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what is best for me?

Posted by claire h on 3/30/02 at 20:46 (078079)

after months of severe pain i decided to look up heel pain on the internet and found your site. i read up on pf and it sounded exactly like what im suffering with. i asked my chiropodist(who my doctor refered me to) if this is what i had, he said no. i ve recently been having treatment called the bowen technique, the guy doing this said instantly that i have pf. this treatment is the only thing thats realy given me any relief and ive tried nearly everything. ive had this now since last july. whay else can you reccomend as the pain realy is getting me down. thank you, claire.

Re: what is best for me?

Carole C in NOLA on 3/30/02 at 21:12 (078083)

Claire, I'm another PF sufferer, not a doctor, but I have some suggestions. The first one is to see a podiatrist (DPM) and get a diagnosis. That's the first step. Once he has given you a diagnosis, he can help to guide you in your conservative treatment. He might want you to wear custom orthotics, for example.

Meanwhile, read the heel pain book on this site and see if any of the suggested treatments help. Some things that help are:

1. REST - - try to stay off your feet as much as possible, or even more. Keep your feet up and pretend you are a couch potato for a few weeks. Put your exercise regimen on hold.

2. STRETCHING - - do gentle, non-weightbearing stretching. Most standing stretches are weight bearing and may harm your feet. Try sitting stretches, and if you feel pain while stretching then stretch more gently. Do your stretches before you get out of bed, before you go to sleep, and a couple of other times during the day.

3. ANTI-INFLAMMATORIES - - your doctor can prescribe these once you have a diagnosis.

4. ICE - - Use a bag of frozen peas, and rest your foot on it for about five minutes or less if it becomes uncomfortable. Repeat several times.

5. NEVER STAND OR WALK EVEN ONE STEP WITHOUT SUPPORTIVE SHOES - - This includes in the shower, where a shower stool and/or shower shoes are very necessary. Many of us like Birkenstocks to slip on and wear around the house, and they have an orthotic footbed that supports the foot. Custom orthotics work pretty well for some of us, to wear to work. Buy new shoes and change your shoes several times during the day; both of these seem to help too.

6. MASSAGE - - This only helped me mildly, but it's a great help to the morale and it doesn't do any harm.

7. TAPING - - Many of those here feel that taping (as illustrated in the heel pain book) is a tremendous help.

I'm sure there are other treatments, but these are what comes to mind first. You might as well get started doing these things now, and if the podiatrist gives you another diagnosis you can always quit doing them.

Carole C

Re: what is best for me?

claire h on 3/31/02 at 10:53 (078093)

thank you carole, its so pleasing to know im not alone. i have tried most of treatments you suggested but at the moment with the bowen treatment i am having my feet taped and yes it helps me a little. my trouble is i run a pub so i never get a chance to rest. ive looked at the shoes on this site do you think they would help me? ive stopped wearing my costom made orthotics as theywere making the sides of my heel feel as if they were being rubbed!! i also dont wear anything when i shower once i take my shoes off i cant get anything else on, my feet are throbbing!!

Re: shower stool maybe?

Carole C in NOLA on 3/31/02 at 12:14 (078096)

You are not alone! There is not one person that I know of who didn't have to suffer terribly with PF before they got all the 'wrinkles' ironed out in their self-treatment regimen. I thought the shower stool would be a big waste of money but found out that it helped me a lot, for example. If you get one, sit on it sideways with the water off and take off your shoes. Then turn so that you are sitting forwards. Use a shower massager on a hose, and just sit there while you shower yourself with it. Then turn sideways again, dry off your feet, and put on your shoes again. This way you don't have to stand barefoot at all.

It's possible that you HAVE to keep from standing barefoot in the shower if you have PF and want to heal. It made a huge difference for me.

Probably a shower stool is what you need. Eventually you might want to try some waterproof sandals too, with lots of cushioning, hopefully a little arch support, and velcro so that you can fasten them loosely. I have some like this (except for mine have no arch support) and they are made by Nike and only $20. I also use a shower stool ($50) so that I don't have to stand up most of the time, so get that even if you can't wear shower shoes.

It sounds like your custom orthotics needed adjustment. Take them back!

Try some Birkenstock 'Arizonas', at a Birkenstock store if there is one near you (so that you can have them fitted, which makes a big difference, and so that you can see if you hate them, which some people do). Get ones with real leather or nubuck uppers, not the plastic kind, if you can afford to since the material seems to affect how well they work, slightly. Get the 'classic footbed'. Birkenstocks have helped a lot of us here.

Carole C

Re: what is best for me?

Carole C in NOLA on 3/30/02 at 21:12 (078083)

Claire, I'm another PF sufferer, not a doctor, but I have some suggestions. The first one is to see a podiatrist (DPM) and get a diagnosis. That's the first step. Once he has given you a diagnosis, he can help to guide you in your conservative treatment. He might want you to wear custom orthotics, for example.

Meanwhile, read the heel pain book on this site and see if any of the suggested treatments help. Some things that help are:

1. REST - - try to stay off your feet as much as possible, or even more. Keep your feet up and pretend you are a couch potato for a few weeks. Put your exercise regimen on hold.

2. STRETCHING - - do gentle, non-weightbearing stretching. Most standing stretches are weight bearing and may harm your feet. Try sitting stretches, and if you feel pain while stretching then stretch more gently. Do your stretches before you get out of bed, before you go to sleep, and a couple of other times during the day.

3. ANTI-INFLAMMATORIES - - your doctor can prescribe these once you have a diagnosis.

4. ICE - - Use a bag of frozen peas, and rest your foot on it for about five minutes or less if it becomes uncomfortable. Repeat several times.

5. NEVER STAND OR WALK EVEN ONE STEP WITHOUT SUPPORTIVE SHOES - - This includes in the shower, where a shower stool and/or shower shoes are very necessary. Many of us like Birkenstocks to slip on and wear around the house, and they have an orthotic footbed that supports the foot. Custom orthotics work pretty well for some of us, to wear to work. Buy new shoes and change your shoes several times during the day; both of these seem to help too.

6. MASSAGE - - This only helped me mildly, but it's a great help to the morale and it doesn't do any harm.

7. TAPING - - Many of those here feel that taping (as illustrated in the heel pain book) is a tremendous help.

I'm sure there are other treatments, but these are what comes to mind first. You might as well get started doing these things now, and if the podiatrist gives you another diagnosis you can always quit doing them.

Carole C

Re: what is best for me?

claire h on 3/31/02 at 10:53 (078093)

thank you carole, its so pleasing to know im not alone. i have tried most of treatments you suggested but at the moment with the bowen treatment i am having my feet taped and yes it helps me a little. my trouble is i run a pub so i never get a chance to rest. ive looked at the shoes on this site do you think they would help me? ive stopped wearing my costom made orthotics as theywere making the sides of my heel feel as if they were being rubbed!! i also dont wear anything when i shower once i take my shoes off i cant get anything else on, my feet are throbbing!!

Re: shower stool maybe?

Carole C in NOLA on 3/31/02 at 12:14 (078096)

You are not alone! There is not one person that I know of who didn't have to suffer terribly with PF before they got all the 'wrinkles' ironed out in their self-treatment regimen. I thought the shower stool would be a big waste of money but found out that it helped me a lot, for example. If you get one, sit on it sideways with the water off and take off your shoes. Then turn so that you are sitting forwards. Use a shower massager on a hose, and just sit there while you shower yourself with it. Then turn sideways again, dry off your feet, and put on your shoes again. This way you don't have to stand barefoot at all.

It's possible that you HAVE to keep from standing barefoot in the shower if you have PF and want to heal. It made a huge difference for me.

Probably a shower stool is what you need. Eventually you might want to try some waterproof sandals too, with lots of cushioning, hopefully a little arch support, and velcro so that you can fasten them loosely. I have some like this (except for mine have no arch support) and they are made by Nike and only $20. I also use a shower stool ($50) so that I don't have to stand up most of the time, so get that even if you can't wear shower shoes.

It sounds like your custom orthotics needed adjustment. Take them back!

Try some Birkenstock 'Arizonas', at a Birkenstock store if there is one near you (so that you can have them fitted, which makes a big difference, and so that you can see if you hate them, which some people do). Get ones with real leather or nubuck uppers, not the plastic kind, if you can afford to since the material seems to affect how well they work, slightly. Get the 'classic footbed'. Birkenstocks have helped a lot of us here.

Carole C