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Looking for relief from PF

Posted by Scott W. on 11/15/01 at 12:07 (064830)

I am a 30 year old civil engineer with a desk job (for which I am extremely grateful) and my feet began hurting at the end of winter this past year (2001). I was playing basketball twice a week for about 2 hours each time. My feet gradually got worse and worse and yet I have played basketball for years without any foot problems except for a few ankle sprains. They got so bad that I could hardly stand to put any pressure on them at all. I gave up basketball entirely hoping that rest would heal them. Well, It has been 7 to 8 months and I feel very little improvement. My feet hurt over the entire bottom of the foot. They are just really sore and tired feet after having been on them for any length of time. I can only be on them for about 5 to 10 minutes before I have to sit down somewhere. Walking/standing on concrete floors is the worst, while walking/standing on grass and plush carpet are the best. I have seen a podiatrist, a sports medicine doctor, physical therapists, and an orthopedic doctor. I have tried stretching, taping, icing, night splints, 2 sets of custom orthotics, and anti-inflammatory drugs. Nothing has worked. This web site has been the best source of information but it is still hard to find anyone with similar symptoms to myself (i.e. pain/burning in both the heel and ball of both feet). The icing does take the immediate pain/burning away though. The only way my feet don't hurt is by staying off of them and keeping them propped up on a stool of some sort. I have taken up swimming for exercise but I sure do miss playing basketball and tennis. I can still golf as long as I get a golf cart and sit a lot while golfing. I was wondering if anyone else out there has experienced similar symptoms and if so, what have you done for relief? Do your feet ever get back to normal, and if so how long can I expect this to last? I would like to be able to coach my son's baseball team someday but there is no way I could do that if my feet don't ever improve. Thanks in advance for any response. It will be greatly appreciated.

Re: Looking for relief from PF

john h on 11/15/01 at 15:22 (064836)

scott: as a former noon time YMCA basketball player 5 times a week i know your feelings. I have not played b-ball for some years once i got PF in both feet. One thing you did not mention is try wearing birkenstock Airizoa Sandals. It will probably take you a month to get used to them but if they work they have really helped a lot of people on this board. They of course have a built in orthotic and for whatever reason they have helped and continue to help many. I could care less what they think I look like at the office. some may mistake me as a refugee from the 60's like nancy s, judy, or steve. you can order them on line but you really need to go to a local store for proper fitting. The Airizona seems to be the most popular among PF'ers but there is also one with a backstrap that has a sofer insole that works for me. I even occasionaly go for a 2-3 mile walk in them. also use them for bedroom shoes. at any rate it is worth a try to help get you on the road again. a lot of us wear them in the winter also (with socks of course).

Re: Looking for relief from PF

BrianJ on 11/15/01 at 15:45 (064838)

Hey Scott --

Your symptoms sound virtually identical to mine -- and mine started the same way as well (playing sports on hard surfaces).

One important thing you can do is make sure your problem is really PF. You may want to see a rheumatologist to rule out arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis and Reiter's Syndrome, as well as a neurologist to rule out nerve entrapment or peripheral neuropathy.

Feel free to email me at '(email removed)' and we can talk more about particular symptoms and treatments. I'm not a doctor and I don't play one on this board, but I'm still trying new things and learning every day.

Re: Looking for relief from PF

ScottW on 11/16/01 at 09:48 (064866)

Thanks for your response. What stores carry the Birkenstock sandals? How long have you had PF and will it ever get better?

Re: Looking for relief from PF

Andrea R. on 11/16/01 at 10:15 (064867)

Scott,

To find a store in your area that carries Birkenstock sandals go to http://www.birkenstock.com . They have a 'Store locator' feature. You need to try Birks on before ordering them online so you're sure you get the right size and style. When you get them, break them in slowly.

If you go to http://www.birkenstock-cn.com you can order them from Germany at a reduced price. If you don't pay for fast shipping they take about 4 to 6 weeks to arrive.

Re: Looking for relief from PF

Pam on 11/16/01 at 15:24 (064881)

Scott,
I will tell you that my feet, especially the right, is like yours only I have had mine for many, many years. I do not know what to tell you, but if you can get someone to rub your feet that helps make them feel better. Birkenstocks do not work for me, because they are not cushiony. The only shoes I can wear, are some that bouce as you walk. These are so hard to find. If I think of anything else, I'll let you know.

Pam

Re: Looking for relief from PF

Nicole K. on 11/16/01 at 17:12 (064884)

ecco Mobile shoes are pretty bouncy. IMHO, probably the best I've found.

Re: Looking for relief from PF

john h on 11/15/01 at 15:22 (064836)

scott: as a former noon time YMCA basketball player 5 times a week i know your feelings. I have not played b-ball for some years once i got PF in both feet. One thing you did not mention is try wearing birkenstock Airizoa Sandals. It will probably take you a month to get used to them but if they work they have really helped a lot of people on this board. They of course have a built in orthotic and for whatever reason they have helped and continue to help many. I could care less what they think I look like at the office. some may mistake me as a refugee from the 60's like nancy s, judy, or steve. you can order them on line but you really need to go to a local store for proper fitting. The Airizona seems to be the most popular among PF'ers but there is also one with a backstrap that has a sofer insole that works for me. I even occasionaly go for a 2-3 mile walk in them. also use them for bedroom shoes. at any rate it is worth a try to help get you on the road again. a lot of us wear them in the winter also (with socks of course).

Re: Looking for relief from PF

BrianJ on 11/15/01 at 15:45 (064838)

Hey Scott --

Your symptoms sound virtually identical to mine -- and mine started the same way as well (playing sports on hard surfaces).

One important thing you can do is make sure your problem is really PF. You may want to see a rheumatologist to rule out arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis and Reiter's Syndrome, as well as a neurologist to rule out nerve entrapment or peripheral neuropathy.

Feel free to email me at '(email removed)' and we can talk more about particular symptoms and treatments. I'm not a doctor and I don't play one on this board, but I'm still trying new things and learning every day.

Re: Looking for relief from PF

ScottW on 11/16/01 at 09:48 (064866)

Thanks for your response. What stores carry the Birkenstock sandals? How long have you had PF and will it ever get better?

Re: Looking for relief from PF

Andrea R. on 11/16/01 at 10:15 (064867)

Scott,

To find a store in your area that carries Birkenstock sandals go to http://www.birkenstock.com . They have a 'Store locator' feature. You need to try Birks on before ordering them online so you're sure you get the right size and style. When you get them, break them in slowly.

If you go to http://www.birkenstock-cn.com you can order them from Germany at a reduced price. If you don't pay for fast shipping they take about 4 to 6 weeks to arrive.

Re: Looking for relief from PF

Pam on 11/16/01 at 15:24 (064881)

Scott,
I will tell you that my feet, especially the right, is like yours only I have had mine for many, many years. I do not know what to tell you, but if you can get someone to rub your feet that helps make them feel better. Birkenstocks do not work for me, because they are not cushiony. The only shoes I can wear, are some that bouce as you walk. These are so hard to find. If I think of anything else, I'll let you know.

Pam

Re: Looking for relief from PF

Nicole K. on 11/16/01 at 17:12 (064884)

ecco Mobile shoes are pretty bouncy. IMHO, probably the best I've found.