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New pain..... and HI Glenn!

Posted by Carmen H on 8/06/01 at 16:11 (055672)

Just want to say Hi to Glenn who I am sure since being home with this misery today is bored bored bored.
right Glenn? hee hee
Now back to the nitty gritty.
I can't figure it out....I have more different pain in my feet! What else could I possibly have hurt and how many more hurts are there?
Major bad day in the pain factor today.....I can no longer wear the Saucony's I was wearing when this PF first started. Now they KILL my feet. I was going to the gym and doing upper body work with no weight bearing exercise and NOW I am hurting so bad I am afraid to go in and try ANYthing tomorrow morning.
Stinging and burning all over feet....cramping in one foot that feels almost EXACTLY like the very first pain I ever had when this started.
That particular pain had gone away....now it's back. Does anyone have a brief EASY to understand description for TTS? I haven't even considered THAT problem yet.....should I?
I am starting to have a hard time describing my pain and have a doc appt. Friday. I don't want shots if they won't work anyway.....Looks like Husband is cooking AGAIN tonight as standing will surely be torturous.

Re: EASY to understand description for TTS

elliott on 8/06/01 at 18:51 (055692)

The posterior tibial nerve, which descends from the sciatic nerve on each side of the back, runs down the back of the leg. As it approaches the bottom, it swings onto the medial (inner) side of the foot, running just behind and below the ankle, in the area of the so-called tarsal tunnel, formed by bone (ankle and heel) and tissue. There is not that much room for the nerve in this area and given how the ankle behaves, the tarsal tunnel is the most likely area for entrapment. If the nerve gets pinched, stretched or entrapped in this area, it is called TTS; if not, not. For some reason I haven't figured out, people on this forum often seem to use TTS as a generic description of any nerve trouble they may have or assume they also have it whenever they have PF. (As a general rule, TTS is worse after exercise and PF before.) In or near the tarsal tunnel, this nerve splits into three main branches, the medial calcaneal nerve (or nerves, as there can be two or three, going to the mostly medial side of the back of the heel), the medial plantar nerve (traveling to the medial four toes) and the lateral plantar nerve (swinging under the foot and going to the lateral, or outer, two toes. If there is entrapment in the tarsal tunnel, any or all of these nerves can be affected, and so you may feel discomfort in the tarsal tunnel (again, just behind and below the ankle on medial side) and very possibly sensory loss in the form of tingling, numbness, burning or other nervy sensations, both at the ankle area described and radiating up the calf or along any of the nerve branches, especially at the extremities, i.e. the heel and toes. If there is entrapment only well outside the tunnel but along one of these three nerve branches, then technically it is (distal) entrapment of one of those branches rather than TTS. Wher exactly is your burning?

Re: Hi Back

Glenn X on 8/06/01 at hrmin (055694)

Carmen: Yeah, I'm home and to relieve boredom I've been launching hair-brained ideas onto heelspurs.

So sorry you're set back. I have an adjustable stool (up to 30' high) on rollers in my kitchen. Helps enormously! I can cook, do dishes, glide to the table, and do pirouettes on it. Think I got it from Staples for $60 or so. Anything like this that can facilitate rest and let you resume some normal habits is a good investment.

Stinging and burning sounds to this unprofessional ear like improper arch support might be aggravating things, like your fascia is being overtensioned. Are you wearing orthotics? In the absence of customs, 'Superfeets' are pretty good. Are you taping? Pain won't go away right away with supports, but they seem wise in many cases (certainly mine).

I think too that shots may be more effective if there's localized pain in the arch, say right at the heel, rather than all-over pain. But I don't know much about this area either.

One last wierd thought. I've always found aspirin, aleve and other pain meds make my feet STING more. After I'm off them a day or so, my feet feel a bit better. They may hurt, but they don't sting. I don't use meds anymore.

Re: I'll try to describe....scared to death of dr. appt.

Carmen H on 8/06/01 at 19:08 (055695)

Elliot~

Thank you for your response!!!! I aprpeciate it and have printed it for deeper review. My foot burns on the lateral side and sometimes on the top part of the heels. Mainly the right foot but it is in both feet 95% of the time. It feels like my nerves are being stuck with a needle all over my feet and it's never just in one spot. It's everywhere. I had two good days when I got my Dansko shoes......I've been miserable for about 4 since.
I have only exercised (as I said upper body only and NO weight bearing exercise or cardio....way too painful) a couple days but each time my feet have hurt worse. So I am not going again until I find out EXACTLY what this is.
It burns right now on the inside....it's almost radiating all over the feet. Does that make sense? I have sciatic problems and Piriformus Syndrome which is connected to the Sciatic nerve as well. Could allll of this be a nasty little vicious circle? My PS has been worse since this PF came along....
I had PS release (not PF release) surgery in Dec. and my feet were fine directly after so I don't know. I am scared something REALLY wrong is REALLY wrong and I can't figure out what it is....
I go to the doc on Friday and am scared to death of Marcaine shots which is what he wants to do....Have had no shots yet. Any advice or thoughts??

Re: Hmmm. I wonder if ANYthing works at this point.

Carmen H on 8/06/01 at 19:12 (055696)

I am going to quit taking anything BUT ibuprofen. That doesn't bother me or my stomach....at least until Friday. Maybe the doc will sehd light on this.
I feel the msot relief when I can at least walk a little.....standing still kills me and sitting down hurts like the dickens too.
I am going to scream tonight....LOUD. I am hurting like the very first day this happnened and I don't know why. Why did the Saucony's feel so good for weeks and weeks and now all of a sudden I can't stand them for a minute!?? Makes no sense.
ugh.
You working tomorrow? I have an appt. with a client and have to be on my feet...wish me luck.

Re: probably not TTS

elliott on 8/07/01 at 08:34 (055744)

When you say your foot burns on the lateral side, exactly where? If it is on the lateral side at the ankle, it definitely is not TTS (although could be an entirely different nerve entrapment such as [superficial] peroneal; let's hope not). For TTS it would be on the sole or along the nerve paths running straight into the last two toes. When you say the top part of your heels, what do you mean? Like on the lower achilles area? On which side, medial, lateral, or both? And not the bottom of the heels? Where exactly do you mean when you say burning on the 'inside'? If you can, you gotta try to narrow things down more than 'radiating all over the feet', i.e. if it's following the course of certain nerves, you can zone in on it, unless it really is all over. Unless you perceive the source of your pain to be on the medial side of the ankle just behind and below it with nervy stuff radiating from there, I'd say it is not TTS. The fact that you have it suddenly in both feet at the same time makes it much less likely that you happened to get separate peripheral entrapment in both feet simultaneously. Maybe it's the PS or sciatica, although there is one on each side of the foot for those as well, making one wonder if the source is higher up yet. Do you feel anything in your upper legs or back? Methinks you need a careful evaluation of your neck and back before proceeding.

Can I ask your foot type (high, medium, or low arch, any other details) and what is the name of the Saucony shoe you are wearing?

I don't know what Marcaine is, but if you are hesitant about the shots or fear a more global cause negating their value or increasing the risks, I would not rush into the shots. Take yout time and sort it out.

Re: Hmmm. I wonder if ANYthing works at this point.

ellen w on 8/07/01 at 09:00 (055750)

Carmen,

I am so sorry to hear about the intense level of pain you're experiencing. I too have been wearing Saucony's. With the footbed and thick sole, there was too much padding for me, so I have been wearing them with a footbed from my last pair of New Balance's. What is happening to you doesn't sound like it's just connected to the type of shoe you're wearing, but if you're not ready to give up on the Saucony's or can't afford a new pair of sneaks, you might want to try a different footbed. Also, did you see the article on the social board I posted for you last week (think it was last Wednesday?).

ellen

Re: Carmen: rest

Julie on 8/07/01 at 09:26 (055754)

Hi Carmen

I am so sorry your pain has increased to such a degree. I've read all the responses you've had, and I tend to agree with Elliott that you should have a full evaluation of your spine. Given your back problems, I doubt that whatever is going on is all going on in your feet. When you see the new doctor on Friday, do make sure he is fully apprised of your whole situation. An injection in your foot may give you some relief, but it won't unravel all the mysteries.

Till then, can't you take a few days off work and rest? I mean really rest: you sound really worked up, and it would be good for you to spend a couple of days with nothing to do but take care of yourself, pamper yourself, lie on your back on the floor with your knees bent, listen to music, sunbathe...anything that pleases you, usually makes you feel good, and might help relieve the stress and tension which are surely intensifying your pain.

Good wishes, Julie

Re: totally agree about rest, but what does one do if...

elliott on 8/07/01 at 09:42 (055757)

a strenuous workout is what pleases, makes one feel good, and relieves stress and tension? I feel so sad whenever I pass a running track in my car. Man, I wish I could go out right now for a hard 6-mile run, feel my lungs burn, and come back spent and yet refreshed. Yes, it would intensify my pain (if I ever made it through the run, which I wouldn't), but it would do wonders for the stress and tension. :-) Carmen, sorry for getting off-topic.

Re: I know, Elliott...

Julie on 8/07/01 at 10:01 (055762)

...how runners and others whose great pleasure in life is cardiovascular exercise feel - I once was one of them. And I know how it works, but when we have to forego that thrill and that high for whatever reason, it's good to be open to the possibility of other pleasures, exercise-and-other-wise. I wish you and Carmen could go for a six-mile run together - but you can't.

I don't know about you, Elliott, but the desperation I hear in Carmen's voice suggests to me that she needs to do whatever she possibly can to unwind and relax. And don't tell me, I know, it's not easy. Most people find it difficult. A substantial chunk of my professional life is spent helping people learn to relax, but unfortunately I can't do it at 4,000 miles distance, I can only suggest.

Carmen, if you go out for a run now, I'll.....I don't know what I'll do.

Best to you both, Julie

Re: Julie, can I ask...

elliott on 8/07/01 at 10:21 (055769)

what exactly were your problems, if any (e.g. TTS, PF), what have you had done for them (any surgery?), where are you holding now? And how much into yoga are you? I may have questions for you later about that. (I'm a beginner with this stuff, about 4 months. I'm quite flexible, but will I ever do a split or freestanding headstand (both supposed to be great for sciatica)? I work on the first every day and it seems like my inseam isn't getting any closer to the floor, and I flip over on the second, making me sore.) Where in London do you live? (My wife's from England and I've visited, so I have a connection.) Sorry to ask you to rehash, but I'm new here and I see your helpful comments all over this site, so I was just wondering.

Carmen, I bet Julie understands your psyche better thn anyone; rest for a while and see what happens. Drastic changes in conditions often have a way of subsiding with time and rest. And one day, maybe you, Julie and I can get together for a run. :-)

Re: totally agree about rest, but what does one do if...

john h on 8/07/01 at 10:37 (055770)

without question the greatest loss for me with the onset of PF was not being able to 'Run'. i guess i was like an alcholic in that i had to run. i was running in life before running became popular. i do not know if i experienced a runners high but the feeling of total exhaustion, the running through the beautiful neighborhoods, the meeting of new people at the frequent 5k and 10k races all are sort of irreplaceable in my life. i had hoped to compete in the Chicago or New York Marathon but my dream has vanished. i did not run to win anything as running is like flying a jet in some sense. you are all alone with your thoughts. each day my running friends jog by my house. what a very painful sight! i know julie would say it is time to move on! but as the song goes julie 'how do you mend a broken heart?'

Re: Sure, Elliott...

Julie on 8/07/01 at 10:44 (055772)

...but not right now because I've only logged for two minutes to see what's going on, and I have to go out now to teach. But I will gladly answer all your questions tomorrow, so...watch this space.

(Now if I can just remember where this thread is...)

See you later. That run sounds nice - as long as you let me watch. I could clock you.

Re: totally agree about rest, but what does one do if...

wendyn on 8/07/01 at 11:03 (055773)

I know EXACTLY what you mean Elliot. I still miss it.

Re: Julie...I couldn't run if I tried...

Carmen H on 8/07/01 at 19:03 (055830)

I haven't done a single thing not even walk fast since this happened to me...I promise Julie no running. (smile)

Re: me too

Carmen H on 8/07/01 at 19:18 (055832)

Me too guys....

Re: No I wouldn't, John

Julie on 8/08/01 at 01:03 (055878)

I don't think I would say that to you, John: I'm not quite that heartless. It's a different situation. Carmen is at the beginning of her PF experience, and we all hope it will be a short one, and that she will run again. Right now she is free to explore other possibilities and options, and that's what she has been doing and what I and others have been trying to help her do. But you've had to give up the hope of running again, and that grieves me. I know how I would feel if I knew I wouldn't ever walk, or swim again.

Re: Elliott - a new day: your questions answered

Julie on 8/08/01 at 02:24 (055879)

Hi Elliott

My PF started in August last year, in my right foot, a fortnight after a minor back injury that caused impingement of my sciatic nerve. My back got better, but within a week or so my heel pain was bad enough to stop me walking and standing except for essentials (teaching, going to the loo etc). I would say, though, that it was a mild case compared to what many here have experienced. I discovered heelspurs.com almost immediately, and so started dealing with it: that, I believe, is why it didn't get worse, and got better relatively quickly. I was seen and assessed biomechanically by a podiatrist who luckily knew his stuff, and followed a regime of taping, icing, stretching, elastic ankle supports, wearing Birkenstocks indoors and good trainers with (new and fortunately correct) orthotics outdoors. No shots, no surgery: ESWT is what I'd have gone for had it been necessary, but it wasn't. I improved gradually over the next five months and by January was so significantly better that I was able to trust my feet to walk whenever and as much as I wanted to. There were minor evening flare-ups when I overdid things during the day (tramping the pavements in India, mountain hiking in Crete) but they usually subsided by the next morning, helped by Ibuprofen. I continued taping until very recently, when I realized I didn't need it any more.

I would not say that I am 'cured': I believe I'm going to have to be vigilant, perhaps for the rest of my life. I'll keep being careful about shoes and about not going barefoot, and I'll continue to wear my orthotics, and tape if I need to. I doubt (I hope the doctors will correct me if I'm wrong) that where biomechanical faults are the cause,those predisposing factors (in my case over-pronation and slightly flat feet) go away when the injury is healed. Just this week I've had a reminder of that. Standing was always the most painful thing for me, worse than walking, and from the beginning I've worn my Birks when doing standing work with my classes and other groups for whom I've done workshops and training days. (An aside: this provided the opportunity to talk about PF to hundreds of people who have never heard of it, some of whom actually had it without knowing what it was till I explained why I wear sandals while teaching). This week, however, I've been teaching Surya Namaskara in my two experienced classes, so I've had to stand and demonstrate barefoot, and I've had more pain afterwards than I've had for months. It's mild, but it's there. A useful reminder.

That leads me to your question about yoga. I started practising yoga in 1970 and have been teaching and training teachers since 1987. It's my life. It has helped me through every challenge, including breast cancer eight years ago, when it was a major factor in my recovery from mastectomy surgery and longer-term healing. The main focus of my work now is helping people to understand how yoga can serve as a source of inner strength and healing in times of any life-changing crisis. I do quite a lot of work now with cancer patients, and with teachers who are interested in this area of work (or who simply want to develop their confidence in working with the inevitable students with cancer in their classes).

Yoga works holistically: it brings about balance and harmony on all levels: physical, mental, emotional, spiritual. The physical aspect, though very much a part of it, is not more important than the others. For many people the postures aren't possible at all, but that doesn't mean they can't practise yoga. There are plenty of folk who can do all the postures but who possibly don't understand why they're doing them or know what yoga is all about; and there are people in wheelchairs (I've taught many) who cannot do a single posture who are practising yoga. It's not about tying oneself in knots, it's a set of tools, a range of techniques, and above all a life philosophy, for living one's life to the full. It develops the inner strength and stability that enable one to meet all the challenges life throws at us.

So my own experience has made me passionate about the healing power of yoga, and I think it could be extremely helpful to people here in dealing with the pain and the life-limiting constrictions of PF, TTS and the other foot conditions, but I haven't often suggested that people here go to classes because so many emphasize standing work, and most would be too strong for people with foot pain. A gentle class, that offers simple stretching, breathing exercises, relaxation, and possibly meditation, would be more suitable for most, and more effective, but such classes are probably not easy to find (they certainly aren't here - perhaps there are more in the States).

I think that more than answers your questions but please ask if you have more. Oh - I live in London, southeast London: Greenwich/Blackheath borders. Where is your wife from?

All the best, Julie

Re: totally agree about rest, but what does one do if...

Kathy G on 8/08/01 at 09:00 (055903)

I am so envious when I see people out just walking, let alone running! I don't think I'll ever get back to exercising and I get very discouraged about it. I tried going back to weight-lifting which, three years ago, had caused tendonitis in my hand. Though I thought I was vigilant, the tendonitis came back. So now, I wear a splint on my hand for the tendonitis and have to be careful of my hand. It's actually kind of handy; I first ice my hand and then use the same icepack to ice my feet! I think my body is falling apart!!! I have a hard time sleeping at night because I am trying so hard to rest my feet but I have all this energy and I don't do enough to get tired enough to sleep. I just keep reminding myself that compared to the problems others have, mine are so very minor. But boy, do I miss the days when walking or standing was something I just took for granted as natural activities!!

Re: thanks; interesting story

elliott on 8/08/01 at 13:09 (055934)

Nice to see how others persevere in the face of hardships.

My wife was born in Manchester; her parents and one brother are still there. She spent most of her adult life in London, Stamford Hill to be exact. Has two brothers still there. Another sister in Gateshead/Newcastle. When I went out on a date with her and got lost and kept driving back and forth across London Bridge and she didn't roll her eyes in disgust, I knew she was the one. :-) (That chap I asked directions from wasn't very helpful, either, at least to an American then new to it all: 'Oh, before you get to the top of the road, you'll see this little slip road, just before the dual carriageway....')

Yes, I find yoga relaxing and meditative as you describe. The power yoga course I was taking stopped for the summer and will resume in the fall. Holding the poses requires meditation or you'll never hold it for long. But I also need pain relief, and I sure hope there's something to all that ancient tradition in this regard. In addition to the supposed benefits, working on hard poses keeps me motivated, and last night I did indeed manage a freestanding headstand, and duplicated it at work to a coworker who was there to catch me the first few times that I would've otherwise somersaulted. After a prolonged headstand, among other poses, my sciatica does feel somewhat better. I'm trying some poses for my feet as well (rather aggressive, so I won't tell you cuz you'll might make urge me to stop, but I got to try something), and if they work, I'll post about them here. Not sure how one can avoid going barefoot for most of the yoga poses.

Re: EASY to understand description for TTS

elliott on 8/06/01 at 18:51 (055692)

The posterior tibial nerve, which descends from the sciatic nerve on each side of the back, runs down the back of the leg. As it approaches the bottom, it swings onto the medial (inner) side of the foot, running just behind and below the ankle, in the area of the so-called tarsal tunnel, formed by bone (ankle and heel) and tissue. There is not that much room for the nerve in this area and given how the ankle behaves, the tarsal tunnel is the most likely area for entrapment. If the nerve gets pinched, stretched or entrapped in this area, it is called TTS; if not, not. For some reason I haven't figured out, people on this forum often seem to use TTS as a generic description of any nerve trouble they may have or assume they also have it whenever they have PF. (As a general rule, TTS is worse after exercise and PF before.) In or near the tarsal tunnel, this nerve splits into three main branches, the medial calcaneal nerve (or nerves, as there can be two or three, going to the mostly medial side of the back of the heel), the medial plantar nerve (traveling to the medial four toes) and the lateral plantar nerve (swinging under the foot and going to the lateral, or outer, two toes. If there is entrapment in the tarsal tunnel, any or all of these nerves can be affected, and so you may feel discomfort in the tarsal tunnel (again, just behind and below the ankle on medial side) and very possibly sensory loss in the form of tingling, numbness, burning or other nervy sensations, both at the ankle area described and radiating up the calf or along any of the nerve branches, especially at the extremities, i.e. the heel and toes. If there is entrapment only well outside the tunnel but along one of these three nerve branches, then technically it is (distal) entrapment of one of those branches rather than TTS. Wher exactly is your burning?

Re: Hi Back

Glenn X on 8/06/01 at hrmin (055694)

Carmen: Yeah, I'm home and to relieve boredom I've been launching hair-brained ideas onto heelspurs.

So sorry you're set back. I have an adjustable stool (up to 30' high) on rollers in my kitchen. Helps enormously! I can cook, do dishes, glide to the table, and do pirouettes on it. Think I got it from Staples for $60 or so. Anything like this that can facilitate rest and let you resume some normal habits is a good investment.

Stinging and burning sounds to this unprofessional ear like improper arch support might be aggravating things, like your fascia is being overtensioned. Are you wearing orthotics? In the absence of customs, 'Superfeets' are pretty good. Are you taping? Pain won't go away right away with supports, but they seem wise in many cases (certainly mine).

I think too that shots may be more effective if there's localized pain in the arch, say right at the heel, rather than all-over pain. But I don't know much about this area either.

One last wierd thought. I've always found aspirin, aleve and other pain meds make my feet STING more. After I'm off them a day or so, my feet feel a bit better. They may hurt, but they don't sting. I don't use meds anymore.

Re: I'll try to describe....scared to death of dr. appt.

Carmen H on 8/06/01 at 19:08 (055695)

Elliot~

Thank you for your response!!!! I aprpeciate it and have printed it for deeper review. My foot burns on the lateral side and sometimes on the top part of the heels. Mainly the right foot but it is in both feet 95% of the time. It feels like my nerves are being stuck with a needle all over my feet and it's never just in one spot. It's everywhere. I had two good days when I got my Dansko shoes......I've been miserable for about 4 since.
I have only exercised (as I said upper body only and NO weight bearing exercise or cardio....way too painful) a couple days but each time my feet have hurt worse. So I am not going again until I find out EXACTLY what this is.
It burns right now on the inside....it's almost radiating all over the feet. Does that make sense? I have sciatic problems and Piriformus Syndrome which is connected to the Sciatic nerve as well. Could allll of this be a nasty little vicious circle? My PS has been worse since this PF came along....
I had PS release (not PF release) surgery in Dec. and my feet were fine directly after so I don't know. I am scared something REALLY wrong is REALLY wrong and I can't figure out what it is....
I go to the doc on Friday and am scared to death of Marcaine shots which is what he wants to do....Have had no shots yet. Any advice or thoughts??

Re: Hmmm. I wonder if ANYthing works at this point.

Carmen H on 8/06/01 at 19:12 (055696)

I am going to quit taking anything BUT ibuprofen. That doesn't bother me or my stomach....at least until Friday. Maybe the doc will sehd light on this.
I feel the msot relief when I can at least walk a little.....standing still kills me and sitting down hurts like the dickens too.
I am going to scream tonight....LOUD. I am hurting like the very first day this happnened and I don't know why. Why did the Saucony's feel so good for weeks and weeks and now all of a sudden I can't stand them for a minute!?? Makes no sense.
ugh.
You working tomorrow? I have an appt. with a client and have to be on my feet...wish me luck.

Re: probably not TTS

elliott on 8/07/01 at 08:34 (055744)

When you say your foot burns on the lateral side, exactly where? If it is on the lateral side at the ankle, it definitely is not TTS (although could be an entirely different nerve entrapment such as [superficial] peroneal; let's hope not). For TTS it would be on the sole or along the nerve paths running straight into the last two toes. When you say the top part of your heels, what do you mean? Like on the lower achilles area? On which side, medial, lateral, or both? And not the bottom of the heels? Where exactly do you mean when you say burning on the 'inside'? If you can, you gotta try to narrow things down more than 'radiating all over the feet', i.e. if it's following the course of certain nerves, you can zone in on it, unless it really is all over. Unless you perceive the source of your pain to be on the medial side of the ankle just behind and below it with nervy stuff radiating from there, I'd say it is not TTS. The fact that you have it suddenly in both feet at the same time makes it much less likely that you happened to get separate peripheral entrapment in both feet simultaneously. Maybe it's the PS or sciatica, although there is one on each side of the foot for those as well, making one wonder if the source is higher up yet. Do you feel anything in your upper legs or back? Methinks you need a careful evaluation of your neck and back before proceeding.

Can I ask your foot type (high, medium, or low arch, any other details) and what is the name of the Saucony shoe you are wearing?

I don't know what Marcaine is, but if you are hesitant about the shots or fear a more global cause negating their value or increasing the risks, I would not rush into the shots. Take yout time and sort it out.

Re: Hmmm. I wonder if ANYthing works at this point.

ellen w on 8/07/01 at 09:00 (055750)

Carmen,

I am so sorry to hear about the intense level of pain you're experiencing. I too have been wearing Saucony's. With the footbed and thick sole, there was too much padding for me, so I have been wearing them with a footbed from my last pair of New Balance's. What is happening to you doesn't sound like it's just connected to the type of shoe you're wearing, but if you're not ready to give up on the Saucony's or can't afford a new pair of sneaks, you might want to try a different footbed. Also, did you see the article on the social board I posted for you last week (think it was last Wednesday?).

ellen

Re: Carmen: rest

Julie on 8/07/01 at 09:26 (055754)

Hi Carmen

I am so sorry your pain has increased to such a degree. I've read all the responses you've had, and I tend to agree with Elliott that you should have a full evaluation of your spine. Given your back problems, I doubt that whatever is going on is all going on in your feet. When you see the new doctor on Friday, do make sure he is fully apprised of your whole situation. An injection in your foot may give you some relief, but it won't unravel all the mysteries.

Till then, can't you take a few days off work and rest? I mean really rest: you sound really worked up, and it would be good for you to spend a couple of days with nothing to do but take care of yourself, pamper yourself, lie on your back on the floor with your knees bent, listen to music, sunbathe...anything that pleases you, usually makes you feel good, and might help relieve the stress and tension which are surely intensifying your pain.

Good wishes, Julie

Re: totally agree about rest, but what does one do if...

elliott on 8/07/01 at 09:42 (055757)

a strenuous workout is what pleases, makes one feel good, and relieves stress and tension? I feel so sad whenever I pass a running track in my car. Man, I wish I could go out right now for a hard 6-mile run, feel my lungs burn, and come back spent and yet refreshed. Yes, it would intensify my pain (if I ever made it through the run, which I wouldn't), but it would do wonders for the stress and tension. :-) Carmen, sorry for getting off-topic.

Re: I know, Elliott...

Julie on 8/07/01 at 10:01 (055762)

...how runners and others whose great pleasure in life is cardiovascular exercise feel - I once was one of them. And I know how it works, but when we have to forego that thrill and that high for whatever reason, it's good to be open to the possibility of other pleasures, exercise-and-other-wise. I wish you and Carmen could go for a six-mile run together - but you can't.

I don't know about you, Elliott, but the desperation I hear in Carmen's voice suggests to me that she needs to do whatever she possibly can to unwind and relax. And don't tell me, I know, it's not easy. Most people find it difficult. A substantial chunk of my professional life is spent helping people learn to relax, but unfortunately I can't do it at 4,000 miles distance, I can only suggest.

Carmen, if you go out for a run now, I'll.....I don't know what I'll do.

Best to you both, Julie

Re: Julie, can I ask...

elliott on 8/07/01 at 10:21 (055769)

what exactly were your problems, if any (e.g. TTS, PF), what have you had done for them (any surgery?), where are you holding now? And how much into yoga are you? I may have questions for you later about that. (I'm a beginner with this stuff, about 4 months. I'm quite flexible, but will I ever do a split or freestanding headstand (both supposed to be great for sciatica)? I work on the first every day and it seems like my inseam isn't getting any closer to the floor, and I flip over on the second, making me sore.) Where in London do you live? (My wife's from England and I've visited, so I have a connection.) Sorry to ask you to rehash, but I'm new here and I see your helpful comments all over this site, so I was just wondering.

Carmen, I bet Julie understands your psyche better thn anyone; rest for a while and see what happens. Drastic changes in conditions often have a way of subsiding with time and rest. And one day, maybe you, Julie and I can get together for a run. :-)

Re: totally agree about rest, but what does one do if...

john h on 8/07/01 at 10:37 (055770)

without question the greatest loss for me with the onset of PF was not being able to 'Run'. i guess i was like an alcholic in that i had to run. i was running in life before running became popular. i do not know if i experienced a runners high but the feeling of total exhaustion, the running through the beautiful neighborhoods, the meeting of new people at the frequent 5k and 10k races all are sort of irreplaceable in my life. i had hoped to compete in the Chicago or New York Marathon but my dream has vanished. i did not run to win anything as running is like flying a jet in some sense. you are all alone with your thoughts. each day my running friends jog by my house. what a very painful sight! i know julie would say it is time to move on! but as the song goes julie 'how do you mend a broken heart?'

Re: Sure, Elliott...

Julie on 8/07/01 at 10:44 (055772)

...but not right now because I've only logged for two minutes to see what's going on, and I have to go out now to teach. But I will gladly answer all your questions tomorrow, so...watch this space.

(Now if I can just remember where this thread is...)

See you later. That run sounds nice - as long as you let me watch. I could clock you.

Re: totally agree about rest, but what does one do if...

wendyn on 8/07/01 at 11:03 (055773)

I know EXACTLY what you mean Elliot. I still miss it.

Re: Julie...I couldn't run if I tried...

Carmen H on 8/07/01 at 19:03 (055830)

I haven't done a single thing not even walk fast since this happened to me...I promise Julie no running. (smile)

Re: me too

Carmen H on 8/07/01 at 19:18 (055832)

Me too guys....

Re: No I wouldn't, John

Julie on 8/08/01 at 01:03 (055878)

I don't think I would say that to you, John: I'm not quite that heartless. It's a different situation. Carmen is at the beginning of her PF experience, and we all hope it will be a short one, and that she will run again. Right now she is free to explore other possibilities and options, and that's what she has been doing and what I and others have been trying to help her do. But you've had to give up the hope of running again, and that grieves me. I know how I would feel if I knew I wouldn't ever walk, or swim again.

Re: Elliott - a new day: your questions answered

Julie on 8/08/01 at 02:24 (055879)

Hi Elliott

My PF started in August last year, in my right foot, a fortnight after a minor back injury that caused impingement of my sciatic nerve. My back got better, but within a week or so my heel pain was bad enough to stop me walking and standing except for essentials (teaching, going to the loo etc). I would say, though, that it was a mild case compared to what many here have experienced. I discovered heelspurs.com almost immediately, and so started dealing with it: that, I believe, is why it didn't get worse, and got better relatively quickly. I was seen and assessed biomechanically by a podiatrist who luckily knew his stuff, and followed a regime of taping, icing, stretching, elastic ankle supports, wearing Birkenstocks indoors and good trainers with (new and fortunately correct) orthotics outdoors. No shots, no surgery: ESWT is what I'd have gone for had it been necessary, but it wasn't. I improved gradually over the next five months and by January was so significantly better that I was able to trust my feet to walk whenever and as much as I wanted to. There were minor evening flare-ups when I overdid things during the day (tramping the pavements in India, mountain hiking in Crete) but they usually subsided by the next morning, helped by Ibuprofen. I continued taping until very recently, when I realized I didn't need it any more.

I would not say that I am 'cured': I believe I'm going to have to be vigilant, perhaps for the rest of my life. I'll keep being careful about shoes and about not going barefoot, and I'll continue to wear my orthotics, and tape if I need to. I doubt (I hope the doctors will correct me if I'm wrong) that where biomechanical faults are the cause,those predisposing factors (in my case over-pronation and slightly flat feet) go away when the injury is healed. Just this week I've had a reminder of that. Standing was always the most painful thing for me, worse than walking, and from the beginning I've worn my Birks when doing standing work with my classes and other groups for whom I've done workshops and training days. (An aside: this provided the opportunity to talk about PF to hundreds of people who have never heard of it, some of whom actually had it without knowing what it was till I explained why I wear sandals while teaching). This week, however, I've been teaching Surya Namaskara in my two experienced classes, so I've had to stand and demonstrate barefoot, and I've had more pain afterwards than I've had for months. It's mild, but it's there. A useful reminder.

That leads me to your question about yoga. I started practising yoga in 1970 and have been teaching and training teachers since 1987. It's my life. It has helped me through every challenge, including breast cancer eight years ago, when it was a major factor in my recovery from mastectomy surgery and longer-term healing. The main focus of my work now is helping people to understand how yoga can serve as a source of inner strength and healing in times of any life-changing crisis. I do quite a lot of work now with cancer patients, and with teachers who are interested in this area of work (or who simply want to develop their confidence in working with the inevitable students with cancer in their classes).

Yoga works holistically: it brings about balance and harmony on all levels: physical, mental, emotional, spiritual. The physical aspect, though very much a part of it, is not more important than the others. For many people the postures aren't possible at all, but that doesn't mean they can't practise yoga. There are plenty of folk who can do all the postures but who possibly don't understand why they're doing them or know what yoga is all about; and there are people in wheelchairs (I've taught many) who cannot do a single posture who are practising yoga. It's not about tying oneself in knots, it's a set of tools, a range of techniques, and above all a life philosophy, for living one's life to the full. It develops the inner strength and stability that enable one to meet all the challenges life throws at us.

So my own experience has made me passionate about the healing power of yoga, and I think it could be extremely helpful to people here in dealing with the pain and the life-limiting constrictions of PF, TTS and the other foot conditions, but I haven't often suggested that people here go to classes because so many emphasize standing work, and most would be too strong for people with foot pain. A gentle class, that offers simple stretching, breathing exercises, relaxation, and possibly meditation, would be more suitable for most, and more effective, but such classes are probably not easy to find (they certainly aren't here - perhaps there are more in the States).

I think that more than answers your questions but please ask if you have more. Oh - I live in London, southeast London: Greenwich/Blackheath borders. Where is your wife from?

All the best, Julie

Re: totally agree about rest, but what does one do if...

Kathy G on 8/08/01 at 09:00 (055903)

I am so envious when I see people out just walking, let alone running! I don't think I'll ever get back to exercising and I get very discouraged about it. I tried going back to weight-lifting which, three years ago, had caused tendonitis in my hand. Though I thought I was vigilant, the tendonitis came back. So now, I wear a splint on my hand for the tendonitis and have to be careful of my hand. It's actually kind of handy; I first ice my hand and then use the same icepack to ice my feet! I think my body is falling apart!!! I have a hard time sleeping at night because I am trying so hard to rest my feet but I have all this energy and I don't do enough to get tired enough to sleep. I just keep reminding myself that compared to the problems others have, mine are so very minor. But boy, do I miss the days when walking or standing was something I just took for granted as natural activities!!

Re: thanks; interesting story

elliott on 8/08/01 at 13:09 (055934)

Nice to see how others persevere in the face of hardships.

My wife was born in Manchester; her parents and one brother are still there. She spent most of her adult life in London, Stamford Hill to be exact. Has two brothers still there. Another sister in Gateshead/Newcastle. When I went out on a date with her and got lost and kept driving back and forth across London Bridge and she didn't roll her eyes in disgust, I knew she was the one. :-) (That chap I asked directions from wasn't very helpful, either, at least to an American then new to it all: 'Oh, before you get to the top of the road, you'll see this little slip road, just before the dual carriageway....')

Yes, I find yoga relaxing and meditative as you describe. The power yoga course I was taking stopped for the summer and will resume in the fall. Holding the poses requires meditation or you'll never hold it for long. But I also need pain relief, and I sure hope there's something to all that ancient tradition in this regard. In addition to the supposed benefits, working on hard poses keeps me motivated, and last night I did indeed manage a freestanding headstand, and duplicated it at work to a coworker who was there to catch me the first few times that I would've otherwise somersaulted. After a prolonged headstand, among other poses, my sciatica does feel somewhat better. I'm trying some poses for my feet as well (rather aggressive, so I won't tell you cuz you'll might make urge me to stop, but I got to try something), and if they work, I'll post about them here. Not sure how one can avoid going barefoot for most of the yoga poses.