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This cured it for me.

Posted by brianh on 4/11/01 at 12:47 (044260)

I had heel pain for 2 years. Tried symptomatic treatments like orthotics and got no relief. Read on a website that heel spurs were caused by a calcium deficiency, which caused the body to deal with the deficiency by leeching the required calcium from the bones, which resulted in spurs. Started taking 1600 mg chelated calcium with chelated magnesium and chelated boron and noticed improvements in pain within a month. Continued taking the calcium/magnesium/boron supplement and also quit drinking carbonated beverages after reading that they also cause calcium to be leeched from your bones. Within 4 months all pain was gone, and I have been pain free for two years. I still take take the calcium/magnesium/boron supplement and still avoid carbonated beverages.

During the time it took for the pain totally leave, I did not change my diet in any other way and did not lose any weight. If anything, I think I gained a few pounds.

I shared this 'cure' with a friend who also was suffering with heel pain and they are now pain free as well.

Re: This cured it for me.

Amy A. on 4/11/01 at 16:54 (044275)

Brian, thanks for the hint. When you say that you avoid carbonated beverages, does that also include seltzer waters etc.?

Re: This cured it for me.

brianh on 4/12/01 at 07:20 (044328)

Yes. In fact, it was seltzer water and club soda that I gave up. I had given up the sugared or the diet sodas 10 years or so before the heel pain started.

Re: This cured it for me.

bg on 4/12/01 at 12:50 (044353)

I thought that spurs mostly resulted from a traction pull on the fascia where it inserts at the heel, also thought that spurs were a 'build-up' of calcium??.....mmmmm learn something every day

Re: This cured it for me.

YvonneC on 4/12/01 at 13:16 (044356)

Wow Brian that's wonderful, I wish you continued pain free days, months and years. I have read in numerous articles that drinking the suggested 8-10 (8floz) glasses of water a day helps with muscle pain, that the pain most (not all) of the time is the body letting us know that it is dehydrated and that the reason for cronic pain in certain areas is because of the lack of hydration in these areas. Anyway, I do agree with you about carbonated beverages and have tried to avoid as much as possible.

Re: This cured it for me.

brianh on 4/12/01 at 16:16 (044375)

I think you are right that spurs are a 'build up' of calcium. I've read that the build up occurs at the place it is being leeched out of the bones due to a deficiency of calcium in the diet. Also, I've read that when you get enough of the right kind of calcium in the diet to reverse the deficiency, the body will re-absorb the calcium in the spur and it will go away. Again, this is just what I've read in various places. All I really know is that what I did worked to completely get rid of my heel pain.

Re: This cured it for me.

Kathy on 4/12/01 at 17:47 (044383)

Brian, would you mind giving a brand name of the supplement you are taking? I'm willing to try it, but not familiar with chelated calcium or boron. Was the 1600 mg. a combination of all 3, if not what were the dosages of the magnesium and boron. Many thanks.

Kathy

Re: This cured it for me.

Kim B. on 4/12/01 at 23:14 (044419)

Wow, Brian, It all makes sense to me, and sounds very promising. Thanks for sharing it. I'll bet if it worked for you, it will do the trick for others (possibly all) as well!

God Bless you for caring about peole you don't know enough to share what worked for you. I second Kathy's request, we need a little more detail to duplicate your progress.

Regards, Kim B.

Re: This cured it for me.

brianh on 4/13/01 at 08:46 (044446)

Unfortunately, the supplement I take is the 'house' brand of a local health food store (not a chain) that stocks a line of vitamin supplements under its own name. So I doubt this name will help you. The calcium/magnesium/boron supplement i take has 500mg of chelated calcium and 250 mg of chelated magnesium and 1 mg of chelated boron plus some vitamin D. Some recent studies show that boron is critical to calcium use by the body and may be the key to making the supplement work. I think I remember SOLGAR carrying a similar product for a lot more money, so I bought the cheaper house brand. I chose the chelated form because from what I read, this is the form that the body can absorb and use most effectively. I've read that dairy is not an effective source, because though it contains a lot of calcium, it is in a form that the body can't absorb easily. While I had the heel pain I was eating and drinking lots of dairy products, but the pain just got worse until I took the calcium supplement and gave up carbonated beverages.

Re: This cured it for me.

john h on 4/13/01 at 09:27 (044447)

Brian: I am like Mikee i will eat anything so will hop on the old calcium tomorrow. thanks.

john

Re: This cured it for me.

john h on 4/13/01 at 09:30 (044448)

i wonder where this leaves the many PF sufferers who do not have a heel spur?

Re: This cured it for me.

Nancy N on 4/13/01 at 09:44 (044451)

Brian--

Are you sure that even seltzer water is a culprit? The last time I recall looking at the ingredient of seltzer water, the label just said 'Water.' Any idea what the actual problem is with carbonation? I'm just curious--I've stopped drinking soda but still like to dilute fruit juice with a little seltzer water--and I also like the occasional Perrier, and can't quite figure out what could be so bad about either one...

Thanks!

Re: This cured it for me.

john h on 4/13/01 at 10:13 (044458)

If you have ever wondered what 'Chelation' does for minerals it is the process of bonding a mineral to an amino acid. This bonding makes it easier to digest and assimilate in the body.

if you will go to the following URL i think this formulation is very close to the forula brian is taking:

http://www.healthrecovery.com/Bio_CalMag.html

products very similiar are probably available at GNC or some of the larger Health stores. I found several such products on the net. Calcium also is involved in Nerve Transmission which could have to do with Brian's success.

Re: This cured it for me.

brianh on 4/13/01 at 11:33 (044470)

If you do a web search on '+calcium +carbonated +beverages' you will get more info on the topic of the effects of carbonated beverages on calcium absorption than you can read in a lifetime. Most info says that they are related, and some info says they aren't. Most info I read did indicate that the body uses calcium to regulate the acid balance in the body. If it doesn't get it from the diet, it will get it from somewhere. One site I came across (http://160.75.42.3/Food/Dersler/a.karaali/Carbdrink.htm) had information on the carbonation process that indicated the process of adding carbon dioxide to water changes (raises) the acidity of the water. This was enough to get me to give up selzer water and club soda. It's funny the affect that chronic pain has on my decision making process - I tend to go to extremes. Other info I read from these pages stated that certain types of acids interfere with the body's ability to assimilate calcium. Perhaps the acid produced by the carbonation process fell in this category. I didn't know for sure, but I wasn't willing to take a chance on it (again the pain thing played a part in this decision). I'll admit that there is a lot of bogus info on the web and you have to decide for yourself what to believe. This is just some of the info that went into my choice. Based on the results I had, I think it was a good choice.

As far as the contents shown on selzer water bottles, why only show 'water', when most likely 'carbon dioxide' is also an ingredient. And if some kind of acid is produced by the process, my guess is that that won't be shown since it was not 'added' by the manufacturer.

Re: This cured it for me.

Amy A. on 4/13/01 at 11:48 (044472)

Hi Nancy N, I just checked a bottle of seltzer water I have in the fridge and it read carbonated water...

Re: This cured it for me.

Pauline on 4/13/01 at 20:54 (044511)

Just back from vacation in Florida. This is very interesting information.
I have been treating with a Bone and Mineral Specialist for 3 years and have used high doses of Calcium, Some Mag, Boron and Vit D according to his perscriptions. He is one the recommending physicians for the FDA's board for drug approvals for Bone and Mineral Diseases. Besides being a regular specialist he is also a research scientist for drugs. In any case I have not seen any difference in my PF using the doses he has prescribed. I see him every 6 months for full testing and evualation so I will take Brians results and ask him to evualuate them for the reabsorbation of bone spurs. If anyone has done any scientific testing on bone anything this man has, so maybe we can get concrete evidence on the scientific side as well. In any case I think if it has helped Brian, its worth a try. Certainly the price is right and we all need more calcium as we age. I'll ask about tendon and fascia strength in relationship to Calcium and other minerals as well. Wouldn't it be great if our answers were in vitamins and minerals.

Re: This cured it for me.

Nancy N on 4/13/01 at 22:15 (044516)

Actually, this raises another question. Pauline, do you know if you have actual spurs, or just PF? If Brian's information is correct, then it seems to me that it would only apply to those who have spurs--not to those who have plain old PF, since I would imagine strengthening the bone isn't going to do anything to repair damaged tissue (but I am neither a doctor nor a biologist, so I could be wrong on that). Perhaps this is why you haven't noticed anything? It would be interesting to have a sample of folks with real spurs to see what happens when they try this combination of minerals.

Re: This cured it for me.

JudyS on 4/14/01 at 00:58 (044533)

Hi Brian - is there a chance you could ask the folks at your health-food store about the manufacturer of your supplement? I ask because many times a 'house-brand' is actually a brand-name with a different label on it - and may times the same product is found in a lot of places with those places 'house label' on them. Thanks so much for your tips here!

Re: This cured it for me.

JudyS on 4/14/01 at 01:01 (044534)

yet another question, Brian......are you able to do weight-bearing exercise?

Re: Where did you get the medicine?

Paula on 4/14/01 at hrmin (044537)

I would try most anything I guess. Did you get this medication in one tablet form combined or what? Is it over the counter?? I would like to ask if you also had PF??

Re: To Nancy This cured it for me.

Pauline on 4/14/01 at 08:49 (044544)

Nancy,
No I do not have heel spurs, but I thought my mineral specialist could add
some information to back Brian's theory. Your correct it does not seem to help PF. Some folks confuse the two and think a heel spurs is PF or you cannot have one without the other.

Re: This cured it for me.

john h on 4/14/01 at 10:47 (044569)

since it is widely written that heelspurs are a symptomof PF and not the source of pain i continue to wonder why heelspurs continue to be removed by many doctors. as nancy n notes many of us do not have heel spurs but do have a lot of PF pain. perhaps it could have to do with the fact that calcium is involved in nerve transmission. i have read a few articles since brian posted and the jury is still out on wheather chelation makes the calcium absorb into the body any faster than some of the other forms of calcium. something else to consider is that to much calcium is thought to be a factor in kidney stones and believe you me you want no part of that kind of pain.

Re: Heel spur removal and calcium

Nancy N on 4/14/01 at 11:32 (044577)

John--

I have wondered much the same thing--why do they continue to remove the spur? My understanding was that the spur would dissolve on its own once the inflammation from the PF went away (hence the idea that the spur is a symptom of the pain and not the cause). I'd be interested in hearing a doctor's perspective on this one.

As for the calcium, I know what you mean about the kidney stones! I had been drinkning the calcium-fortified orange juice forever, and stopped last month when I started taking that Tums Calcium for Life stuff (which does seem to help, for those who are interested). The Tums is 600mg of calium carbonate twice a day, which seemed like a lot in conjunction with what was in the OJ and any other dairy products I might have. So I got the regular orange juice this month, because I was worried about overdoing the calcium. My grandmother has had kidney stones, and I don't know if there is any genetic predisposition, but why chance it? (Granted, I drink far more water than she does--probably more in a day than she drinks in a week--so that could have been what caused them for her, too--but again, why take the chance?)

Re: This cured it for me.

Nancy N on 4/14/01 at 11:33 (044578)

You know, you're right--I looked in my fridge and the current brand also says carbonated water. I know there was a brand that didn't, but I don't know why or what the difference might be. Go fig. :)

Re: This cured it for me.

brianh on 4/14/01 at 11:37 (044579)

I weigh 250 lbs. Everything I do is weight bearing... On Tuesday I walked 18 holes of golf, carrying my golf clubs. That's about as tough as it gets for me, and I have no problems with it.

Re: This cured it for me.

brianh on 4/14/01 at 11:52 (044581)

I have to re-iterate at this point that I did more that just take a chelated calcium/magnesium/boron supplement. I also stopped drinking carbonated beverages. My friend who had the same symptoms as I did started by taking the same supplement as I had, but didn't get complete relief until switching off of diet cola. I had the same experience in that the additional calcium lessened the pain's frequency, duration and intensity, but giving up the carbonated water in addition made it go away completely.

Re: Heel spur removal and calcium

JudyS on 4/14/01 at 12:14 (044586)

Nancy, I've heard that there is a hereditary nature regarding kidney Stones....but then I'm not a doc so it's all speculation! I had a friend, also, who's family had no history but she'd been doing large doses of calcium while nursing a new baby - she got kidney stones when the baby was only a couple of months old....

Re: Where did you get the medicine?

brianh on 4/14/01 at 12:14 (044587)

The tablets I took are described in an earlier message in this posting and it was an 'all in one' tablet.

The pain I had for two years was similar to that described by many others in other messages I've read here. It started with just one heel hurting after walking 18 holes of golf. Then it would go away after I sat down and took the weight off my feet for a while. Then standing up again would be total agony until I walked for a while and it would calm down. Eventually it progressed until it was both heels, and would happen every time I stood up to walk, and would continue to hurt with each step. The first steps after waking up in the morning were the worst. Stretching seemed to take the edge off the pain, but it was there to some degree with each step. If this is the symptom for PF then I guess I had PF.

I did see my doctor about it and wanted him to take x-rays to see if indeed I had a heel spur. He refused, and just gave me a prescription for pain killers and a course of oral cortisone. I never filled either prescription, instead I began researching the problem on the web and found out the info on calcium deficiency and heel spurs. In fact, it might have been an earlier posting (1998 or so) on this web site. Of course it was from someone pushing their own brand of calcium supplements, so a lot of folks probably ignored what they were saying. It's hard to take someone seriously when they want to sell you something. I was in so much pain that anything was worth a try, I just used a different supplement that turned out to work just fine.

Re: Heel spur removal

GinaC on 4/14/01 at 12:22 (044588)

Not a doc, but sometimes the angle of the spur can contribute to pain. Before surgery, one of my most painful areas was, according to my dr, right beneath the spur, which he could feel manually and clearly see on x-ray. His philosphy was if you are going to go in surgically, take care of everything that could possibly contribute to pain in order to avoid additional surgery later. For me, he did spur removal, partial pf release and tt release. Gina

Re: Where did you get the medicine?

Nancy N on 4/14/01 at 12:42 (044591)

Brian--

Your doc refused to take an x-ray??? That is amazing to me. What was his philosophy? My understanding has always been that the x-ray is one of the first things they should do if you come in with heel pain. Did you ever go to see another doctor to confirm the spurs?

Re: To Nancy Heel spur removal and calcium

Pauline on 4/14/01 at 14:29 (044609)

I use 1200mg of calcium a day. My bone and mineral specialist said one of his acceptable ways of getting this amount if you want to stay away from lots of pills is drinking 2 8 oz glasses of Orange Juice with Calcium and having 2 yogurt per day along with a multi vitamin. I remember asking him about building kidney stones and forgot what he said so I'll have to ask again. He doesn't seem too concerned and he treats a lot of patients with various bone and mineral problems. He even does infusions on a regular basis for those needing it. I know you should drink enough water during the day to keep your urine near colorless. For my problem, I also take something to help my body retain the calcium I ingest. He does lots of blood and urine tests every 6 months that give him counts on everything even something like the amount of vitamin D in the body.

Re: Heel spur removal and calcium

john h on 4/14/01 at 20:21 (044626)

of course some kidney stones are from minerals other than calcium. one stone in my lifetime is more than i ever hope to see. worst pain i ever endured.

Re: Where did you get the medicine?

john h on 4/14/01 at 20:25 (044627)

having seen about 5 poditrist and 5 orthopedic surgeons i can say they 'all' took x-rays before we hardly had a discussion. even dr z looked at my foot with his little flouroscope before the orbasone.

Re: Where did you get the medicine?

brianh on 4/14/01 at 22:41 (044638)

At the time I belonged to an hmo, and I didn't want to spend my own money on a podiatrist. My hmo doc wouldn't give me a referral until he determined whether or not the steroids worked. Since I never took the steroids, I never got any xrays or saw another doctor about this. I decided to try the calcium supplements first to see if they would work before I moved on to steroids. Since they worked, I never felt the need to do anything else.

Re: Where did you get the medicine?

Nancy N on 4/15/01 at 07:49 (044650)

That still wounds really weird to me, even for an HMO (but maybe the ones I've been in have just been the good ones??). When I got PF in my left foot, about four years ago, I was still in an HMO (though my primary doc didn't change when I changed plans). She did want me to try 3 advil 3 times a day before giving me a referral, but that was only for about a week and certainly wasn't anything as drastic as steroids. She also left the x-rays to the pod, once I got the referral.

Steroids--talk about treating the symptom, though I guess they could work for some people, but it still seems like a drastic start to me. I hope you've ditched the HMO and the doctor for someone/something better.

Re: Where did you get the medicine?

brianh on 4/16/01 at 13:53 (044731)

I thought the steroids as a first attempt at a solution was a bit extreme too. I considered them a last-ditch solution when all else failed. And I did change from an HMO to another plan that lets me see any MD I want. It just costs a little more, but it's worth it for the freedom.

Re: Where did you get the medicine?

bg cped on 4/17/01 at 07:12 (044790)

I am wondering about this. Most bone spurs are a result of irritation. Bunion gets worse from a shoe too narrow, or stitching cutting across it. Pump bumps from a shoe rubbing or cutting in back of heel. Many hockey/figure skaters get them the size of golf balls. They start as almost a blister then if the cause is not removed they increase in size and become calcified.

Many pf cases present with no spur. I have also seen many pt that have a large spur show on x-ray and they report never having heel pain they can recall. I thought it was a response to irritation, The spur forms as a result of pull or traction stress on the fascia. If you dont take away the cause in the first place, I dont see how more calcium would make it smaller. note (I am not a Doctor and I dont play one on TV) Just a thought. Having seen young athletes with healthy diets to 90 year olds, all with pf symptoms the most common causes I see are, poor foot function, over weight, improper footwear, increase or change in activity or sport, My .02 cents

Re: Where did you get the medicine?

brianh on 4/17/01 at 08:27 (044798)

It is puzzling, isn't it. I've thought a lot about it as well. There's one scenario I came up with that made some sense of what might be going on and to explain why this approach worked for me and my friend. Perhaps the initial cause of the problem is that there is a calcium deficiency causing the heel bone to become more porous at the point of attachment of the tendon(or whatever the plantar fascia is called). Perhaps, then, with a less than optimal attachment strength in the heel bone, there is damage to the tendon at the point of attachment as little by little, the stress of walking pulls it loose from the bone, resulting in that pain we all know too well. Perhaps eliminating the calcium deficiency makes the heel bone less porous, and allows the tendon to make a stronger attachment, an attachment strong enough so that it is not damaged by the stress of walking and such. This could also explain why the pain is worse after resting. Perhaps while we are off our feet, the tendon starts to reattach itself to repair the damage, and when we take those first steps in the morning we rip loose the repaired area. This is how it works with skin and other tissues, why not with tendons and bones? When we cut ourselves and the skin begins to heal, we know it doesn't take much to reopen the wound, and how much it hurts when we do. Couldn't it be the same thing happening with our feet? This would sort of explain why that intense initial morning pain gradually diminishes as we walk, since once the newly reattached tendon area is ripped loose I would expect the pain to lessen after the damage has been done.

Is this really what is happening? I don't know. Could it be what is happening? Perhaps. It also can explain the list of 'causes' you mentioned (poor foot function, over weight, improper footwear, increase or change in activity or sport). If the true underlying cause is porous heel bones, then these would certainly be major contributing factors. But if the underlying cause is porous bone, then a cure will only be reached when you address and reverse that problem.

Since I never had any Xrays, either while I was in pain, or since the pain stopped, I can't say that I no longer have a heel spur now, or that I ever did have one. Perhaps the spurs play no part in the cause of the pain, they may just be another symptom of the problem.

But the one thing that I do know for sure is that what I did worked, and not just for me. I didn't post this message until I saw first hand that it would also work for someone else with the same problem.

Re: Where did you get the medicine?

john a on 4/17/01 at 12:06 (044831)

I like the way you think, brianh. That was a fine attempt to explain rationally how taking more calcium could eliminate PF. And I have to agree that it sounds quite reasonable. Perhaps though, it may not have to do just with bone porosity, but with bone 'brittleness', or 'weakness' too, however those terms might be defined for bones. Maybe the attachment of the PF to the heel is just not as strong in some people, and taking the right supplements can strengthen the connection. Also, isn't there a 'peritoneum' over the bone that the PF attaches to? Perhaps this can be 'weak' as well? So, whereas most mechanical remedies for PF, like stretching, arch supports, etc., are working to lessen the strain on the PF-heel bone connection, maybe coming at it from the other direction, by working to strengthen the connection, is a worthwhile approach too. Of course, this may all be nonsense, as I'm just a guy who likes to think too much, but what to the Doctors have to say?

Re: Where did you get the medicine?

johna on 4/17/01 at 12:12 (044835)

Correction: I meant 'periosteum' of course, not 'peritoneum'. The latter separates and supports internal organs, and the former surrounds bones.

Re: Is that medicine OTC or prescription?

Paula G. on 4/17/01 at hrmin (044839)

Brian, i was going to go see if I could find that pill and try it. I have printed out your posting. Please tell me if it is over the counter?

Re: Is that medicine OTC or prescription?

brianh on 4/17/01 at 15:56 (044856)

Chelated calcium/magnesium/boron tablets can be found at any decent health food store (that's where I got mine). I think that the SOLGAR brand has one like it. Try to make sure that all 3 of the minerals are chelated, and the ratio of calcium to magnesium is 2:1. The ones I took had only 1 mg of boron, and also had 25 mg of vit. D. I've also seen websites that sell this combination in one tablet. Mine was in capsule rather than tablet form, which eliminated the concern that a tablet might pass right through undissolved (as has been known to happen).

Re: Thank you Brian

Paula G. on 4/17/01 at hrmin (044881)

I went and got the medication you are talking about. Two different pills. I figure to take two of the calcium because they are only 1000 mg of calcium and 500 mg mag. per pill?
I will try this and pray..Thank you for your suggestions. I have no idea how long it will be before I notice a change..but hopefully within 4 weeks.
Yes, I got them at a health food store. Yes they are ALL cheleted. Now, what the heck is cheleted?????????????

Re: Thank you Brian

brianh on 4/18/01 at 07:28 (044931)

Chelation is a process that makes the mineral appear to the body to be an amino acid, and somehow this increases the body's ability to use the mineral. I've read that with 'regular' calcium pills, the body will only use 5% of what you take in, but with chelated calcium, the body will use up to 35% or so. Also, don't forget to give up carbonated beverages. I know that will be more of a challenge than finding the right calcium supplement to take.

Re: Thank you Brian

Paula G. on 4/18/01 at hrmin (044933)

Brian, Actually I don't drink pop. Maybe one glass at night...But, now it will be water. My boron I believe is 3 mg....I just am so excited to see if this works. For the minimal price too...

Re: This cured it for me.

john h on 4/18/01 at 10:49 (044959)

calcium (i read) has something to do with nerve transmissions nancy so this could possible play into it.

Re: To Nancy This cured it for me.

john h on 4/18/01 at 10:50 (044960)

you can definitely have heelspurs without PF. Many people have heel spurs and no heel pain and the other way.

Re: This cured it for me.

Amy A. on 4/11/01 at 16:54 (044275)

Brian, thanks for the hint. When you say that you avoid carbonated beverages, does that also include seltzer waters etc.?

Re: This cured it for me.

brianh on 4/12/01 at 07:20 (044328)

Yes. In fact, it was seltzer water and club soda that I gave up. I had given up the sugared or the diet sodas 10 years or so before the heel pain started.

Re: This cured it for me.

bg on 4/12/01 at 12:50 (044353)

I thought that spurs mostly resulted from a traction pull on the fascia where it inserts at the heel, also thought that spurs were a 'build-up' of calcium??.....mmmmm learn something every day

Re: This cured it for me.

YvonneC on 4/12/01 at 13:16 (044356)

Wow Brian that's wonderful, I wish you continued pain free days, months and years. I have read in numerous articles that drinking the suggested 8-10 (8floz) glasses of water a day helps with muscle pain, that the pain most (not all) of the time is the body letting us know that it is dehydrated and that the reason for cronic pain in certain areas is because of the lack of hydration in these areas. Anyway, I do agree with you about carbonated beverages and have tried to avoid as much as possible.

Re: This cured it for me.

brianh on 4/12/01 at 16:16 (044375)

I think you are right that spurs are a 'build up' of calcium. I've read that the build up occurs at the place it is being leeched out of the bones due to a deficiency of calcium in the diet. Also, I've read that when you get enough of the right kind of calcium in the diet to reverse the deficiency, the body will re-absorb the calcium in the spur and it will go away. Again, this is just what I've read in various places. All I really know is that what I did worked to completely get rid of my heel pain.

Re: This cured it for me.

Kathy on 4/12/01 at 17:47 (044383)

Brian, would you mind giving a brand name of the supplement you are taking? I'm willing to try it, but not familiar with chelated calcium or boron. Was the 1600 mg. a combination of all 3, if not what were the dosages of the magnesium and boron. Many thanks.

Kathy

Re: This cured it for me.

Kim B. on 4/12/01 at 23:14 (044419)

Wow, Brian, It all makes sense to me, and sounds very promising. Thanks for sharing it. I'll bet if it worked for you, it will do the trick for others (possibly all) as well!

God Bless you for caring about peole you don't know enough to share what worked for you. I second Kathy's request, we need a little more detail to duplicate your progress.

Regards, Kim B.

Re: This cured it for me.

brianh on 4/13/01 at 08:46 (044446)

Unfortunately, the supplement I take is the 'house' brand of a local health food store (not a chain) that stocks a line of vitamin supplements under its own name. So I doubt this name will help you. The calcium/magnesium/boron supplement i take has 500mg of chelated calcium and 250 mg of chelated magnesium and 1 mg of chelated boron plus some vitamin D. Some recent studies show that boron is critical to calcium use by the body and may be the key to making the supplement work. I think I remember SOLGAR carrying a similar product for a lot more money, so I bought the cheaper house brand. I chose the chelated form because from what I read, this is the form that the body can absorb and use most effectively. I've read that dairy is not an effective source, because though it contains a lot of calcium, it is in a form that the body can't absorb easily. While I had the heel pain I was eating and drinking lots of dairy products, but the pain just got worse until I took the calcium supplement and gave up carbonated beverages.

Re: This cured it for me.

john h on 4/13/01 at 09:27 (044447)

Brian: I am like Mikee i will eat anything so will hop on the old calcium tomorrow. thanks.

john

Re: This cured it for me.

john h on 4/13/01 at 09:30 (044448)

i wonder where this leaves the many PF sufferers who do not have a heel spur?

Re: This cured it for me.

Nancy N on 4/13/01 at 09:44 (044451)

Brian--

Are you sure that even seltzer water is a culprit? The last time I recall looking at the ingredient of seltzer water, the label just said 'Water.' Any idea what the actual problem is with carbonation? I'm just curious--I've stopped drinking soda but still like to dilute fruit juice with a little seltzer water--and I also like the occasional Perrier, and can't quite figure out what could be so bad about either one...

Thanks!

Re: This cured it for me.

john h on 4/13/01 at 10:13 (044458)

If you have ever wondered what 'Chelation' does for minerals it is the process of bonding a mineral to an amino acid. This bonding makes it easier to digest and assimilate in the body.

if you will go to the following URL i think this formulation is very close to the forula brian is taking:

http://www.healthrecovery.com/Bio_CalMag.html

products very similiar are probably available at GNC or some of the larger Health stores. I found several such products on the net. Calcium also is involved in Nerve Transmission which could have to do with Brian's success.

Re: This cured it for me.

brianh on 4/13/01 at 11:33 (044470)

If you do a web search on '+calcium +carbonated +beverages' you will get more info on the topic of the effects of carbonated beverages on calcium absorption than you can read in a lifetime. Most info says that they are related, and some info says they aren't. Most info I read did indicate that the body uses calcium to regulate the acid balance in the body. If it doesn't get it from the diet, it will get it from somewhere. One site I came across (http://160.75.42.3/Food/Dersler/a.karaali/Carbdrink.htm) had information on the carbonation process that indicated the process of adding carbon dioxide to water changes (raises) the acidity of the water. This was enough to get me to give up selzer water and club soda. It's funny the affect that chronic pain has on my decision making process - I tend to go to extremes. Other info I read from these pages stated that certain types of acids interfere with the body's ability to assimilate calcium. Perhaps the acid produced by the carbonation process fell in this category. I didn't know for sure, but I wasn't willing to take a chance on it (again the pain thing played a part in this decision). I'll admit that there is a lot of bogus info on the web and you have to decide for yourself what to believe. This is just some of the info that went into my choice. Based on the results I had, I think it was a good choice.

As far as the contents shown on selzer water bottles, why only show 'water', when most likely 'carbon dioxide' is also an ingredient. And if some kind of acid is produced by the process, my guess is that that won't be shown since it was not 'added' by the manufacturer.

Re: This cured it for me.

Amy A. on 4/13/01 at 11:48 (044472)

Hi Nancy N, I just checked a bottle of seltzer water I have in the fridge and it read carbonated water...

Re: This cured it for me.

Pauline on 4/13/01 at 20:54 (044511)

Just back from vacation in Florida. This is very interesting information.
I have been treating with a Bone and Mineral Specialist for 3 years and have used high doses of Calcium, Some Mag, Boron and Vit D according to his perscriptions. He is one the recommending physicians for the FDA's board for drug approvals for Bone and Mineral Diseases. Besides being a regular specialist he is also a research scientist for drugs. In any case I have not seen any difference in my PF using the doses he has prescribed. I see him every 6 months for full testing and evualation so I will take Brians results and ask him to evualuate them for the reabsorbation of bone spurs. If anyone has done any scientific testing on bone anything this man has, so maybe we can get concrete evidence on the scientific side as well. In any case I think if it has helped Brian, its worth a try. Certainly the price is right and we all need more calcium as we age. I'll ask about tendon and fascia strength in relationship to Calcium and other minerals as well. Wouldn't it be great if our answers were in vitamins and minerals.

Re: This cured it for me.

Nancy N on 4/13/01 at 22:15 (044516)

Actually, this raises another question. Pauline, do you know if you have actual spurs, or just PF? If Brian's information is correct, then it seems to me that it would only apply to those who have spurs--not to those who have plain old PF, since I would imagine strengthening the bone isn't going to do anything to repair damaged tissue (but I am neither a doctor nor a biologist, so I could be wrong on that). Perhaps this is why you haven't noticed anything? It would be interesting to have a sample of folks with real spurs to see what happens when they try this combination of minerals.

Re: This cured it for me.

JudyS on 4/14/01 at 00:58 (044533)

Hi Brian - is there a chance you could ask the folks at your health-food store about the manufacturer of your supplement? I ask because many times a 'house-brand' is actually a brand-name with a different label on it - and may times the same product is found in a lot of places with those places 'house label' on them. Thanks so much for your tips here!

Re: This cured it for me.

JudyS on 4/14/01 at 01:01 (044534)

yet another question, Brian......are you able to do weight-bearing exercise?

Re: Where did you get the medicine?

Paula on 4/14/01 at hrmin (044537)

I would try most anything I guess. Did you get this medication in one tablet form combined or what? Is it over the counter?? I would like to ask if you also had PF??

Re: To Nancy This cured it for me.

Pauline on 4/14/01 at 08:49 (044544)

Nancy,
No I do not have heel spurs, but I thought my mineral specialist could add
some information to back Brian's theory. Your correct it does not seem to help PF. Some folks confuse the two and think a heel spurs is PF or you cannot have one without the other.

Re: This cured it for me.

john h on 4/14/01 at 10:47 (044569)

since it is widely written that heelspurs are a symptomof PF and not the source of pain i continue to wonder why heelspurs continue to be removed by many doctors. as nancy n notes many of us do not have heel spurs but do have a lot of PF pain. perhaps it could have to do with the fact that calcium is involved in nerve transmission. i have read a few articles since brian posted and the jury is still out on wheather chelation makes the calcium absorb into the body any faster than some of the other forms of calcium. something else to consider is that to much calcium is thought to be a factor in kidney stones and believe you me you want no part of that kind of pain.

Re: Heel spur removal and calcium

Nancy N on 4/14/01 at 11:32 (044577)

John--

I have wondered much the same thing--why do they continue to remove the spur? My understanding was that the spur would dissolve on its own once the inflammation from the PF went away (hence the idea that the spur is a symptom of the pain and not the cause). I'd be interested in hearing a doctor's perspective on this one.

As for the calcium, I know what you mean about the kidney stones! I had been drinkning the calcium-fortified orange juice forever, and stopped last month when I started taking that Tums Calcium for Life stuff (which does seem to help, for those who are interested). The Tums is 600mg of calium carbonate twice a day, which seemed like a lot in conjunction with what was in the OJ and any other dairy products I might have. So I got the regular orange juice this month, because I was worried about overdoing the calcium. My grandmother has had kidney stones, and I don't know if there is any genetic predisposition, but why chance it? (Granted, I drink far more water than she does--probably more in a day than she drinks in a week--so that could have been what caused them for her, too--but again, why take the chance?)

Re: This cured it for me.

Nancy N on 4/14/01 at 11:33 (044578)

You know, you're right--I looked in my fridge and the current brand also says carbonated water. I know there was a brand that didn't, but I don't know why or what the difference might be. Go fig. :)

Re: This cured it for me.

brianh on 4/14/01 at 11:37 (044579)

I weigh 250 lbs. Everything I do is weight bearing... On Tuesday I walked 18 holes of golf, carrying my golf clubs. That's about as tough as it gets for me, and I have no problems with it.

Re: This cured it for me.

brianh on 4/14/01 at 11:52 (044581)

I have to re-iterate at this point that I did more that just take a chelated calcium/magnesium/boron supplement. I also stopped drinking carbonated beverages. My friend who had the same symptoms as I did started by taking the same supplement as I had, but didn't get complete relief until switching off of diet cola. I had the same experience in that the additional calcium lessened the pain's frequency, duration and intensity, but giving up the carbonated water in addition made it go away completely.

Re: Heel spur removal and calcium

JudyS on 4/14/01 at 12:14 (044586)

Nancy, I've heard that there is a hereditary nature regarding kidney Stones....but then I'm not a doc so it's all speculation! I had a friend, also, who's family had no history but she'd been doing large doses of calcium while nursing a new baby - she got kidney stones when the baby was only a couple of months old....

Re: Where did you get the medicine?

brianh on 4/14/01 at 12:14 (044587)

The tablets I took are described in an earlier message in this posting and it was an 'all in one' tablet.

The pain I had for two years was similar to that described by many others in other messages I've read here. It started with just one heel hurting after walking 18 holes of golf. Then it would go away after I sat down and took the weight off my feet for a while. Then standing up again would be total agony until I walked for a while and it would calm down. Eventually it progressed until it was both heels, and would happen every time I stood up to walk, and would continue to hurt with each step. The first steps after waking up in the morning were the worst. Stretching seemed to take the edge off the pain, but it was there to some degree with each step. If this is the symptom for PF then I guess I had PF.

I did see my doctor about it and wanted him to take x-rays to see if indeed I had a heel spur. He refused, and just gave me a prescription for pain killers and a course of oral cortisone. I never filled either prescription, instead I began researching the problem on the web and found out the info on calcium deficiency and heel spurs. In fact, it might have been an earlier posting (1998 or so) on this web site. Of course it was from someone pushing their own brand of calcium supplements, so a lot of folks probably ignored what they were saying. It's hard to take someone seriously when they want to sell you something. I was in so much pain that anything was worth a try, I just used a different supplement that turned out to work just fine.

Re: Heel spur removal

GinaC on 4/14/01 at 12:22 (044588)

Not a doc, but sometimes the angle of the spur can contribute to pain. Before surgery, one of my most painful areas was, according to my dr, right beneath the spur, which he could feel manually and clearly see on x-ray. His philosphy was if you are going to go in surgically, take care of everything that could possibly contribute to pain in order to avoid additional surgery later. For me, he did spur removal, partial pf release and tt release. Gina

Re: Where did you get the medicine?

Nancy N on 4/14/01 at 12:42 (044591)

Brian--

Your doc refused to take an x-ray??? That is amazing to me. What was his philosophy? My understanding has always been that the x-ray is one of the first things they should do if you come in with heel pain. Did you ever go to see another doctor to confirm the spurs?

Re: To Nancy Heel spur removal and calcium

Pauline on 4/14/01 at 14:29 (044609)

I use 1200mg of calcium a day. My bone and mineral specialist said one of his acceptable ways of getting this amount if you want to stay away from lots of pills is drinking 2 8 oz glasses of Orange Juice with Calcium and having 2 yogurt per day along with a multi vitamin. I remember asking him about building kidney stones and forgot what he said so I'll have to ask again. He doesn't seem too concerned and he treats a lot of patients with various bone and mineral problems. He even does infusions on a regular basis for those needing it. I know you should drink enough water during the day to keep your urine near colorless. For my problem, I also take something to help my body retain the calcium I ingest. He does lots of blood and urine tests every 6 months that give him counts on everything even something like the amount of vitamin D in the body.

Re: Heel spur removal and calcium

john h on 4/14/01 at 20:21 (044626)

of course some kidney stones are from minerals other than calcium. one stone in my lifetime is more than i ever hope to see. worst pain i ever endured.

Re: Where did you get the medicine?

john h on 4/14/01 at 20:25 (044627)

having seen about 5 poditrist and 5 orthopedic surgeons i can say they 'all' took x-rays before we hardly had a discussion. even dr z looked at my foot with his little flouroscope before the orbasone.

Re: Where did you get the medicine?

brianh on 4/14/01 at 22:41 (044638)

At the time I belonged to an hmo, and I didn't want to spend my own money on a podiatrist. My hmo doc wouldn't give me a referral until he determined whether or not the steroids worked. Since I never took the steroids, I never got any xrays or saw another doctor about this. I decided to try the calcium supplements first to see if they would work before I moved on to steroids. Since they worked, I never felt the need to do anything else.

Re: Where did you get the medicine?

Nancy N on 4/15/01 at 07:49 (044650)

That still wounds really weird to me, even for an HMO (but maybe the ones I've been in have just been the good ones??). When I got PF in my left foot, about four years ago, I was still in an HMO (though my primary doc didn't change when I changed plans). She did want me to try 3 advil 3 times a day before giving me a referral, but that was only for about a week and certainly wasn't anything as drastic as steroids. She also left the x-rays to the pod, once I got the referral.

Steroids--talk about treating the symptom, though I guess they could work for some people, but it still seems like a drastic start to me. I hope you've ditched the HMO and the doctor for someone/something better.

Re: Where did you get the medicine?

brianh on 4/16/01 at 13:53 (044731)

I thought the steroids as a first attempt at a solution was a bit extreme too. I considered them a last-ditch solution when all else failed. And I did change from an HMO to another plan that lets me see any MD I want. It just costs a little more, but it's worth it for the freedom.

Re: Where did you get the medicine?

bg cped on 4/17/01 at 07:12 (044790)

I am wondering about this. Most bone spurs are a result of irritation. Bunion gets worse from a shoe too narrow, or stitching cutting across it. Pump bumps from a shoe rubbing or cutting in back of heel. Many hockey/figure skaters get them the size of golf balls. They start as almost a blister then if the cause is not removed they increase in size and become calcified.

Many pf cases present with no spur. I have also seen many pt that have a large spur show on x-ray and they report never having heel pain they can recall. I thought it was a response to irritation, The spur forms as a result of pull or traction stress on the fascia. If you dont take away the cause in the first place, I dont see how more calcium would make it smaller. note (I am not a Doctor and I dont play one on TV) Just a thought. Having seen young athletes with healthy diets to 90 year olds, all with pf symptoms the most common causes I see are, poor foot function, over weight, improper footwear, increase or change in activity or sport, My .02 cents

Re: Where did you get the medicine?

brianh on 4/17/01 at 08:27 (044798)

It is puzzling, isn't it. I've thought a lot about it as well. There's one scenario I came up with that made some sense of what might be going on and to explain why this approach worked for me and my friend. Perhaps the initial cause of the problem is that there is a calcium deficiency causing the heel bone to become more porous at the point of attachment of the tendon(or whatever the plantar fascia is called). Perhaps, then, with a less than optimal attachment strength in the heel bone, there is damage to the tendon at the point of attachment as little by little, the stress of walking pulls it loose from the bone, resulting in that pain we all know too well. Perhaps eliminating the calcium deficiency makes the heel bone less porous, and allows the tendon to make a stronger attachment, an attachment strong enough so that it is not damaged by the stress of walking and such. This could also explain why the pain is worse after resting. Perhaps while we are off our feet, the tendon starts to reattach itself to repair the damage, and when we take those first steps in the morning we rip loose the repaired area. This is how it works with skin and other tissues, why not with tendons and bones? When we cut ourselves and the skin begins to heal, we know it doesn't take much to reopen the wound, and how much it hurts when we do. Couldn't it be the same thing happening with our feet? This would sort of explain why that intense initial morning pain gradually diminishes as we walk, since once the newly reattached tendon area is ripped loose I would expect the pain to lessen after the damage has been done.

Is this really what is happening? I don't know. Could it be what is happening? Perhaps. It also can explain the list of 'causes' you mentioned (poor foot function, over weight, improper footwear, increase or change in activity or sport). If the true underlying cause is porous heel bones, then these would certainly be major contributing factors. But if the underlying cause is porous bone, then a cure will only be reached when you address and reverse that problem.

Since I never had any Xrays, either while I was in pain, or since the pain stopped, I can't say that I no longer have a heel spur now, or that I ever did have one. Perhaps the spurs play no part in the cause of the pain, they may just be another symptom of the problem.

But the one thing that I do know for sure is that what I did worked, and not just for me. I didn't post this message until I saw first hand that it would also work for someone else with the same problem.

Re: Where did you get the medicine?

john a on 4/17/01 at 12:06 (044831)

I like the way you think, brianh. That was a fine attempt to explain rationally how taking more calcium could eliminate PF. And I have to agree that it sounds quite reasonable. Perhaps though, it may not have to do just with bone porosity, but with bone 'brittleness', or 'weakness' too, however those terms might be defined for bones. Maybe the attachment of the PF to the heel is just not as strong in some people, and taking the right supplements can strengthen the connection. Also, isn't there a 'peritoneum' over the bone that the PF attaches to? Perhaps this can be 'weak' as well? So, whereas most mechanical remedies for PF, like stretching, arch supports, etc., are working to lessen the strain on the PF-heel bone connection, maybe coming at it from the other direction, by working to strengthen the connection, is a worthwhile approach too. Of course, this may all be nonsense, as I'm just a guy who likes to think too much, but what to the Doctors have to say?

Re: Where did you get the medicine?

johna on 4/17/01 at 12:12 (044835)

Correction: I meant 'periosteum' of course, not 'peritoneum'. The latter separates and supports internal organs, and the former surrounds bones.

Re: Is that medicine OTC or prescription?

Paula G. on 4/17/01 at hrmin (044839)

Brian, i was going to go see if I could find that pill and try it. I have printed out your posting. Please tell me if it is over the counter?

Re: Is that medicine OTC or prescription?

brianh on 4/17/01 at 15:56 (044856)

Chelated calcium/magnesium/boron tablets can be found at any decent health food store (that's where I got mine). I think that the SOLGAR brand has one like it. Try to make sure that all 3 of the minerals are chelated, and the ratio of calcium to magnesium is 2:1. The ones I took had only 1 mg of boron, and also had 25 mg of vit. D. I've also seen websites that sell this combination in one tablet. Mine was in capsule rather than tablet form, which eliminated the concern that a tablet might pass right through undissolved (as has been known to happen).

Re: Thank you Brian

Paula G. on 4/17/01 at hrmin (044881)

I went and got the medication you are talking about. Two different pills. I figure to take two of the calcium because they are only 1000 mg of calcium and 500 mg mag. per pill?
I will try this and pray..Thank you for your suggestions. I have no idea how long it will be before I notice a change..but hopefully within 4 weeks.
Yes, I got them at a health food store. Yes they are ALL cheleted. Now, what the heck is cheleted?????????????

Re: Thank you Brian

brianh on 4/18/01 at 07:28 (044931)

Chelation is a process that makes the mineral appear to the body to be an amino acid, and somehow this increases the body's ability to use the mineral. I've read that with 'regular' calcium pills, the body will only use 5% of what you take in, but with chelated calcium, the body will use up to 35% or so. Also, don't forget to give up carbonated beverages. I know that will be more of a challenge than finding the right calcium supplement to take.

Re: Thank you Brian

Paula G. on 4/18/01 at hrmin (044933)

Brian, Actually I don't drink pop. Maybe one glass at night...But, now it will be water. My boron I believe is 3 mg....I just am so excited to see if this works. For the minimal price too...

Re: This cured it for me.

john h on 4/18/01 at 10:49 (044959)

calcium (i read) has something to do with nerve transmissions nancy so this could possible play into it.

Re: To Nancy This cured it for me.

john h on 4/18/01 at 10:50 (044960)

you can definitely have heelspurs without PF. Many people have heel spurs and no heel pain and the other way.