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Plantar Faciitis

Posted by Sabita on 12/10/01 at 10:20 (066620)

Are there anything on the market to treat plantar faciitis. What can I take for the pain? Which is better ice or heat? Should I bandage it when involved in sports?

Thanks for your response.

Re: Plantar Faciitis

Carmen on 12/10/01 at 12:42 (066627)

REad the PF book.

Re: Plantar Faciitis

michael b on 12/10/01 at 16:02 (066633)

i've had an acute case of plantar faciitis since sept of 2000. i'm 42, great health, an athlete who still likes to run as a part of my fitness program. currently, i use a nightsplint both at work and home, and it has helped. however, anytime i do any hi-impact activities such as running, tennis, basketball, etc, it crops right back up. i'm getting very worried that i might never be able to run again and i can't stand that idea. the best i can do is ride a bike, play a round of golf (athough the foot starts to ache some later in the round) and lift weights. by the way, i also had an oss tron treatment done in august . . . don't really know if it helped or not ---- is there anything i'm not doing or should be doing that would help???

Re: Plantar Faciitis

CArmen on 12/10/01 at 19:45 (066663)

Michael you need to stop exercising completely for awhile and let that foot heal up a bit! Just my opinion and I am not a doctor but it sounds like you keep making it worse with all the activity. You can put on the splint but the running and tennis are going to keep it from getting 100% better.

Re: Plantar Faciitis

michael b on 12/11/01 at 12:11 (066713)

no doubt that reduced activity helps --- to that end i haven't run in over 6 mos. but now i'm finding that i can't cycle for too long either, stand up too long, or anything else. just got back this morning from a third doctor who came reccommended from other runner/athletes here in houston. he has taped me up (something the others haven't tried) and has actually wanted me to try and jog a little tomorrow w/ the tape on. based on that result, he thinks that possibly new orthotics could get me over the hump, or if that doesn't get it --- to then try a series of 3 cortizone shots --- we talked at length about that as i had heard mixed reviews --- he said that he has had very good results w/ this treatment --- had actually done a study on 100 tennis players who underwent the treatment// out of that group, only 4 had tears in the plantar (which he later fixed) the rest went on to play w/ no problem --- however, as to your comment, i plan over the holidays to do very little w/ the exception of playing a few rounds of golf (w/a cart of course!!) you sound as though you might have done some athletic things, can you relate??

Re: yep

Carmen on 12/11/01 at 16:41 (066746)

Boy can I relate! I replied to you on the other board (I think it was you) about how I used to be a kickboxer, Spinner, runner, weight lifter etc....I was SO frustrated when this stuff happened to my feet. VERY upset. I am lucky I haven't gained any weight but I am no longer the lean 'machine' I once was not a mere 6 months ago......I have lost weight due to lost muscle. No fun. But I have learned so much about life in general with all this time (no running out the door to the gym every morning and night) and I think it happened for a reason so I can't complain too much. I try to be positive no matter how much pain I am in. This board has been a life saver. Stay active on here if this PF cks around for you you will definitely need this reference tool of a good message board.
I am not sure why the doctor told you to run with PF even a little could really do damage....but I am not a doc so pay no mind to me. Just worries me a little that you could do more harm. To me if you are not able to run and biking is starting to hurt that would indicate it is getting worse and not better....does this sound right to you?
anyway....a lot of people have had success with taping and orthotics. Shots too...but no more than 3 in a year for sure!
I would definitely get references for anything too invasive if you aren't sure about how you feel about certain things.
Anyway....stay with us...hang in there. Take a break. It will be good for your body. ;-)
p.s. Dr Z and Dr Ed have been exceptionally helpful to many of us...as k them questions if you have any...they are great to help!

Re: yep

michael b on 12/11/01 at 17:06 (066753)

great comments --- it was me you responded to on the other board --- any by the way, i heard some excellent comments from others as well .... it has been mental therapy just knowing there are others dealing w/this. . . in regards to your comments and concerns (thank you) about the doctor who taped me this morning and then asked me to jog a bit to see if i felt support ---- his sense (and mine) is that this is not an acute case, as i have responded well to the nightsplint and some basic stretching. for instance, i can walk w/o pain, ride a bike casually, play nine holes of golf, and be ok. the issue is when i try and step it up by jogging, or doing something more hi impact. as you know, when you're a runner and used to hi impact activity, it's a killer mentally to deal w/ not being able to do that. running gives me the best release, keeps my legs toned the way i like, etc,etc. however, i'm not stupid, my sense from your comments and others is that this stuff (pf) can take a LONG time to get rid of. anyway, here's my plan, and i'd love your comments if you have any: tomorrow, with the tape in place, try to take an easy jog on a forgiving surface, if i can do that a couple of times over the next week, and not feel any more of an ache than, say, what i feel after playing a few holes of golf (which is very minor), then the thought is that we will try and get some orthotics that can replicate the support the taping gives.

Re: yep

michael b on 12/11/01 at 17:16 (066755)

if it still isn't a go with the tape in place, then the thought will be to undergo a series of the 3 cortizone shots (which i've never had). i have no illusions of going out to run a 5k anytime soon --- if i could just get to where i could job a mile or two once or twice a week i'd be estatic. before i came down w/ pf, the plan was to do some mini triathalons. . . i guess i could train on the swimming part, but the hope is that sometime in 02 i could be well enough to do that -- or least start training for it. man carmen, i'm gonna be one depressed kid if it turns out i can't shake this stuff --- i know there are people starving in afghanistan that have it worse than me, but at 42 i'd hate to have to hang up the running shoes, you know what i mean???

Re: Mike - maybe it's not such a good plan!

Julie on 12/12/01 at 02:33 (066796)

Mike, I think it's a risky plan you've got in mind. You're responding well to treatment so far, and I'm sure you'll continue to: don't rock the boat just yet. Your PF is still in the early stages. Your feet are telling you all the time what they need: they get worse when you step up activity. Listen to them. The more you stay off them now, the sooner they will heal, the more likely it is that the healing will last, and the more likely it is that you will get back to running eventually. If you push the running now, your PF may (and in all probability will) get much worse and take much longer to heal.

In the worst case scenario, you might not be able to run again. You'd be risking a lifetime of running for the sake of avoiding it for a few months now. Is it worth it? I'm not a runner, and I can't answer the question for you. But there are lots of folks around here who tried your plan and regret it. One or two have already spoken to you, and perhaps others will.

Try to make up your mind to the fact that you've got an injury, one that can be slow to heal. Give it time to heal, and be active in your treatment. Rest and patience are critical aspects of treatment and will pay off in the long run (pun intended).

Re: Yikes....

Carmen H on 12/12/01 at 07:52 (066802)

Well...you're not going to like it...but here goes. I wouldn't run with or without tape if my life depended on it if I were you. Seriously that in my opinion (speaking from experience only) would be the worst thing to do. If it starts to hurt when you 'kick it up a notch' that is an indication and a direct shout from your feet that it does NOT want to do that....Take it as a warning from your feet to be content that you are able to walk and give the running a break...yes a long one. B/c even if you feel relief and THINK it's gone this is a recurring problem and it will come back to bite you in the rear if you are not careful.
As far as being depressed at 41 for hanging up the running shoes....I am 30 and can't even have a baby we want to have until my feet get better and FIRST I have to get back into the shape I was in before so my body is strong and healthy enough to support pregnancy so YES I understand so well your disappointment and fear. Everyone here has a story and they are all heartbreaking...but most people have found peace (the regulars anyway) with the fact that their life has changed. DRASTICALLY. There are still bad days...we all come here to complain but the good days are now filled with the fact that we could walk to the kitchen without sitting down...or we could get up in the middle of the night wihtout too much pain....etc.
Make no mistake about it...this PF is a total bear to live with. Julie was correct in saying that you could end up giving up a life time of running if you don't take the break now and avoid it. I still am puzzled about why the doc wants you to run and see if the tape helps.....that one is a shocker to me. WALK with it I understand....but run? No way.
I think the biggest challenge you have ahead of you *(b/c you sound as active as I was if not more) is to learn to find other ways to satisfy that 'hunger' for the endorphins...that need to exert yourself and push your body to the limit. GOD do I miss the sore muscles from lifting!!!!!!!!
But I have faith some day I will be better and only b/c I am listening to my body right now and leaving it be.
This is a hint Michael...take it or leave it...it is up to you. Most of us read this board and the advice for the first time and get VERY scared...and worried and depressed and anxious. That's normal. But you'll get through it. It's up to you whether or not you respond to this glitch in life with depression or with a new and open eye to what you can do in place of running.
I suggest you keep your eyes open and listen to your feet.
I know this isn't what you wanted to hear...I hear the desparation in your post...I have been there and sounded the same way. thanks to the people here and their advice and concern I am still able to walk, have not acquired any real BAD problems (bunions, hammertoes, neuromas, heel spurs, etc) and I am still able to have somewhat of a normal life depsite the lack of exercise.
Hang in there Michael...the road is only beginning. Whether it looks long and difficult or a nice simple stroll in a new direction is up to you.
TALK to your doctor about this running thing....and ask him what is the worst that could happen if you run. Ask him if it could make your worse. If he says no...then I say YES!!!! RUN!!!!! 'RUN' to another doctor.
:-)
Carmen

Re: PS

Julie on 12/12/01 at 08:31 (066805)

Right on, Carmen.

Michael, I'm not casting aspersions on your doctor, but the focus of sports medicine doctors who treat professional athletes is on getting them back into their sport as quickly as possible. Professional athletes have short careers and a huge vested interest in doing their thing, and sports med docs have a vested interest in helping them do it, This isn't 'wrong', just a different focus from what most ordinary mortals need.

Later in life professional athletes have to deal with the results, largely unfortunate, of misusing their bodies.

You're lucky. You're not a professional athlete, and you can afford to give your feet the time it takes them to heal. Listen to the voices of experience, Carmen and John H.

Listen to a different story, too: mine. I'm lucky too. As I told you, I'm not a runner as you are, as they are, but I am a walker, and my great joy is going to Crete and walking in the hills there. I think I probably love this as much as you love running, and it would have been very hard for me to give that up completely. But I had to - for a time.

When I got PF and found this website and realized that it wasn't going to get better quickly (i.e. in a couple of weeks) I felt that I simply couldn't bear it if I couldn't do that any more. But I knew that I couldn't do it NOW, whatever happened in the future. I took the idea of Rest seriously, and counted every step I took. On my next trip to Crete I sat on the balcony and looked at the mountains. Yes, I would rather have been walking in them. But I had a good time all the same, reading and talking to my husband and swimming. It IS possible to let go of what you can't do and be content with what you can - if you let go.

To cut a long story short, the pain gradually went, and five months after its onset I was walking without having to consider every step. Various things helped along the way: my DPM's advice, custom orthotics, taping, an ankle and arch brace, icing, and the information and help I found here. But above all, cutting out all non-essential - that is, all recreational - walking. All.

It's exactly a year now since I became virtually symptom-free. I'm fine. I do all the walking I want to do, as much as I ever did. I have the occasional twinge after a long hike, that's all. I remain vigilant, never go barefoot, always wear good supportive shoes with my orthotics, or Birkenstocks. And I keep the tape handy, just in case.

Here is the bottom line. If anything you do hurts, it's re-injuring the torn fascia. Pain is always a signal from the body to stop doing whatever is causing the pain. (But remember too that it doesn't necessarily hurt while you're doing it - it's the next day and the day after that that tell the tale.)

Wait until you have been completely without pain for a month before you start gradually re-introducing walking, then jogging, then running.

Don't be impatient. Don't trade a few months of running now for a lifetime of pain and possibly disability.

Over to you.

Re: PS

michael b on 12/12/01 at 09:13 (066808)

i really appreciate the thought and comments. that you would take time out to counsel someone you don't know is quite meaningful, and that goes for the others who have done the same. after sleeping on this & then coming in this morning to read your and carmen's comments, i've decided to back off the plan to try and jog. fortunately, i can swim, and nobody has said anything negative about that, so for my cardio, i'll hit that. i'll still ride a stationary and/or real bike and not push it, just do it enough to get a decent stretch and try to keep some muscle tone. do some upper body weights, and light squats for legs which doesn't seem to irritate it. i do like to play some golf now and again, but always use a cart instead of walking alot, and this doesn't cause undue ache. when i first posted on this site, i was really frustrated and fed up w/ this stuff, but i'm not stupid, i don't want to create irrevocable damage. furthermore, if one or some of the aforementioned items listed above seem to cause some ache or pain, i'll just drop it off the list. i'll continue to wear the nightsplint (and actually have one at work i strap one when i'm at the desk) which seems to have helped the most, and try and stay consistent w/ the stretching (which can be a nuisance). may explore some birkenstock shoes as well, or some of those nike athletic sandals that look to give a whole lot of support. . . . that's all i can think of. as you can tell, i welcome and listen to what you guys say, so any other thoughts are valued .... i think my biggest challenge is to make the mental adjustment ---- i was really at wits end when i posted (i think you knew that!!!)

Re: Yikes....

michael b on 12/12/01 at 09:21 (066811)

it's great to hear from you --- i responded to julie's comments a minute ago---pls read that for what i've come to ---- and you're exactly right--- this has so much to do w/ endorphin release and the mental aspects of running..... that and how it makes my legs feel and look --- as i told julie however, i don't want to run the risk of doing something irrevocable. i would sure hope that you can have a baby soon -- i didn't that pf would mess w/ that (God , this is nasty stuff!!) but just so you know, we've got three girls, and my wife had 2 of them well into her 30's, and at 37 she/we may not be done yet (now you know i truly have lost it) anyhow, your comments are welcome and appreciated

Re: Good Michael!

Julie on 12/12/01 at 09:52 (066819)

Hi Michael

Yes, the big challenge is to make the mental adjustment. That's what we've all had to do. It's not easy, especially if you're used to being healthy and active and have never had a problem that didn't resolve itself in a few days - but you're obviously doing it, and you've got lots of good ideas about how to proceed. I'm very glad.

Swimming is great, of course, for cardio, and has always been recommended here - I can't imagine you would have any trouble with it, so go for it. Upper body weights should be fine too. Just be careful with any weight-bearing stretching - including those squats, which might not be such a good idea. The bike should be ok too - the main thing is, pay alert attention whatever you do, and observe its effect. Back off anything that hurts, even if someone told you it was a good idea. It's your body and it has its wisdom and knows what it needs a lot better than your head does, and than anybody else does.

I love the idea of wearing a night splint in the office! See Glenn's post, yesterday, on keeping it at a relaxed tension, not going for a 'real stretch'.

Keep us posted on how you do.

Re: SO Glad!!!

Carmen H on 12/12/01 at 09:52 (066820)

I am so glad....you are making a good decision for yourself. You sound like me when I started this mess...a REAL go getter and one that wants to be active in his recovery and believe me you are going to be fine!
Swimming is actually recommended but get some shoes to wear to the poolside and back to the towel....no bare feet.
:-)
Nice to have you join the board (even though it's not for a good reason).

Re: Carmen: SNAP!...

Julie on 12/12/01 at 09:54 (066821)

...at 9.52 precisely. Yes. Michael does sound like you! Not only just as desperate, but just as intelligent.

Re: Carmen: SNAP!...

Carmen H on 12/12/01 at 15:04 (066842)

Awww.... thanks Julie!!! That was a nice compliment. :-)

Re: PS

Monte on 1/14/02 at 15:20 (069967)

julie
can you tell me more about the symptoms that you had (pain or burning when standing) and how long you had it. What did you do that cured you. I have had this in both feet for 13 months and have been under doctors care since 30 days after the onset of PF. I gently stretch and do hinges and rotations at work and at home. I also do toe curls and calf stretches. I take a multi vitamin and bromelain and do not over do anything. I am 36 years old and was an athlete and have changed my life dramatically...but i don't mind as long I can get better at some point and then i can do some of the things that I love that won't hurt my feet again. Any comments would be helpful...Thanks I don't mind not running again. i just want to be able to stand on line in a deli and get lunch without going insane with the burning pain.

Re: PS

michael b on 1/15/02 at 09:27 (070022)

i think julie may have forwarded this on to me---- i have a similar story --- 42, athletic (running, cycling, weights, etc.). after taking a weekend run in sept 2000 i contracted what i believe to be pf in my left heel. starting in may of 2001, i finally figured out this wasn't getting any better, so i saw my first of 3 physicians. to summarize, my advice would be as follows: 1) lay off all the athletic activities that put you on your feet --- ALL of them (i include cycling in that). what makes this stuff such a bear is that because it's in the feet, it's very hard to isolate and let alone to heal; walking and standing are bad enough, anything else compounds the problem. don't fool yourself like i have tried to do and keep doing stuff that's indirectly related, JUST STAY AWAY FROM ATHLETICS ON YOUR FEET! 2) get a night splint, if you haven't done so already. i also have one at work that i wear some as well, to keep the tendon stretched 3)keep doing your stretching 4)have somebody massage them a couple times a week --- if you don't have a willing spouse, find a massage therapist that will give you a cut rate for a 15 minute rub 5)for exercise, i have found that swimming laps in a pool has been IDEAL. there is no pain in the foot, and you can get a good workout -- i then go to the whirlpool where i soak for 10-12 minutes or so --- i think that's therapeutic as well. my sense is to do that for 30 to 45 days, and see if there is any improvement at all. if so, then post again and i'll tell you what i've done ---- all the best, this stuff is a mental challenge cause it takes so long. stay strong and focused --- michael b.

Re: PS

Monte on 1/15/02 at 12:41 (070039)

michael..my case started with my arches hurting/burning while walking in the mall in Dec 2000. I went to the pod 4 weeks later. I was diagnosed. I got worse in March and April, but it is now better that back then. But it is still bad. I immediately gave up jogging, martial arts and weight lifting. So I do not add to my problems. I take it as easy as I can. I have a desk job and spend about 10 minutes an hour on my feet. I do not have morning pain...the pain sets in as I stand in one place for over a few minutes. It burns/hurts. This could be the tears in the fascia. I tape my feet from time to time...now I want to try it for 30 days in a row to see what happens. I have semi flexible orthotics to control my over pronation. I got these in late October 2001 and they are comfortable. I do hinges, ankle rotations, toe curls, hamstring and calf stretches. Never to the point of pain. I take Bromelain 3 times a day. When I go to the gym, I use the machines as much as I can so I don't have to cary weights around. If I do, it is only or 2 or 3 steps. But nothing seriously heavy. I do not ride a bike. I have gained about 10 unwanted pounds that puts me at 185lbs at 5'10'. I had EMGs and bone scans which were all fine. I wear new balance sneakers and shoes. I wanted to know how Julie cured her bout with this...I think Scott also cured his through taping. I hope you feel better and I thank you for helping me.

Re: PS

michael b on 1/15/02 at 13:31 (070047)

you ever tried any of those birkenstocks that people rave about?? might help the standing.. . . . . .

Re: Plantar Faciitis

Carmen on 12/10/01 at 12:42 (066627)

REad the PF book.

Re: Plantar Faciitis

michael b on 12/10/01 at 16:02 (066633)

i've had an acute case of plantar faciitis since sept of 2000. i'm 42, great health, an athlete who still likes to run as a part of my fitness program. currently, i use a nightsplint both at work and home, and it has helped. however, anytime i do any hi-impact activities such as running, tennis, basketball, etc, it crops right back up. i'm getting very worried that i might never be able to run again and i can't stand that idea. the best i can do is ride a bike, play a round of golf (athough the foot starts to ache some later in the round) and lift weights. by the way, i also had an oss tron treatment done in august . . . don't really know if it helped or not ---- is there anything i'm not doing or should be doing that would help???

Re: Plantar Faciitis

CArmen on 12/10/01 at 19:45 (066663)

Michael you need to stop exercising completely for awhile and let that foot heal up a bit! Just my opinion and I am not a doctor but it sounds like you keep making it worse with all the activity. You can put on the splint but the running and tennis are going to keep it from getting 100% better.

Re: Plantar Faciitis

michael b on 12/11/01 at 12:11 (066713)

no doubt that reduced activity helps --- to that end i haven't run in over 6 mos. but now i'm finding that i can't cycle for too long either, stand up too long, or anything else. just got back this morning from a third doctor who came reccommended from other runner/athletes here in houston. he has taped me up (something the others haven't tried) and has actually wanted me to try and jog a little tomorrow w/ the tape on. based on that result, he thinks that possibly new orthotics could get me over the hump, or if that doesn't get it --- to then try a series of 3 cortizone shots --- we talked at length about that as i had heard mixed reviews --- he said that he has had very good results w/ this treatment --- had actually done a study on 100 tennis players who underwent the treatment// out of that group, only 4 had tears in the plantar (which he later fixed) the rest went on to play w/ no problem --- however, as to your comment, i plan over the holidays to do very little w/ the exception of playing a few rounds of golf (w/a cart of course!!) you sound as though you might have done some athletic things, can you relate??

Re: yep

Carmen on 12/11/01 at 16:41 (066746)

Boy can I relate! I replied to you on the other board (I think it was you) about how I used to be a kickboxer, Spinner, runner, weight lifter etc....I was SO frustrated when this stuff happened to my feet. VERY upset. I am lucky I haven't gained any weight but I am no longer the lean 'machine' I once was not a mere 6 months ago......I have lost weight due to lost muscle. No fun. But I have learned so much about life in general with all this time (no running out the door to the gym every morning and night) and I think it happened for a reason so I can't complain too much. I try to be positive no matter how much pain I am in. This board has been a life saver. Stay active on here if this PF cks around for you you will definitely need this reference tool of a good message board.
I am not sure why the doctor told you to run with PF even a little could really do damage....but I am not a doc so pay no mind to me. Just worries me a little that you could do more harm. To me if you are not able to run and biking is starting to hurt that would indicate it is getting worse and not better....does this sound right to you?
anyway....a lot of people have had success with taping and orthotics. Shots too...but no more than 3 in a year for sure!
I would definitely get references for anything too invasive if you aren't sure about how you feel about certain things.
Anyway....stay with us...hang in there. Take a break. It will be good for your body. ;-)
p.s. Dr Z and Dr Ed have been exceptionally helpful to many of us...as k them questions if you have any...they are great to help!

Re: yep

michael b on 12/11/01 at 17:06 (066753)

great comments --- it was me you responded to on the other board --- any by the way, i heard some excellent comments from others as well .... it has been mental therapy just knowing there are others dealing w/this. . . in regards to your comments and concerns (thank you) about the doctor who taped me this morning and then asked me to jog a bit to see if i felt support ---- his sense (and mine) is that this is not an acute case, as i have responded well to the nightsplint and some basic stretching. for instance, i can walk w/o pain, ride a bike casually, play nine holes of golf, and be ok. the issue is when i try and step it up by jogging, or doing something more hi impact. as you know, when you're a runner and used to hi impact activity, it's a killer mentally to deal w/ not being able to do that. running gives me the best release, keeps my legs toned the way i like, etc,etc. however, i'm not stupid, my sense from your comments and others is that this stuff (pf) can take a LONG time to get rid of. anyway, here's my plan, and i'd love your comments if you have any: tomorrow, with the tape in place, try to take an easy jog on a forgiving surface, if i can do that a couple of times over the next week, and not feel any more of an ache than, say, what i feel after playing a few holes of golf (which is very minor), then the thought is that we will try and get some orthotics that can replicate the support the taping gives.

Re: yep

michael b on 12/11/01 at 17:16 (066755)

if it still isn't a go with the tape in place, then the thought will be to undergo a series of the 3 cortizone shots (which i've never had). i have no illusions of going out to run a 5k anytime soon --- if i could just get to where i could job a mile or two once or twice a week i'd be estatic. before i came down w/ pf, the plan was to do some mini triathalons. . . i guess i could train on the swimming part, but the hope is that sometime in 02 i could be well enough to do that -- or least start training for it. man carmen, i'm gonna be one depressed kid if it turns out i can't shake this stuff --- i know there are people starving in afghanistan that have it worse than me, but at 42 i'd hate to have to hang up the running shoes, you know what i mean???

Re: Mike - maybe it's not such a good plan!

Julie on 12/12/01 at 02:33 (066796)

Mike, I think it's a risky plan you've got in mind. You're responding well to treatment so far, and I'm sure you'll continue to: don't rock the boat just yet. Your PF is still in the early stages. Your feet are telling you all the time what they need: they get worse when you step up activity. Listen to them. The more you stay off them now, the sooner they will heal, the more likely it is that the healing will last, and the more likely it is that you will get back to running eventually. If you push the running now, your PF may (and in all probability will) get much worse and take much longer to heal.

In the worst case scenario, you might not be able to run again. You'd be risking a lifetime of running for the sake of avoiding it for a few months now. Is it worth it? I'm not a runner, and I can't answer the question for you. But there are lots of folks around here who tried your plan and regret it. One or two have already spoken to you, and perhaps others will.

Try to make up your mind to the fact that you've got an injury, one that can be slow to heal. Give it time to heal, and be active in your treatment. Rest and patience are critical aspects of treatment and will pay off in the long run (pun intended).

Re: Yikes....

Carmen H on 12/12/01 at 07:52 (066802)

Well...you're not going to like it...but here goes. I wouldn't run with or without tape if my life depended on it if I were you. Seriously that in my opinion (speaking from experience only) would be the worst thing to do. If it starts to hurt when you 'kick it up a notch' that is an indication and a direct shout from your feet that it does NOT want to do that....Take it as a warning from your feet to be content that you are able to walk and give the running a break...yes a long one. B/c even if you feel relief and THINK it's gone this is a recurring problem and it will come back to bite you in the rear if you are not careful.
As far as being depressed at 41 for hanging up the running shoes....I am 30 and can't even have a baby we want to have until my feet get better and FIRST I have to get back into the shape I was in before so my body is strong and healthy enough to support pregnancy so YES I understand so well your disappointment and fear. Everyone here has a story and they are all heartbreaking...but most people have found peace (the regulars anyway) with the fact that their life has changed. DRASTICALLY. There are still bad days...we all come here to complain but the good days are now filled with the fact that we could walk to the kitchen without sitting down...or we could get up in the middle of the night wihtout too much pain....etc.
Make no mistake about it...this PF is a total bear to live with. Julie was correct in saying that you could end up giving up a life time of running if you don't take the break now and avoid it. I still am puzzled about why the doc wants you to run and see if the tape helps.....that one is a shocker to me. WALK with it I understand....but run? No way.
I think the biggest challenge you have ahead of you *(b/c you sound as active as I was if not more) is to learn to find other ways to satisfy that 'hunger' for the endorphins...that need to exert yourself and push your body to the limit. GOD do I miss the sore muscles from lifting!!!!!!!!
But I have faith some day I will be better and only b/c I am listening to my body right now and leaving it be.
This is a hint Michael...take it or leave it...it is up to you. Most of us read this board and the advice for the first time and get VERY scared...and worried and depressed and anxious. That's normal. But you'll get through it. It's up to you whether or not you respond to this glitch in life with depression or with a new and open eye to what you can do in place of running.
I suggest you keep your eyes open and listen to your feet.
I know this isn't what you wanted to hear...I hear the desparation in your post...I have been there and sounded the same way. thanks to the people here and their advice and concern I am still able to walk, have not acquired any real BAD problems (bunions, hammertoes, neuromas, heel spurs, etc) and I am still able to have somewhat of a normal life depsite the lack of exercise.
Hang in there Michael...the road is only beginning. Whether it looks long and difficult or a nice simple stroll in a new direction is up to you.
TALK to your doctor about this running thing....and ask him what is the worst that could happen if you run. Ask him if it could make your worse. If he says no...then I say YES!!!! RUN!!!!! 'RUN' to another doctor.
:-)
Carmen

Re: PS

Julie on 12/12/01 at 08:31 (066805)

Right on, Carmen.

Michael, I'm not casting aspersions on your doctor, but the focus of sports medicine doctors who treat professional athletes is on getting them back into their sport as quickly as possible. Professional athletes have short careers and a huge vested interest in doing their thing, and sports med docs have a vested interest in helping them do it, This isn't 'wrong', just a different focus from what most ordinary mortals need.

Later in life professional athletes have to deal with the results, largely unfortunate, of misusing their bodies.

You're lucky. You're not a professional athlete, and you can afford to give your feet the time it takes them to heal. Listen to the voices of experience, Carmen and John H.

Listen to a different story, too: mine. I'm lucky too. As I told you, I'm not a runner as you are, as they are, but I am a walker, and my great joy is going to Crete and walking in the hills there. I think I probably love this as much as you love running, and it would have been very hard for me to give that up completely. But I had to - for a time.

When I got PF and found this website and realized that it wasn't going to get better quickly (i.e. in a couple of weeks) I felt that I simply couldn't bear it if I couldn't do that any more. But I knew that I couldn't do it NOW, whatever happened in the future. I took the idea of Rest seriously, and counted every step I took. On my next trip to Crete I sat on the balcony and looked at the mountains. Yes, I would rather have been walking in them. But I had a good time all the same, reading and talking to my husband and swimming. It IS possible to let go of what you can't do and be content with what you can - if you let go.

To cut a long story short, the pain gradually went, and five months after its onset I was walking without having to consider every step. Various things helped along the way: my DPM's advice, custom orthotics, taping, an ankle and arch brace, icing, and the information and help I found here. But above all, cutting out all non-essential - that is, all recreational - walking. All.

It's exactly a year now since I became virtually symptom-free. I'm fine. I do all the walking I want to do, as much as I ever did. I have the occasional twinge after a long hike, that's all. I remain vigilant, never go barefoot, always wear good supportive shoes with my orthotics, or Birkenstocks. And I keep the tape handy, just in case.

Here is the bottom line. If anything you do hurts, it's re-injuring the torn fascia. Pain is always a signal from the body to stop doing whatever is causing the pain. (But remember too that it doesn't necessarily hurt while you're doing it - it's the next day and the day after that that tell the tale.)

Wait until you have been completely without pain for a month before you start gradually re-introducing walking, then jogging, then running.

Don't be impatient. Don't trade a few months of running now for a lifetime of pain and possibly disability.

Over to you.

Re: PS

michael b on 12/12/01 at 09:13 (066808)

i really appreciate the thought and comments. that you would take time out to counsel someone you don't know is quite meaningful, and that goes for the others who have done the same. after sleeping on this & then coming in this morning to read your and carmen's comments, i've decided to back off the plan to try and jog. fortunately, i can swim, and nobody has said anything negative about that, so for my cardio, i'll hit that. i'll still ride a stationary and/or real bike and not push it, just do it enough to get a decent stretch and try to keep some muscle tone. do some upper body weights, and light squats for legs which doesn't seem to irritate it. i do like to play some golf now and again, but always use a cart instead of walking alot, and this doesn't cause undue ache. when i first posted on this site, i was really frustrated and fed up w/ this stuff, but i'm not stupid, i don't want to create irrevocable damage. furthermore, if one or some of the aforementioned items listed above seem to cause some ache or pain, i'll just drop it off the list. i'll continue to wear the nightsplint (and actually have one at work i strap one when i'm at the desk) which seems to have helped the most, and try and stay consistent w/ the stretching (which can be a nuisance). may explore some birkenstock shoes as well, or some of those nike athletic sandals that look to give a whole lot of support. . . . that's all i can think of. as you can tell, i welcome and listen to what you guys say, so any other thoughts are valued .... i think my biggest challenge is to make the mental adjustment ---- i was really at wits end when i posted (i think you knew that!!!)

Re: Yikes....

michael b on 12/12/01 at 09:21 (066811)

it's great to hear from you --- i responded to julie's comments a minute ago---pls read that for what i've come to ---- and you're exactly right--- this has so much to do w/ endorphin release and the mental aspects of running..... that and how it makes my legs feel and look --- as i told julie however, i don't want to run the risk of doing something irrevocable. i would sure hope that you can have a baby soon -- i didn't that pf would mess w/ that (God , this is nasty stuff!!) but just so you know, we've got three girls, and my wife had 2 of them well into her 30's, and at 37 she/we may not be done yet (now you know i truly have lost it) anyhow, your comments are welcome and appreciated

Re: Good Michael!

Julie on 12/12/01 at 09:52 (066819)

Hi Michael

Yes, the big challenge is to make the mental adjustment. That's what we've all had to do. It's not easy, especially if you're used to being healthy and active and have never had a problem that didn't resolve itself in a few days - but you're obviously doing it, and you've got lots of good ideas about how to proceed. I'm very glad.

Swimming is great, of course, for cardio, and has always been recommended here - I can't imagine you would have any trouble with it, so go for it. Upper body weights should be fine too. Just be careful with any weight-bearing stretching - including those squats, which might not be such a good idea. The bike should be ok too - the main thing is, pay alert attention whatever you do, and observe its effect. Back off anything that hurts, even if someone told you it was a good idea. It's your body and it has its wisdom and knows what it needs a lot better than your head does, and than anybody else does.

I love the idea of wearing a night splint in the office! See Glenn's post, yesterday, on keeping it at a relaxed tension, not going for a 'real stretch'.

Keep us posted on how you do.

Re: SO Glad!!!

Carmen H on 12/12/01 at 09:52 (066820)

I am so glad....you are making a good decision for yourself. You sound like me when I started this mess...a REAL go getter and one that wants to be active in his recovery and believe me you are going to be fine!
Swimming is actually recommended but get some shoes to wear to the poolside and back to the towel....no bare feet.
:-)
Nice to have you join the board (even though it's not for a good reason).

Re: Carmen: SNAP!...

Julie on 12/12/01 at 09:54 (066821)

...at 9.52 precisely. Yes. Michael does sound like you! Not only just as desperate, but just as intelligent.

Re: Carmen: SNAP!...

Carmen H on 12/12/01 at 15:04 (066842)

Awww.... thanks Julie!!! That was a nice compliment. :-)

Re: PS

Monte on 1/14/02 at 15:20 (069967)

julie
can you tell me more about the symptoms that you had (pain or burning when standing) and how long you had it. What did you do that cured you. I have had this in both feet for 13 months and have been under doctors care since 30 days after the onset of PF. I gently stretch and do hinges and rotations at work and at home. I also do toe curls and calf stretches. I take a multi vitamin and bromelain and do not over do anything. I am 36 years old and was an athlete and have changed my life dramatically...but i don't mind as long I can get better at some point and then i can do some of the things that I love that won't hurt my feet again. Any comments would be helpful...Thanks I don't mind not running again. i just want to be able to stand on line in a deli and get lunch without going insane with the burning pain.

Re: PS

michael b on 1/15/02 at 09:27 (070022)

i think julie may have forwarded this on to me---- i have a similar story --- 42, athletic (running, cycling, weights, etc.). after taking a weekend run in sept 2000 i contracted what i believe to be pf in my left heel. starting in may of 2001, i finally figured out this wasn't getting any better, so i saw my first of 3 physicians. to summarize, my advice would be as follows: 1) lay off all the athletic activities that put you on your feet --- ALL of them (i include cycling in that). what makes this stuff such a bear is that because it's in the feet, it's very hard to isolate and let alone to heal; walking and standing are bad enough, anything else compounds the problem. don't fool yourself like i have tried to do and keep doing stuff that's indirectly related, JUST STAY AWAY FROM ATHLETICS ON YOUR FEET! 2) get a night splint, if you haven't done so already. i also have one at work that i wear some as well, to keep the tendon stretched 3)keep doing your stretching 4)have somebody massage them a couple times a week --- if you don't have a willing spouse, find a massage therapist that will give you a cut rate for a 15 minute rub 5)for exercise, i have found that swimming laps in a pool has been IDEAL. there is no pain in the foot, and you can get a good workout -- i then go to the whirlpool where i soak for 10-12 minutes or so --- i think that's therapeutic as well. my sense is to do that for 30 to 45 days, and see if there is any improvement at all. if so, then post again and i'll tell you what i've done ---- all the best, this stuff is a mental challenge cause it takes so long. stay strong and focused --- michael b.

Re: PS

Monte on 1/15/02 at 12:41 (070039)

michael..my case started with my arches hurting/burning while walking in the mall in Dec 2000. I went to the pod 4 weeks later. I was diagnosed. I got worse in March and April, but it is now better that back then. But it is still bad. I immediately gave up jogging, martial arts and weight lifting. So I do not add to my problems. I take it as easy as I can. I have a desk job and spend about 10 minutes an hour on my feet. I do not have morning pain...the pain sets in as I stand in one place for over a few minutes. It burns/hurts. This could be the tears in the fascia. I tape my feet from time to time...now I want to try it for 30 days in a row to see what happens. I have semi flexible orthotics to control my over pronation. I got these in late October 2001 and they are comfortable. I do hinges, ankle rotations, toe curls, hamstring and calf stretches. Never to the point of pain. I take Bromelain 3 times a day. When I go to the gym, I use the machines as much as I can so I don't have to cary weights around. If I do, it is only or 2 or 3 steps. But nothing seriously heavy. I do not ride a bike. I have gained about 10 unwanted pounds that puts me at 185lbs at 5'10'. I had EMGs and bone scans which were all fine. I wear new balance sneakers and shoes. I wanted to know how Julie cured her bout with this...I think Scott also cured his through taping. I hope you feel better and I thank you for helping me.

Re: PS

michael b on 1/15/02 at 13:31 (070047)

you ever tried any of those birkenstocks that people rave about?? might help the standing.. . . . . .