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PF or not PF

Posted by Andrue on 5/15/02 at 15:45 (084047)

I've now been to a doctor (says I have arch strain) a Chiropodist who says I had (now gone) varicose veigns but otherwise is perplexed and a physio who is reasonably certain I have PF. Who is right?

I can walk and stand without pain but I tend to regret doing that the next day or day after. My pain is in the classic 'inside front of heel' but is pressure related. As long as nothing presses on that area I get no pain..except when sitting still. If I sit with my feet flat on the floor or lying on their outer edges I get a feeling of tightness at that inside front of heel point followed by pain and I also get a burning sensation along the inside side of my heel.

Resting helps but not very much. Prior to getting this back in September I walked everywhere (not for exercise but for shopping, local park that kind of thing). I think this was caused by barefoot cycling but I can't see why it is taking so long to cure itself. If I rest any more surely I risk losing the strength/tone of my feet?

BTW I'm 35 and have a BMI of 25.

Re: PF or not PF

Dr. John Cozzarelli on 5/15/02 at 18:20 (084071)

Andrue:

It sounds like PF. Cycling barefoot is quite common to cause this problem.
Dr. John Cozzarelli

Re: PF or not PF

Carole C in NOLA on 5/15/02 at 19:45 (084081)

I didn't know that, Dr. Cozzarelli. I guess I'm living proof, because cycling barefoot is how I got my PF.

I had the tension turned up to the max on my recumbent bike when I did it. I continued cycling barefoot for a month or two after getting PF, because I didn't know it was the cause. By the time I quit cycling barefoot, my feet were in bad shape.

Luckily, through conservative treatments I am nearly recovered after 8 months.

Carole C

Re: PF or not PF

Carole C in NOLA on 5/15/02 at 20:05 (084085)

Andrue, I too got PF from barefoot cycling back in September. September 22nd, to be precise. I continued to ride barefoot until around Thanksgiving, because I had no idea that this was responsible.

My pain level back in December and January was very bad, 8-9 on a scale of 1 to 10. By means of conservative treatments, and nearly constant rest, I have nearly completely recovered. I have resumed a normally active life, walking when shopping, at the park, and so on as you describe.

Why have I recovered and you have not? I don't know the answer. Probably it is because I managed to find the right set of conservative treatments that work for me as an individual. For me, almost complete rest, custom orthotics, and never taking a step or standing without my custom orthotics or Birkenstocks, gentle stretching, a shower stool and shower shoes, and occasional icing were some of the treatments that were most helpful.

I worked very hard at all my conservative treatments, and gave them a very high priority in my life. I think that I would not be recovered if I had not rested almost completely.

I have been working on building the strength of my feet back up for the past couple of months, after I had nearly recovered. I began by wiggling my toes more, and very gradually have built my foot strength back. I was extremely cautious to do this methodically and not overdo. I feel my feet are now as strong as they were before. My pain level is 1/2 to 1 on a scale of 1-10.

I'm 53 and have a BMI of 40 (but it's decreasing; I lost 4.6 pounds this week and it helps to be able to ride my bike again).

Carole C

Re: PF or not PF

Rick R on 5/15/02 at 21:20 (084092)

I'll weigh in and agree with the PF diagnosis. There is no way I could cycle under any circumstances prior to getting this under control. My doctor (one of several on the trail) suggested cycling since I had to stop running and wasn't happy just letting my body turn to mush. Just goes to show you how little some understand this condition.

Re: PF or not PF

Andrue on 5/16/02 at 02:56 (084108)

Sigh. On the plus side I can live with my PF because it rarely hurts - it's just like living at risk of having an immovable stone in my shoe for a couple of days now and again. Oddly what bothers me most at times like now when it's least painful is the discomfort I get when I'm not using my feet. Yesterday I got up three times to walk about to get rid of the discomfort. Could that be nerve related?

It does seem odd to me though that I have never had anything much more than perhaps a 2 or three on the pain scale and yet I haven't recovered. My Physio. thinks it's because I never get enough pain signals to warn of damage but..for the past two weeks I've hardly walked at all and it's not that much better.

Re: PF or not PF

Andrue on 5/16/02 at 02:58 (084109)

I'd quite like to get back to the stationary cycling. I wasn't a fitness fanatic but half an hour every other day seemed like a sensible fitness regime. I have some cycling shoes with a stiff sole but I'm worried that I could still aggrevate the condition. I tried cycling with my heels but that seemed to cause other problems.

Re: PF or not PF

Carmen on 5/16/02 at 07:45 (084120)

Rick~

Cycling is recommened for people with PF as a non weight bearing exercise...BUT only if you can tolerate it and don't get worse...and only if youwear the appropriate foot wear. So it's not out of the question to recommend cycling for ex. during PF.

Re: PF or not PF

Carmen on 5/16/02 at 07:46 (084121)

Just back off of it for now. It's not the end of the world if you can't exercise..believe ME...I understnad where you are coming from. But it's best to get better now...worry about the ex. later.
Why don't you swim?

Re: Oh Carole

Tammie on 5/16/02 at 09:50 (084135)

That is just wonderful, You keep going girl! I am going to sing you a happy song! LOL I am so thrilled to hear someone so happy with the changes incurring in there lives! You have had a huge changes in your life time and it is so exciting to see the changes that make YOU feel happy and on top of the world! Keep smiling friend you are so awesome! Hugs to you.

Re: Resuming cycling, cycling shoes, etc

Carole C in NOLA on 5/16/02 at 21:26 (084230)

I tried stationary cycling again when I was about half healed. What I did was turn the tension down to zero, moved the seat forward so that my knees would not get straight enough to strain my tendons, and wore good supportive shoes. I only rode for a minute or two, just to test. Then I waited a couple of days. It seemed like my tendons were tighter so I stopped riding again.

I waited until I was essentially healed and tried one minute of cycling yet again. That time my tendons were ok with it, so I worked up to 5 minutes by adding a minute a day, and then went straight to 10 minutes and onwards, fairly methodically. I make a big effort to cycle with good posture and with my feet placed properly on the pedals and my legs moving correctly.

I cycle regularly now wearing my New Balance shoes usually, or my SAS tie-up shoes, but I have found that cycling with any of my Birkenstocks is not a good idea because they slip around on my foot too much. I don't own cycling shoes.

It seemed to me that it was necessary not only to protect my feet with good shoes, but also my achilles tendon to keep it from getting strained and stressed. I don't know if that's true for everyone. I had very tight tendons.

Carole C

Re: Re:cycling

Ellen J. on 5/17/02 at 14:45 (084335)

I've had P.F. for about 3 yrs and was able to cycle just fine last summer. However, I had to be very careful the first summer (summer before last) when I cycled, as I wasn't as well healed as I was the next summer. By last year I was able to really go at the cycling. Then I recently reinjured myself and now I am starting with the tension set at zero. What I'm doing now is that I get on and bike for a couple of minutes and wait a day or so to see if my feet get sore. I tried cycling with my heels, as you did, but it caused sore heels. The best bet is to set the tension to nothing and just let your legs spin. Really boring, I know, esp. when you have plenty of energy in your legs and want to use that energy. You'll be able to cycly again if you are super cautious while finding out what your feet are ready for.
Ellen

Re: PF or not PF

Dr. John Cozzarelli on 5/15/02 at 18:20 (084071)

Andrue:

It sounds like PF. Cycling barefoot is quite common to cause this problem.
Dr. John Cozzarelli

Re: PF or not PF

Carole C in NOLA on 5/15/02 at 19:45 (084081)

I didn't know that, Dr. Cozzarelli. I guess I'm living proof, because cycling barefoot is how I got my PF.

I had the tension turned up to the max on my recumbent bike when I did it. I continued cycling barefoot for a month or two after getting PF, because I didn't know it was the cause. By the time I quit cycling barefoot, my feet were in bad shape.

Luckily, through conservative treatments I am nearly recovered after 8 months.

Carole C

Re: PF or not PF

Carole C in NOLA on 5/15/02 at 20:05 (084085)

Andrue, I too got PF from barefoot cycling back in September. September 22nd, to be precise. I continued to ride barefoot until around Thanksgiving, because I had no idea that this was responsible.

My pain level back in December and January was very bad, 8-9 on a scale of 1 to 10. By means of conservative treatments, and nearly constant rest, I have nearly completely recovered. I have resumed a normally active life, walking when shopping, at the park, and so on as you describe.

Why have I recovered and you have not? I don't know the answer. Probably it is because I managed to find the right set of conservative treatments that work for me as an individual. For me, almost complete rest, custom orthotics, and never taking a step or standing without my custom orthotics or Birkenstocks, gentle stretching, a shower stool and shower shoes, and occasional icing were some of the treatments that were most helpful.

I worked very hard at all my conservative treatments, and gave them a very high priority in my life. I think that I would not be recovered if I had not rested almost completely.

I have been working on building the strength of my feet back up for the past couple of months, after I had nearly recovered. I began by wiggling my toes more, and very gradually have built my foot strength back. I was extremely cautious to do this methodically and not overdo. I feel my feet are now as strong as they were before. My pain level is 1/2 to 1 on a scale of 1-10.

I'm 53 and have a BMI of 40 (but it's decreasing; I lost 4.6 pounds this week and it helps to be able to ride my bike again).

Carole C

Re: PF or not PF

Rick R on 5/15/02 at 21:20 (084092)

I'll weigh in and agree with the PF diagnosis. There is no way I could cycle under any circumstances prior to getting this under control. My doctor (one of several on the trail) suggested cycling since I had to stop running and wasn't happy just letting my body turn to mush. Just goes to show you how little some understand this condition.

Re: PF or not PF

Andrue on 5/16/02 at 02:56 (084108)

Sigh. On the plus side I can live with my PF because it rarely hurts - it's just like living at risk of having an immovable stone in my shoe for a couple of days now and again. Oddly what bothers me most at times like now when it's least painful is the discomfort I get when I'm not using my feet. Yesterday I got up three times to walk about to get rid of the discomfort. Could that be nerve related?

It does seem odd to me though that I have never had anything much more than perhaps a 2 or three on the pain scale and yet I haven't recovered. My Physio. thinks it's because I never get enough pain signals to warn of damage but..for the past two weeks I've hardly walked at all and it's not that much better.

Re: PF or not PF

Andrue on 5/16/02 at 02:58 (084109)

I'd quite like to get back to the stationary cycling. I wasn't a fitness fanatic but half an hour every other day seemed like a sensible fitness regime. I have some cycling shoes with a stiff sole but I'm worried that I could still aggrevate the condition. I tried cycling with my heels but that seemed to cause other problems.

Re: PF or not PF

Carmen on 5/16/02 at 07:45 (084120)

Rick~

Cycling is recommened for people with PF as a non weight bearing exercise...BUT only if you can tolerate it and don't get worse...and only if youwear the appropriate foot wear. So it's not out of the question to recommend cycling for ex. during PF.

Re: PF or not PF

Carmen on 5/16/02 at 07:46 (084121)

Just back off of it for now. It's not the end of the world if you can't exercise..believe ME...I understnad where you are coming from. But it's best to get better now...worry about the ex. later.
Why don't you swim?

Re: Oh Carole

Tammie on 5/16/02 at 09:50 (084135)

That is just wonderful, You keep going girl! I am going to sing you a happy song! LOL I am so thrilled to hear someone so happy with the changes incurring in there lives! You have had a huge changes in your life time and it is so exciting to see the changes that make YOU feel happy and on top of the world! Keep smiling friend you are so awesome! Hugs to you.

Re: Resuming cycling, cycling shoes, etc

Carole C in NOLA on 5/16/02 at 21:26 (084230)

I tried stationary cycling again when I was about half healed. What I did was turn the tension down to zero, moved the seat forward so that my knees would not get straight enough to strain my tendons, and wore good supportive shoes. I only rode for a minute or two, just to test. Then I waited a couple of days. It seemed like my tendons were tighter so I stopped riding again.

I waited until I was essentially healed and tried one minute of cycling yet again. That time my tendons were ok with it, so I worked up to 5 minutes by adding a minute a day, and then went straight to 10 minutes and onwards, fairly methodically. I make a big effort to cycle with good posture and with my feet placed properly on the pedals and my legs moving correctly.

I cycle regularly now wearing my New Balance shoes usually, or my SAS tie-up shoes, but I have found that cycling with any of my Birkenstocks is not a good idea because they slip around on my foot too much. I don't own cycling shoes.

It seemed to me that it was necessary not only to protect my feet with good shoes, but also my achilles tendon to keep it from getting strained and stressed. I don't know if that's true for everyone. I had very tight tendons.

Carole C

Re: Re:cycling

Ellen J. on 5/17/02 at 14:45 (084335)

I've had P.F. for about 3 yrs and was able to cycle just fine last summer. However, I had to be very careful the first summer (summer before last) when I cycled, as I wasn't as well healed as I was the next summer. By last year I was able to really go at the cycling. Then I recently reinjured myself and now I am starting with the tension set at zero. What I'm doing now is that I get on and bike for a couple of minutes and wait a day or so to see if my feet get sore. I tried cycling with my heels, as you did, but it caused sore heels. The best bet is to set the tension to nothing and just let your legs spin. Really boring, I know, esp. when you have plenty of energy in your legs and want to use that energy. You'll be able to cycly again if you are super cautious while finding out what your feet are ready for.
Ellen