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What seems to have worked for me...

Posted by Nancy N on 6/29/01 at 14:28 (051878)

Since I just posted about my pain-free day at PC Expo, I guess I should figure that I'm a 'success story.' Though, having now had PF in both feet (not at the same time, mercifully), I am reluctant to say that I'm 'cured,' because I know all too well that it can come back at any time--just when you least expect it. My first bout occurred about four years ago, in my left foot, and was cured fairly easily with orthotics. The current case is in my right foot, and has been far more resistant to treatment--it began in June of 1999. A year ago, I was flirting with depression, and then I found the message boards and read about ESWT, which gave me a lot of hope. I signed up for the OrthoWave study in August, and got the placebo treatment--but I also had a chance to try Celebrex, which was a very good thing for me.

At any rate, here is what I think contributed to my healing. I tried cortisone shots, night splint, walking cast, physical therapy, every anti-inflammatory in the book (almost) and lab-made custom ice-scraper/torture devices. All of them worked for a few days, and then the pain came right back, but these three things made a big difference:

1. NO weight-bearing stretches. I was in pain doing wall and other stretches when I went for PT and even last fall for the OrthoWave, and everyone told me that it was OK if it hurt. I (and others on the board) are convinced that this is not only false, but that the pain from weight-bearing stretches is a signal that you are only exacerbating the problem (I think that this is the primary reason why PT didn't work for me). I bought the Acu-Flex to allow me to stretch while sitting down to keep extra pressure off those areas, and noticed almost immediate improvement. It also let me strengthen my feet to keep pressure off the injured areas. However, I was also using this while taking...

2. Celebrex, which I took for about 7 months during the OrthoWave study. I think the combination of these two was very good for me. The Acu-Flex let me stretch without re-injury, and the Celebrex really made huge differences in pain. Both had an impact on the stiffness. Everyone responds differently to different NSAIDs, and there are plenty of folks here who got nothing out of Celebrex at all. But it works for me (unlilke Anaprox, Relafen, Feldene, Vioxx, and the myriad others I tried)--if I take it before bed, I can tell a difference by morning--so it remains my NSAID of choice. I felt so good on it that I was really afraid to stop taking it, but fortunately, I didn't return to my previous pain level, possible because of...

3. New custom orthotics, which I got just a few weeks before stopping the Celebrex. I got mine from a local pedorthist and they are far and away the best pair I've owned. I think the orthotics, which I got in March, arrived just in time to nip the beginnings of secondary conditions, like posterior tibial tendonitis, in the bud. My last pair (the torture devices) were made by a lab my ex-pod used, and were very expensive but useless pieces of plastic. If you are looking for new orthotics, I highly recommend talking to Richard and using his list of questions to be sure you are having them made by someone who knows what they're doing. My pedorthodude had to pass the 'quiz' before I'd let him touch my feet, and I think that quiz helped me make a very good decision (if you live in Central NJ or Bucks County, PA, and are looking for new orthotics, I'll be happy to pass on his name).

On June 15, Dr. Z checked me out and agreed with me that I will probably not need ESWT now, and I would say that my trip to New York yesterday confirms that assessment. I just hope it stays this way!!

I should also mention that, while it is not a physical treatment, this website/message board has been helpful to me beyond belief--giving me ideas to suggest to my doctor, giving me a place to vent or get info if I panicked, and also giving me a bunch of great new friends (and their shoulders to cry on!). Thanks so much to all of you :)

If there's anything I've left out, let me know and I'll try to elaborate/clarify. I hope this info is useful/encouraging!

Re: What seems to have worked for me...

Julie on 6/29/01 at 14:34 (051879)

Nancy, thanks very much for posting this. It really IS encouraging, and will hold out hope to lots of people. I'm very glad for you!

Re: What seems to have worked for me...

Cindy H on 7/01/01 at 10:41 (051980)

What is an Ortho-Wave study?

Re: What seems to have worked for me...

Nancy N on 7/01/01 at 13:06 (051998)

Cindy--

The OrthoWave machine is an ESWT machine, like the Orbasone or the OssaTron. I was involved in the FDA clinical trial for the machine from August 2000 to February 2001, but got the placebo treatment rather than the real zap. But the study is where I got started on the Celebrex, which made a huge difference for me.

Re: What seems to have worked for me...

Beverly on 7/05/01 at 19:09 (052307)

Nancy,

I'm glad to hear you are doing so well. Lucky you for finding good orthodics in the early stages of PTT. I wish I had. I was many, many months into it before I found a good set a couple of months ago.

Keep us posted on your progress. I agree with you. The weightbearing stretches were killers on me. No way would I do them, but I'm glad they work for some people.

I'm getting EWST soon. I meet a leading EWST zapper next week. Hope to get it done in about a month.
Thanks,
Beverly

Re: What seems to have worked for me...

Julie on 6/29/01 at 14:34 (051879)

Nancy, thanks very much for posting this. It really IS encouraging, and will hold out hope to lots of people. I'm very glad for you!

Re: What seems to have worked for me...

Cindy H on 7/01/01 at 10:41 (051980)

What is an Ortho-Wave study?

Re: What seems to have worked for me...

Nancy N on 7/01/01 at 13:06 (051998)

Cindy--

The OrthoWave machine is an ESWT machine, like the Orbasone or the OssaTron. I was involved in the FDA clinical trial for the machine from August 2000 to February 2001, but got the placebo treatment rather than the real zap. But the study is where I got started on the Celebrex, which made a huge difference for me.

Re: What seems to have worked for me...

Beverly on 7/05/01 at 19:09 (052307)

Nancy,

I'm glad to hear you are doing so well. Lucky you for finding good orthodics in the early stages of PTT. I wish I had. I was many, many months into it before I found a good set a couple of months ago.

Keep us posted on your progress. I agree with you. The weightbearing stretches were killers on me. No way would I do them, but I'm glad they work for some people.

I'm getting EWST soon. I meet a leading EWST zapper next week. Hope to get it done in about a month.
Thanks,
Beverly