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Plantar Fasciitis/heel spur/footandleg muscle/tendon cramps and seizures

Posted by Kathy K. on 8/16/01 at hrmin (056923)

Hi! It's comforting to know you are there to consider my question.
About a year ago I was diagnosed with a bone spur on my right heel. At the time it was manageable by wearing supportive insoles and shoes and I could continue my near daily couple miles walk. The condition gradually progressed until I realized I was subconsciously limiting my mobility and hadn't gone on my theraputic walk in six months. My physician then diagnosed Plantar Fasciitis. I am recently profoundly deaf and quit driving because of that so I indulged in buying 'wonderful' orthotic devices and inserts from (expensive) catalogues to help - I'll say they do help too. My trouble is I've hated shoes all my life.
My art studio is at home and rarely are shoes worn inside my hillside gate and I've stood at easels and done days and days of work barefoot for forty years. I do want to bring up a subject that may help you relate the bone spur/plantar fasciitis issue .
The past three months in addition to the near constant pain from those conditions without warning my foot, ankle and lower legs cramp up so tight they cannot be stretched, walked off, or massaged back into position. The doc diagnosed MUSCLE SEIZURES and though that certainly describes what happens it seems little can be done. He did prescribe Quinine Sulfate and Magnesium. My doc is a good person and has cared dillegently for my well being for the nearly three years I have been in Recovery from multiple and severe addictions, Pills and booze and more pills , the cause of brain damage and my deafness; could these horrid tendon and muscle seizures be part of recovery or have I come up with something new ? Could this me a nutritional deficiency? Thank you for reading all this. Kathy Kurutz, 3265 New York Dr. Pasadena, CA 91107

Re: Plantar Fasciitis/heel spur/footandleg muscle/tendon cramps and seizures

ellen w on 8/16/01 at 19:00 (056943)

Don't know the answer to your question, and don't want to take the place of a doc responding, but I had a lot of problems with painful leg cramps. These have gone away since I stopped drinking carbonated soda and started doing stretches every morning, including ones for my hamstrings. I suspect there's a connection, but who knows? You can try searching on this board for this and what other people have found helpful -- I beleive there have past discussions.
ellen

Re: Plantar Fasciitis/heel spur/footandleg muscle/tendon cramps and seizures

Julie on 8/17/01 at 02:22 (056966)

Kathi, I'm not a doctor either, but here are a couple of thoughts.

Nutritional ones first.

Frequent muscle cramps are often due to a deficiency of calcium in the diet, so you could try a good calcium/magnesium supplement (the magnesium helps absorption of the calcium).

Cramp can also be due to a lack of salt. If you live in hot southern California (Pasadena is SC, isn't it - pardon my hazy geography) you may lose more fluid through perspiration than you replace. So if you don't drink the necessary amount of water (at least 1 1/2 - 2 litres a day) you may be losing too much salt. Even if you don't perspire a lot visibly, if you don't drink a lot of water you may be salt-deficient.

Ellen mentioned diet sodas. They aren't a substitute for water, and they actually leech the fluids out of the body.

BUT.

If you are still standing barefoot to paint (am I right in thinking you wear your orthotics only when walking outdoors - it's not quite clear from your post) the muscles in your feet may have seized up from the constant effort they're making to keep the PF pain at bay. I'm well aware of this tendency - I teach yoga, and for a couple of weeks after I got PF a year ago, I found myself tensing my foot (and other!) muscles against the pain of standing while teaching. If I had continued to teach barefoot, I'm sure serious continual cramp would have been the result very soon. But once I knew what I was dealing with, I stopped going barefoot. I've since worn Birkenstocks all the time for teaching and in the house, and good athletic shoes (with custom orthotics) outdoors.

You say you've a lifelong hatred of shoes, but if you are still going barefoot, I would suggest that you need to reframe your attitude to shoes. Good, supportive shoes are needed all the time to support your arches. Birkenstocks are excellent and have helped many of us, and if they suit your feet they might be more acceptable to you than 'shoes' , as their natural shape is as close to that of the foot as any shoe could possibly be. And in California (if southern) you don't need to worry much about cold feet in the winter.

I hope this is useful. Let us know how you get on.

Re: Plantar Fasciitis/heel spur/footandleg muscle/tendon cramps and seizures

Kathy K. on 8/17/01 at hrmin (057043)

Hi Ellenand Julie, Thank you both for responding. I'll certainly consider your advice except for sodas I do not drink them and don't buy them. I am sure old enough to really need calcium and all the good minerals and Birkenstocks too. Thanks again, Kathy

Re: Plantar Fasciitis/heel spur/footandleg muscle/tendon cramps and seizures

Kathy K on 8/17/01 at hrmin (057044)

Hi Julie; As I said to Ellen I am grateful for your reply to me. All these stories make me feel better .
By now you know Pasadena is in Los Angeles county and the heat in August is always a humdinger.
My son and his family live in Chicago but I am sure the weather here is mild compared to the heat/humidity there.
I don't know where you are located but I do wish you well, both you and Ellen. Thanks again, Kathy

Re: Plantar Fasciitis/heel spur/footandleg muscle/tendon cramps and seizures

Julie on 8/17/01 at 22:17 (057053)

Thanks, Kathy. I'm in England (London). Not usually much problem with heat here, though we are having a summer this year, after a couple of years without one, including a couple of little heat waves, by which I mean 80sF - nothing by your -or Chicago's - standards! I lived in Chicago for a few years in the 50s.

Re: Plantar Fasciitis/heel spur/footandleg muscle/tendon cramps and seizures

Julie on 8/17/01 at 22:19 (057054)

Kathy, an afterthought. My husband is a painter, and often stands on tiptoe and stretch to reach the top of a big canvas. Do you do that? That could be another possible cause, especially if you're barefoot while painting, of the muscle cramps in your feet.

Re: Plantar Fasciitis/heel spur/footandleg muscle/tendon cramps and seizures

ellen w on 8/16/01 at 19:00 (056943)

Don't know the answer to your question, and don't want to take the place of a doc responding, but I had a lot of problems with painful leg cramps. These have gone away since I stopped drinking carbonated soda and started doing stretches every morning, including ones for my hamstrings. I suspect there's a connection, but who knows? You can try searching on this board for this and what other people have found helpful -- I beleive there have past discussions.
ellen

Re: Plantar Fasciitis/heel spur/footandleg muscle/tendon cramps and seizures

Julie on 8/17/01 at 02:22 (056966)

Kathi, I'm not a doctor either, but here are a couple of thoughts.

Nutritional ones first.

Frequent muscle cramps are often due to a deficiency of calcium in the diet, so you could try a good calcium/magnesium supplement (the magnesium helps absorption of the calcium).

Cramp can also be due to a lack of salt. If you live in hot southern California (Pasadena is SC, isn't it - pardon my hazy geography) you may lose more fluid through perspiration than you replace. So if you don't drink the necessary amount of water (at least 1 1/2 - 2 litres a day) you may be losing too much salt. Even if you don't perspire a lot visibly, if you don't drink a lot of water you may be salt-deficient.

Ellen mentioned diet sodas. They aren't a substitute for water, and they actually leech the fluids out of the body.

BUT.

If you are still standing barefoot to paint (am I right in thinking you wear your orthotics only when walking outdoors - it's not quite clear from your post) the muscles in your feet may have seized up from the constant effort they're making to keep the PF pain at bay. I'm well aware of this tendency - I teach yoga, and for a couple of weeks after I got PF a year ago, I found myself tensing my foot (and other!) muscles against the pain of standing while teaching. If I had continued to teach barefoot, I'm sure serious continual cramp would have been the result very soon. But once I knew what I was dealing with, I stopped going barefoot. I've since worn Birkenstocks all the time for teaching and in the house, and good athletic shoes (with custom orthotics) outdoors.

You say you've a lifelong hatred of shoes, but if you are still going barefoot, I would suggest that you need to reframe your attitude to shoes. Good, supportive shoes are needed all the time to support your arches. Birkenstocks are excellent and have helped many of us, and if they suit your feet they might be more acceptable to you than 'shoes' , as their natural shape is as close to that of the foot as any shoe could possibly be. And in California (if southern) you don't need to worry much about cold feet in the winter.

I hope this is useful. Let us know how you get on.

Re: Plantar Fasciitis/heel spur/footandleg muscle/tendon cramps and seizures

Kathy K. on 8/17/01 at hrmin (057043)

Hi Ellenand Julie, Thank you both for responding. I'll certainly consider your advice except for sodas I do not drink them and don't buy them. I am sure old enough to really need calcium and all the good minerals and Birkenstocks too. Thanks again, Kathy

Re: Plantar Fasciitis/heel spur/footandleg muscle/tendon cramps and seizures

Kathy K on 8/17/01 at hrmin (057044)

Hi Julie; As I said to Ellen I am grateful for your reply to me. All these stories make me feel better .
By now you know Pasadena is in Los Angeles county and the heat in August is always a humdinger.
My son and his family live in Chicago but I am sure the weather here is mild compared to the heat/humidity there.
I don't know where you are located but I do wish you well, both you and Ellen. Thanks again, Kathy

Re: Plantar Fasciitis/heel spur/footandleg muscle/tendon cramps and seizures

Julie on 8/17/01 at 22:17 (057053)

Thanks, Kathy. I'm in England (London). Not usually much problem with heat here, though we are having a summer this year, after a couple of years without one, including a couple of little heat waves, by which I mean 80sF - nothing by your -or Chicago's - standards! I lived in Chicago for a few years in the 50s.

Re: Plantar Fasciitis/heel spur/footandleg muscle/tendon cramps and seizures

Julie on 8/17/01 at 22:19 (057054)

Kathy, an afterthought. My husband is a painter, and often stands on tiptoe and stretch to reach the top of a big canvas. Do you do that? That could be another possible cause, especially if you're barefoot while painting, of the muscle cramps in your feet.