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Possible to heal the "walking wounded"?

Posted by Mary De on 6/19/01 at hrmin (051056)

Hi all,

** Request for advice from the more experienced **

Problem: For now and the next few weeks at least, itÕs simply impossible for me to properly rest my feet. I must finish a house-building project and then move, meaning IÕm working on my feet, walking, and carrying heavy stuff. IÕve just read Dr. ZÕs remarks to someone about the importance of total rest, early in the injury-phase. I know IÕm blowing it -- and there is no choice.

Hoped-for advice: big question --> Has anyone else here successfully managed on-the-feet labor while healing their pf, or at least not making it worse? Little question--> If IÕm wearing orthotics & good boots, is taping redundant?

What IÕm already doing now: Gentle stretching in a.m. while in bed. Wearing my custom hard orthotics religiously. Taking herbs & supplements morning & evening (ginger, tumeric, nettles, gotu kola, evening primrose oil, glucosamine/chondroitin, msm, Chinese herbal mix, etc.). Frozen gel packs at night. Massage bottoms of feet with wooden roller thingie. Rubbing herb-oil on soles/heels twice day (arnica-infused jojoba with essential oils of birch & rosemary). On the building site, I take a lot of short breaks to get off my feet for at least a bit.

This has all helped -- I donÕt think I could walk at all w/out this routine.

What I hope to add, when I find/make/steal the time: More yoga & stretching, more icing, more sleep. Have a TENS machine, if I can figure out what to do with it. Other suggestions?

By the way, IÕm broke, since building project is hideously over budget. So professional pf help & gadgetry & new shoes are not possible at moment -- no money, no insurance. IÕm on the self-care route, with ŌnaturalĶ remedies much preferred.

Hoping for concrete advice -- thanks for the space to kevetch.

-- Mary De

Re: Re:Danger, Will Robinson, Danger!!!!!

Lori E. on 6/19/01 at 23:19 (051062)

Mary,
How much longer are you planning on doing this?!!! Even a few weeks can set you back and possibly damage your feet more.
I understand feeling that you have no choice, and that being the case... I suggest more breaks if possible. Really listen to your feet! Once they start to just feel tired or tingling or burning STOP!!!! Stop of they just ache a bit.
I just finished a tour of Scandinavia and I made it thru by stopping frequently and taking a 5-10 min. rest before moving on. But this is after making quite a bit of progress after having ESWT. I am 6 months from my first visit to Dr. Z. Is there any way to enlist more help? Get someone else to carry the heavy stuff!
At this point I don't think that taping would be redundant, anything you can do to support your feet! I also suggest the addition of heat, after doing your cold packs. Maybe I am wrong. I am hoping one of the doctors will have better advice for you.
Be warned(!!!) I ignored my PF for too long and it became chronic. By chronic I mean this has been going on for almost 2 years. If you don't listen to your feet, try to minimize the damage that has been done, or you may be in for a long bout of PF!

Re: Re:Danger, Will Robinson, Danger!!!!!

Nancy N on 6/20/01 at 08:10 (051090)

Mary--

I'll second everything Lori said, and also add a warning about hard orthotics. A lot of people can't tolerate them, and while I would recommend you do make sure your feet are well-supported while you're on them, if you feel worse in the hard orthotics, I wouldn't wear them. There are OTC orthotics out there that could provide some cushioning that might be better than the orthotics, or maybe you could swap the hard ones back-and-forth with something softer if they bother you.

The key is really, as Lori said, to listen to your feet--they'll tell you when something needs to change, whether it's the support in your shoes, or getting off your feet. I don't recommend continuing with this project if there's any possible way to avoid it--you could be setting yourself up for a chronic condition. Every time you take a step and your foot hurts, you are re-injuring yourself. So please, do be very careful.

Re: Re:Danger, Will Robinson, Danger!!!!!

john h on 6/20/01 at 09:02 (051096)

careful with those hard orthotics! i think they are a contributing factor in my long term PF>

Re: Possible to heal the "walking wounded"?

Steve P on 6/20/01 at 10:09 (051108)

Mary -- You seem to be doing some good things, but you really need a doctor's diagnosis. Don't try to 'work through' this on your own. PF can become chronic & long term if not controlled early. Please see at least your GP & ask about an anti-inflammatory med.

Don't underestimate this.

Best............Steve

Re: Possible to heal the "walking wounded"?

ellen w on 6/20/01 at 10:31 (051110)

Mary,
seems like you are doing a lot of good things. How much MSM are you taking? I had no effect from it while taking a single 750 mg pill a day; but did find I had less inflammation when I upped the dose to three capsules daily. Can you bring ice packs to your construction site in a cooler? Francis suggestion, posted yesterday -- of icing with feet in the air, and moving to keep circulation going, looked like maybe it would be of help to you. One of the other things that helped me, though this is not a quick fix, is building up ankle strength by using elastic therabands. These are inexpensive, and you should be able to get them off the web (I got mine from my pt). I put these around my foot and move my foot in all directions -- the stretch adds resistance that builds up strength. I do these in the morning, along with hamstring stretches, before getting out of bed. I'm almost better, except for tight ankles in the morning, and I find that these exercises limber me up enough to move fairly normally.
ellen

Re: Possible to heal the "walking wounded"?

Hooi on 6/20/01 at hrmin (051114)

you can check on the web site regarding the foot pains, find the one similar to the your case, in fact, the site
http://heelspurs.com/-articles.html/ is a site offer some help to you, like Dr. asnswer your question.Good luck
and hope your healthy. chant nam-myo-ho-renge-kyo

Re: harm reduction

Mary De on 6/20/01 at hrmin (051130)

Thank you, Lori, Nancy, John, Steve, Ellen, and Hooi. Good suggestions.

I've been thinking about it quite a lot since I posted my request yesterday, and concluded that I really AM between a rock and a hard place. The consequences of not finishing my humble house and moving in now are severe (homelessness, total financial crash, no place to run my home business, etc.) The consequences of worsening my pf are nasty (chronic pain), but not as bad. Therefore ... It's one hell of a choice, but so is life.

What I have to aim for is 'harm reduction.'

Answers to some questions:

-- looks like a minimum of 3 more weeks of this
-- I am absolutely listening (and talking!) to my feet. We're still in negotiations.
-- The condition was evaluated by a pod I trust. She prescribed/molded my orthotics for a mere $400. They seem to be a quality product (with cushioning and mini-heel), and they do make my feet feel better. I wear them with an extra cushion-pad on top. Earlier OTC orts didnÕt help much.
-- MSM is 750 mg. I'll up it.

Other ideas:
-- Iced gel packs at the building site. I'll try it!
-- Frequent breaks: absolutely.
-- Last night tried Francis's idea of gel packs banded to feet. Fun, did seem to help. Will do more.
-- thermabands: will look for them.
-- chanting: good idea. Buddhist chant probably wouldn't make it for me, but there's another one I know, in English: 'Every step I take is a healing step (2x). Healing, healing, healing my body; healing, healing, healing the land.' Seems appropriate.

This morning, before got out of bed, I did some meditation/energy work aimed at my feet. They're not hurting at moment. So now it's pull on the blue jeans and boots and get out there.

Thanks everyone! More suggestions welcome.

-- Mary De

Re: harm reduction

john h on 6/20/01 at 15:19 (051134)

to at least get you through the move might i suggest you ask the doctor for medrol dose pack (steriod). it want cure you but just might make your feet tolerable for 10 days. Boots? you mention pulling on your boots. i do not know what effect boots might have since the only ones i have worn are flying boots. the other boots i am familar have very poited toes,very raised heels and are somewhat constrictive. any problem with those boots?

Re: harm reduction

Rock on 6/20/01 at hrmin (051144)

Mary De,

You are very brave to post messages on this very PRO REST message board !

While most 'here' recommend total rest for PF, a few of us believe that reduction of activities is the very worst thing one can do to recovery from PF.

Good luck on your recovery.

Rock.

Re: harm reduction

ellen w on 6/21/01 at 08:49 (051168)

Hi Mary,

I was thinking last night of one particular post that may interest you, given your interest in naturopathy. It was a couple of months ago, by a guy who went to a Chinese herbalist, and soaked his feet in a brew of combination herbs and claimed that it really helped him. Try searching for 'I'm cured, I'm cured, I'm cured' by Rich. He noted that people who had questions could email him.
ellen

Re: harm reduction

john h on 6/21/01 at 17:57 (051194)

if activity works for you rock go for it as i admire your determination. strong men are brought to their knees by this as professional athletes in baseball,football, and basketball are sidelined. i can no longer or i should say i no longer try to run a 5k or 10k for fear i will bring the almost deabilating pain of a few years ago. age may play a factor but then there are some very young people on this board who on occasion cannot even walk. if you cannot even walk without terrible pain you are left with nothing but rest. i was one of the so called tough guys who ran through the pain until i became chronic (7 years). each of us has to make our own choice but i do not think this disease responds well to a lot of activity. when i read some of the post where people are actually crawling from room to room and have small children i cannot imagine telling them to get up and move faster. i do not of people on the board who have responded well to a period of complete rest and eventually got back at least somewhat of a near normal life.

Re: harm reduction

Mary De on 6/22/01 at hrmin (051222)

Thanks, all.

I found Rich's post and emailed him, asking for details.

I'm actually trying to NOT be too stoic. I may be tough (and desperate), but I'm not stupid. Instead of my usual 8-12 hours out on site, I'm doing 2 to 6 hours, max. I'm a wussie -- it hurts. Besides, it's incredibly hot out there these days. Heat wave is the talk of the neighbors ('Never seen it this hot, this early.') Global warming ain't a theory here! Gave myself a mild case of heat stroke a couple weeks ago, which was a good excuse to stay off my feet for a bit.

Boots are Timberland hiking boots. Cowboy boots for construction??! Now that's butch.

Thanks again to all.

--Mary De.

Re: Timberland hiking boots

Andrea R. on 6/22/01 at 10:23 (051239)

Are they the standard Timberland 'Yellow Boot'? If so, they may be doing more harm than good. A friend of mine is a shoe designer for Timberland and he advises against them. They don't flex or support in the right places. Look for the initials BFSP (I think) on the bottom. It stands for brake, flex, support and propel or something like that. They are the new type designed for real people.

Andrea

Re: Timberland hiking boots

Mary De on 6/22/01 at hrmin (051259)

Good tip. Yes, they have the initials. However, I replaced the inside flap (for lack of a better term) on the advice of the shoes saleman and replaced with OTC orthotics. Since getting my custom orts, I now use those. But these boots have seen a lot of miles and a lot of work, so they're due for replacement when I can afford it (not soon).

thanks!

--Mary De

Re: Timberland hiking boots

ellenw on 6/22/01 at 12:25 (051262)

Mary,

What size shoe do you wear? I have a pair of Timberland boots I'd like to give to a good home. They're men's size 8 (I have a wide foot); would fit a woman with a size 9 to 9.5 foot. I had fantasies of hiking when I bought them, then wasn't able to tolerate shoes with a stiff heel because of achilles tendonitis and bursitis. Now my foot's grown another half-inch, and they're too small.
ellen

Re: harm reduction

john h on 6/22/01 at 17:46 (051282)

hey partner in texas they use cowboy boots to dance,work, and run in.

Re: harm reduction

Mary De on 6/23/01 at hrmin (051312)

Like I said. Must be the butch state.

Ellen, thanks so much for the offer, but your boots are too small for me. I have beeeg feet -- 11 W in women's, 9-1/2 or 10 in men's.

--Mary De

Re: Re:Danger, Will Robinson, Danger!!!!!

Lori E. on 6/19/01 at 23:19 (051062)

Mary,
How much longer are you planning on doing this?!!! Even a few weeks can set you back and possibly damage your feet more.
I understand feeling that you have no choice, and that being the case... I suggest more breaks if possible. Really listen to your feet! Once they start to just feel tired or tingling or burning STOP!!!! Stop of they just ache a bit.
I just finished a tour of Scandinavia and I made it thru by stopping frequently and taking a 5-10 min. rest before moving on. But this is after making quite a bit of progress after having ESWT. I am 6 months from my first visit to Dr. Z. Is there any way to enlist more help? Get someone else to carry the heavy stuff!
At this point I don't think that taping would be redundant, anything you can do to support your feet! I also suggest the addition of heat, after doing your cold packs. Maybe I am wrong. I am hoping one of the doctors will have better advice for you.
Be warned(!!!) I ignored my PF for too long and it became chronic. By chronic I mean this has been going on for almost 2 years. If you don't listen to your feet, try to minimize the damage that has been done, or you may be in for a long bout of PF!

Re: Re:Danger, Will Robinson, Danger!!!!!

Nancy N on 6/20/01 at 08:10 (051090)

Mary--

I'll second everything Lori said, and also add a warning about hard orthotics. A lot of people can't tolerate them, and while I would recommend you do make sure your feet are well-supported while you're on them, if you feel worse in the hard orthotics, I wouldn't wear them. There are OTC orthotics out there that could provide some cushioning that might be better than the orthotics, or maybe you could swap the hard ones back-and-forth with something softer if they bother you.

The key is really, as Lori said, to listen to your feet--they'll tell you when something needs to change, whether it's the support in your shoes, or getting off your feet. I don't recommend continuing with this project if there's any possible way to avoid it--you could be setting yourself up for a chronic condition. Every time you take a step and your foot hurts, you are re-injuring yourself. So please, do be very careful.

Re: Re:Danger, Will Robinson, Danger!!!!!

john h on 6/20/01 at 09:02 (051096)

careful with those hard orthotics! i think they are a contributing factor in my long term PF>

Re: Possible to heal the "walking wounded"?

Steve P on 6/20/01 at 10:09 (051108)

Mary -- You seem to be doing some good things, but you really need a doctor's diagnosis. Don't try to 'work through' this on your own. PF can become chronic & long term if not controlled early. Please see at least your GP & ask about an anti-inflammatory med.

Don't underestimate this.

Best............Steve

Re: Possible to heal the "walking wounded"?

ellen w on 6/20/01 at 10:31 (051110)

Mary,
seems like you are doing a lot of good things. How much MSM are you taking? I had no effect from it while taking a single 750 mg pill a day; but did find I had less inflammation when I upped the dose to three capsules daily. Can you bring ice packs to your construction site in a cooler? Francis suggestion, posted yesterday -- of icing with feet in the air, and moving to keep circulation going, looked like maybe it would be of help to you. One of the other things that helped me, though this is not a quick fix, is building up ankle strength by using elastic therabands. These are inexpensive, and you should be able to get them off the web (I got mine from my pt). I put these around my foot and move my foot in all directions -- the stretch adds resistance that builds up strength. I do these in the morning, along with hamstring stretches, before getting out of bed. I'm almost better, except for tight ankles in the morning, and I find that these exercises limber me up enough to move fairly normally.
ellen

Re: Possible to heal the "walking wounded"?

Hooi on 6/20/01 at hrmin (051114)

you can check on the web site regarding the foot pains, find the one similar to the your case, in fact, the site
http://heelspurs.com/-articles.html/ is a site offer some help to you, like Dr. asnswer your question.Good luck
and hope your healthy. chant nam-myo-ho-renge-kyo

Re: harm reduction

Mary De on 6/20/01 at hrmin (051130)

Thank you, Lori, Nancy, John, Steve, Ellen, and Hooi. Good suggestions.

I've been thinking about it quite a lot since I posted my request yesterday, and concluded that I really AM between a rock and a hard place. The consequences of not finishing my humble house and moving in now are severe (homelessness, total financial crash, no place to run my home business, etc.) The consequences of worsening my pf are nasty (chronic pain), but not as bad. Therefore ... It's one hell of a choice, but so is life.

What I have to aim for is 'harm reduction.'

Answers to some questions:

-- looks like a minimum of 3 more weeks of this
-- I am absolutely listening (and talking!) to my feet. We're still in negotiations.
-- The condition was evaluated by a pod I trust. She prescribed/molded my orthotics for a mere $400. They seem to be a quality product (with cushioning and mini-heel), and they do make my feet feel better. I wear them with an extra cushion-pad on top. Earlier OTC orts didnÕt help much.
-- MSM is 750 mg. I'll up it.

Other ideas:
-- Iced gel packs at the building site. I'll try it!
-- Frequent breaks: absolutely.
-- Last night tried Francis's idea of gel packs banded to feet. Fun, did seem to help. Will do more.
-- thermabands: will look for them.
-- chanting: good idea. Buddhist chant probably wouldn't make it for me, but there's another one I know, in English: 'Every step I take is a healing step (2x). Healing, healing, healing my body; healing, healing, healing the land.' Seems appropriate.

This morning, before got out of bed, I did some meditation/energy work aimed at my feet. They're not hurting at moment. So now it's pull on the blue jeans and boots and get out there.

Thanks everyone! More suggestions welcome.

-- Mary De

Re: harm reduction

john h on 6/20/01 at 15:19 (051134)

to at least get you through the move might i suggest you ask the doctor for medrol dose pack (steriod). it want cure you but just might make your feet tolerable for 10 days. Boots? you mention pulling on your boots. i do not know what effect boots might have since the only ones i have worn are flying boots. the other boots i am familar have very poited toes,very raised heels and are somewhat constrictive. any problem with those boots?

Re: harm reduction

Rock on 6/20/01 at hrmin (051144)

Mary De,

You are very brave to post messages on this very PRO REST message board !

While most 'here' recommend total rest for PF, a few of us believe that reduction of activities is the very worst thing one can do to recovery from PF.

Good luck on your recovery.

Rock.

Re: harm reduction

ellen w on 6/21/01 at 08:49 (051168)

Hi Mary,

I was thinking last night of one particular post that may interest you, given your interest in naturopathy. It was a couple of months ago, by a guy who went to a Chinese herbalist, and soaked his feet in a brew of combination herbs and claimed that it really helped him. Try searching for 'I'm cured, I'm cured, I'm cured' by Rich. He noted that people who had questions could email him.
ellen

Re: harm reduction

john h on 6/21/01 at 17:57 (051194)

if activity works for you rock go for it as i admire your determination. strong men are brought to their knees by this as professional athletes in baseball,football, and basketball are sidelined. i can no longer or i should say i no longer try to run a 5k or 10k for fear i will bring the almost deabilating pain of a few years ago. age may play a factor but then there are some very young people on this board who on occasion cannot even walk. if you cannot even walk without terrible pain you are left with nothing but rest. i was one of the so called tough guys who ran through the pain until i became chronic (7 years). each of us has to make our own choice but i do not think this disease responds well to a lot of activity. when i read some of the post where people are actually crawling from room to room and have small children i cannot imagine telling them to get up and move faster. i do not of people on the board who have responded well to a period of complete rest and eventually got back at least somewhat of a near normal life.

Re: harm reduction

Mary De on 6/22/01 at hrmin (051222)

Thanks, all.

I found Rich's post and emailed him, asking for details.

I'm actually trying to NOT be too stoic. I may be tough (and desperate), but I'm not stupid. Instead of my usual 8-12 hours out on site, I'm doing 2 to 6 hours, max. I'm a wussie -- it hurts. Besides, it's incredibly hot out there these days. Heat wave is the talk of the neighbors ('Never seen it this hot, this early.') Global warming ain't a theory here! Gave myself a mild case of heat stroke a couple weeks ago, which was a good excuse to stay off my feet for a bit.

Boots are Timberland hiking boots. Cowboy boots for construction??! Now that's butch.

Thanks again to all.

--Mary De.

Re: Timberland hiking boots

Andrea R. on 6/22/01 at 10:23 (051239)

Are they the standard Timberland 'Yellow Boot'? If so, they may be doing more harm than good. A friend of mine is a shoe designer for Timberland and he advises against them. They don't flex or support in the right places. Look for the initials BFSP (I think) on the bottom. It stands for brake, flex, support and propel or something like that. They are the new type designed for real people.

Andrea

Re: Timberland hiking boots

Mary De on 6/22/01 at hrmin (051259)

Good tip. Yes, they have the initials. However, I replaced the inside flap (for lack of a better term) on the advice of the shoes saleman and replaced with OTC orthotics. Since getting my custom orts, I now use those. But these boots have seen a lot of miles and a lot of work, so they're due for replacement when I can afford it (not soon).

thanks!

--Mary De

Re: Timberland hiking boots

ellenw on 6/22/01 at 12:25 (051262)

Mary,

What size shoe do you wear? I have a pair of Timberland boots I'd like to give to a good home. They're men's size 8 (I have a wide foot); would fit a woman with a size 9 to 9.5 foot. I had fantasies of hiking when I bought them, then wasn't able to tolerate shoes with a stiff heel because of achilles tendonitis and bursitis. Now my foot's grown another half-inch, and they're too small.
ellen

Re: harm reduction

john h on 6/22/01 at 17:46 (051282)

hey partner in texas they use cowboy boots to dance,work, and run in.

Re: harm reduction

Mary De on 6/23/01 at hrmin (051312)

Like I said. Must be the butch state.

Ellen, thanks so much for the offer, but your boots are too small for me. I have beeeg feet -- 11 W in women's, 9-1/2 or 10 in men's.

--Mary De