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Saw my pod today... anyone tried Gel Heel Cups??

Posted by Valerie S on 4/16/01 at hrmin (044715)

Hi.

I saw my pod today. He gave me some Gel Heel Cups to add to my orthotics or to my Birks to see if the cushion will make my heels feel better. They have a waffle-type shock absorber under the heel cup, supposed to provide instant relief. I have only been wearing them for 2 hours... I feel the cushioning, but am again getting the stabbing pains in the center of my heels when at rest. Has anyone tried these things? They feel kind of neat, but I question whether they will actually make this PF go away.

He has mentioned casting a couple of times, but when I asked him if he was still thinking about it for me, he said that it probably wouldn't be a good idea because casting my right would likely cause my left foot to get worse. SO, for now anyway, no cast.

After he told me that I am the worst case of PF that he has had in awhile (what a compliment! -at least I know he's taking me seriously now), he told me that there is a 'new' kind of treatment available... A doctor that he has been working with is doing ESWT in Indiana (2 hours away). I have renewed confidence in my doctor, knowing that he is still looking for new ways to help his patients. He is going to start looking into it as an option for me.

Meanwhile, I am just rotating between the orthotics and the Birkenstocks, combined with the gel heel cups. I asked him about going back to work, and he told me to call on Friday to let him know how I am doing with the heel cups. (I have been off work for 5 weeks now). It would be nice if these were the answer, but it seems a little too simple. Since he wants to see if I can be ready to go back to work, I am tempted to go out shopping for greeting cards and fabric, maybe even go to Walmart... see what these things are made of. ... kidding, of course, but wouldn't feel comfortable telling him that I can handle work until I at least TRY walking for a couple of hours first...

Anyone tried these Gel Hell Cups? (I mean HEEL cups... hee hee hee)...

So, another stab in the dark; I am still in limbo... Take it easy, my friends... Thanks for caring.

Val.

Re: Saw my pod today... anyone tried Gel Heel Cups??

Amy A. on 4/16/01 at 15:15 (044737)

Hi Valerie...I have pf and heel spurs...I tried the gel heel cups and found that for me they made my pain even worse. Along with your orthotics and Birks are you also stretching regularly?? That has really helped me. I wear Birks almost always and use their inserts in my regular shoes if I need to wear them.

Re: Saw my pod today... anyone tried Gel Heel Cups??

GinaC on 4/16/01 at 16:11 (044743)

Hi Val! I had both regular and gel heel cups that produced exactly the same result: no improvement. Most definitely walk those 'hell cups' thru Walmart before you talk to the pod again! Gina P.S. Your pod knows more than his partner, who had no idea what ESWT was last fall!

Re: You're right... these buggers hurt!

Valerie S on 4/16/01 at hrmin (044769)

Hi again.

I have been wearing these gel heel cups all day now, and have to give them a thumbs down. I DID go to Walmart, but only for 1/2 hour... My arches feel like they are hanging out in limbo, like they're gonna tear or fall, I can't tell which. The pressure is now all on my heel... like knives. I can't believe I fell for this one... oh well. Having tried it, now I know.

Amy: Yes, I stretch on a regular basis. I also ice a couple of times a day, and have been in physical therapy for 5 weeks. I have some improvement because I am now off my feet more than on them, but have seen almost no real improvement, since I only have to be on my feet for 1/2 hour before it's too late to turn back the pain...

Another treatment ruled out...

Thanks again... Val.

Re: You're right... these buggers hurt!/Yes they do!!

Donna M. on 4/16/01 at 23:21 (044782)

Hi Valerie S,
I'm with you, yes they do hurt!! I thought when my Dr. first gave mine to me and I stood up on them, it was just the fact of having to get used to them!! That wasn't it at all!! Those suckers just put more pressure on my heel, even though they were soft!! So it was just walk the way I had been in the first place, practically on my toes!
They looked like they should help, being so soft, but they were just another disappointment!

Re: Called doc's office about the heel cups...

Valerie S on 4/17/01 at hrmin (044804)

and the nurse seemed totally surprised that the heel cups were not helping! I am worried that my time (I signed the paper) for adjusting my expensive orthotics to fit me will expire. I get free alterations for 90 days, and have had them adjusted once. For some reason, he is not jumping to send them back for me. Instead he likes to glue felt pads to the arch area... these flatten out and slide off the edge of the orthotic. I tried telling him that I need more arch support yesterday, but he gave the heel cup, telling me to try the cushion. OUCH! It felt ok for the first few minutes, the way you bounce a little in the heel, but soon the balls of my foot and my toes were aching from my weight being pushed forward, my arch feels like it's under huge strain, and the knife-like pain is back in my heels again. I don't get these as much when I have the good support in my arch. The combination of the orthotic and the heel cup are pushing me right out of the top of my shoes!

I am so tired of being at the mercy of someone else's whims... I know that finding a cure for each patient means trying everything, but my patience is wearing thin, and I really don't want to pay for a whole new pair of orthotics because he wouldn't listen to me! Sorry for going on about this... thanks for letting me vent... aargh.

Have a nice day.
Val.

Re: Saw my pod today... anyone tried Gel Heel Cups??

Donna SL on 4/17/01 at 10:23 (044814)

Valerie,

Did the pod ask you to put the heel cups on top of the orthotics? A majority of the control and stability of an orthotic is in the heel cup, and adding these would throw off most of the control, and support of the device. He doesn't seem to know what he is doing. These sounds like tuli type heel cups that should only be worn by themselves. I found heel cups in general made my pain worse, because I have high arches. Some people are helped tremendously with the Bauerfeind blue dot heel cups made for PF, but only worn in the shoe by themselves. Also I think Scott mentioned the ones made by Uco International were good in the products page, or the PF Book on this site. They're called heel bed 4PF. I don't know if their gel ones are good. I would try the Bauerfeind blue dot if you are going for silicone ones.

This site shows the Bauerfeind ones and has a small description of PF.

http://healthy-legs.com/ghp/planfaspainr.html

This site is for the Uco ones

http://www.ucointernational.com/Orthotics.htm

Is there any cushioning like a top cover of poron, and spenco glued to the top or the orthotic? I could see if maybe he had asked you to try a flat heel cup, under the orthotic there would have been a small possibility it would have helped, but never on top. Do not wear the orthotic/heelcup combo again.

I would ask him for a refund, and tell him this is not working. You need to find someone with a good biomechanical background. A poorly functioning orthotic can make your PF worse. The above heel cups may help you more than an orthotic.

Donna

Re: You're right... these buggers hurt!

Kay S on 4/17/01 at 18:03 (044875)

Valerie
I have enough heel cups in my 'foot gear cupboard' for everyone on this board! None have ever given me a moment's relief, and I think some caused more discomfort than I had before I wore them. I don't understand how anyone can wear them, actually, because they put your foot into a different position, raising the heel, putting more pressure on the forefoot, etc.
I have heel cups in many colors and sizes. Anyone into crafts around here????? (if you can find a use for milk cartons, surely heel cups can't be far behind!)
Kay

Re: Saw my pod today... anyone tried Gel Heel Cups??

Ann G on 4/17/01 at 20:54 (044903)

I use gel inserts in my shoes. I was told by a girlfriend who is a dog trainer to try them. She spends lots of time on her feet working with dogs. The heelcups helped, but I find the liquid insoles allow me to stand on my feet and walk without pain. The shifting liquid feels strange at first, but now I'm used to it.
I think it's the shock absorbing factor that has worked for me.

Re: Called doc's office about the heel cups...

Paula G. on 4/17/01 at hrmin (044913)

Yes, Val, why are we at a doctor's mercy. Especially, when they do not listen. Any other profession and we could demand service. We would not pay for service we felt was either unjustified or wrong. Just the medical profession...Doctors can hide behind that and do anything they choose because they will get paid for it.
You sound so miserable...I have gotten where I will not nickle and dime myself to death. I cannot keep paying for things that do not work. I got heel cups and what a waste. Might as well have burned the money. I am confused, why at this late stage.....are heel cups being used?? Should that not be one of the first things tried for someone. And for someone in the early stages of this disease? This is a disease..It is cruel and ruthless. You cannot get away from it because you must be up moving to survive and live....How do we make ourselves heard? We are paying these people...how can we force them to help us? I am not talking about the doctors that come here and post and help us. I am talking about the 99 per cent that have no clue about this disease but call themselves foot doctors. I have read the percentage of people with foot problems is quite high. But, most people call it just tired feet and live with it because they don't have this disease to this extent. Seems we are the ones out there with the bad case of it...

Re: Saw my pod today... anyone tried Gel Heel Cups??

john h on 4/18/01 at 10:46 (044958)

tried them and they did nothing for me.

Re: Saw my pod today... anyone tried Gel Heel Cups??

Nancy N on 4/18/01 at 11:18 (044964)

Val--

I used the Bauerfeind ViscoSpots for a while last summer and they were great for a while (like everything else I've ever tried, which works for a while and then I end up back where I started). I liked them, though, even when some of the pain came back, just because I felt like they kept some of the aggravation off the problem area. I also tried the Tuli cups, which sound more like what you're describing, and didn't really notice much difference with them.

Re: Saw my pod today... anyone tried Gel Heel Cups??

Amy A. on 4/16/01 at 15:15 (044737)

Hi Valerie...I have pf and heel spurs...I tried the gel heel cups and found that for me they made my pain even worse. Along with your orthotics and Birks are you also stretching regularly?? That has really helped me. I wear Birks almost always and use their inserts in my regular shoes if I need to wear them.

Re: Saw my pod today... anyone tried Gel Heel Cups??

GinaC on 4/16/01 at 16:11 (044743)

Hi Val! I had both regular and gel heel cups that produced exactly the same result: no improvement. Most definitely walk those 'hell cups' thru Walmart before you talk to the pod again! Gina P.S. Your pod knows more than his partner, who had no idea what ESWT was last fall!

Re: You're right... these buggers hurt!

Valerie S on 4/16/01 at hrmin (044769)

Hi again.

I have been wearing these gel heel cups all day now, and have to give them a thumbs down. I DID go to Walmart, but only for 1/2 hour... My arches feel like they are hanging out in limbo, like they're gonna tear or fall, I can't tell which. The pressure is now all on my heel... like knives. I can't believe I fell for this one... oh well. Having tried it, now I know.

Amy: Yes, I stretch on a regular basis. I also ice a couple of times a day, and have been in physical therapy for 5 weeks. I have some improvement because I am now off my feet more than on them, but have seen almost no real improvement, since I only have to be on my feet for 1/2 hour before it's too late to turn back the pain...

Another treatment ruled out...

Thanks again... Val.

Re: You're right... these buggers hurt!/Yes they do!!

Donna M. on 4/16/01 at 23:21 (044782)

Hi Valerie S,
I'm with you, yes they do hurt!! I thought when my Dr. first gave mine to me and I stood up on them, it was just the fact of having to get used to them!! That wasn't it at all!! Those suckers just put more pressure on my heel, even though they were soft!! So it was just walk the way I had been in the first place, practically on my toes!
They looked like they should help, being so soft, but they were just another disappointment!

Re: Called doc's office about the heel cups...

Valerie S on 4/17/01 at hrmin (044804)

and the nurse seemed totally surprised that the heel cups were not helping! I am worried that my time (I signed the paper) for adjusting my expensive orthotics to fit me will expire. I get free alterations for 90 days, and have had them adjusted once. For some reason, he is not jumping to send them back for me. Instead he likes to glue felt pads to the arch area... these flatten out and slide off the edge of the orthotic. I tried telling him that I need more arch support yesterday, but he gave the heel cup, telling me to try the cushion. OUCH! It felt ok for the first few minutes, the way you bounce a little in the heel, but soon the balls of my foot and my toes were aching from my weight being pushed forward, my arch feels like it's under huge strain, and the knife-like pain is back in my heels again. I don't get these as much when I have the good support in my arch. The combination of the orthotic and the heel cup are pushing me right out of the top of my shoes!

I am so tired of being at the mercy of someone else's whims... I know that finding a cure for each patient means trying everything, but my patience is wearing thin, and I really don't want to pay for a whole new pair of orthotics because he wouldn't listen to me! Sorry for going on about this... thanks for letting me vent... aargh.

Have a nice day.
Val.

Re: Saw my pod today... anyone tried Gel Heel Cups??

Donna SL on 4/17/01 at 10:23 (044814)

Valerie,

Did the pod ask you to put the heel cups on top of the orthotics? A majority of the control and stability of an orthotic is in the heel cup, and adding these would throw off most of the control, and support of the device. He doesn't seem to know what he is doing. These sounds like tuli type heel cups that should only be worn by themselves. I found heel cups in general made my pain worse, because I have high arches. Some people are helped tremendously with the Bauerfeind blue dot heel cups made for PF, but only worn in the shoe by themselves. Also I think Scott mentioned the ones made by Uco International were good in the products page, or the PF Book on this site. They're called heel bed 4PF. I don't know if their gel ones are good. I would try the Bauerfeind blue dot if you are going for silicone ones.

This site shows the Bauerfeind ones and has a small description of PF.

http://healthy-legs.com/ghp/planfaspainr.html

This site is for the Uco ones

http://www.ucointernational.com/Orthotics.htm

Is there any cushioning like a top cover of poron, and spenco glued to the top or the orthotic? I could see if maybe he had asked you to try a flat heel cup, under the orthotic there would have been a small possibility it would have helped, but never on top. Do not wear the orthotic/heelcup combo again.

I would ask him for a refund, and tell him this is not working. You need to find someone with a good biomechanical background. A poorly functioning orthotic can make your PF worse. The above heel cups may help you more than an orthotic.

Donna

Re: You're right... these buggers hurt!

Kay S on 4/17/01 at 18:03 (044875)

Valerie
I have enough heel cups in my 'foot gear cupboard' for everyone on this board! None have ever given me a moment's relief, and I think some caused more discomfort than I had before I wore them. I don't understand how anyone can wear them, actually, because they put your foot into a different position, raising the heel, putting more pressure on the forefoot, etc.
I have heel cups in many colors and sizes. Anyone into crafts around here????? (if you can find a use for milk cartons, surely heel cups can't be far behind!)
Kay

Re: Saw my pod today... anyone tried Gel Heel Cups??

Ann G on 4/17/01 at 20:54 (044903)

I use gel inserts in my shoes. I was told by a girlfriend who is a dog trainer to try them. She spends lots of time on her feet working with dogs. The heelcups helped, but I find the liquid insoles allow me to stand on my feet and walk without pain. The shifting liquid feels strange at first, but now I'm used to it.
I think it's the shock absorbing factor that has worked for me.

Re: Called doc's office about the heel cups...

Paula G. on 4/17/01 at hrmin (044913)

Yes, Val, why are we at a doctor's mercy. Especially, when they do not listen. Any other profession and we could demand service. We would not pay for service we felt was either unjustified or wrong. Just the medical profession...Doctors can hide behind that and do anything they choose because they will get paid for it.
You sound so miserable...I have gotten where I will not nickle and dime myself to death. I cannot keep paying for things that do not work. I got heel cups and what a waste. Might as well have burned the money. I am confused, why at this late stage.....are heel cups being used?? Should that not be one of the first things tried for someone. And for someone in the early stages of this disease? This is a disease..It is cruel and ruthless. You cannot get away from it because you must be up moving to survive and live....How do we make ourselves heard? We are paying these people...how can we force them to help us? I am not talking about the doctors that come here and post and help us. I am talking about the 99 per cent that have no clue about this disease but call themselves foot doctors. I have read the percentage of people with foot problems is quite high. But, most people call it just tired feet and live with it because they don't have this disease to this extent. Seems we are the ones out there with the bad case of it...

Re: Saw my pod today... anyone tried Gel Heel Cups??

john h on 4/18/01 at 10:46 (044958)

tried them and they did nothing for me.

Re: Saw my pod today... anyone tried Gel Heel Cups??

Nancy N on 4/18/01 at 11:18 (044964)

Val--

I used the Bauerfeind ViscoSpots for a while last summer and they were great for a while (like everything else I've ever tried, which works for a while and then I end up back where I started). I liked them, though, even when some of the pain came back, just because I felt like they kept some of the aggravation off the problem area. I also tried the Tuli cups, which sound more like what you're describing, and didn't really notice much difference with them.