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Cured my heel spurs after 5 years

Posted by Foot sore on 7/05/01 at 02:59 (052258)

Hi, I last logged on in November after suffering debilitating pain in my feet for 5 years. I am a 38 year old female in Australia who was told by my doctor that Heel spurs can't be cured. I went to three podiatrists who offered 3 sets of orthotics which made the problem worse, with each one criticising the previous. I had ultrasound at Physiotherapy and was taught stretching exercises. None of these worked. I then went to a Sports Medicine doctor who told me that the fascia would either snap, curing the problem or I would have to live with it.

Dining with a friend one night, she burst into tears, saying' do you realise how each time we go out for dinner or anywhere, we have to park closer and closer because of your foot pain...surely something can be done'
That night, I got on the net and found your site, and found the recommendation for Heel Splints. I went out the next day and was fitted for some with immediate relief the following day. That week I also discovered Stuart Levy an orthotic specialist who sells Birkenstock sandals. He told me to buy some Birkenstock sandals, and make sure that my foot didn't touch the ground in the morning when I got out of bed without putting them onto a Birkenstock. The reason is that as soon as you put your foot down, you are stretching the fascia again, and therefore any benefit from overnight splinting is lost.

By December I could walk again. By February this year I was back on the treadmill at the gym. By May I was doing rehabilitive weight exercises at the gym. I can now wear any shoe, high heels and all, as long as I wear my Birkenstocks most of the time, and some store bought orthotics in any boots or flat shoes that I wear such as sports shoes at the gym. This has changed my life. I can walk anywhere, I can dance, I don't have that fear anymore that I will be in pain at any time. Wincing throbbing pain....erchhh. I tell my story to the above 'specialists' and they laugh and say it doesn't work, well, it has. I hope this message helps you.

Re: Cured my heel spurs after 5 years

Julie on 7/05/01 at 04:38 (052261)

Hi Foot Sore - this is a wonderful story! I am so glad that Birkenstocks, and following the advice never to go barefoot, has helped you so much.

Co-incidentally, I've just replied to a post from Tali, on the Ask the Doctors board, who says she' never goes barefoot except on carpet'. I've told her about NEVER going barefoot, period, and about Birks, and am now going to refer her to your story.

Isn't is amazing how many doctors don't know the 'no barefoot' rule!

Thanks again for posting your success story.

Re: Cured my heel spurs after 5 years

Rebecca D on 7/07/01 at 19:54 (052433)

Hey, Foot sore! Great for you! I also got very little help from my doctors, and got 99% of my relief from this site! I am looking for Birkenstocks, but aside from mail order, can't find them. are there any major chains that carry them? What is a 'normal' price range? My yoga teacher suggested them, she said it was the best shoe investment she ever made, and that was eight years ago!

Re: Cured my heel spurs after 5 years

Glenn X on 7/08/01 at hrmin (052479)

Thanks FS. I'm 3 1/2 years in, on crutches two years (favoring right foot), and am just waking up to the mistake of orthotics. Most recent pair was 3/4 legth and hard as a stone. Used 'em so long need time to wean off. Appreciate the B-stocks idea, and your upbeat encouragement. I'm also finally hearing 'rest and flexibility,' and am paying attention to icing. Using Scott's 2-piece taping advice for first time too. Particularly appreciate the caution of being over-healed before trying anything, and the realization that it takes 50 hours for a message to travel from my foot to my head.

Re: TO Rebecca D.Re: Birkenstocks

Necee on 7/11/01 at 19:07 (052869)

Hi Rebecca,
If you go to their website, and click on search for store nearest you, it will give lacations in your area that sell them.
Where are you? if you have a place called Whole Earth Provisions in your area they sell them. I'm going next week to buy my first pair of Birks, can hardly wait.
Necee

Re: to the new Birk enthusiasts

Julie on 7/12/01 at 03:16 (052913)

To all of you new Birk-buyers - they need a breaking in. Wear them for an hour the first few days, and increase the time gradually. They are quite different from 'normal' shoes and your feet need to get used to them.

Re: Cured my heel spurs after 5 years

bediem on 7/18/01 at 22:19 (053644)

Which night splint did you use?

Re: Cured my heel spurs after 5 years

tiggerracer on 7/26/01 at hrmin (054377)

For anyone who is having trouble finding Birkenstocks (Birkies). Wal Mart has a 'cheap' imitation that is almost as good. For about $7. I use them alot (I rarely go anywhere without them. I am getting ready to try anything to rid myself of my heel spurs if anyone can say with certain what helped the most. I have had heel pain off and on for about 5 years now. I know I need to lose weight but that is hard when you can't exercise. I have 'dealt' with the pain to the point of tears. Finally going to see an orthopedist. Thanks in advance. Email me please.

Re: Cured my heel spurs after 5 years

Johnnie H. on 7/26/01 at 14:47 (054381)

Try the T.V. channel QVC they have several selections and very good prices.

Re: To tiggerracer

Rebecca D on 7/28/01 at hrmin (054668)

Thanks to everyone for their suggestions. To Tiggerracer, I am nearly pain free for the first time in just over a year. I can tell you what I did, but cannot say for certain what did it. I am sure that part of it was psychological, and by quitting the job I had and starting a new just like it, I lost a lot of the pain. I think the second part came from stopping the coumadin (that's a whole different story, but sort of related) I taped and stretched, bought arch supports, but never went to orthotics or surgery. I have recently started taking Vitamin E, 800 IU/Day. It claims on the package to help connective tissue. I was going to try Glucosamine, but couldn't find one that was affordable AND free of povidone or iodine. (I'm allergic). Anyway, I hope that helps. Again, thanks to everyone for their help and support, and to Scott for hosting this site. It truly has helped me. And to the new visitors here....don't give up. It will eventually get better, and it is the eventually that is hard to cope with, because this ailment seems so radically different from person to person!

My best to all of you,
Rebecca

Re: Cured my heel spurs after 5 years

Julie on 7/05/01 at 04:38 (052261)

Hi Foot Sore - this is a wonderful story! I am so glad that Birkenstocks, and following the advice never to go barefoot, has helped you so much.

Co-incidentally, I've just replied to a post from Tali, on the Ask the Doctors board, who says she' never goes barefoot except on carpet'. I've told her about NEVER going barefoot, period, and about Birks, and am now going to refer her to your story.

Isn't is amazing how many doctors don't know the 'no barefoot' rule!

Thanks again for posting your success story.

Re: Cured my heel spurs after 5 years

Rebecca D on 7/07/01 at 19:54 (052433)

Hey, Foot sore! Great for you! I also got very little help from my doctors, and got 99% of my relief from this site! I am looking for Birkenstocks, but aside from mail order, can't find them. are there any major chains that carry them? What is a 'normal' price range? My yoga teacher suggested them, she said it was the best shoe investment she ever made, and that was eight years ago!

Re: Cured my heel spurs after 5 years

Glenn X on 7/08/01 at hrmin (052479)

Thanks FS. I'm 3 1/2 years in, on crutches two years (favoring right foot), and am just waking up to the mistake of orthotics. Most recent pair was 3/4 legth and hard as a stone. Used 'em so long need time to wean off. Appreciate the B-stocks idea, and your upbeat encouragement. I'm also finally hearing 'rest and flexibility,' and am paying attention to icing. Using Scott's 2-piece taping advice for first time too. Particularly appreciate the caution of being over-healed before trying anything, and the realization that it takes 50 hours for a message to travel from my foot to my head.

Re: TO Rebecca D.Re: Birkenstocks

Necee on 7/11/01 at 19:07 (052869)

Hi Rebecca,
If you go to their website, and click on search for store nearest you, it will give lacations in your area that sell them.
Where are you? if you have a place called Whole Earth Provisions in your area they sell them. I'm going next week to buy my first pair of Birks, can hardly wait.
Necee

Re: to the new Birk enthusiasts

Julie on 7/12/01 at 03:16 (052913)

To all of you new Birk-buyers - they need a breaking in. Wear them for an hour the first few days, and increase the time gradually. They are quite different from 'normal' shoes and your feet need to get used to them.

Re: Cured my heel spurs after 5 years

bediem on 7/18/01 at 22:19 (053644)

Which night splint did you use?

Re: Cured my heel spurs after 5 years

tiggerracer on 7/26/01 at hrmin (054377)

For anyone who is having trouble finding Birkenstocks (Birkies). Wal Mart has a 'cheap' imitation that is almost as good. For about $7. I use them alot (I rarely go anywhere without them. I am getting ready to try anything to rid myself of my heel spurs if anyone can say with certain what helped the most. I have had heel pain off and on for about 5 years now. I know I need to lose weight but that is hard when you can't exercise. I have 'dealt' with the pain to the point of tears. Finally going to see an orthopedist. Thanks in advance. Email me please.

Re: Cured my heel spurs after 5 years

Johnnie H. on 7/26/01 at 14:47 (054381)

Try the T.V. channel QVC they have several selections and very good prices.

Re: To tiggerracer

Rebecca D on 7/28/01 at hrmin (054668)

Thanks to everyone for their suggestions. To Tiggerracer, I am nearly pain free for the first time in just over a year. I can tell you what I did, but cannot say for certain what did it. I am sure that part of it was psychological, and by quitting the job I had and starting a new just like it, I lost a lot of the pain. I think the second part came from stopping the coumadin (that's a whole different story, but sort of related) I taped and stretched, bought arch supports, but never went to orthotics or surgery. I have recently started taking Vitamin E, 800 IU/Day. It claims on the package to help connective tissue. I was going to try Glucosamine, but couldn't find one that was affordable AND free of povidone or iodine. (I'm allergic). Anyway, I hope that helps. Again, thanks to everyone for their help and support, and to Scott for hosting this site. It truly has helped me. And to the new visitors here....don't give up. It will eventually get better, and it is the eventually that is hard to cope with, because this ailment seems so radically different from person to person!

My best to all of you,
Rebecca