly that I will not get better unless I get off my feet. I work in a retail job where I deal with customers all day, walking and standing around 42 hours a week. There are no 'office' or desk positions. I am the shift manager, and need to be on the floor for the majority of my shift. I can sometimes take a 1/2 hour to do some paperwork, but am literally on my feet 99% of the work day. About 2 hours into my shift, I am ready to die from the pain. The pain spreads through my feet down the outside of my foot and through the bones in the top of my foot to my toes. My ankles get very sore and my calves get cramped. After the drive home, I can barely get out of my car to walk into the house.

The PT seemed very surprised that my Pod did not have me off work. There is really no way that I can work from a seated position at this job.
Is there any way that I can get better while working at this job? If I took a medical leave, would I ever be able to return to this kind of work? Another girl I work with had surgery for this, but she suffers still. Do you think I should just look for another line of work? Sorry this question is so long... I feel helpless and am sick of crying every night.

Thanks for caring. Val

Re: Do I really need to quit my job?

Dr. David S. Wander on 3/10/01 at 12:32 (040949)

Has your doctor performed any studies such as MRI, scans or blood work? Your discomfort may not be plantar fasciitis, but can be from other conditions such as arthritis or variants of arthritis. Bilateral heel pain is certainly not as common as unilateral pain, though it does exist. If you have failed conservative therapy, and the pain is bilateral and throughout the foot, leg, calf, etc., additional work-ups and laboratory work may be in order. Additionally, weight loss (if appropriate) and correct shoe gear are imperative.

Re: Do I really need to quit my job?

Dr. Biehler on 3/10/01 at 16:04 (040956)

What kind of orthotics did you try? Was a biomechanical exam done before the orthotics were perscribed ? If so, what was the diagnosis? Dr. B.

Re: Do I really need to quit my job?

Valerie S on 3/10/01 at 20:27 (040977)

Dr. Wander:
Thank you for responding to my question. At my first visit to the podiatrist, he asked me a few questions and an xray was taken, which showed a small bone spur on each heel; he was convinced that the diagnosis was plantar fascitis. The pain is much more severe in my right foot, but as the day wears on and I stress my left foot, they start to equal each other out. I do need to lose weight, but I have been wearing Birkenstock shoes for over 10 years now. I have never had any problems with my feet until this job on the concrete floors (and I have never had a sit-down job). Should I be concerned that he did not order these tests that you mentioned? Should I get a second opinion?

Also, do you think that it is possible that I will be able to ever return to a job that requires me to stand all day long?

Thanks again. Val

Re: Do I really need to quit my job?

Valerie S on 3/10/01 at 20:38 (040979)

Dr. Biehler:

Thank you for responding to my question. The only description that I have for the orthotics is 'custom made orthotics bilateral.' They are hard plastic with a thin leather insole that goes over the top. I actually had them sent back for adjustments last week, and will have to wait 4 more weeks to get them back. I am not sure what you mean by biomechanical exam... the podiatrist asked me a few questions and looked at the xrays. We tried taping also, and Lodye removable arch supports.

Do you think it is possible that I will be ever be able to stand all day without pain?

Thank you. Val

Re: Do I really need to quit my job?

Dr. Zuckerman on 3/11/01 at 00:30 (040997)

It is possible to recover from this severe pain. Have you had a steriod injection and or antinflamatory medications such as vioxx . Strapping on the foot can help. Give us additonal information maybe we can get you back to working over time.

Re: Do I really need to quit my job?

Dr. Zuckerman on 3/11/01 at 00:33 (040998)

Sorry . I took another look at your treatments. You need additional evaluation such as mri and medical work up. Still would do the tapings in the mean time and rest as much as you can.

Re: Do I really need to quit my job?

Julie F on 3/11/01 at 01:55 (041005)

Hi Valerie

I think you probably do need a second opinion. I agree with your PT that it's surprising your pod didn't have you off work, and you do really need a biomechanical evaluation as well as the tests the doctors mention.

Walking and standing for long periods on concrete floors is one of the prime causes of PF (if that's what you have). If there really is no alternative in your workplace, it would be a good if you could get signed off for a time to give yourself a chance to heal.

What stretches are you doing? Some of the oft-prescribed ones can do more harm than good if they are not the right ones for your particular case, or if they are done incorrectly, which they frequently are.

Dr Z mentioned taping, which gives much-needed support to the arch. I've found it extremely helpful, and it might give you at least some relief while you're at work. Look at Part 2 of the Heal Pain Book (link on the home page). The section on Taping gives several methods. I use the simplest technique: two strips of tape connecting the ball of the foot and the heel. If you have any problems with this, please feel free to e-mail me.

Oh - and read the Heel Pain Book. It's an excellent source of information about PF and ways of dealing with it.

All the best, Julie

Re: Do I really need to quit my job?

Laurie R on 3/11/01 at 02:07 (041009)

Hi Valerie,
Welcome to the board. Do you know the reason why your Pod did not put you off work? If you are in that much pain and are having problems standing at work ,he should put you off. I would call him or her and tell them that you can not do your job right now due to the pain.

I know jus thow you feel . I have been a bartender for 17 years and when my PF started I could not do my job . I would go home every night in tears. When I first went to my Pod at the first appointment he put me off a month . It has been month to month ever since . I have been off work since Setp 99 . My foot is no better . I did work for 3 months right after I injuied it . I had to go to a clinic for the first 3 months before WC would approve my first Pod appointment.

Rest is very important . And please check out Scott's PF book . I hope you feel better. My very best to you . Laurie R

Re: Do I really need to quit my job?

Julie on 3/11/01 at 02:36 (041012)

Hi Laurie

Late up again? It's Sunday morning here, and I'm posting this about 15 minutes after yours.

I hope it's not pain keeping you awake. I was really sorry to read your post about your new knee pain a little while ago. Did you know that you can get elastic supports for knees - Futuro make them, too. Might help while you're still waiting for your surgery. I have one, and wish I could e-send it to you.

Sleep well - when the time comes!

All the best, Julie

Re: Do I really need to quit my job?

Laurie R on 3/11/01 at 13:44 (041052)

Hi Julie,
Yes I was up late again last night. It was my knee and my foot. This can get real crazy at times. If I take an extra pain pill then I have to wait an extra two or three hours before I can go to sleep. I can 't sleep anyways ,so I go on the computer while the babies are sleeping. I am glad I explained the picture link ok for you so you could view it. Sometimes what is in my head and how I write is two different things .

My knee and foot both are very sore today . I was telling my cousin last night about my new knee pain and she asked me are you going to go to a doctor and get it checked. I said yeah right that would probably take another 6 months to get approved . I know it is from my gait . So I have not been wearing my walking cast now for two days . I am trying hard to walk right .

Ok Julie I hope you have a wonderful Sunday . I have already . Even though I stayed up late again last night , I still made it to church . So I am feeling pretty good even though i am in pain.

Laurie R

Re: Do I really need to quit my job?

Dr. Biehler on 3/12/01 at 10:02 (041146)

A lot of custom orthotics are made to fit the foot and the extra support tends to help a lot of people. If there is a biomechanical problem, which mean the bones are not aliening properly at the time when they are supposed to be supporting your body weight ( like when you are standing or walking), then custom orthotics can be made in such a way as to try to realigen the bones making them efficient again. To find out how the orthotics need to be 'posted or modeled' usually requires a biomechanocal exam along with a gait study, that's watching you walk and observing how the bones are linning up and positioning themselves,
Dr. B.

Re: Do I really need to quit my job?

Dr. David S. Wander on 3/10/01 at 12:32 (040949)

Has your doctor performed any studies such as MRI, scans or blood work? Your discomfort may not be plantar fasciitis, but can be from other conditions such as arthritis or variants of arthritis. Bilateral heel pain is certainly not as common as unilateral pain, though it does exist. If you have failed conservative therapy, and the pain is bilateral and throughout the foot, leg, calf, etc., additional work-ups and laboratory work may be in order. Additionally, weight loss (if appropriate) and correct shoe gear are imperative.

Re: Do I really need to quit my job?

Dr. Biehler on 3/10/01 at 16:04 (040956)

What kind of orthotics did you try? Was a biomechanical exam done before the orthotics were perscribed ? If so, what was the diagnosis? Dr. B.

Re: Do I really need to quit my job?

Valerie S on 3/10/01 at 20:27 (040977)

Dr. Wander:
Thank you for responding to my question. At my first visit to the podiatrist, he asked me a few questions and an xray was taken, which showed a small bone spur on each heel; he was convinced that the diagnosis was plantar fascitis. The pain is much more severe in my right foot, but as the day wears on and I stress my left foot, they start to equal each other out. I do need to lose weight, but I have been wearing Birkenstock shoes for over 10 years now. I have never had any problems with my feet until this job on the concrete floors (and I have never had a sit-down job). Should I be concerned that he did not order these tests that you mentioned? Should I get a second opinion?

Also, do you think that it is possible that I will be able to ever return to a job that requires me to stand all day long?

Thanks again. Val

Re: Do I really need to quit my job?

Valerie S on 3/10/01 at 20:38 (040979)

Dr. Biehler:

Thank you for responding to my question. The only description that I have for the orthotics is 'custom made orthotics bilateral.' They are hard plastic with a thin leather insole that goes over the top. I actually had them sent back for adjustments last week, and will have to wait 4 more weeks to get them back. I am not sure what you mean by biomechanical exam... the podiatrist asked me a few questions and looked at the xrays. We tried taping also, and Lodye removable arch supports.

Do you think it is possible that I will be ever be able to stand all day without pain?

Thank you. Val

Re: Do I really need to quit my job?

Dr. Zuckerman on 3/11/01 at 00:30 (040997)

It is possible to recover from this severe pain. Have you had a steriod injection and or antinflamatory medications such as vioxx . Strapping on the foot can help. Give us additonal information maybe we can get you back to working over time.

Re: Do I really need to quit my job?

Dr. Zuckerman on 3/11/01 at 00:33 (040998)

Sorry . I took another look at your treatments. You need additional evaluation such as mri and medical work up. Still would do the tapings in the mean time and rest as much as you can.

Re: Do I really need to quit my job?

Julie F on 3/11/01 at 01:55 (041005)

Hi Valerie

I think you probably do need a second opinion. I agree with your PT that it's surprising your pod didn't have you off work, and you do really need a biomechanical evaluation as well as the tests the doctors mention.

Walking and standing for long periods on concrete floors is one of the prime causes of PF (if that's what you have). If there really is no alternative in your workplace, it would be a good if you could get signed off for a time to give yourself a chance to heal.

What stretches are you doing? Some of the oft-prescribed ones can do more harm than good if they are not the right ones for your particular case, or if they are done incorrectly, which they frequently are.

Dr Z mentioned taping, which gives much-needed support to the arch. I've found it extremely helpful, and it might give you at least some relief while you're at work. Look at Part 2 of the Heal Pain Book (link on the home page). The section on Taping gives several methods. I use the simplest technique: two strips of tape connecting the ball of the foot and the heel. If you have any problems with this, please feel free to e-mail me.

Oh - and read the Heel Pain Book. It's an excellent source of information about PF and ways of dealing with it.

All the best, Julie

Re: Do I really need to quit my job?

Laurie R on 3/11/01 at 02:07 (041009)

Hi Valerie,
Welcome to the board. Do you know the reason why your Pod did not put you off work? If you are in that much pain and are having problems standing at work ,he should put you off. I would call him or her and tell them that you can not do your job right now due to the pain.

I know jus thow you feel . I have been a bartender for 17 years and when my PF started I could not do my job . I would go home every night in tears. When I first went to my Pod at the first appointment he put me off a month . It has been month to month ever since . I have been off work since Setp 99 . My foot is no better . I did work for 3 months right after I injuied it . I had to go to a clinic for the first 3 months before WC would approve my first Pod appointment.

Rest is very important . And please check out Scott's PF book . I hope you feel better. My very best to you . Laurie R

Re: Do I really need to quit my job?

Julie on 3/11/01 at 02:36 (041012)

Hi Laurie

Late up again? It's Sunday morning here, and I'm posting this about 15 minutes after yours.

I hope it's not pain keeping you awake. I was really sorry to read your post about your new knee pain a little while ago. Did you know that you can get elastic supports for knees - Futuro make them, too. Might help while you're still waiting for your surgery. I have one, and wish I could e-send it to you.

Sleep well - when the time comes!

All the best, Julie

Re: Do I really need to quit my job?

Laurie R on 3/11/01 at 13:44 (041052)

Hi Julie,
Yes I was up late again last night. It was my knee and my foot. This can get real crazy at times. If I take an extra pain pill then I have to wait an extra two or three hours before I can go to sleep. I can 't sleep anyways ,so I go on the computer while the babies are sleeping. I am glad I explained the picture link ok for you so you could view it. Sometimes what is in my head and how I write is two different things .

My knee and foot both are very sore today . I was telling my cousin last night about my new knee pain and she asked me are you going to go to a doctor and get it checked. I said yeah right that would probably take another 6 months to get approved . I know it is from my gait . So I have not been wearing my walking cast now for two days . I am trying hard to walk right .

Ok Julie I hope you have a wonderful Sunday . I have already . Even though I stayed up late again last night , I still made it to church . So I am feeling pretty good even though i am in pain.

Laurie R

Re: Do I really need to quit my job?

Dr. Biehler on 3/12/01 at 10:02 (041146)

A lot of custom orthotics are made to fit the foot and the extra support tends to help a lot of people. If there is a biomechanical problem, which mean the bones are not aliening properly at the time when they are supposed to be supporting your body weight ( like when you are standing or walking), then custom orthotics can be made in such a way as to try to realigen the bones making them efficient again. To find out how the orthotics need to be 'posted or modeled' usually requires a biomechanocal exam along with a gait study, that's watching you walk and observing how the bones are linning up and positioning themselves,
Dr. B.