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painful foot!!

Posted by kenna t on 2/20/02 at 16:23 (074424)

i think i have the plantar fac. that i've been reading about. however, i am not overweight, and i am not on my feet all day. i think i got it from beach/sand running and aerobics and combo worn out shoes. i want to know when it will go away!!! it brings me to my knees in the morning when i get out of bed. my standing poses in yoga are painful, and stretching doesn't help (a lot). help!! when will it go away? i haven't had a good run since september.

Re: painful foot!!

Pam B on 2/20/02 at 19:36 (074436)

Hi Kenna, my name is Pam and I am not a doc......just wanted to let you know that doc Z is the doc usually here but he will be on vacation this week....we have a few others that come in but we have not seen much of them lately.....I suffer from PF and can tell you whatever you are doing that causes this pain, STOP.........call your doc and have this checked out because the more you irritate it the more damage you can cause.......I know cause I did just that......my advice is to read all the information on this site and follow the instructions for self help till you can go to your doc......most of what is here was what my doc told me to do when I went.......rest is the most important thing.......prop it up and use alot of ice......it is inflammed and needs to be quiet to heal......I have suffered with PF and heel spurs for the past eight years so I know your pain if in fact that is what it is......is sure sounds like it to me......that pain in the morning is a killer.....try laying in bed for a few minutes before you get up doing mild stretches with your foot to stretch out the achilles tendon and that may help to ease that pain for you.......dont go barefooted for any reason at all as it aggrevates it too......I hope you call your doc soon as there are things that can be done to help you......I hope this site and the info helps you.......take care and keep us posted.......also, check back just in case one of the other docs pop in an give you some professional advice.......good luck to you

Re: painful foot!!

Ed Davis, DPM on 2/20/02 at 21:59 (074450)

Running on soft sand can be like running in too soft running shoes--it allows the plantar fascia to overstretch activating plantar fasciitis.

Sounds like it has been around too long. Read Scott's Heel Pain Book to understand the various treatments available but seek help from a professional who can 'put it all together' and structure an effective program to get you on the road to recovery.
Ed

Re: painful foot!!

Julie on 2/21/02 at 03:13 (074479)

Hi, Kenna

I teach yoga and have a couple of things to add to what Dr Ed and Pam have said.

You have the 'first step' morning pain which is one of the sure signs of plantare fasciitis. You'll find it helpful to stretch your calf muscles gently before getting out of bed. One way is to draw your toes towards your body and hold a gentle stretch for 30 seconds or so, then release and repeat a few times. This will counteract to some extent the contraction of the fascia that has taken place overnight, and make the first steps less painful.

Keep a pair of shoes beside your bed and slip them on before your feet touch the floor. In fact - never go barefoot is a good rule to observe. Always wear good shoes with adequate arch support. Birkenstocks have been a lifesaver to many of us.

You won't like hearing this, but it would be better for you to avoid most of the standing yoga poses for now, especially the balancing postures, which you really should not do: asking one foot to support your entire weight is asking for trouble. If you're going to do any two-legged standing poses, wear shoes when you do them. When my PF was active, I kept my Birkenstocks in my teaching room and wore them whenever I taught standing poses. Obviously I couldn't avoid teaching them, but I didn't include them in my own practice for several months.

You seem to have cottoned on to what has caused your PF. The three things you've identified - sand-running, impact exercise, and worn-out shoes - are classics! Now that you know, take action. No running, no aerobics for awhile, and attention to your footgear are three of the answers to your 'when will it go away?' question. The sooner you address the causes, the sooner the symptoms will go, but be patient, because PF doesn't disappear quickly. Much depends on how long you've had it, how serious it is, and how old you are: younger people, with younger, more elastic tissues, usually heal quicker. Do quickly see a podiatrist who can evaluate your walking for possible biomechanical faults (for which custom orthotics may be indicated) and put together an effective treatment programme for you.

And inform yourself with the heel pain book and these message boards, so that armed with knowledge you can be pro-active and involved in the challenge of your healing.

All the best

Julie

Re: painful foot!! PS

Julie on 2/21/02 at 03:18 (074480)

Kenna, re-reading your post I see you say 'stretching doesn't help (a lot).' Could you tell us what sort of stretching you've been doing? I suspect, from what I know of your active personality and love of running and aerobics and yoga, that may have been going at stretching too enthusiastically. More isn't necessarily better where PF is concerned, and weight-bearing stretching (like the wall stretch and the heels-hanging-off-a-stair stretch) aren't appropriate for most PF sufferers, whatever you may have been told.

But please say what you're doing, and we'll see if we can help.

Re: painful foot!!

Julie on 2/21/02 at 16:32 (074558)

Kenna, thanks for your two emails. I'll respond top them here, because I prefer to keep discussions to the board - other people, besides the original poster, may be interested in what's being discussed.

No, I don't teach ashtanga yoga. And I do think you should talk your problem over with your teacher. I hope s/he knows all about PF, but if not, you'll have to make up your own mind what to do. (The main thing is, don't listen to anyone who tells you to work through the pain.)

Downward facing dog is the last thing your fascia needs, because it's such a strong, weight-bearing stretch for the calf muscles and the achilles tendon. Like the stair stretch and the wall stretch, which you said you were doing, it can easily exacerbate the problem with the fascia, which is that it has started to tear away from the heelbone: that kind of stretching can tear it further. If you really want to continue with the dog stretch, keep your knees bent so that the main stretch is felt through the hamstrings, and the calf muscles and achilles are spared. You won't like it as well, and you won't feel that 'it's doing you good', but it will avoid further damage.

The other two postures you mention are probably ok as they aren't weight bearing, but be careful not to pull your toes back hard in Janusirsasana. Go easy with everything, work with awareness, and if anything hurts, stop. Your PF can be a good teacher if it helps you listen to your body and respect the messages it gives you. That's a hard lesson for an active person like yourself to learn, but it's one really worth learning.

Re: painful foot!!

Pam B on 2/20/02 at 19:36 (074436)

Hi Kenna, my name is Pam and I am not a doc......just wanted to let you know that doc Z is the doc usually here but he will be on vacation this week....we have a few others that come in but we have not seen much of them lately.....I suffer from PF and can tell you whatever you are doing that causes this pain, STOP.........call your doc and have this checked out because the more you irritate it the more damage you can cause.......I know cause I did just that......my advice is to read all the information on this site and follow the instructions for self help till you can go to your doc......most of what is here was what my doc told me to do when I went.......rest is the most important thing.......prop it up and use alot of ice......it is inflammed and needs to be quiet to heal......I have suffered with PF and heel spurs for the past eight years so I know your pain if in fact that is what it is......is sure sounds like it to me......that pain in the morning is a killer.....try laying in bed for a few minutes before you get up doing mild stretches with your foot to stretch out the achilles tendon and that may help to ease that pain for you.......dont go barefooted for any reason at all as it aggrevates it too......I hope you call your doc soon as there are things that can be done to help you......I hope this site and the info helps you.......take care and keep us posted.......also, check back just in case one of the other docs pop in an give you some professional advice.......good luck to you

Re: painful foot!!

Ed Davis, DPM on 2/20/02 at 21:59 (074450)

Running on soft sand can be like running in too soft running shoes--it allows the plantar fascia to overstretch activating plantar fasciitis.

Sounds like it has been around too long. Read Scott's Heel Pain Book to understand the various treatments available but seek help from a professional who can 'put it all together' and structure an effective program to get you on the road to recovery.
Ed

Re: painful foot!!

Julie on 2/21/02 at 03:13 (074479)

Hi, Kenna

I teach yoga and have a couple of things to add to what Dr Ed and Pam have said.

You have the 'first step' morning pain which is one of the sure signs of plantare fasciitis. You'll find it helpful to stretch your calf muscles gently before getting out of bed. One way is to draw your toes towards your body and hold a gentle stretch for 30 seconds or so, then release and repeat a few times. This will counteract to some extent the contraction of the fascia that has taken place overnight, and make the first steps less painful.

Keep a pair of shoes beside your bed and slip them on before your feet touch the floor. In fact - never go barefoot is a good rule to observe. Always wear good shoes with adequate arch support. Birkenstocks have been a lifesaver to many of us.

You won't like hearing this, but it would be better for you to avoid most of the standing yoga poses for now, especially the balancing postures, which you really should not do: asking one foot to support your entire weight is asking for trouble. If you're going to do any two-legged standing poses, wear shoes when you do them. When my PF was active, I kept my Birkenstocks in my teaching room and wore them whenever I taught standing poses. Obviously I couldn't avoid teaching them, but I didn't include them in my own practice for several months.

You seem to have cottoned on to what has caused your PF. The three things you've identified - sand-running, impact exercise, and worn-out shoes - are classics! Now that you know, take action. No running, no aerobics for awhile, and attention to your footgear are three of the answers to your 'when will it go away?' question. The sooner you address the causes, the sooner the symptoms will go, but be patient, because PF doesn't disappear quickly. Much depends on how long you've had it, how serious it is, and how old you are: younger people, with younger, more elastic tissues, usually heal quicker. Do quickly see a podiatrist who can evaluate your walking for possible biomechanical faults (for which custom orthotics may be indicated) and put together an effective treatment programme for you.

And inform yourself with the heel pain book and these message boards, so that armed with knowledge you can be pro-active and involved in the challenge of your healing.

All the best

Julie

Re: painful foot!! PS

Julie on 2/21/02 at 03:18 (074480)

Kenna, re-reading your post I see you say 'stretching doesn't help (a lot).' Could you tell us what sort of stretching you've been doing? I suspect, from what I know of your active personality and love of running and aerobics and yoga, that may have been going at stretching too enthusiastically. More isn't necessarily better where PF is concerned, and weight-bearing stretching (like the wall stretch and the heels-hanging-off-a-stair stretch) aren't appropriate for most PF sufferers, whatever you may have been told.

But please say what you're doing, and we'll see if we can help.

Re: painful foot!!

Julie on 2/21/02 at 16:32 (074558)

Kenna, thanks for your two emails. I'll respond top them here, because I prefer to keep discussions to the board - other people, besides the original poster, may be interested in what's being discussed.

No, I don't teach ashtanga yoga. And I do think you should talk your problem over with your teacher. I hope s/he knows all about PF, but if not, you'll have to make up your own mind what to do. (The main thing is, don't listen to anyone who tells you to work through the pain.)

Downward facing dog is the last thing your fascia needs, because it's such a strong, weight-bearing stretch for the calf muscles and the achilles tendon. Like the stair stretch and the wall stretch, which you said you were doing, it can easily exacerbate the problem with the fascia, which is that it has started to tear away from the heelbone: that kind of stretching can tear it further. If you really want to continue with the dog stretch, keep your knees bent so that the main stretch is felt through the hamstrings, and the calf muscles and achilles are spared. You won't like it as well, and you won't feel that 'it's doing you good', but it will avoid further damage.

The other two postures you mention are probably ok as they aren't weight bearing, but be careful not to pull your toes back hard in Janusirsasana. Go easy with everything, work with awareness, and if anything hurts, stop. Your PF can be a good teacher if it helps you listen to your body and respect the messages it gives you. That's a hard lesson for an active person like yourself to learn, but it's one really worth learning.