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Heel pain vs. sole pain ?

Posted by Dean H on 3/25/02 at 16:54 (077531)

My PF started in the bottoms of my feet. Are there any differences in how to treat it?
In my case, it started 7 months ago. There was no obvious cause. The second time I noticed it (don't remember the circumstances of the first) I was at a memorial service for a co-worker's wife. During one of the longer standing periods, both feet started to feel uncomfortable. More a feeling of pressure than sharp pain. Something like standing on rolling pins, as someone else said here.
For about 4 months, the pattern was very predictable. I couldn't stand for more than a minute without discomfort, which would turn into pain if I remained standing, but which went away almost immediately if I started walking. It hurt a fairly wide area on the bottoms of the left and right feet equally. There was no heel pain, and no first-step pain. I could walk several blocks or jog 3 miles with no immediate difficulty. (I stopped running because it seemed like I should, not because of pain.) My weight is normal.
I got custom orthos, which pushed uncomfortably just behind the top of my higher-than-average arches. As I've experimented with various recommendations from this site, it's been less predictable. Probably less pain standing, but sharper pain (still bearable) at unpredictable times and in various places from the back of the heel to the midsole. Driving can aggravate the right foot.
First pod suggested cam walker after orthos didn't help. Saw 2nd pod for 2nd opinion. He suggested PT which starts today.
Any ideas ?

Re: Heel pain vs. sole pain ?

Ellen J. on 3/25/02 at 19:41 (077545)

Hi Dean,
My symptoms are almost exactly like yours, esp. even worse since I reinjured my feet. I have spent as much time off my feet as possible and when I walk I try not to cause those upredictable pains and I do that by walking really carefully when I have to get anywhere. I find that (for me) the pain is caused whenever I push too hard with the balls of my feet while walking, bending my toes too far back and therefore stretching the injured fascia. That is my gut feeling about what is happening to me, anyway. Therefore, when I walk, I am extremely careful to walk slowly without bending my feet too much (little steps, not big steps). All of this is difficult for me because I'm normally a quick walker, used to doing everything fast. Also, I discovered that tightening the laces on my shoes too much would push down on my arch from above with every step and cause pain so now I don't cinch the laces down as hard as I used to. I have fairly flat feet, however, and what I do may not work for you. I found out that too many experiments done too close together led to confusion over which experiment caused more damage (or benefit) so now I'm learning patience, and I make only one change, wait a few days (like maybe 3 days) and see how my feet reacted. Then I try another experiment later, etc. If you try going to P.T. AND get new shoes at the same time and your feet hurt 3 days later, you wouldn't know whether it was the PT or the shoes that caused problems. I cannot wear orhtotics with high arches, as any pressure on the arch aggravates my feet. Others find good arch support to help a great deal. Re; driving, I found that pushing on the clutch was the equivalent to pushing with the balls of my feet any other time, so driving is a problem for me. I hope you are able to figure out what is best for your feet. Good luck!
Ellen

Re: Heel pain vs. sole pain ?

Ellen J. on 3/25/02 at 19:41 (077545)

Hi Dean,
My symptoms are almost exactly like yours, esp. even worse since I reinjured my feet. I have spent as much time off my feet as possible and when I walk I try not to cause those upredictable pains and I do that by walking really carefully when I have to get anywhere. I find that (for me) the pain is caused whenever I push too hard with the balls of my feet while walking, bending my toes too far back and therefore stretching the injured fascia. That is my gut feeling about what is happening to me, anyway. Therefore, when I walk, I am extremely careful to walk slowly without bending my feet too much (little steps, not big steps). All of this is difficult for me because I'm normally a quick walker, used to doing everything fast. Also, I discovered that tightening the laces on my shoes too much would push down on my arch from above with every step and cause pain so now I don't cinch the laces down as hard as I used to. I have fairly flat feet, however, and what I do may not work for you. I found out that too many experiments done too close together led to confusion over which experiment caused more damage (or benefit) so now I'm learning patience, and I make only one change, wait a few days (like maybe 3 days) and see how my feet reacted. Then I try another experiment later, etc. If you try going to P.T. AND get new shoes at the same time and your feet hurt 3 days later, you wouldn't know whether it was the PT or the shoes that caused problems. I cannot wear orhtotics with high arches, as any pressure on the arch aggravates my feet. Others find good arch support to help a great deal. Re; driving, I found that pushing on the clutch was the equivalent to pushing with the balls of my feet any other time, so driving is a problem for me. I hope you are able to figure out what is best for your feet. Good luck!
Ellen