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Plantar faciitis, Heel spurs, chronic neck tightness (pain) and low back pain

Posted by Craig W. on 6/02/01 at hrmin (049678)

Has anybody heard of these conditions being related?

If so, please let me know where I can find this information. I have all of the above and am in search of an answer.

Thanks so much!!!!

Re: Plantar faciitis, Heel spurs, chronic neck tightness (pain) and low back pain

Julie on 6/02/01 at 16:05 (049686)

Hi Craig

Everything in the body is related to everything else. Postural imbalances can cause problems anywhere. Problems with the feet can cause problems in the knees, hips and spine (which includes the neck) - and vice versa: problems in the spine can cause problems in the lower extremities. If you have low back pain and/or neck pain as well as heel pain (which can be caused by nerve impingement in the back) you should have a complete evaluation of your spine and lower extremities

Re: Plantar faciitis, Heel spurs, chronic neck tightness (pain) and low back pain

Paula G. on 6/02/01 at 18:25 (049694)

I do know that I also have lower back pain. I think it is from NOT walking right! Limping and acting like one foot is shorter than the other trying to protect the foot while walking.
I believe it does put a lot of added stress on the back. Lately with my feet getting worse, I find I can not sit and bend over without my back hurting. UGH.

Re: Plantar faciitis, Heel spurs, chronic neck tightness (pain) and low back pain

Julie on 6/03/01 at 02:45 (049726)

Paula, yes, 'not walking right' will certainly stress your lower back. Do all you can to make it possible for you to walk more 'right', i.e. to relieve the pain of walking. Taping may help you.

Your back is also probably growing stiff from lack of exercise. There are simple floor exercises you can do to release tension in it - without stressing your feet. Please say if you would like some suggestions.

Re: Plantar faciitis, Heel spurs, chronic neck tightness (pain) and low back pain

Denise D. on 6/06/01 at 00:25 (050039)

Hi Julie,
Please give us your suggestions about relieving back stress, I know that I walk 'funny' (for lack of a better word) because of my heel pain. I certainly don't want back pain! The foot pain is bad enough!
Thanks,
Denise D.

Re: Plantar faciitis, Heel spurs, chronic neck tightness (pain) and low back pain

Julie on 6/06/01 at 03:18 (050048)

Hi Denise

What do you do? I see from your other post that you're on your feet up to 8 hours a day. That's a very long time, so the first line of defense should be to relieve the pain as much as possible so that you walk as normally as possible and put as little strain on your lower back as possible. I can't remember if you've tried taping, but I would certainly recommend it. If it works for you, it is an effective pain reliever but more importantly an active agent in healing because it rests the plantar fascia. See the instructions in the heel pain book. The technique I have used with success is the simplest, 'two strip' one.

And of course be particularly careful about your footgear: wear only good, well-cushioned, arch-supportive shoes.

Here is a simple exercise to release tension in the lower back.

1 Lie down on the floor - carefully, so that you keep your spine aligned. Bend your knees before lowering your spine to the floor, so that the spine lengthens: never go down with your legs straight. (That's because the hamstrings, which connect the knees and the pelvis, will pull on the lower back and you'll end up with a big hollow in the lumbar.)

2 With your knees bent, place your feet a comfortable distance from your buttocks (about 6-12 inches). Have them parallel and hip width apart, toes pointing forward, not outward or inward. You may like a low pillow under your head.

3 Bring your right knee up to your abdomen, and clasp your hands around the top of your shin (or around the back of the thigh if you can't reach the top of the leg).

4 Breathing out, draw your knee towards your chest, without pulling your buttock off the floor: keep the whole of your back in contact with the floor.

5 Breathing in, and keeping hold of the knee, let it move forwards and away from you until your arms are straight.

Do the movements gently, in rhythm with your breath, and with awareness of the sensations in your lower back.

Repeat steps 4 and 5 five or more times. Then release the knee and place the foot back on the floor.

6 Then repeat on the left side.

7 Then bring both knees to the abdomen, take one hand around each, and repeat the exercise: move the knees away from your chest as far as the length of your arms allows as you breathe in, and draw them back towards your chest as you breathe out.

Finally, place both feet on the floor, and rest your hands comfortably on your abdomen. Lie still for a while - five minutes at least. Be aware of your breath, and with each out breath, feel your lower back softening and sinking into the floor.

I think you'll find that this exercise, which consists of gentle stretching and releasing your lower back muscles while your spine is in a supported, aligned position, releases tension in the lower back. You should find it generally relaxing, too. Do it as many times a day as you can find time for. First thing in the morning and last thing at night are good times - and whenever you feel tension beginning to build up.

Re: To Julie, Re: Low back pain and exercises

Denise D. on 6/07/01 at 02:23 (050126)

Hi Julie,
Thanks for answering my question about exercises to relieve back stress.
I have tried taping which does give me some relief, it was put on by my Pod. and as per his instructions worn 2 days then removed.
I have tried Celebrex, which did nothing for me, on my last Pod. visit he gave me Vioxx to take and also gave me thin plastic inserts for my shoes, (not custom ones). The Vioxx along with the inserts seem to help, but after taking the Rx for 3 days I noticed a little swelling in my ankles and also had some puffiness under my eyes. I was told that those symptoms should go away once my system gets use to the Rx.
I'm wondering if I should wear taping along with a Futuro ankle brace and my inserts, any suggestions?? My left ankle, which is the foot with the heel spur tends to hurt if I'm on my feet.
I'm going to end this and go try your 'back stretching' technique.
Thanks again for all your insight.

Denise D.

Re: To Denise: Taping, ankle bracing, Vioxx

Julie on 6/07/01 at 03:29 (050129)

Hi Denise

You say that the tape applied by your pod gave you some relief. So I understand correctly that you tried it only the once, and not again? If so, I would certainly suggest that you persevere on your own with it. I've used tape since last August, every day until fairly recently, and even now, although my PF is mostly better, I still use it when I know I'm going to be on my feet a lot. If you do go in for it, you should really remove it every night so that the skin can recover: otherwise it can soften and weaken, especially if the tape gets wet.

The ankle brace on top of the tape works well for me when I feel I need double support, and I always wear my orthotics inside good trainers (or, indoors, Birkenstocks). No reason why you shouldn't - but try it and see how it works for you.

The response of your eyes and ankles to Vioxx sound like fluid retention. If it doesn't go away soon, perhaps you could ask ther doctor for something else. It's just possible that taping, ankle bracing, and icing for the inflammation could reduce your pain to the point where you don't need any medication, so they are worth pursuing.

Has your pod evaluated your gait to see if you have a biomechanical fault such as over-pronation which could be helped by custom orthotics?

Where do you live? We always seem to be on line around the same time.

All the best, Julie

Re: To Julie Re: Taping, ankle bracing, Vioxx

Denise D. on 6/07/01 at 12:51 (050162)

Hi Julie,

Thanks for answering my questions. I have only tried the taping once, since my Pod. told me we were going to try a process of elimination, and see what works best for me.
I'm like you, the ankle brace along with taping and my insert wouldn't hurt anything, that's for sure.
It's funny I seem to do pretty good as long as I'm off of my feet, but when I'm on them for over 2 hrs they begin to hurt.
No the Pod. hasn't tested my gait, I already feel like I do walk abnormally, just by watching myself in the mirror. I do want him to test me.
I live in Texas, and seems like the only time I have to get on the internet is when I'm off on Wednesdays & don't go into work till 2:30 in the afternoon on Thursdays. I get on my computer about 11:00 at night (just researching for info, etc) and don't realize how late it gets, its amazing how quickly time goes by when I'm on this thing. Ha!
Where are you? I know that you have responded to several of my posts, and you seem to have so much knowledge!
Thanks again for all of your help.
Friends,
Denise

Re: To Denise Re: Taping, ankle bracing, gait evaluation

Julie on 6/08/01 at 02:43 (050229)

Hi Denise

I'm in England (London), so when it's late at night for you, it's early morning for me.

Taping. If a single taping gave you relief, I can't understand why your pod didn't suggest that you continue with it. 'Process of elimnination' is all very well, but none of these treatments are magic bullets, and they all have to be tried over a period of time. I really think that you should experiment with it - it can take a bit of time to get the tension right - because if it gives you even some relief you are accomplishing two important things: less pain means a more normal gait and less likelihood of knock-on knee, hip and back problems; plus, because it rests the fascia, it aids healing. If you have any problems with taping, I'll be glad to help.

Rest is really important, so please try to stay off your feet as much as possible. 'More than two hours' is an awful lot! What do you do? Pardon me if I knew this and have forgotten.

Do ask your pod do evaluate your gait. This requires a treadmill (or whatever it's called - one of those walking on the spot machines - I hope he has one). My pod video'd me walking so that we could both look at the results, which was interesting.

Evaluation identifies over-pronation other biomechanical faults and it really needs to be done. Custom orthotics, provided they are properly casted and well made, can be an enormous help in controlling PF. If you do get into this, Richard, our resident expert C.Ped (certified pedorthist) can give information and advice.

All the best, Julie

Re: To Denise Re: Taping, ankle bracing, gait evaluation

Denise D. on 6/08/01 at 07:39 (050241)

Hello again Julie,

I didn't realize you were in England! Thanks again for all of the great advice.
I think I will experiment with the taping, how do you apply yours? Since my job requires me being on my feet, I need more support than the New Balance walking shoes along with the inserts gives me.
I'm the warehouse manager at an Antique Auction Gallery, which by the way, we get a lot of our antiques from England. I work Mon & Tues,off Wed & go back to work Thurs afternoon and evening (for auction), and work Fri. At least being off mid-week gives me a chance to rest my feet.
I will ask my Pod about gait evaluation on my next visit.
Well, I probably won't be back on line till next week so have a great weekend! And if you would please let me know how you tape your feet I would appreciate it.
Thanks and all the best,
Denise

Re: To Denise Re: Taping

Julie on 6/08/01 at 09:16 (050254)

Hi Denise

I remember now that you said you worked at an Auction Gallery. Yes, you do need plenty of support.

Iuse the simplest taping method Scott describes: two strips of tape connecting the ball of the foot and the heel. As Scott explains, you have to experiment a bit to get the tension right: too loose and it won't give enough support, too tight and it can be painful.

I would start like this: dorsiflex your foot fully (i.e. bend it back at the ankle). Apply the tape tightly. See how it feels when you stand up and walk on it. (This is right for me: you may want it looser or tighter.) If you hold your foot in neutral when applying the tape, then when you stand up it's too tight (I tried it once, and had to remove the tape instantly it was so uncomfortable).

If this technique doesn't give you enough relief, try the others. I have no experience with any of the others, because Two-Strip worked beautifully for me from the start. Judy S likes the one that goes round the back of the heel: she may be able to chime in here too.

You really do have to remove the tape every night so that the skin can recover. Do it slowly and carefully, from ball to heel. The sticky residue can be removed with lighter fluid. Not pleasant, but quickly over. If the tape is left on, the skin softens and weakens.

You need a good quality athletic tape.

That's it in a nutshell. I hope it helps you.

We are going to Paris on Monday, back on the 21st. Don't hesitate to ask if you need any help.

All the best, Julie

Re: Plantar faciitis, Heel spurs, chronic neck tightness (pain) and low back pain

Julie on 6/02/01 at 16:05 (049686)

Hi Craig

Everything in the body is related to everything else. Postural imbalances can cause problems anywhere. Problems with the feet can cause problems in the knees, hips and spine (which includes the neck) - and vice versa: problems in the spine can cause problems in the lower extremities. If you have low back pain and/or neck pain as well as heel pain (which can be caused by nerve impingement in the back) you should have a complete evaluation of your spine and lower extremities

Re: Plantar faciitis, Heel spurs, chronic neck tightness (pain) and low back pain

Paula G. on 6/02/01 at 18:25 (049694)

I do know that I also have lower back pain. I think it is from NOT walking right! Limping and acting like one foot is shorter than the other trying to protect the foot while walking.
I believe it does put a lot of added stress on the back. Lately with my feet getting worse, I find I can not sit and bend over without my back hurting. UGH.

Re: Plantar faciitis, Heel spurs, chronic neck tightness (pain) and low back pain

Julie on 6/03/01 at 02:45 (049726)

Paula, yes, 'not walking right' will certainly stress your lower back. Do all you can to make it possible for you to walk more 'right', i.e. to relieve the pain of walking. Taping may help you.

Your back is also probably growing stiff from lack of exercise. There are simple floor exercises you can do to release tension in it - without stressing your feet. Please say if you would like some suggestions.

Re: Plantar faciitis, Heel spurs, chronic neck tightness (pain) and low back pain

Denise D. on 6/06/01 at 00:25 (050039)

Hi Julie,
Please give us your suggestions about relieving back stress, I know that I walk 'funny' (for lack of a better word) because of my heel pain. I certainly don't want back pain! The foot pain is bad enough!
Thanks,
Denise D.

Re: Plantar faciitis, Heel spurs, chronic neck tightness (pain) and low back pain

Julie on 6/06/01 at 03:18 (050048)

Hi Denise

What do you do? I see from your other post that you're on your feet up to 8 hours a day. That's a very long time, so the first line of defense should be to relieve the pain as much as possible so that you walk as normally as possible and put as little strain on your lower back as possible. I can't remember if you've tried taping, but I would certainly recommend it. If it works for you, it is an effective pain reliever but more importantly an active agent in healing because it rests the plantar fascia. See the instructions in the heel pain book. The technique I have used with success is the simplest, 'two strip' one.

And of course be particularly careful about your footgear: wear only good, well-cushioned, arch-supportive shoes.

Here is a simple exercise to release tension in the lower back.

1 Lie down on the floor - carefully, so that you keep your spine aligned. Bend your knees before lowering your spine to the floor, so that the spine lengthens: never go down with your legs straight. (That's because the hamstrings, which connect the knees and the pelvis, will pull on the lower back and you'll end up with a big hollow in the lumbar.)

2 With your knees bent, place your feet a comfortable distance from your buttocks (about 6-12 inches). Have them parallel and hip width apart, toes pointing forward, not outward or inward. You may like a low pillow under your head.

3 Bring your right knee up to your abdomen, and clasp your hands around the top of your shin (or around the back of the thigh if you can't reach the top of the leg).

4 Breathing out, draw your knee towards your chest, without pulling your buttock off the floor: keep the whole of your back in contact with the floor.

5 Breathing in, and keeping hold of the knee, let it move forwards and away from you until your arms are straight.

Do the movements gently, in rhythm with your breath, and with awareness of the sensations in your lower back.

Repeat steps 4 and 5 five or more times. Then release the knee and place the foot back on the floor.

6 Then repeat on the left side.

7 Then bring both knees to the abdomen, take one hand around each, and repeat the exercise: move the knees away from your chest as far as the length of your arms allows as you breathe in, and draw them back towards your chest as you breathe out.

Finally, place both feet on the floor, and rest your hands comfortably on your abdomen. Lie still for a while - five minutes at least. Be aware of your breath, and with each out breath, feel your lower back softening and sinking into the floor.

I think you'll find that this exercise, which consists of gentle stretching and releasing your lower back muscles while your spine is in a supported, aligned position, releases tension in the lower back. You should find it generally relaxing, too. Do it as many times a day as you can find time for. First thing in the morning and last thing at night are good times - and whenever you feel tension beginning to build up.

Re: To Julie, Re: Low back pain and exercises

Denise D. on 6/07/01 at 02:23 (050126)

Hi Julie,
Thanks for answering my question about exercises to relieve back stress.
I have tried taping which does give me some relief, it was put on by my Pod. and as per his instructions worn 2 days then removed.
I have tried Celebrex, which did nothing for me, on my last Pod. visit he gave me Vioxx to take and also gave me thin plastic inserts for my shoes, (not custom ones). The Vioxx along with the inserts seem to help, but after taking the Rx for 3 days I noticed a little swelling in my ankles and also had some puffiness under my eyes. I was told that those symptoms should go away once my system gets use to the Rx.
I'm wondering if I should wear taping along with a Futuro ankle brace and my inserts, any suggestions?? My left ankle, which is the foot with the heel spur tends to hurt if I'm on my feet.
I'm going to end this and go try your 'back stretching' technique.
Thanks again for all your insight.

Denise D.

Re: To Denise: Taping, ankle bracing, Vioxx

Julie on 6/07/01 at 03:29 (050129)

Hi Denise

You say that the tape applied by your pod gave you some relief. So I understand correctly that you tried it only the once, and not again? If so, I would certainly suggest that you persevere on your own with it. I've used tape since last August, every day until fairly recently, and even now, although my PF is mostly better, I still use it when I know I'm going to be on my feet a lot. If you do go in for it, you should really remove it every night so that the skin can recover: otherwise it can soften and weaken, especially if the tape gets wet.

The ankle brace on top of the tape works well for me when I feel I need double support, and I always wear my orthotics inside good trainers (or, indoors, Birkenstocks). No reason why you shouldn't - but try it and see how it works for you.

The response of your eyes and ankles to Vioxx sound like fluid retention. If it doesn't go away soon, perhaps you could ask ther doctor for something else. It's just possible that taping, ankle bracing, and icing for the inflammation could reduce your pain to the point where you don't need any medication, so they are worth pursuing.

Has your pod evaluated your gait to see if you have a biomechanical fault such as over-pronation which could be helped by custom orthotics?

Where do you live? We always seem to be on line around the same time.

All the best, Julie

Re: To Julie Re: Taping, ankle bracing, Vioxx

Denise D. on 6/07/01 at 12:51 (050162)

Hi Julie,

Thanks for answering my questions. I have only tried the taping once, since my Pod. told me we were going to try a process of elimination, and see what works best for me.
I'm like you, the ankle brace along with taping and my insert wouldn't hurt anything, that's for sure.
It's funny I seem to do pretty good as long as I'm off of my feet, but when I'm on them for over 2 hrs they begin to hurt.
No the Pod. hasn't tested my gait, I already feel like I do walk abnormally, just by watching myself in the mirror. I do want him to test me.
I live in Texas, and seems like the only time I have to get on the internet is when I'm off on Wednesdays & don't go into work till 2:30 in the afternoon on Thursdays. I get on my computer about 11:00 at night (just researching for info, etc) and don't realize how late it gets, its amazing how quickly time goes by when I'm on this thing. Ha!
Where are you? I know that you have responded to several of my posts, and you seem to have so much knowledge!
Thanks again for all of your help.
Friends,
Denise

Re: To Denise Re: Taping, ankle bracing, gait evaluation

Julie on 6/08/01 at 02:43 (050229)

Hi Denise

I'm in England (London), so when it's late at night for you, it's early morning for me.

Taping. If a single taping gave you relief, I can't understand why your pod didn't suggest that you continue with it. 'Process of elimnination' is all very well, but none of these treatments are magic bullets, and they all have to be tried over a period of time. I really think that you should experiment with it - it can take a bit of time to get the tension right - because if it gives you even some relief you are accomplishing two important things: less pain means a more normal gait and less likelihood of knock-on knee, hip and back problems; plus, because it rests the fascia, it aids healing. If you have any problems with taping, I'll be glad to help.

Rest is really important, so please try to stay off your feet as much as possible. 'More than two hours' is an awful lot! What do you do? Pardon me if I knew this and have forgotten.

Do ask your pod do evaluate your gait. This requires a treadmill (or whatever it's called - one of those walking on the spot machines - I hope he has one). My pod video'd me walking so that we could both look at the results, which was interesting.

Evaluation identifies over-pronation other biomechanical faults and it really needs to be done. Custom orthotics, provided they are properly casted and well made, can be an enormous help in controlling PF. If you do get into this, Richard, our resident expert C.Ped (certified pedorthist) can give information and advice.

All the best, Julie

Re: To Denise Re: Taping, ankle bracing, gait evaluation

Denise D. on 6/08/01 at 07:39 (050241)

Hello again Julie,

I didn't realize you were in England! Thanks again for all of the great advice.
I think I will experiment with the taping, how do you apply yours? Since my job requires me being on my feet, I need more support than the New Balance walking shoes along with the inserts gives me.
I'm the warehouse manager at an Antique Auction Gallery, which by the way, we get a lot of our antiques from England. I work Mon & Tues,off Wed & go back to work Thurs afternoon and evening (for auction), and work Fri. At least being off mid-week gives me a chance to rest my feet.
I will ask my Pod about gait evaluation on my next visit.
Well, I probably won't be back on line till next week so have a great weekend! And if you would please let me know how you tape your feet I would appreciate it.
Thanks and all the best,
Denise

Re: To Denise Re: Taping

Julie on 6/08/01 at 09:16 (050254)

Hi Denise

I remember now that you said you worked at an Auction Gallery. Yes, you do need plenty of support.

Iuse the simplest taping method Scott describes: two strips of tape connecting the ball of the foot and the heel. As Scott explains, you have to experiment a bit to get the tension right: too loose and it won't give enough support, too tight and it can be painful.

I would start like this: dorsiflex your foot fully (i.e. bend it back at the ankle). Apply the tape tightly. See how it feels when you stand up and walk on it. (This is right for me: you may want it looser or tighter.) If you hold your foot in neutral when applying the tape, then when you stand up it's too tight (I tried it once, and had to remove the tape instantly it was so uncomfortable).

If this technique doesn't give you enough relief, try the others. I have no experience with any of the others, because Two-Strip worked beautifully for me from the start. Judy S likes the one that goes round the back of the heel: she may be able to chime in here too.

You really do have to remove the tape every night so that the skin can recover. Do it slowly and carefully, from ball to heel. The sticky residue can be removed with lighter fluid. Not pleasant, but quickly over. If the tape is left on, the skin softens and weakens.

You need a good quality athletic tape.

That's it in a nutshell. I hope it helps you.

We are going to Paris on Monday, back on the 21st. Don't hesitate to ask if you need any help.

All the best, Julie