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Zero pain now for 2 weeks (Knock on cork:)

Posted by Milo_V on 5/04/01 at 22:30 (046651)

Hi all.

Thanks to the great advice, comments, and contributions on this site I've managed to get over this PF ailment, well zero pain for now. Now to give something back ...

I had pain in my 6 (front heel) and 8 (front inside heel) of my right foot for about 8 months. Last summer I started a heavy duty walking routine - 6 miles a day 5 days a week. By about August I started having that little early morning pain. Which I totally ignored. It went away after the first 10 minutes of walking, how bad could it be. About mid-September, kablooy, the pain became a 24 hour thing. I had to stop walking and worked on healing myself.

A good PT friend of ours treated many cases like this. She gave me the low down on the physics of this pain and she got me started on ice, stretching, aspirin, massage and things. The pain would get better if I could rest it. Still somewhat acute, but better. However, I would over do it one weekend and boink, back to square one. Then about November/December I found this site by accident (or was it fate). I'm a die hard do-it-yourselfer so I was seeking help over the internet. I found all kinds of information, however, this site and its community was totally fantastic for the likes of me. For example I had heard of taping, but I couldn't figure it out until I read Scott's PF Book and saw the video.

I saw an ortho, my brother-in-law. He's quite frank. He shoved his thumb up my number 6 and 8 areas, boy did I wince. He said yeah, you have PF, wear good supported shoes, stretch and rest. I said thanks. Even though he was quite terse, in hind sight his advice was sage. (There's more to it than that he has a great demeanor and he explained quite a few things. There isn't much to do with bad bones except mend and rest. I digress.) But, the big question is how to do this (support, stretch, and rest). This site was a big help.

The big thing is to figure out what helps and what doesn't. The what doesn'ts will set you back a few days. Here were some things that were negative to me
- Heel pads, for some reason this seemed to feel like it cut off circulation and excerbated the pain.
- Ankle and arch elastic bandages. Again, they were too tight. It took me a month or so to feel they weren't working. When I stopped things got better.
- Icing incorrectly. At first I just plopped my foot on an ice bag for 15 minutes. I damaged the skin, almost like frost bite.
- Going barefoot at home.

Things I think that helped:

- Taping. This really helped to rest the foot muscles. Note that I first tried the 2 tape method in Scott's book. This was OK, but after half a day it didn't seem to help me. I modified it to use 4 strips, basically a second overlap for each part of the cross. Then I added a fifth one at the ball of my foot as anchor. I needed the fifth one there because the tape would hurt that part of my foot after standing all day. I used Johnson&Johnson coach support tape from Walgreens. I did this everyday religously for the last 8 weeks before zero day.

- Icing, spot icing with a little bit of massage for 5 minutes once or twice a day. Or when it seemed to flair up.

- Stretching. All kinds of calf, ankle, and thigh stretching. I ended doing a bizarre scissor kind of stretch, that would stretch my calf and the thigh of the other leg. I wasn't very patient in doing each individual muscle groups. I'm a fast food kind of guy. My PF friend, was great in showing me all those muscles that needed to stretch. I then improvised to suit my schedule and personality.

- Wearing shoes all the time. Even at night for those nightly visits. About 2 weeks before zero pain day (4 weeks ago), my PF was almost negligible. Then during a nocturnal nature a call, I was standing on the tile and zing. I was back to a factor 10 pain - yikes.

- Birks. My right foot is flat and really overpronates. After that zing during my nature call, I said its time to get some support and wear shoes all the time. I searched this site and saw lots of good things about Birkenstock sandals. So I found a local birk store. The sales person also had suffered from PF so it was the best shoe fitting I ever had. She showed me a new padded version of the classic Arizona style since my foot was still tender. Its funny, I liked the plain cork sole a lot better. So I bought a pair of cork soles without pads. This was about 4 weeks ago.

- No Soda. I had read on this site (john_h i think) about the benefits of calcium. He mentioned how this could leach the calcium out of bone. I then cross referenced this with a nutrional healing book that I came across. For heel spurs, it had all kinds of eating/drinking dos and don'ts. I was downing 1 to 2 cans of diet soda a day. So I stopped cold turkey. This was about the same time I got my birks 4 weeks ago. By the way I didn't increase my calcium, I think I was getting enough from daily food intake and my one-a-day vitamin.

- MSM. I took these for about 4 weeks. Also did the cream with MSM and Glucosamine. I'm not sure what effect it had. But I did like to gently massage my heel with the cream.

- Thick inserts in my New Balance walking shoes. The day I had to quit walking I had just bought a pair of New Balance (754 I think). I then experimented with all kinds of inserts. This is where I learned that some combinations caused more harm then good. I got a thick sports insole from Sports Authority with good arch support. They are really comfortable now. New balance are good for stability. I'll need to get a new pair soon as they are getting thread bare :(

- Massaging. Before an icing I'd rub along the muscle deeply. Also rolled the golf ball around, kept it at my desk at work.

- Foot exercise. My PF friend subscribed all kind of exercises, marble picking up and towel grabbing. I came across a site (can't remember now where) that got into non-bearing excercises for the feet. Basically hang them over the edge of a seat and lift them up and down - toe up, toe down. 30 reps 3 sets. I started to add weight to them - those ankle weights. I do 3 sets now with zero, 1 pound and 2 pound weights. Then I rotate left and right 30 times with the 2 pounder. If your thinking about this start out slow no weights, if your like me you never used those muscles before.

- Birks. Birks are another form of exercise. The first few days I wore them my muscles in my foot and legs were sore. I was learning a new way to walk. The other thing is that I wear them all the time at home now. They are my nocturnal companions. Another neat thing is the high arch (which I've always hated in shoes) is a good thing. It forces me to notice my pronation and I can flex my feet to get them in the 'right' shape.

- Family. My family was quite understanding and just let me rest. They were quite alarmed at first that I needed to do this. I guess its part of getting old.

Well I didn't mean to bore you all with this tome. I have one more anecdote. The day I felt zero pain. Well it started the day before the zero day. I was down to about a 1 or 2 pain factor having finally recovered from my nocturnal visit. So I taped up my foot and went for a 10 minute walk with my wife. When I came home I felt a small flair up, about the size of a pea, in my number 8 area. Methodically, I did the 5 minute ice massage, took 3 ibuprofins, lightly stretched and went to bed. The next day it was gone. The PF that is. I stopped wearing tape, threw on my New Balances and went to work. I've been doing things in moderation, but I have survived a mall shopping trip for clothes with my teenage daughters. (Why does that take all day!). I had sore feet, but in a nice way. I guess some of those 'mall' muscles had atrophied.

I have a new respect for my feet and doing things in moderation. From now on at the first sign of pain. Rest, ice and aspirin. I don't ever want a chronic condition like this again.

That's it for now.
Cheers

Re: Zero pain now for 2 weeks (Knock on cork:)

Scott R on 5/04/01 at 22:45 (046654)

Thanks Milo for the long and detailed view on how you got a grip on PF, your experience, and overall view of how others might be able to deal with it. There have been a few similar posts. I should have done this before, but now I think I'm going to collect these posts and make links to them so others can see perspectives different from my own. Many docs have written on the subject, but I think it takes a patient to know one and thereby provide info the doc will miss or gloss over. Docs say 'rest, ice, stretch' (hopefully), but it takes patient to go into detail about what 'rest, ice, stretch' really means. It How any treatment is applied is just as important as the type of treatment.

Re: Zero pain now for 2 weeks (Knock on cork:)

Milo_V on 5/04/01 at 23:08 (046657)

That's a good idea Scott. As I look back I savored such posts. Any insight or glimmer of hope burns into your subconscious. And that has to be a good thing.

Re: links to other's advice

Scott R on 5/04/01 at 23:21 (046658)

I just spent some time digging up old posts. See the following page for advice other patients have posted:
http://heelspurs.com/_articles.html

Re: other posts

Scott R on 5/04/01 at 23:43 (046659)

If you have a grand summary and perspective of how you've successfully dealt with heel and fascia pain that others may need to know, please type it here so I can find it and add it to the list.
-

Re: Zero pain now for 2 weeks (Knock on cork:)/Foot exercise?

Donna M. on 5/05/01 at 11:03 (046686)

Hi and thanks for the info!! I have a question and I hope it doesn't sound dumb! But on the foot exercises you are talking about, the hanging over a seat and raising and lowering toes, are you sitting down or lying on your stomach? I can't figure out if you are doing ankles, toes or both!
Thanks for the info~~I'm doing all I can to rid myself of this problem and I'll try whatever!!
Donna M.

Re: Zero pain now for 2 weeks (Knock on cork:)/Foot exercise?

Milo_V on 5/05/01 at 12:09 (046692)

Thanks for asking. Its a good question. Also made me look into it a little more. I'm not a trainer nor physio nor athelete so its hard for me to precisely describe the hows, whats and whys.

This is what I am doing as part of my daily weight routine - In a sitting down position and my legs are almost in a pike position, legs straight. I sit on a workout bench with support under my knees. Moving my feet hinged at the ankle. Pointing the toe up then down. There are probably other positions.

There are a lot of exercises I got from an article on http://www.webmd.com . Search for 'Plantar Fasciitis Monster' in case the following URL becomes stale. I've also been doing a variation of the metatarsal exercises. My physio friend also had me do some variations on the metatarsal exercises.
This article describes them nicely.

http://my.webmd.com/content/article/1680.51767

I alluded to a variation [foot exercise] based on the following ankle exercise from that article. I tend to improvise. Here's a quote from that article.

Dorsiflexor strengthening: Sit on a desk, table, or counter so that your feet don't touch the ground. Let your feet dangle comfortably. Bend your foot upward as far as you can comfortably go. Do not let your foot pull inward or outward. Return to the starting position. Reps: 10-15.

Written by:
Allison Andrews Boldridge, M.A., P.T., is a senior staff physical therapist at Carle Foundation Hospital in Urbana, Illinois, treating orthopedic outpatients. Prior to moving to Illinois, she was the physical therapist for the North Carolina School of Performing Arts, treating primarily dancers.
---------------------

Hope this helps.
Cheers
Milo

Re: Zero pain now for 2 weeks (Knock on cork:)/Foot exercise?

ellenw on 5/05/01 at 15:54 (046699)

Thanks Milo, great info!

Re: Zero pain now for 2 weeks (Knock on cork:)

JudyS on 5/06/01 at 11:40 (046780)

Ditto Scott, Milo. Thanks so much for a well-detailed methodology of healing. It really supports what the docs have, more or less, told us all along. And it works in many, many, cases. The tricks are perserverance and patience.
But what REALLY impresses me is that you had the courage to go to the mall with your two teenage daughters......:)

Re: Zero pain now for 2 weeks (Knock on cork:)

Scott R on 5/04/01 at 22:45 (046654)

Thanks Milo for the long and detailed view on how you got a grip on PF, your experience, and overall view of how others might be able to deal with it. There have been a few similar posts. I should have done this before, but now I think I'm going to collect these posts and make links to them so others can see perspectives different from my own. Many docs have written on the subject, but I think it takes a patient to know one and thereby provide info the doc will miss or gloss over. Docs say 'rest, ice, stretch' (hopefully), but it takes patient to go into detail about what 'rest, ice, stretch' really means. It How any treatment is applied is just as important as the type of treatment.

Re: Zero pain now for 2 weeks (Knock on cork:)

Milo_V on 5/04/01 at 23:08 (046657)

That's a good idea Scott. As I look back I savored such posts. Any insight or glimmer of hope burns into your subconscious. And that has to be a good thing.

Re: links to other's advice

Scott R on 5/04/01 at 23:21 (046658)

I just spent some time digging up old posts. See the following page for advice other patients have posted:
http://heelspurs.com/_articles.html

Re: other posts

Scott R on 5/04/01 at 23:43 (046659)

If you have a grand summary and perspective of how you've successfully dealt with heel and fascia pain that others may need to know, please type it here so I can find it and add it to the list.
-

Re: Zero pain now for 2 weeks (Knock on cork:)/Foot exercise?

Donna M. on 5/05/01 at 11:03 (046686)

Hi and thanks for the info!! I have a question and I hope it doesn't sound dumb! But on the foot exercises you are talking about, the hanging over a seat and raising and lowering toes, are you sitting down or lying on your stomach? I can't figure out if you are doing ankles, toes or both!
Thanks for the info~~I'm doing all I can to rid myself of this problem and I'll try whatever!!
Donna M.

Re: Zero pain now for 2 weeks (Knock on cork:)/Foot exercise?

Milo_V on 5/05/01 at 12:09 (046692)

Thanks for asking. Its a good question. Also made me look into it a little more. I'm not a trainer nor physio nor athelete so its hard for me to precisely describe the hows, whats and whys.

This is what I am doing as part of my daily weight routine - In a sitting down position and my legs are almost in a pike position, legs straight. I sit on a workout bench with support under my knees. Moving my feet hinged at the ankle. Pointing the toe up then down. There are probably other positions.

There are a lot of exercises I got from an article on http://www.webmd.com . Search for 'Plantar Fasciitis Monster' in case the following URL becomes stale. I've also been doing a variation of the metatarsal exercises. My physio friend also had me do some variations on the metatarsal exercises.
This article describes them nicely.

http://my.webmd.com/content/article/1680.51767

I alluded to a variation [foot exercise] based on the following ankle exercise from that article. I tend to improvise. Here's a quote from that article.

Dorsiflexor strengthening: Sit on a desk, table, or counter so that your feet don't touch the ground. Let your feet dangle comfortably. Bend your foot upward as far as you can comfortably go. Do not let your foot pull inward or outward. Return to the starting position. Reps: 10-15.

Written by:
Allison Andrews Boldridge, M.A., P.T., is a senior staff physical therapist at Carle Foundation Hospital in Urbana, Illinois, treating orthopedic outpatients. Prior to moving to Illinois, she was the physical therapist for the North Carolina School of Performing Arts, treating primarily dancers.
---------------------

Hope this helps.
Cheers
Milo

Re: Zero pain now for 2 weeks (Knock on cork:)/Foot exercise?

ellenw on 5/05/01 at 15:54 (046699)

Thanks Milo, great info!

Re: Zero pain now for 2 weeks (Knock on cork:)

JudyS on 5/06/01 at 11:40 (046780)

Ditto Scott, Milo. Thanks so much for a well-detailed methodology of healing. It really supports what the docs have, more or less, told us all along. And it works in many, many, cases. The tricks are perserverance and patience.
But what REALLY impresses me is that you had the courage to go to the mall with your two teenage daughters......:)