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What to do?

Posted by Stan_P on 5/01/02 at 04:38 (081907)

I've read so many of the messages, found the full of ideas. I've had PF since 2000, developed during marathon training. Attended PT, have custom orthodics, had cortisone injections, rested, indoor cycled, DID NOT RUN FOR 16 MONTHS, gained 14lbs!. Gradually I began to run, started at 1/4 mile, now at 4 miles, over the course of 6 months. I signed up for a 15K in July, which I plan on finishing, but instead of running this morning, I'm seeking answers why I can't get rid of this. Have soreness in the foot again. Am I naive to think this will 'go away'? Do all of you continue to run? Thanks for any feedback.

Re: What to do?

Carmen on 5/01/02 at 06:40 (081913)

Truth be told Stan I don't think anyone would continue to run with soreness in their feet if they were totally aware of the long term effects.
Just curious though...why did you start running again? Did your feet get 100% better?
NO you're not naive to think it will go away...it can. But only if you are careful and don't do things that could make it worse.
Have you considered ESWT??
What types of shoes do you wear?

Re: What to do?

Kathy G on 5/01/02 at 09:41 (081938)

Stan,

Well, I'm just striving to walk again (on the treadmill or outside, depending on the weather). I've had the cursed PF for a little over a year but have some complications such as a previous neuroma and Achilles tendonitis which probably has contributed to the length of my 'confinement'. My only advice to you is to rest, ice and stretch. I had made great strides, no pun intended, until last October when I misjudged which step I was standing on and fell off my stairs, spraining my ankle. It is finally healed and I was feeling so much better that I stared to resume my daily routine, not including my walking, and ended up back where I began because I just over-did it! I suspect that may be what you did by going back to running too soon.

We do have posters who have resumed running but they had to do it very gradually and take baby steps, not giant leaps, although that's what we're all tempted to do! It must be incredibly difficult for a marathon runner to get PF. I have great compassion for the athletes who develop PF because I can only relate my extreme frustration at not being able to exercise on a regular basis. And I, too, have gained weight since getting it.

Perhaps you might visit the podiatrist who did your orthotics and shots and see if he has any suggestions. In the meantime, rest as much as possible and ice as often as possible.

There are many more posters who will have much more constructive suggestions but I just want you to know that I understand your frustration.

Good luck to you!

Re: What to do?

john h on 5/01/02 at 09:59 (081939)

Stan: I continued to run and now I am 7 years down the road with PF in both feet. Think long term Stan and if your feet hurt forget the running until they do not hurt. You just do not run through the pain with PF. I thought I could and now sure wish I could go back in time ------

Re: What to do?

brianh on 5/01/02 at 11:32 (081967)

I totally got rid of my PF by taking a different approach. Since the fascia is made of connective tissue, and PF is caused by damage to that connective tissue, I investigated what raw materials the body needs to repair/create connective tissue, and what weakens the connective tissue in the first place.

I discovered that free radicals will destroy connective tissue, so I took all kinds of antioxidants (grape seed extract, NAC, alpha lipoic acid, C, E) to help keep the free radicals under control. I also read that to build connective tissue you need magnesium, calcium, arginine, and most importantly, silica.

So I started taking a supplement with chelated calcium/magnesium/boron which also contained silica because it was a capsule instead of a tablet. I also took arginine and glucosamine sulphate. I also stopped drinking carbonated beverages, because they interfere with the ability of the body to use calcium.

The final thing I did was get rid of all the shoes that I had that did not control my tendency to over-pronate, since I noticed that my heels hurt worse after spending time in those types of shoes, even if I wore orthotics in them.

It took about 4 months for my pain to completely disappear. That was over 2 years ago and I have been totally free of heel pain since that time.

Re: What to do?

Ellen J. on 5/01/02 at 14:16 (081998)

Hi Brian,
I think I'll try the supplements you mentioned. Regarding free radicals; I am not sure, but it seems like I feel worse the day after I have a half glass of wine in the evening. I usually can't drink alcohol at all because it makes me so tired I can hardly move, plus makes my muscles sore (after only one glass!). However, once in awhile I indulge in a tiny bit of red wine and the next day my feet hurt. I wonder if anyone else experiences that. Anyway, I think those supplements are worth a try--certainly cheaper than the expensive and unproductive podiatry appt. I just had today.
Thanks for the suggestion.
Ellen J.

Re: Unproductive podiatry appointment

Sharon W on 5/01/02 at 14:34 (082003)

Ellen,

What happened?

-- Sharon

Re: What to do?

Carmen on 5/01/02 at 15:01 (082005)

I don't usually have any problem with red wine (my fave) and I only havea glass with dinner on occasion....just fyi in case you were wondering.

Re: Note to Brian (and others!) about Magnesium

Kathy G on 5/01/02 at 15:45 (082006)

Hi Brian,

I read your post with interest. Yeserday I went to my chiropractor for a back problem and he said he had just been to a seminar on inflammation and thought of me since he considers me the poster child for it! Said that the speaker was big on adding magnesium to the diet as well as fish oil. Seems that the American diet, no matter how well we might try, is very low in magnesium and it plays an important role in the reduction of inflammation. I must say, he's a good chiropractor but sometimes tends to go off on tangents and I really kind of dismissed what he said. Now I read your post and I wonder. I believe I'll read more about magnesium and speak to my pharmacist about it and maybe give it a try.

Thanks for your input!!!

Re: One more question for Brianh

Kathy G on 5/01/02 at 15:48 (082008)

Brian,

How long did you have PF before you started on the supplements? Did you buy them at GNC or a similar establishment? Do you presently take them?

Thanks,
Kathy

Re: Note about calcium, magnesium.

Sharon W on 5/01/02 at 15:55 (082013)

Kathy, Ellen, Brian,

Calcium, magnesium, and Zinc seems to be a good combination, and you can find it almost anywhere. I take it at night because I've read that is the time when the body is more likely to need the extra calcium -- after all, you aren't consuming any while you sleep! Magnesium is supposed to help the body to USE calcium, too, and zinc of course is an anti-oxidant. But you also need vitamin D for proper absorption, so it's a good idea to be taking a regular multivitamin.

Alpha lipoic acid is great stuff but be careful with it if you have a sensitive stomach; it IS an acid! I started to take it but had to give it up.

-- Sharon

Re: What about MSM? Is it helpful? eom

Mahatmelissama on 5/01/02 at 16:57 (082025)

.

Re: What about MSM? Is it helpful? eom

Carmen on 5/01/02 at 17:22 (082028)

http://www.arthritis-msm-supplements.com/

Re: note to Sharon

Ellen J. on 5/01/02 at 18:04 (082037)

Hi Sharon,
I went to the podiatrist and he came in saying 'so, sounds like you have a problem with calluses'. I told him I didn't have any calluses on my feet, that I had Plantar Fasciitis. I told him I'd had P.F. for almost 3 yrs. and he said that I was on the right track with my store-bought orthotics and that there really wasn't much he could offer me at this point. He didn't do x-rays as I had hoped and told me that anti-inflammatories probably wouldn't help at this point. I had him write me a prescription for Celebrex anyway because I talked to a nurse the other day who told me that Celebrex cured her P.F. (I didn't tell the Pod that story). I figured that even though it was doubtful that the Clebrex was responsible for curing her P.F. I wanted to try it anyway. However, she had accidently taken 600 mg per day, not knowing that the dose should have been much lower. I don't want to take that much and potentially damage my liver so am trying 200 mg. No pain reduction so far.
Anyway, I'm scheduled to see another pod this friday but am thinking of canceling that in favor of saving my $. I would like to get x-rays but figure that if I have pain all over the bottoms of my feet that it couldn't be a stress fracture. I am not sure what to do at this point.
Ellen J.

Re: Note about calcium, magnesium.

Ellen J. on 5/01/02 at 18:07 (082038)

Thanks, Sharon.
I think I'll go to the natural food store tomorrow and take a look at the supplements.
Ellen J.

Re: What to do?

Ellen J. on 5/01/02 at 18:09 (082039)

Hi Carmen,
Thanks for your input on the red wine issue. It sounds like I still might be able to enjoy my tiny little glass occasionally. I'll keep testing it out and see!
Ellen

Re: One more question for Brianh

brianh on 5/01/02 at 18:11 (082040)

I had PF for about 18 months before I started the supplements. It started in one foot but eventually spread to both before I turned it around.

I didn't find the prices at GNC very affordable. The chelated Cal/Mag/Boron I found in a local health food store. The rest of the stuff I got through the mail from Swanson Vitamins. I still take them all, but at a lower dosage than I did during my recovery.

Re: Note about calcium, magnesium.

brianh on 5/01/02 at 18:14 (082042)

I found that if I take the cal/mag along with the alpha lipoic acid, the calcium helps buffer the acid in the alpha lipoic.

Re: What about MSM? Is it helpful? eom

brianh on 5/01/02 at 18:26 (082043)

I never took it, so I can't say anything about it. But I just did a search for 'MSM' on these message boards and I found lots of folks who tried it and got positive results for both pain and inflammation in their feet, and how much they had to take to start seeing relief.

Re: Ellen, don't cancel!

Sharon W on 5/01/02 at 18:28 (082044)

Ellen,

You're right, that sounds EXTREMEMELY unproductive; it sounds like that pod hadn't even looked at your chart before coming in and making that stupid proclamation about calluses!! He wasn't your FIRST pod that you've been to, though, was he?

My pod has her faults but she is a pretty good diagnostician. My first appointment she did standing X-rays of both feet, in several different positions, she observed how I walked, she did a test with a safety pin to check for numbness, and she pressed on nerve points all over my feet. She also moved my feet into various positions to check for tendon problems, etc. If this pod didn't do at least SOME of those things on a first appointment, then you definitely need to see a different pod, and DON'T ever go back to that one!! Not all pods are that BAD!

-- Sharon

Re: What to do? Thanks for the feedback..

Stan_P on 5/01/02 at 18:48 (082048)

Very good tips. I'll most likely try everyones ideas.

Re: Ditto Sharon!! Don't cancel!

Carmen on 5/01/02 at 19:28 (082052)

I have been to 4 Pods and two orthos, 2 Pt's, 2 Physiatrists and a neurologist (a chiro and a massage therapist too)....I think I finally found the one Pod that is helping...don't give up after one lousy one. If I had I probably wouldn't be at a level 1-2 pain right now.
Actually today has been a 0.5 all day.

Re: Re:SHARON'S AND CARMEN'S NOTES

Ellen J. on 5/01/02 at 19:50 (082057)

Hi Sharon and Carmen,
Thanks--I will keep my pod appt. The thing that bothers me about this newest pod (coming up this fri.) is that he is only giving me a 15 minute appt. and I have to drive 1 1/2 hours to Dartmouth-Hitchcock center in New Hampshire. So I was a bit down about a total of 3 hours of driving for a 15 min. appt. I suppose it's worth it if I can get some help, however.
If anyone knows of a very good doctor in Boston I would go there since my sister lives in the area and it would at least be a chance to visit her in addition.
Thanks again,
Ellen

Re: What to do? Thanks for the feedback..

Sharon W on 5/01/02 at 21:21 (082070)

Stan,

Let me add one more thought: I take a dietary supplement for ligaments and tendons called Liga-Tend. It was recommended to me by a friend who had severe tendonitis in her wrist and she swears it was the thing that made a difference for her. You can sometimes find it for sale in health food stores, or is has a website (no I don't know the link offhand but I found it with a simple search). I have seen mention of LigaTend before on these message boards, when searching old posts, and apparently my friend is not the only one who found it helpful. It contains pineapple enzyme and papaya enzyme and a couple of amino acids and some vitamins & minerals, and something called 'muopolysaccaride complex'.

-- Sharon

Re: OOps - typo

Sharon W on 5/01/02 at 21:25 (082071)

Make that 'mucopolysaccharide complex'.

Re: What to do?

john h on 5/02/02 at 11:15 (082126)

In Arkansas our favorite wines have screw on tops.

Re: What to do?

Ellen J. on 5/02/02 at 17:38 (082171)

Thanks! I guess a glass once in awhile is OK. I just bought a bunch of supplements as discussed in this thread. Hopefully they might be of some help.
Ellen

Re: PS to my last note

Ellen J. on 5/02/02 at 17:42 (082172)

Screw tops are pretty darned good, aren't they? Although I like the nice wines, I buy those mini bottles that you get overcharged for on airlines. They have screwtops and they taste just fine to me.
Ellen

Re: New Pod

Sharon W on 5/02/02 at 17:47 (082175)

Ellen,

15 minutes does seem REALLY short, especially if it's a first appointment! Unfortuantely, that MAY mean that this is the kind of Dr. who will examine you quickly and jump to conclusions! On the other hand, X-rays are usually NOT done by the Dr., a technician does them, so that would not take away from your 15 minute appointment. Also, some (but not all) doctors, if they realize your situation is urgent and requires more than the allotted time, may risk running a little bit late on their office schedule for the day... (Of course, that would aggravate the patients who come after you, because they would have to wait a bit longer, but it might be what happens.)

-- Sharon

Re: Screw tops

Julie on 5/03/02 at 03:03 (082264)

John and Ellen - my favourite wine columnist here, Malcolm Gluck, has been adamant for years that screw tops are the best way of closing wine bottles. He is fierce about the contaminating qualities of cork, and has been after the major wine importers to get them to change. With some success. I agree with him. The obstacle of course is that the producers of cork are intransigent.

Re: New Pod

Ellen J. on 5/03/02 at 11:43 (082308)

Hi Sharon,
Although it was another unproductive appt., I feel much better today after removing my orthotics. I don't know if my feet will react badly to having no support but for now they sure feel better. Sometimes I guess we have to figure things out on our own when doctors can't help. I also had my first acupunture treatment today in addition to the pod. I wouldn't allow her to put the needles into the bottoms of my feet on the first session, however. I wanted to find out what acupuncture was like before I let anyone get near my tender arches. She said that if I come back to do some real P.F. treatment, she would be putting the needles about 1/2 inch into the heel area and ball of foot area. I guess I'll wait until I'm desperate before I try that. Anyway, at least I now know that the needles really don't hurt.
Ellen

Re: Screw tops

john h on 5/03/02 at 11:56 (082311)

Julie what a pleasant post about corks and wine. If an English wine columnist named Malcolm Gluck contends that screw on tops are best that is good enough for me. Acuually there are a few moderiately good wines that sell in the individual serving bottles that have screw on caps. Berringer comes to mind.

Re: George Theodore, MD

BrianG on 5/03/02 at 13:14 (082318)

Hi Ellen,

If I were to go to Boston, I would try to see Dr. George Theodore, MD, at the orthopaedic department at Mass Gen Hospital. The Physician referral number is 800-388-4644. It if his department that is using the new ESWT machine (Dornier Epos) in Boston. It's the only one in Mass. that I know of. Good luck

BrianG

Re: New Pod

Sharon W on 5/03/02 at 14:15 (082324)

Ellen,

Oh, well. Did the new pod at least do X-rays?

I've never done accupuncture, although my sister swears by it. I really can't imagine letting anyone stick in needles anywhere near my heel, my ankle, or my arch, though! (I mean, it's bad enough when the pod does it...)

-- Sharon

Re: New Pod

Ellen J. on 5/03/02 at 19:59 (082360)

Hi Sharon,
No, he didn't do x-rays either. I will probably ask a friend of mine (who is a doctor) where she had her x-rays done. She thought she had P.F. until she finally got x-rays after a year or more of suffering and discovered that she had a stress fracture. I don't think I have bone problems though, because the pain moves all around and is now in both feet so I'm pretty sure it's regular old Plantar Fasciitis, unfortunately.
Re; the acupuncture, it does seem to work for alot of people but I'm not in nearly enough pain at this point to want anyone sticking needles 1/2 inch into my fascia insertion points. Sounds sort of horrible! I went to the session though, in order to experience what acupuncture is like just in case I really need to go someday--ie. if my feet got much worse. I told her she could put the needles anywhere except the bottoms of my feet. I've never had a pod do the nerve test you mentioned. That sounds painful! I hope your nerves turned out OK.
Ellen

Re: George Theodore, MD

Ellen J. on 5/03/02 at 20:03 (082361)

Thanks, Brian.
I will write that down and give Dr. Theodore a call. I have a friend who has P.F. who lives in my town so I'll pass your info on to her also. I appreciate your help, as I have not had much luck with doctors lately.
Thanks again,
Ellen

Re: note to Sharon

BGCPed on 5/04/02 at 00:17 (082369)

She is a nurse and she accidentally took 600m when she was supposed to take 200?

Re: Acupuncture - Ellen

Julie on 5/04/02 at 02:44 (082379)

The needles wouldn't necessarily be inserted in your feet. In fact they almost certainly wouldn't be (though it does depend on what school/type of acupuncture the practitioner was trained in). The effect of acupuncture is to release blockages along the energy channels (meridians) that supply any particular area of the body. The needles are inserted anywhere along those channels.

Re: note to Sharon

Ellen J. on 5/04/02 at 11:16 (082398)

Yes,
The story she told me is that a fellow nurse had the Celebrex as samples, given to her by a drug company. The fellow nurse suggested she take them to relieve her P.F. symptoms but neglected to leave any instructions as to dosage. Apparently the dosage was not listed on the sample packets, either. Am not sure why she chose to take 600mg, but she did. She had P.F. for over a year at that point, and once she started taking the Celebrex, the symptoms were totally gone in 2 weeks. Her son then had a severe brain injury and her focus changed away from her feet and onto her son. She said the symptoms of P.F. never returned after that. I sometimes wonder if P.F. can be perpetuated by focusing on the feet so much that we change our gait, ie. clinching (is that the right term?) our toes out of fear of pain. Maybe what cured her P.F. was that she no longer focused on it and her gait returned to normal. She says the Celebrex was the reason for the cure. However, I certainly wouldn't reccommend that anyone try this, as it could lead to kidney or liver damage or who knows what other horrible things. She was lucky that she didn't suffer any long term effects.
According to what I have read about Celebrex, it takes a few days for the maximum benefit to be felt. One book says 2 or 3 weeks, but of course, I'm not a doctor so I don't know if that is accurate. Anyway, I have been taking a lower dosage and it took about 3 days for the pain to diminish. In fact, I felt so much better that I stopped taking it for fear of the drug masking symptoms that would ordinarily be telling me to be easy on my feet. I found myself walking and doing things that I wouldn't have sugjected my feet to if I were in pain.
Ellen

Re: George Theodore, MD

BrianG on 5/04/02 at 11:23 (082399)

Your welcome, I hope he can help you. I wish my insurance would allow me to go to MGH. Good luck

BrianG

Re: Acupuncture - Ellen

Ellen J. on 5/04/02 at 11:25 (082400)

Hi Julie,
According to the acupuncturist, she would be putting 2 needles into the heel at the insertion point, and 2 at the ball of the foot at the other insertion point area. I asked her ahead of time so that I could decide if I wanted the proceedure done. Once I heard that I decided to opt for a simple proceedure that didn't involve the bottoms of my feet just in order to experience acupuncture so I could decide if I wanted a more specific and extensive treatment later on. She said she would have placed the needles about 1/2 inch into the bottoms of my feet, which really gave me the creeps! I was glad I didn't go for that at the time.
I did read that there are different approaches to acupuncture, so it sounds like her approach was different than what you are familiar with. I don't know enough about it to be able to judge, but I am getting good at protecting my feet from procedures I'm not comfortable with. I'm getting tactfully assertive these days.
Ellen

Re: oops, typo

Ellen J. on 5/04/02 at 11:29 (082401)

Re; my last note, the word in the last sentence was supposed to be 'subjected', not sugjected!
Ellen

Re: Acupuncture - Ellen

Julie on 5/04/02 at 12:21 (082402)

Ellen, I think you're quite right. It's always a bad move to submit to practices, therapies, treatments that you instinctively feel uncomfortable about. Keep protecting your feet!

From what you say, though I may be wrong about this, it sounds as though this acupuncturist is employing acupuncture strictly as a pain-relieving technique, which is only a tiny fraction of what acupuncture is capable of delivering. I believe this is a purely Western approach. The traditional Chinese approach, which goes much deeper, works on energies.

Re: New Pod second that

lisa k 4may on 5/04/02 at 17:28 (082420)

i posted about the first pod and experiences(pf tear now
now seeing a second pod CERTIFIED ,trust your gut, communication also a must- it now seems to me a person has to be very proactive in care of theeir own foot
,i wont blindly trust a Dr.or medical professional- now i believe most ARE good and caring
but a bad apple could affect the rest of your life....
ive had two experiences where i kept having- knawing at me- doubts and plaqueing type of 'something is wrong here'inner voice-......but didnt listen to that 'wise woman within me'saying ALERT something's wrong with this picture:)

-i believe docs reminded me of my overcrital Dad/actually feel fearful adrenalen at age 37! and i just clam up and am so passive that i wasn't practicing good selfcare -IM CHANGING, take care Lisa k.
Ps
i have taken someone with me twice to help me feel less scared /passive and remind me its OK to ask questionsand learn some *grin*courage

Re: Acupuncture - Ellen

Ellen J. on 5/04/02 at 19:36 (082443)

Hi Julie,
I think you may be right, even though they call themselves and 'oriental medicine clinic'. If my feet get worse rather than better, I'll take a look around and see who does acupuncture the way you describe. I do know it has to do with energy pathways, but I don't know what points on the body would be the traditional ones, esp. with respect to helping the feet. She was going to put them into the feet and hands mostly, I think.
Thanks for your thoughts. By the time I'm done with P.F. (and I do expect to get over this), I'll know a little about alot of alternative practices!
Ellen

Re: New Pod second that

Ellen J. on 5/04/02 at 19:45 (082444)

Hi Lisa,
I'm glad to hear you are getting more and more assertive. I used to be painfully shy back in high school, then got progressively more outgoing and now that I'm in my early 40s I'm pretty assertive but in a tactful way. I sometimes think that I take over at my doctor appointments and then get embarrassed later that I told the doctor so much (when he should have been telling me things). Many doctors are great, but as in any profession, there are a few duds out there also so I'm pretty careful to not let doctors do things I don't feel right about. I think that our instincts are very good at alerting us to the duds.
Thanks for your thoughts, as your note and others notes help remind me to keep taking charge.
Ellen

Re: Acupuncture - Ellen

Julie on 5/05/02 at 02:00 (082465)

That's the plus side of PF - of any ailment. You learn a great deal, and what you learn you can use down the line to be of some help to others.

Re: oops, typo

john h on 5/06/02 at 08:41 (082595)

I went to an Accupunturist on several occasions. She possessed the a degree in Oriental Medicine which consisted of 4 years at a school in Florida. She also had a 4 year degree in chemistry from the U. of Pittsburg. She is more than just qualified in Oriental Medicine,

The accupunture did not help me and after about 4 sessions i gave up. She used needles of course and the liitle burning things she placed on your skin (cannot remember what you called those). Even for your feet she treated the entire body. She did place needles at various places on my feet and I do think I remember between the toes (ouch) and on top of the foot, various places on the leg. Always worth a try so good luck.

Re: Acupuncture

R C on 5/06/02 at 10:44 (082612)

I tried acupuncture for my PF with only limited pain relief. The acupuncturist was an M.D. with specialized training. I had gone to him before with good results on other things (allergies, sore back). The pain went away for a few hours, then back to square one. I belive that acupuncture can be very effective for some kinds of pain relief. I would also believe that it could (could!!) reduce inflammation or promote healing. However, acupuncture alone does not appear to address the biomechanical issues associated with the injury. Therefore I would turn to it only as an adjunct to orthotics, stretching, night splints, and other conventional treatments.

Re: What to do?

Carmen on 5/01/02 at 06:40 (081913)

Truth be told Stan I don't think anyone would continue to run with soreness in their feet if they were totally aware of the long term effects.
Just curious though...why did you start running again? Did your feet get 100% better?
NO you're not naive to think it will go away...it can. But only if you are careful and don't do things that could make it worse.
Have you considered ESWT??
What types of shoes do you wear?

Re: What to do?

Kathy G on 5/01/02 at 09:41 (081938)

Stan,

Well, I'm just striving to walk again (on the treadmill or outside, depending on the weather). I've had the cursed PF for a little over a year but have some complications such as a previous neuroma and Achilles tendonitis which probably has contributed to the length of my 'confinement'. My only advice to you is to rest, ice and stretch. I had made great strides, no pun intended, until last October when I misjudged which step I was standing on and fell off my stairs, spraining my ankle. It is finally healed and I was feeling so much better that I stared to resume my daily routine, not including my walking, and ended up back where I began because I just over-did it! I suspect that may be what you did by going back to running too soon.

We do have posters who have resumed running but they had to do it very gradually and take baby steps, not giant leaps, although that's what we're all tempted to do! It must be incredibly difficult for a marathon runner to get PF. I have great compassion for the athletes who develop PF because I can only relate my extreme frustration at not being able to exercise on a regular basis. And I, too, have gained weight since getting it.

Perhaps you might visit the podiatrist who did your orthotics and shots and see if he has any suggestions. In the meantime, rest as much as possible and ice as often as possible.

There are many more posters who will have much more constructive suggestions but I just want you to know that I understand your frustration.

Good luck to you!

Re: What to do?

john h on 5/01/02 at 09:59 (081939)

Stan: I continued to run and now I am 7 years down the road with PF in both feet. Think long term Stan and if your feet hurt forget the running until they do not hurt. You just do not run through the pain with PF. I thought I could and now sure wish I could go back in time ------

Re: What to do?

brianh on 5/01/02 at 11:32 (081967)

I totally got rid of my PF by taking a different approach. Since the fascia is made of connective tissue, and PF is caused by damage to that connective tissue, I investigated what raw materials the body needs to repair/create connective tissue, and what weakens the connective tissue in the first place.

I discovered that free radicals will destroy connective tissue, so I took all kinds of antioxidants (grape seed extract, NAC, alpha lipoic acid, C, E) to help keep the free radicals under control. I also read that to build connective tissue you need magnesium, calcium, arginine, and most importantly, silica.

So I started taking a supplement with chelated calcium/magnesium/boron which also contained silica because it was a capsule instead of a tablet. I also took arginine and glucosamine sulphate. I also stopped drinking carbonated beverages, because they interfere with the ability of the body to use calcium.

The final thing I did was get rid of all the shoes that I had that did not control my tendency to over-pronate, since I noticed that my heels hurt worse after spending time in those types of shoes, even if I wore orthotics in them.

It took about 4 months for my pain to completely disappear. That was over 2 years ago and I have been totally free of heel pain since that time.

Re: What to do?

Ellen J. on 5/01/02 at 14:16 (081998)

Hi Brian,
I think I'll try the supplements you mentioned. Regarding free radicals; I am not sure, but it seems like I feel worse the day after I have a half glass of wine in the evening. I usually can't drink alcohol at all because it makes me so tired I can hardly move, plus makes my muscles sore (after only one glass!). However, once in awhile I indulge in a tiny bit of red wine and the next day my feet hurt. I wonder if anyone else experiences that. Anyway, I think those supplements are worth a try--certainly cheaper than the expensive and unproductive podiatry appt. I just had today.
Thanks for the suggestion.
Ellen J.

Re: Unproductive podiatry appointment

Sharon W on 5/01/02 at 14:34 (082003)

Ellen,

What happened?

-- Sharon

Re: What to do?

Carmen on 5/01/02 at 15:01 (082005)

I don't usually have any problem with red wine (my fave) and I only havea glass with dinner on occasion....just fyi in case you were wondering.

Re: Note to Brian (and others!) about Magnesium

Kathy G on 5/01/02 at 15:45 (082006)

Hi Brian,

I read your post with interest. Yeserday I went to my chiropractor for a back problem and he said he had just been to a seminar on inflammation and thought of me since he considers me the poster child for it! Said that the speaker was big on adding magnesium to the diet as well as fish oil. Seems that the American diet, no matter how well we might try, is very low in magnesium and it plays an important role in the reduction of inflammation. I must say, he's a good chiropractor but sometimes tends to go off on tangents and I really kind of dismissed what he said. Now I read your post and I wonder. I believe I'll read more about magnesium and speak to my pharmacist about it and maybe give it a try.

Thanks for your input!!!

Re: One more question for Brianh

Kathy G on 5/01/02 at 15:48 (082008)

Brian,

How long did you have PF before you started on the supplements? Did you buy them at GNC or a similar establishment? Do you presently take them?

Thanks,
Kathy

Re: Note about calcium, magnesium.

Sharon W on 5/01/02 at 15:55 (082013)

Kathy, Ellen, Brian,

Calcium, magnesium, and Zinc seems to be a good combination, and you can find it almost anywhere. I take it at night because I've read that is the time when the body is more likely to need the extra calcium -- after all, you aren't consuming any while you sleep! Magnesium is supposed to help the body to USE calcium, too, and zinc of course is an anti-oxidant. But you also need vitamin D for proper absorption, so it's a good idea to be taking a regular multivitamin.

Alpha lipoic acid is great stuff but be careful with it if you have a sensitive stomach; it IS an acid! I started to take it but had to give it up.

-- Sharon

Re: What about MSM? Is it helpful? eom

Mahatmelissama on 5/01/02 at 16:57 (082025)

.

Re: What about MSM? Is it helpful? eom

Carmen on 5/01/02 at 17:22 (082028)

http://www.arthritis-msm-supplements.com/

Re: note to Sharon

Ellen J. on 5/01/02 at 18:04 (082037)

Hi Sharon,
I went to the podiatrist and he came in saying 'so, sounds like you have a problem with calluses'. I told him I didn't have any calluses on my feet, that I had Plantar Fasciitis. I told him I'd had P.F. for almost 3 yrs. and he said that I was on the right track with my store-bought orthotics and that there really wasn't much he could offer me at this point. He didn't do x-rays as I had hoped and told me that anti-inflammatories probably wouldn't help at this point. I had him write me a prescription for Celebrex anyway because I talked to a nurse the other day who told me that Celebrex cured her P.F. (I didn't tell the Pod that story). I figured that even though it was doubtful that the Clebrex was responsible for curing her P.F. I wanted to try it anyway. However, she had accidently taken 600 mg per day, not knowing that the dose should have been much lower. I don't want to take that much and potentially damage my liver so am trying 200 mg. No pain reduction so far.
Anyway, I'm scheduled to see another pod this friday but am thinking of canceling that in favor of saving my $. I would like to get x-rays but figure that if I have pain all over the bottoms of my feet that it couldn't be a stress fracture. I am not sure what to do at this point.
Ellen J.

Re: Note about calcium, magnesium.

Ellen J. on 5/01/02 at 18:07 (082038)

Thanks, Sharon.
I think I'll go to the natural food store tomorrow and take a look at the supplements.
Ellen J.

Re: What to do?

Ellen J. on 5/01/02 at 18:09 (082039)

Hi Carmen,
Thanks for your input on the red wine issue. It sounds like I still might be able to enjoy my tiny little glass occasionally. I'll keep testing it out and see!
Ellen

Re: One more question for Brianh

brianh on 5/01/02 at 18:11 (082040)

I had PF for about 18 months before I started the supplements. It started in one foot but eventually spread to both before I turned it around.

I didn't find the prices at GNC very affordable. The chelated Cal/Mag/Boron I found in a local health food store. The rest of the stuff I got through the mail from Swanson Vitamins. I still take them all, but at a lower dosage than I did during my recovery.

Re: Note about calcium, magnesium.

brianh on 5/01/02 at 18:14 (082042)

I found that if I take the cal/mag along with the alpha lipoic acid, the calcium helps buffer the acid in the alpha lipoic.

Re: What about MSM? Is it helpful? eom

brianh on 5/01/02 at 18:26 (082043)

I never took it, so I can't say anything about it. But I just did a search for 'MSM' on these message boards and I found lots of folks who tried it and got positive results for both pain and inflammation in their feet, and how much they had to take to start seeing relief.

Re: Ellen, don't cancel!

Sharon W on 5/01/02 at 18:28 (082044)

Ellen,

You're right, that sounds EXTREMEMELY unproductive; it sounds like that pod hadn't even looked at your chart before coming in and making that stupid proclamation about calluses!! He wasn't your FIRST pod that you've been to, though, was he?

My pod has her faults but she is a pretty good diagnostician. My first appointment she did standing X-rays of both feet, in several different positions, she observed how I walked, she did a test with a safety pin to check for numbness, and she pressed on nerve points all over my feet. She also moved my feet into various positions to check for tendon problems, etc. If this pod didn't do at least SOME of those things on a first appointment, then you definitely need to see a different pod, and DON'T ever go back to that one!! Not all pods are that BAD!

-- Sharon

Re: What to do? Thanks for the feedback..

Stan_P on 5/01/02 at 18:48 (082048)

Very good tips. I'll most likely try everyones ideas.

Re: Ditto Sharon!! Don't cancel!

Carmen on 5/01/02 at 19:28 (082052)

I have been to 4 Pods and two orthos, 2 Pt's, 2 Physiatrists and a neurologist (a chiro and a massage therapist too)....I think I finally found the one Pod that is helping...don't give up after one lousy one. If I had I probably wouldn't be at a level 1-2 pain right now.
Actually today has been a 0.5 all day.

Re: Re:SHARON'S AND CARMEN'S NOTES

Ellen J. on 5/01/02 at 19:50 (082057)

Hi Sharon and Carmen,
Thanks--I will keep my pod appt. The thing that bothers me about this newest pod (coming up this fri.) is that he is only giving me a 15 minute appt. and I have to drive 1 1/2 hours to Dartmouth-Hitchcock center in New Hampshire. So I was a bit down about a total of 3 hours of driving for a 15 min. appt. I suppose it's worth it if I can get some help, however.
If anyone knows of a very good doctor in Boston I would go there since my sister lives in the area and it would at least be a chance to visit her in addition.
Thanks again,
Ellen

Re: What to do? Thanks for the feedback..

Sharon W on 5/01/02 at 21:21 (082070)

Stan,

Let me add one more thought: I take a dietary supplement for ligaments and tendons called Liga-Tend. It was recommended to me by a friend who had severe tendonitis in her wrist and she swears it was the thing that made a difference for her. You can sometimes find it for sale in health food stores, or is has a website (no I don't know the link offhand but I found it with a simple search). I have seen mention of LigaTend before on these message boards, when searching old posts, and apparently my friend is not the only one who found it helpful. It contains pineapple enzyme and papaya enzyme and a couple of amino acids and some vitamins & minerals, and something called 'muopolysaccaride complex'.

-- Sharon

Re: OOps - typo

Sharon W on 5/01/02 at 21:25 (082071)

Make that 'mucopolysaccharide complex'.

Re: What to do?

john h on 5/02/02 at 11:15 (082126)

In Arkansas our favorite wines have screw on tops.

Re: What to do?

Ellen J. on 5/02/02 at 17:38 (082171)

Thanks! I guess a glass once in awhile is OK. I just bought a bunch of supplements as discussed in this thread. Hopefully they might be of some help.
Ellen

Re: PS to my last note

Ellen J. on 5/02/02 at 17:42 (082172)

Screw tops are pretty darned good, aren't they? Although I like the nice wines, I buy those mini bottles that you get overcharged for on airlines. They have screwtops and they taste just fine to me.
Ellen

Re: New Pod

Sharon W on 5/02/02 at 17:47 (082175)

Ellen,

15 minutes does seem REALLY short, especially if it's a first appointment! Unfortuantely, that MAY mean that this is the kind of Dr. who will examine you quickly and jump to conclusions! On the other hand, X-rays are usually NOT done by the Dr., a technician does them, so that would not take away from your 15 minute appointment. Also, some (but not all) doctors, if they realize your situation is urgent and requires more than the allotted time, may risk running a little bit late on their office schedule for the day... (Of course, that would aggravate the patients who come after you, because they would have to wait a bit longer, but it might be what happens.)

-- Sharon

Re: Screw tops

Julie on 5/03/02 at 03:03 (082264)

John and Ellen - my favourite wine columnist here, Malcolm Gluck, has been adamant for years that screw tops are the best way of closing wine bottles. He is fierce about the contaminating qualities of cork, and has been after the major wine importers to get them to change. With some success. I agree with him. The obstacle of course is that the producers of cork are intransigent.

Re: New Pod

Ellen J. on 5/03/02 at 11:43 (082308)

Hi Sharon,
Although it was another unproductive appt., I feel much better today after removing my orthotics. I don't know if my feet will react badly to having no support but for now they sure feel better. Sometimes I guess we have to figure things out on our own when doctors can't help. I also had my first acupunture treatment today in addition to the pod. I wouldn't allow her to put the needles into the bottoms of my feet on the first session, however. I wanted to find out what acupuncture was like before I let anyone get near my tender arches. She said that if I come back to do some real P.F. treatment, she would be putting the needles about 1/2 inch into the heel area and ball of foot area. I guess I'll wait until I'm desperate before I try that. Anyway, at least I now know that the needles really don't hurt.
Ellen

Re: Screw tops

john h on 5/03/02 at 11:56 (082311)

Julie what a pleasant post about corks and wine. If an English wine columnist named Malcolm Gluck contends that screw on tops are best that is good enough for me. Acuually there are a few moderiately good wines that sell in the individual serving bottles that have screw on caps. Berringer comes to mind.

Re: George Theodore, MD

BrianG on 5/03/02 at 13:14 (082318)

Hi Ellen,

If I were to go to Boston, I would try to see Dr. George Theodore, MD, at the orthopaedic department at Mass Gen Hospital. The Physician referral number is 800-388-4644. It if his department that is using the new ESWT machine (Dornier Epos) in Boston. It's the only one in Mass. that I know of. Good luck

BrianG

Re: New Pod

Sharon W on 5/03/02 at 14:15 (082324)

Ellen,

Oh, well. Did the new pod at least do X-rays?

I've never done accupuncture, although my sister swears by it. I really can't imagine letting anyone stick in needles anywhere near my heel, my ankle, or my arch, though! (I mean, it's bad enough when the pod does it...)

-- Sharon

Re: New Pod

Ellen J. on 5/03/02 at 19:59 (082360)

Hi Sharon,
No, he didn't do x-rays either. I will probably ask a friend of mine (who is a doctor) where she had her x-rays done. She thought she had P.F. until she finally got x-rays after a year or more of suffering and discovered that she had a stress fracture. I don't think I have bone problems though, because the pain moves all around and is now in both feet so I'm pretty sure it's regular old Plantar Fasciitis, unfortunately.
Re; the acupuncture, it does seem to work for alot of people but I'm not in nearly enough pain at this point to want anyone sticking needles 1/2 inch into my fascia insertion points. Sounds sort of horrible! I went to the session though, in order to experience what acupuncture is like just in case I really need to go someday--ie. if my feet got much worse. I told her she could put the needles anywhere except the bottoms of my feet. I've never had a pod do the nerve test you mentioned. That sounds painful! I hope your nerves turned out OK.
Ellen

Re: George Theodore, MD

Ellen J. on 5/03/02 at 20:03 (082361)

Thanks, Brian.
I will write that down and give Dr. Theodore a call. I have a friend who has P.F. who lives in my town so I'll pass your info on to her also. I appreciate your help, as I have not had much luck with doctors lately.
Thanks again,
Ellen

Re: note to Sharon

BGCPed on 5/04/02 at 00:17 (082369)

She is a nurse and she accidentally took 600m when she was supposed to take 200?

Re: Acupuncture - Ellen

Julie on 5/04/02 at 02:44 (082379)

The needles wouldn't necessarily be inserted in your feet. In fact they almost certainly wouldn't be (though it does depend on what school/type of acupuncture the practitioner was trained in). The effect of acupuncture is to release blockages along the energy channels (meridians) that supply any particular area of the body. The needles are inserted anywhere along those channels.

Re: note to Sharon

Ellen J. on 5/04/02 at 11:16 (082398)

Yes,
The story she told me is that a fellow nurse had the Celebrex as samples, given to her by a drug company. The fellow nurse suggested she take them to relieve her P.F. symptoms but neglected to leave any instructions as to dosage. Apparently the dosage was not listed on the sample packets, either. Am not sure why she chose to take 600mg, but she did. She had P.F. for over a year at that point, and once she started taking the Celebrex, the symptoms were totally gone in 2 weeks. Her son then had a severe brain injury and her focus changed away from her feet and onto her son. She said the symptoms of P.F. never returned after that. I sometimes wonder if P.F. can be perpetuated by focusing on the feet so much that we change our gait, ie. clinching (is that the right term?) our toes out of fear of pain. Maybe what cured her P.F. was that she no longer focused on it and her gait returned to normal. She says the Celebrex was the reason for the cure. However, I certainly wouldn't reccommend that anyone try this, as it could lead to kidney or liver damage or who knows what other horrible things. She was lucky that she didn't suffer any long term effects.
According to what I have read about Celebrex, it takes a few days for the maximum benefit to be felt. One book says 2 or 3 weeks, but of course, I'm not a doctor so I don't know if that is accurate. Anyway, I have been taking a lower dosage and it took about 3 days for the pain to diminish. In fact, I felt so much better that I stopped taking it for fear of the drug masking symptoms that would ordinarily be telling me to be easy on my feet. I found myself walking and doing things that I wouldn't have sugjected my feet to if I were in pain.
Ellen

Re: George Theodore, MD

BrianG on 5/04/02 at 11:23 (082399)

Your welcome, I hope he can help you. I wish my insurance would allow me to go to MGH. Good luck

BrianG

Re: Acupuncture - Ellen

Ellen J. on 5/04/02 at 11:25 (082400)

Hi Julie,
According to the acupuncturist, she would be putting 2 needles into the heel at the insertion point, and 2 at the ball of the foot at the other insertion point area. I asked her ahead of time so that I could decide if I wanted the proceedure done. Once I heard that I decided to opt for a simple proceedure that didn't involve the bottoms of my feet just in order to experience acupuncture so I could decide if I wanted a more specific and extensive treatment later on. She said she would have placed the needles about 1/2 inch into the bottoms of my feet, which really gave me the creeps! I was glad I didn't go for that at the time.
I did read that there are different approaches to acupuncture, so it sounds like her approach was different than what you are familiar with. I don't know enough about it to be able to judge, but I am getting good at protecting my feet from procedures I'm not comfortable with. I'm getting tactfully assertive these days.
Ellen

Re: oops, typo

Ellen J. on 5/04/02 at 11:29 (082401)

Re; my last note, the word in the last sentence was supposed to be 'subjected', not sugjected!
Ellen

Re: Acupuncture - Ellen

Julie on 5/04/02 at 12:21 (082402)

Ellen, I think you're quite right. It's always a bad move to submit to practices, therapies, treatments that you instinctively feel uncomfortable about. Keep protecting your feet!

From what you say, though I may be wrong about this, it sounds as though this acupuncturist is employing acupuncture strictly as a pain-relieving technique, which is only a tiny fraction of what acupuncture is capable of delivering. I believe this is a purely Western approach. The traditional Chinese approach, which goes much deeper, works on energies.

Re: New Pod second that

lisa k 4may on 5/04/02 at 17:28 (082420)

i posted about the first pod and experiences(pf tear now
now seeing a second pod CERTIFIED ,trust your gut, communication also a must- it now seems to me a person has to be very proactive in care of theeir own foot
,i wont blindly trust a Dr.or medical professional- now i believe most ARE good and caring
but a bad apple could affect the rest of your life....
ive had two experiences where i kept having- knawing at me- doubts and plaqueing type of 'something is wrong here'inner voice-......but didnt listen to that 'wise woman within me'saying ALERT something's wrong with this picture:)

-i believe docs reminded me of my overcrital Dad/actually feel fearful adrenalen at age 37! and i just clam up and am so passive that i wasn't practicing good selfcare -IM CHANGING, take care Lisa k.
Ps
i have taken someone with me twice to help me feel less scared /passive and remind me its OK to ask questionsand learn some *grin*courage

Re: Acupuncture - Ellen

Ellen J. on 5/04/02 at 19:36 (082443)

Hi Julie,
I think you may be right, even though they call themselves and 'oriental medicine clinic'. If my feet get worse rather than better, I'll take a look around and see who does acupuncture the way you describe. I do know it has to do with energy pathways, but I don't know what points on the body would be the traditional ones, esp. with respect to helping the feet. She was going to put them into the feet and hands mostly, I think.
Thanks for your thoughts. By the time I'm done with P.F. (and I do expect to get over this), I'll know a little about alot of alternative practices!
Ellen

Re: New Pod second that

Ellen J. on 5/04/02 at 19:45 (082444)

Hi Lisa,
I'm glad to hear you are getting more and more assertive. I used to be painfully shy back in high school, then got progressively more outgoing and now that I'm in my early 40s I'm pretty assertive but in a tactful way. I sometimes think that I take over at my doctor appointments and then get embarrassed later that I told the doctor so much (when he should have been telling me things). Many doctors are great, but as in any profession, there are a few duds out there also so I'm pretty careful to not let doctors do things I don't feel right about. I think that our instincts are very good at alerting us to the duds.
Thanks for your thoughts, as your note and others notes help remind me to keep taking charge.
Ellen

Re: Acupuncture - Ellen

Julie on 5/05/02 at 02:00 (082465)

That's the plus side of PF - of any ailment. You learn a great deal, and what you learn you can use down the line to be of some help to others.

Re: oops, typo

john h on 5/06/02 at 08:41 (082595)

I went to an Accupunturist on several occasions. She possessed the a degree in Oriental Medicine which consisted of 4 years at a school in Florida. She also had a 4 year degree in chemistry from the U. of Pittsburg. She is more than just qualified in Oriental Medicine,

The accupunture did not help me and after about 4 sessions i gave up. She used needles of course and the liitle burning things she placed on your skin (cannot remember what you called those). Even for your feet she treated the entire body. She did place needles at various places on my feet and I do think I remember between the toes (ouch) and on top of the foot, various places on the leg. Always worth a try so good luck.

Re: Acupuncture

R C on 5/06/02 at 10:44 (082612)

I tried acupuncture for my PF with only limited pain relief. The acupuncturist was an M.D. with specialized training. I had gone to him before with good results on other things (allergies, sore back). The pain went away for a few hours, then back to square one. I belive that acupuncture can be very effective for some kinds of pain relief. I would also believe that it could (could!!) reduce inflammation or promote healing. However, acupuncture alone does not appear to address the biomechanical issues associated with the injury. Therefore I would turn to it only as an adjunct to orthotics, stretching, night splints, and other conventional treatments.