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newly diagnosed, night splints, please respond!

Posted by Heidi A on 9/08/01 at 09:42 (059467)

Hello
I have just been diagnosed with PF and have been doing research on the net so now I am filled with many, many questions and would like some personal imput.

1. does PF feel worse at any time in a woman's cycle- do the natural flow of hormones make the pain worse or better ?

2. I know that getting off your feet is a mainstay of treatment but what can you do if you can't get off your feet, in my job I am on my feet for 9 hrs a day and getting off my feet is NOT an option !

3. what about night splints ? do they work ? is the soft kind sold sold by scott better or worse than the rigid kind?

4. the treatment prescribed to me is stretching, Aleve 2 X a day for 2 weeks and a dr.scholls 'dyna step insert' what else can I do to help the pain ? I have a TENS unit for other non related chronic pain - would that help and if so where do I place the electrodes?

thanks in advance for any assistance that I might get Heidi A

Re: newly diagnosed, night splints, please respond!

Carmen H on 9/08/01 at 10:36 (059472)

Welcome to the board! You will find a lot of information on here that will be helpful to your recovery. First things first. Have you read the PF Book? Second-did your doctor tell you NEVER to go barefoot? Very important. Not even in the shower. You should have stable shoes as well...you'll find many people on here swear by the New Balance 800 series.
I haven't found my PF to be worse during my cycle...I have had PF for 13 weeks so I have had a few chances to observe this.
You may want to look into getting a position at your current job that will allow you to sit down and work. I know many people don't have this option but your doc is right when he says being off your feet is IMPORTANT to start the healing process. If you are newly diagnosed and have started treatment right away you have a good chance of healing faster. HOWEVER it could take months to get better (as I am finding) so patience must be a part of your plan. It's hard sometimes I still forget that I have to be patient. Reda through these message boards and see what you can learn, see if there is anyone on here who's symtpoms sound like yours, etc.
Just stay active on here and INactive on your feet. DON'T go barefoot.
Oh~
If you can't get another position off your feet (some doctors will write an excuse for your employer ...that's how important rest is) then ask for a fatigue mat especially if you work on hard concrete or hard wood floors standing still all day.

Re: me again...

Carmen H on 9/08/01 at 10:37 (059473)

I forgot-I don't know enough about the TENS unit to advise you but I usethe hard night splint and it seems to work fine...just takes getting used to.

Re: me again...

john h on 9/08/01 at 11:07 (059481)

i have had a Tens unit for many years. i really have never found it useful for PF or TTS. It can work for back and neck pain. it of course just mask the pain which sometimes is all you want. it is never a cure. sometimes used after open heart surgery to relieve pain. can be rented from a physical thearapist (not all) with a doctors prescription. the PT will show you how to use it and can be rented on a daily basis to see if it works. there are some inexpensive ones for $100 but if you want the real thing they cost $500 and up. Insurance will sometimes pay for these and they are in wide use.

Re: newly diagnosed, night splints, please respond!

Julie on 9/08/01 at 11:16 (059482)

Hello Heidi

Carmen has given you good advice, particularly about staying off your feet. It really IS important that you try. Standing jobs, particularly on hard surfaces, can be the cause of plantar fasciitis, and will certainly make it very difficult to heal. Teachers, nurses, doctors, factory workers, etc are frequent posters here.

Could you tell us what you do, and why you say it is not an option to stay off your feet? Perhaps we can help you do a bit of 'lateral thinking' about this. I know it always seems at first that changing is impossible - but it may not be.

The fact is, that the less time you spend standing on your feet, the quicker you will heal. So do give us more information so that we can perhaps help you.

Meanwhile, re-evaluate your shoes, make sure the ones you choose are (a) the right size and (b) give you good stability and arch support. A low heel, such as on a good quality walking or athletic shoe, is better than no heel; high heels are a no-no, as are bare feet.

The heel pain book will give you a good education on the causes, symptoms and treatment of PF. Arm yourself with knowledge so that you can be active in your healing, and, as Carmen said, keep reading and posting here, where you will get help and support.

Re: newly diagnosed, night splints, please respond!

Julie on 9/08/01 at 11:17 (059483)

I don't recall typing'doctors' and don't know why I did. Please delete it from that sentence. Sorry.

Re: newly diagnosed, night splints, please respond!

Carmen H on 9/08/01 at 14:06 (059499)

Julie~I am terrible...I know I always make mistakes in my typing and I hardly ever go back and fix them like you do.
Everyone forgive me for my terrible typing.....

Re: newly diagnosed, night splints, please respond!

Julie on 9/08/01 at 14:41 (059509)

Not to worry, Carmen. I'm just finicky about my mistakes - it must be the fcrustrated editor in me. (please delete the 'c' in 'frustrated'.

Re: newly diagnosed, night splints, please respond!

Heidi A on 9/08/01 at 14:59 (059512)

Thanks Carmen and Julie.
I work in a professional food service position where I prepare the salad bar and makes sandwiches all day. this position is a new transfer- I used to work in a high school cafeteria and have just had a chance to be 'promoted/ transferred' to a more professional location - a location that uses my culinary degree. I have several medical problems- I was born with heart defects, developed endometriosis and hypoglycemia and now the pf. one of my co-workers (whom for some stupid reason I look up to) had a brother who is a doctor and her mother is the director of nursing at a big rehabilitation hospital keeps telling me (because she knows better than me about MY medical concerns) that if I have medical problems I should not be working in this field and certainly not at this location. now I do have all of my medical problems (except the pf) under control right now but I never know when one or all of my problems will become active again. and I am wanted for a clinical trial in december for the endometriosis. so I have to 'stay strong' and appear well to my co-workers for now. I might get away with asking for adaptions but I don't know that I might need them more later this year and I don't want to be like the girl that cried wolf. I am in between and rock and a hard place and I am trying to keep all the balls that I am juggling in the air. maybe I will have to have more abdominal surgery this winter and then I can also take 2 weeks and do strict bed rest and let my foot heal? I just don't know anymore ????

Re: newly diagnosed, night splints, please respond!

Julie on 9/08/01 at 15:15 (059514)

Oh dear, Heidi, that's a lot of balls to keep in the air. Sounds like too many - but I'm totally sympathetic to your situation, and your wanting to prove to everyone who keeps telling you you're not up to doing what you do! What a lot of courage and determination you have.

OK. Let's concentrate on what you can do to make yourself more comfortable on the job. Tell us about your shoes. Are you quite sure they are as stable and supportive as you need? And the right size? (Having recently discovered that my own feet have grown a size since the last time I looked, I'm aware of the need to monitor this!)

You said in your original post that you've been diagnosed with PF. By a podiatrist? Did he evaluate your walking to see if you have biomechanical faults that could be causing or contributing to PF, and that could be corrected with orthotics?

Taping may help you. In Part 2 of the heel pain book, you'll find instructions and illustrations for it. For many months, I used the simplest of the methods illustrated, with two strips of tape connecting the ball of the foot and the heel. The purpose of taping is to support the arch; it rests the injured fascia and contributes to healing as well as to pain relief. If you try it, and it helps, it's an indication that orthotics will help. And it should, or at least I hope it will, make those standing hours a bit more bearable.

I hope you won't need more abdominal surgery, but if you do, make sure you take the maximum possible time off - to recover fully from the surgery, but also to take the opportunity of giving your feet time to heal.

Please keep in touch, let us know how you get on, read the heel pain book, and feel free to ask questions. We're here to help.

Re: Had it Had it Had it!

Carmen H on 9/08/01 at 16:20 (059517)

Yikes...I have had the endometriosis (surgery 1999 and NO problems since then at all!!!) hypoglycemia (when I was young and controlled it very well with diet thanks to my persistent mother...I was the only child to not eat candy, sweets, sugar all my life), and I have the PF now too.
So sounds like you are under a great deal of stress. Julie gives such great advice....and has a way of making us all feel better. Take a moment to prioritize.... put a rubber fatigue mat under your feet (heck just them you know it can cause back and foot problems down the road to stand on concrete and you need it for preventative measures), get a good doc you trust and get involved with us! You'll find that other things don't matter as much as getting those feet better.
We're happy to have you (NOT happy you have pain...but happy to help if we can).....even if it's just a nudge in the positive direction. Lord knows I ask for them all the time on here!

Re: you make me laugh out loud

Carmen H on 9/08/01 at 16:21 (059518)

I laughed out loud to that one Julie!
You Perfectionist you!

Re: Haha

Julie on 9/09/01 at 01:22 (059580)

I see I didn't ask you to close the parentheses too.

Re: newly diagnosed, night splints, please respond!

JeanB on 9/12/01 at 13:13 (059978)

The Americans With Disabilities Act should provide you with the back up to request an accommodation for your PF. That accommodation can be a stool to sit on and make sandwiches and the rubber mat to cushion the area in which you must stand. Those are both reasonable accommodations with which your employer should not have a problem complying. You might also consider icing your feet during your lunch break (just be sure to warm them up before you walk on them again). You might also change shoes mid-day--sometimes one pair will feel great in the morning but as the day wears on the shoe irritates the arch. So switch to a different, but still comfortable and supportive, shoe for the afternoon. Good luck.

Re: newly diagnosed, night splints, please respond!

Carmen H on 9/08/01 at 10:36 (059472)

Welcome to the board! You will find a lot of information on here that will be helpful to your recovery. First things first. Have you read the PF Book? Second-did your doctor tell you NEVER to go barefoot? Very important. Not even in the shower. You should have stable shoes as well...you'll find many people on here swear by the New Balance 800 series.
I haven't found my PF to be worse during my cycle...I have had PF for 13 weeks so I have had a few chances to observe this.
You may want to look into getting a position at your current job that will allow you to sit down and work. I know many people don't have this option but your doc is right when he says being off your feet is IMPORTANT to start the healing process. If you are newly diagnosed and have started treatment right away you have a good chance of healing faster. HOWEVER it could take months to get better (as I am finding) so patience must be a part of your plan. It's hard sometimes I still forget that I have to be patient. Reda through these message boards and see what you can learn, see if there is anyone on here who's symtpoms sound like yours, etc.
Just stay active on here and INactive on your feet. DON'T go barefoot.
Oh~
If you can't get another position off your feet (some doctors will write an excuse for your employer ...that's how important rest is) then ask for a fatigue mat especially if you work on hard concrete or hard wood floors standing still all day.

Re: me again...

Carmen H on 9/08/01 at 10:37 (059473)

I forgot-I don't know enough about the TENS unit to advise you but I usethe hard night splint and it seems to work fine...just takes getting used to.

Re: me again...

john h on 9/08/01 at 11:07 (059481)

i have had a Tens unit for many years. i really have never found it useful for PF or TTS. It can work for back and neck pain. it of course just mask the pain which sometimes is all you want. it is never a cure. sometimes used after open heart surgery to relieve pain. can be rented from a physical thearapist (not all) with a doctors prescription. the PT will show you how to use it and can be rented on a daily basis to see if it works. there are some inexpensive ones for $100 but if you want the real thing they cost $500 and up. Insurance will sometimes pay for these and they are in wide use.

Re: newly diagnosed, night splints, please respond!

Julie on 9/08/01 at 11:16 (059482)

Hello Heidi

Carmen has given you good advice, particularly about staying off your feet. It really IS important that you try. Standing jobs, particularly on hard surfaces, can be the cause of plantar fasciitis, and will certainly make it very difficult to heal. Teachers, nurses, doctors, factory workers, etc are frequent posters here.

Could you tell us what you do, and why you say it is not an option to stay off your feet? Perhaps we can help you do a bit of 'lateral thinking' about this. I know it always seems at first that changing is impossible - but it may not be.

The fact is, that the less time you spend standing on your feet, the quicker you will heal. So do give us more information so that we can perhaps help you.

Meanwhile, re-evaluate your shoes, make sure the ones you choose are (a) the right size and (b) give you good stability and arch support. A low heel, such as on a good quality walking or athletic shoe, is better than no heel; high heels are a no-no, as are bare feet.

The heel pain book will give you a good education on the causes, symptoms and treatment of PF. Arm yourself with knowledge so that you can be active in your healing, and, as Carmen said, keep reading and posting here, where you will get help and support.

Re: newly diagnosed, night splints, please respond!

Julie on 9/08/01 at 11:17 (059483)

I don't recall typing'doctors' and don't know why I did. Please delete it from that sentence. Sorry.

Re: newly diagnosed, night splints, please respond!

Carmen H on 9/08/01 at 14:06 (059499)

Julie~I am terrible...I know I always make mistakes in my typing and I hardly ever go back and fix them like you do.
Everyone forgive me for my terrible typing.....

Re: newly diagnosed, night splints, please respond!

Julie on 9/08/01 at 14:41 (059509)

Not to worry, Carmen. I'm just finicky about my mistakes - it must be the fcrustrated editor in me. (please delete the 'c' in 'frustrated'.

Re: newly diagnosed, night splints, please respond!

Heidi A on 9/08/01 at 14:59 (059512)

Thanks Carmen and Julie.
I work in a professional food service position where I prepare the salad bar and makes sandwiches all day. this position is a new transfer- I used to work in a high school cafeteria and have just had a chance to be 'promoted/ transferred' to a more professional location - a location that uses my culinary degree. I have several medical problems- I was born with heart defects, developed endometriosis and hypoglycemia and now the pf. one of my co-workers (whom for some stupid reason I look up to) had a brother who is a doctor and her mother is the director of nursing at a big rehabilitation hospital keeps telling me (because she knows better than me about MY medical concerns) that if I have medical problems I should not be working in this field and certainly not at this location. now I do have all of my medical problems (except the pf) under control right now but I never know when one or all of my problems will become active again. and I am wanted for a clinical trial in december for the endometriosis. so I have to 'stay strong' and appear well to my co-workers for now. I might get away with asking for adaptions but I don't know that I might need them more later this year and I don't want to be like the girl that cried wolf. I am in between and rock and a hard place and I am trying to keep all the balls that I am juggling in the air. maybe I will have to have more abdominal surgery this winter and then I can also take 2 weeks and do strict bed rest and let my foot heal? I just don't know anymore ????

Re: newly diagnosed, night splints, please respond!

Julie on 9/08/01 at 15:15 (059514)

Oh dear, Heidi, that's a lot of balls to keep in the air. Sounds like too many - but I'm totally sympathetic to your situation, and your wanting to prove to everyone who keeps telling you you're not up to doing what you do! What a lot of courage and determination you have.

OK. Let's concentrate on what you can do to make yourself more comfortable on the job. Tell us about your shoes. Are you quite sure they are as stable and supportive as you need? And the right size? (Having recently discovered that my own feet have grown a size since the last time I looked, I'm aware of the need to monitor this!)

You said in your original post that you've been diagnosed with PF. By a podiatrist? Did he evaluate your walking to see if you have biomechanical faults that could be causing or contributing to PF, and that could be corrected with orthotics?

Taping may help you. In Part 2 of the heel pain book, you'll find instructions and illustrations for it. For many months, I used the simplest of the methods illustrated, with two strips of tape connecting the ball of the foot and the heel. The purpose of taping is to support the arch; it rests the injured fascia and contributes to healing as well as to pain relief. If you try it, and it helps, it's an indication that orthotics will help. And it should, or at least I hope it will, make those standing hours a bit more bearable.

I hope you won't need more abdominal surgery, but if you do, make sure you take the maximum possible time off - to recover fully from the surgery, but also to take the opportunity of giving your feet time to heal.

Please keep in touch, let us know how you get on, read the heel pain book, and feel free to ask questions. We're here to help.

Re: Had it Had it Had it!

Carmen H on 9/08/01 at 16:20 (059517)

Yikes...I have had the endometriosis (surgery 1999 and NO problems since then at all!!!) hypoglycemia (when I was young and controlled it very well with diet thanks to my persistent mother...I was the only child to not eat candy, sweets, sugar all my life), and I have the PF now too.
So sounds like you are under a great deal of stress. Julie gives such great advice....and has a way of making us all feel better. Take a moment to prioritize.... put a rubber fatigue mat under your feet (heck just them you know it can cause back and foot problems down the road to stand on concrete and you need it for preventative measures), get a good doc you trust and get involved with us! You'll find that other things don't matter as much as getting those feet better.
We're happy to have you (NOT happy you have pain...but happy to help if we can).....even if it's just a nudge in the positive direction. Lord knows I ask for them all the time on here!

Re: you make me laugh out loud

Carmen H on 9/08/01 at 16:21 (059518)

I laughed out loud to that one Julie!
You Perfectionist you!

Re: Haha

Julie on 9/09/01 at 01:22 (059580)

I see I didn't ask you to close the parentheses too.

Re: newly diagnosed, night splints, please respond!

JeanB on 9/12/01 at 13:13 (059978)

The Americans With Disabilities Act should provide you with the back up to request an accommodation for your PF. That accommodation can be a stool to sit on and make sandwiches and the rubber mat to cushion the area in which you must stand. Those are both reasonable accommodations with which your employer should not have a problem complying. You might also consider icing your feet during your lunch break (just be sure to warm them up before you walk on them again). You might also change shoes mid-day--sometimes one pair will feel great in the morning but as the day wears on the shoe irritates the arch. So switch to a different, but still comfortable and supportive, shoe for the afternoon. Good luck.