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Do anti-inflammatory meds heal or just relieve pain?

Posted by Ellen J. on 3/22/02 at 07:26 (077164)

Hi,
I'm wondering if anti-inflammatories actually heal or if they just relieve the pain of P.F.? If they do promote healing, are the topical ones as good as taking pills? Are over the counter cortisone creams any more or less effective at promoting healing than regular NSAIDs? I hear that cortisone can thin the tissue, which I certainly don't want to do with my already thin foot pads.
I was on antibiotics for 13 years so I don't like to take drugs internally if I can help it, as I don't know if I have any liver or kidney damage from the antibiotics. (I stopped taking the antibiotics 5 years ago).
Am thinking of ordering the reccommended cream but only if it will actually help heal.
Thanks,
Ellen J.

Re: Do anti-inflammatory meds heal or just relieve pain?

Carole C in NOLA on 3/22/02 at 07:46 (077167)

I'm not a foot doctor, but a mostly-healed-by-now PF sufferer. So, I don't know the medical/scientific answer to your question, but I do know how my feet respond and so I have some non-scientific, subjective answers.

I felt like cutting down on the inflammation helped me to heal, but I do understand your reasoning, in that I don't especially like taking a lot of pills either. May I suggest that if you decide not to take internal anti-inflammatories, that you ice your foot a lot? That cuts down on inflammation also, and I think it reduced my PF inflammation better than the Celebrex that I sometimes take (for my arthritis). If I were you, I'd put my foot/feet on a bag of frozen peas every evening after work and try to leave it on there as long as I could without causing pain (just a few minutes, maybe 3-5 minutes?), and do that a few times in a row.

Also maybe doing that in the morning might help though I've never done that.

I discovered late in my PF recovery that icing worked better on reducing inflammation and helping my PF to heal than I thought. (Thanks to john h for a post that helped me to 'see the light' about icing). I wasn't doing enough of it to help, at first, and after the first 3-5 minutes I was putting it away. It helps me if I ice more than that, though I still stop when it starts hurting because I don't want frostbite. But I just keep doing it over and over for 3-5 minute sessions over a half hour or so and that really seems to help.

Reducing inflammation seems to be especially helpful for my healing, when I have done something stupid and re-injured my PF slightly. It helps me to recover from that injury.

Carole C

Re: Do anti-inflammatory meds heal or just relieve pain?

wendyn on 3/22/02 at 08:01 (077170)

Ellen - I may have missed it from before....why were you on anti-biotics for 13 years?

Re: Do anti-inflammatory meds heal or just relieve pain?

Ellen J. on 3/22/02 at 12:36 (077221)

Hi Carole,
I did just start icing recently and really think it helps. I've had P.F. for 2.5 years and feel like a real idiot for not icing all that time. I finally started after my recent reinjury after a few people suggested it and it does work. What I didn't like at first was the shock of the intense cold so I now keep my socks on, ice a few minutes that way, letting my feet get accustomed to it. I then remove my socks and ice barefoot. I don't think I do it often enough though--I currently ice for about 20 minutes twice a day (some of that with the socks on). I'll start icing more often, as you mentioned and see what happens.
Thanks!
Ellen

Re: Do anti-inflammatory meds heal or just relieve pain?

Ellen J. on 3/22/02 at 12:44 (077224)

Hi Wendyn,
I was on some broad spectrum antibiotics for a long time because I had acne. My face stayed fairly clear as long as I was on them, but as soon as I would stop, the acne came back. I finally went through two different courses of Accutane and that cleared it up for good. (I had not mentioned this on any earlier posts because it had nothing to do with P.F.). The doctor never did liver funtion tests as was suggested so I never knew if I had any liver damage as a result of the meds. I just try to stay away from meds unless I really need them just to be on the safer side.
Ellen

Re: Do anti-inflammatory meds heal or just relieve pain?

wendyn on 3/22/02 at 14:04 (077228)

I don't blame you Ellen - it's too bad your doctor didn't monitor....

Re: Do anti-inflammatory meds heal or just relieve pain?

Julie on 3/22/02 at 14:35 (077232)

~Ellen, 20 minutes may be too long. The usual recommendation is for 5-10 minutes. If the area being iced gets too cold it stops being effective.

Re: Do anti-inflammatory meds heal or just relieve pain?

Ellen J. on 3/22/02 at 15:39 (077238)

Thanks,
I'll change that and ice for a shorter time but more often throughout the day.
Ellen

Re: Do anti-inflammatory meds heal or just relieve pain?

Carole C in NOLA on 3/22/02 at 16:19 (077245)

Wow, I didn't know that! Thanks Julie. I was only stopping after 3-5 minutes because the cold began to hurt then. I didn't know there was an actual REASON to stop! (grin)

Carole C

Re: Do anti-inflammatory meds heal or just relieve pain?

Kathy G on 3/26/02 at 19:09 (077657)

Hi there, Ellen,

We meet on another board! I'm not a doctor, but I think that normal use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatories is safe; ie. the dosage usually recommended. My physician said that after a certain period, he would do a liver function test but I've been on Vioxx for almost three years and he said it wasn't yet necessary. I understand your hesitation to take any unnecessary medication but perhaps you should discuss these drugs with your doctor and try one, if he advises. You could take it for a month or two and see if you get any results. I was already on Vioxx before my PF started so I can't say if it helps or not. Some people swear by it and others don't think it helps at all. Like so many other treatments for PF, it's very individual and varies from person to person.

I wonder if your doctor would order a liver function test at your next physical, just to put your mind at ease? Accutane is a very powerful, effective drug but it can be very tough on the liver. Just an unsolicited suggestion!!!!

Re: Do anti-inflammatory meds heal or just relieve pain?

Ellen J. on 3/27/02 at 14:26 (077739)

Hi Kathy,
I think I may have a liver function test done at some point, though so far I have no unusual symptoms other than this crazy Plantar Fasciitis. It is getting better, however, since I recently reinjured myself. I find that very careful walking is one of the big keys for me. If it doesn't continue improving then I will try the NSAIDS. I have not yet tried the night splint, so that's another thing to experiment with.
I hope your feet are feeling better, and thank you for your note!
Ellen

Re: PS. to my other note

Ellen J. on 3/27/02 at 16:18 (077753)

I just read your recent post on burning arches, so I'm sorry your arches are hurting right now. I just had a bout of something similar, but in my case I think it was something I did (not necessarily the same cause as yours, of course). I had to laugh at myself, because I tried this stuff called 'Capzaicin', which has Capsaicin, the hot chile pepper juice in it. The first night it felt great, so I figured that 'more is better' and put extra cream on the next night. I woke up in the middle of the night with burning arches! Then the next day I did some extra icing, and I think I frostbit my arches, causing them to burn even more! Yes, I would win the 'Dunce of the year' contest. I hope you can find the cause of your burning feet--it's very uncomfortable.
Ellen

Re: Do anti-inflammatory meds heal or just relieve pain?

Kathy G on 3/27/02 at 18:55 (077781)

You're welcome, Ellen! We will lick this thing!

Re: Do anti-inflammatory meds heal or just relieve pain?

Carole C in NOLA on 3/22/02 at 07:46 (077167)

I'm not a foot doctor, but a mostly-healed-by-now PF sufferer. So, I don't know the medical/scientific answer to your question, but I do know how my feet respond and so I have some non-scientific, subjective answers.

I felt like cutting down on the inflammation helped me to heal, but I do understand your reasoning, in that I don't especially like taking a lot of pills either. May I suggest that if you decide not to take internal anti-inflammatories, that you ice your foot a lot? That cuts down on inflammation also, and I think it reduced my PF inflammation better than the Celebrex that I sometimes take (for my arthritis). If I were you, I'd put my foot/feet on a bag of frozen peas every evening after work and try to leave it on there as long as I could without causing pain (just a few minutes, maybe 3-5 minutes?), and do that a few times in a row.

Also maybe doing that in the morning might help though I've never done that.

I discovered late in my PF recovery that icing worked better on reducing inflammation and helping my PF to heal than I thought. (Thanks to john h for a post that helped me to 'see the light' about icing). I wasn't doing enough of it to help, at first, and after the first 3-5 minutes I was putting it away. It helps me if I ice more than that, though I still stop when it starts hurting because I don't want frostbite. But I just keep doing it over and over for 3-5 minute sessions over a half hour or so and that really seems to help.

Reducing inflammation seems to be especially helpful for my healing, when I have done something stupid and re-injured my PF slightly. It helps me to recover from that injury.

Carole C

Re: Do anti-inflammatory meds heal or just relieve pain?

wendyn on 3/22/02 at 08:01 (077170)

Ellen - I may have missed it from before....why were you on anti-biotics for 13 years?

Re: Do anti-inflammatory meds heal or just relieve pain?

Ellen J. on 3/22/02 at 12:36 (077221)

Hi Carole,
I did just start icing recently and really think it helps. I've had P.F. for 2.5 years and feel like a real idiot for not icing all that time. I finally started after my recent reinjury after a few people suggested it and it does work. What I didn't like at first was the shock of the intense cold so I now keep my socks on, ice a few minutes that way, letting my feet get accustomed to it. I then remove my socks and ice barefoot. I don't think I do it often enough though--I currently ice for about 20 minutes twice a day (some of that with the socks on). I'll start icing more often, as you mentioned and see what happens.
Thanks!
Ellen

Re: Do anti-inflammatory meds heal or just relieve pain?

Ellen J. on 3/22/02 at 12:44 (077224)

Hi Wendyn,
I was on some broad spectrum antibiotics for a long time because I had acne. My face stayed fairly clear as long as I was on them, but as soon as I would stop, the acne came back. I finally went through two different courses of Accutane and that cleared it up for good. (I had not mentioned this on any earlier posts because it had nothing to do with P.F.). The doctor never did liver funtion tests as was suggested so I never knew if I had any liver damage as a result of the meds. I just try to stay away from meds unless I really need them just to be on the safer side.
Ellen

Re: Do anti-inflammatory meds heal or just relieve pain?

wendyn on 3/22/02 at 14:04 (077228)

I don't blame you Ellen - it's too bad your doctor didn't monitor....

Re: Do anti-inflammatory meds heal or just relieve pain?

Julie on 3/22/02 at 14:35 (077232)

~Ellen, 20 minutes may be too long. The usual recommendation is for 5-10 minutes. If the area being iced gets too cold it stops being effective.

Re: Do anti-inflammatory meds heal or just relieve pain?

Ellen J. on 3/22/02 at 15:39 (077238)

Thanks,
I'll change that and ice for a shorter time but more often throughout the day.
Ellen

Re: Do anti-inflammatory meds heal or just relieve pain?

Carole C in NOLA on 3/22/02 at 16:19 (077245)

Wow, I didn't know that! Thanks Julie. I was only stopping after 3-5 minutes because the cold began to hurt then. I didn't know there was an actual REASON to stop! (grin)

Carole C

Re: Do anti-inflammatory meds heal or just relieve pain?

Kathy G on 3/26/02 at 19:09 (077657)

Hi there, Ellen,

We meet on another board! I'm not a doctor, but I think that normal use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatories is safe; ie. the dosage usually recommended. My physician said that after a certain period, he would do a liver function test but I've been on Vioxx for almost three years and he said it wasn't yet necessary. I understand your hesitation to take any unnecessary medication but perhaps you should discuss these drugs with your doctor and try one, if he advises. You could take it for a month or two and see if you get any results. I was already on Vioxx before my PF started so I can't say if it helps or not. Some people swear by it and others don't think it helps at all. Like so many other treatments for PF, it's very individual and varies from person to person.

I wonder if your doctor would order a liver function test at your next physical, just to put your mind at ease? Accutane is a very powerful, effective drug but it can be very tough on the liver. Just an unsolicited suggestion!!!!

Re: Do anti-inflammatory meds heal or just relieve pain?

Ellen J. on 3/27/02 at 14:26 (077739)

Hi Kathy,
I think I may have a liver function test done at some point, though so far I have no unusual symptoms other than this crazy Plantar Fasciitis. It is getting better, however, since I recently reinjured myself. I find that very careful walking is one of the big keys for me. If it doesn't continue improving then I will try the NSAIDS. I have not yet tried the night splint, so that's another thing to experiment with.
I hope your feet are feeling better, and thank you for your note!
Ellen

Re: PS. to my other note

Ellen J. on 3/27/02 at 16:18 (077753)

I just read your recent post on burning arches, so I'm sorry your arches are hurting right now. I just had a bout of something similar, but in my case I think it was something I did (not necessarily the same cause as yours, of course). I had to laugh at myself, because I tried this stuff called 'Capzaicin', which has Capsaicin, the hot chile pepper juice in it. The first night it felt great, so I figured that 'more is better' and put extra cream on the next night. I woke up in the middle of the night with burning arches! Then the next day I did some extra icing, and I think I frostbit my arches, causing them to burn even more! Yes, I would win the 'Dunce of the year' contest. I hope you can find the cause of your burning feet--it's very uncomfortable.
Ellen

Re: Do anti-inflammatory meds heal or just relieve pain?

Kathy G on 3/27/02 at 18:55 (077781)

You're welcome, Ellen! We will lick this thing!