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How long can it be so severe?

Posted by Rachel W. on 5/15/02 at 15:50 (084048)

Quite a lot of people on this website have had PF for a number of years.
I have only had it for about 3 months. At first, not too bad but gradually got worse to the point of now feeling totally crippled from it.

The thought of it being like this for years gets me down more than the actual pain. I accept that it could stay with me long term but I don't like the thought of it being this severe for that length of ttime. the doctors and the specialist who I saw the other day and books that I have read up about PF all seem to think it only lasts for a few months. Sounds reassuring but doesn't look like it on this website.
Are you all rare cases?

Re: How long can it be so severe?

Carole C in NOLA on 5/15/02 at 16:22 (084052)

Rachel, some of us are rare cases and some of us aren't.

I got my PF on September 22nd of last year. At about 3 months my pain was at its worst (December and January). But finally in February I started making great progress, and by March I was MUCH better. In my case I think that reading the board and the heel pain book, and going all out in pursuing conservative treatments really helped.

These conservative treatments included many things such as rest, custom orthotics, Birkenstocks, gentle stretching, icing, anti-inflammatories, never never ever going barefoot, and my shower stool and shower shoes, and even taking a multivitamin and calcium just because it couldn't do any harm.

You don't have to be like this for years. It's your choice! Make it a high priority. Nobody has time to rest, but if you do it anyway it's likely to help.

Hope this encourages you a little!

Carole C

Re: How long can it be so severe?

Sharon W on 5/15/02 at 16:49 (084053)

Rachel,
It depends on what you mean by rare. There are many people who develop a mild case of PF and have sore feet for a while. Some of them never even go to the Dr. about it, they just try to keep off their feet more (because their feet are sore) and on their own they may take over-the-counter painkillers like ibuprofen (like I did). Others DO go to their family doctor and are told to use arch supports and take anti-inflammatories and try to stay off their feet. I don't know percentages but I do know that anyone who has the kind of pain with PF that effectively CRIPPLES them, does NOT have a 'mild' case, and probably not a 'typical' one, either.

I'm sure MANY of us have met people who say, 'Plantar facaetis? Oh, I had that once...' but it soon becomes obvious that what THEY had, was MUCH less serious than what you are going through. Sometimes that can actually be very FRUSTRATING, because of course if someone has had a mild case of PF they think they know EXACTLY what PF is like, and they may think you are exaggerating your pain and symptoms. Sometimes primary care doctors who apparently have ONLY seen mild cases will not recognize a severe case and send them on to a specialist, probably because of this same thing.

On the other hand, the good news is your PF is relatively NEW and therefore I assume it is NOT 'chronic'. That means you should have a VERY good chance for a full recovery, especially since you are learning all the tricks from this message board. There is no reason I know of to think that you won't heal and recover. It is a slow and frustrating process, to be sure, but you can do it!

-- Sharon

Re: How long can it be so severe?

Pauline on 5/15/02 at 17:16 (084059)

Rachel,
I don't think we are all rare cases, just rare people. By that I mean, by coming to this site you've found a nice group of friends and they will provide excellent information for you.

I've had P.F. three times each lasting about 2 1/2 years give or take a few months. I've never had surgery nor ESWT. I just used all the conservative treatments you find in Scott's book which were the same one's given to me by my physician. In an out of physical therapy etc and it just seems to go away. Others have not been so lucky.

Just hang in there following the good advice that people will share with you and before you ever consider surgery as a solution consider ESWT first.
Good luck.

Re: How long can it be so severe?

Dr. John Cozzarelli on 5/15/02 at 18:18 (084069)

Hi Rachel:
Please get treatment! Do not hesitate. The sooner you intiate treamtment the better off you will be. Hold off on any type of surgery. If you do not respond to conervative therapy consider ESWT. I would also suggest on holding off on cortisone injections.

Dr. John Cozzarelli

Re: How long can it be so severe?

Kathy G on 5/15/02 at 18:25 (084074)

Oh Rachel, my family would say I was a rare case indeed! But they wouldn't be talking about my feet!!

Seriously, don't get discouraged. Everyone is different and you may respond very well and fairly quickly to conservative treatment. I'd listen to Dr. John and go for it! Don't get discouraged - even when it lasts for a while, it does get better!!

Re: How long can it be so severe?

Ellen J. on 5/15/02 at 20:03 (084084)

Hi Rachel,
I don't know if I'm a rare case or not, but I have had it almost 3 years. However, the reason I have had it so long is because I didn't find this website until 2 yrs into the P.F. and I also kept trying to exercise throughout my P.F., not knowing I was supposed to rest. I did all kinds of things that were the wrong thing to do because the doctors I went to didn't give me much information. When I got my first custom orthotics, I said, 'So, when do you think I can run again?'. The physical therapist said, 'Well, go out and try it'. Which I did, with pretty bad results. If I had access to this website way back I would probably be over this by now. I still make mistakes but am now so cautious that when I do make mistakes they are smaller ones and I get over them more quickly.
My feet are finally gradually improving thanks to all the kind people (doctors and fellow sufferers) who are helping me. I think you will do fine once you discover what the aggravating factors are for you. Sounds like you are now on your way since you visited the foot clinic and I hope your custom orthotics help. From what people say, it sounds like it will take a bit for the orthotics to make a difference. The great part is that you have only had P.F. for 3 months AND you have access to this site--two good things very much in your favor.
Ellen

Re: How long can it be so severe?

DR Zuckerman on 5/15/02 at 20:06 (084086)

Hi

Get an evaluation asap. Some tips. Rest, no bare feet, stretching as tolerated, heat adavil type medicatoins. Make sure you see as doctor

Re: How long can it be so severe?

Rick R on 5/15/02 at 21:14 (084091)

Rachel,

Yes, some of us have been experiencing PF for many years. Despite the fact that I have had it since 1983, I believe with out a doubt, if I knew what I do now, or had this web site 3 months into my PF journey, I could have achieved recovery in months rather than decades. Please do not despair, even if you are prone to becoming a chronic case, with the support you have here and the technology of today there is no reason to believe you will not be fine in a fairly short time. Hang in there.

Rick

Re: How long can it be so severe?

Julie on 5/16/02 at 03:03 (084111)

Dear Rachel

Because you live in England (and live not very far from me at that, only about 30 miles around the M25) I feel a special concern for you. Yet I have hesitated lately in writing to you because I know you didn't like what I said a couple of weeks ago. Well - I will try again.

You need to see a good podiatrist.

* You need a full evaluation of your condition, including an examination of the way you walk.

* You need an accurate diagnosis.

* You need a practitioner who is skilled, experienced and knowledgeable, who can do all these things

* AND prescribe a co-ordinated package of treatments that you can follow until you are better.

You've only had PF for three months. If you see someone now, and follow a treatment plan, you will almost certainly get better quicker.

I was very worried for you when I read about your visit to the foot clinic, where you saw a very young and inexperienced practitioner. I didn't say anything then, but I will now. She told you it was all right for you to walk barefoot. It isn't - as I think you realize. And you said that she is 'making orthotics' for you. Did she cast your feet for them?

Two doctors here have advised you to get treatment. Now I'm going to repeat myself, and them. Please get treatment.

This internet forum is a wonderful community of caring people, some of whom know a good deal about foot problems. I've been part of it for nearly two years, and it was a big help to me when I had PF. But although I learned a lot from the heel pain book and from people's posts, I wouldn't have relied on it entirely, and I don't think you should. It is NOT a substitute for a good foot doctor who can see you, examine you, and prescribe for you. Read the home page again, where this is spelled out very clearly.

Please do some research and find a podiatrist. Yes, I know, you said you can't afford to go privately. But I hope you can find a way to do so, even if you have to borrow the money. It isn't that expensive, and you may even save money in the long term if as a result you get better quicker. People live on credit for all kinds of things they don't actually need! This is your health. Please take care of it.

Youm don't have to respond to this post. I know you don't like being 'told things', and you probably won't like this. But I hope you will think about what I've said.

All the very best for your healing.

Julie

Re: How long can it be so severe?

Rachel W. on 5/16/02 at 06:02 (084115)

Julie,

Don't be so paranoid. What was it that I didn't like what you said?

Your are right. I should go private and get someone thats going to give me a bit more of a thorough going over. I was relying on this visit to the foot clinic and was disappointed by it.

My husband has suggested I see a podiatrist. I don't think we'll be going on holiday now as it won't be much fun for me stuck in a caravan so my husband is going to take the children for days out instead. There should be some money left over for me for my feet.

My mum suggested that my Dad should pay for it but I think she is just bitter and twisted with him because they are divorced and he has a new wife. lol.

Anyway, Thanks everyone. I am overwhelmed by the amount of people that has responded.

Rachel.

Re: That's good, Rachel

Julie on 5/16/02 at 06:13 (084116)

I'm glad you're thinking about seeing a podiatrist. Have a look around and see if you can find someone top notch. I'm glad your husband is encouraging you too.

Do you really have to cancel your holiday? When my PF was at its worst, it coincided with a holiday in Crete. I was sad knowing I wouldn't be able to walk, which is what I go there for (that and the swimming) but we had a lovely time, sitting and reading and going for drives. It was a different sort of holiday from the one I like best, but it was fine.

That was almost two years ago. My foot is fine now and has been for over a year, and now when I go to Crete I can do all the walking I want to do. This is to encourage you. You will get better too.

All the best

Julie

Re: That's good, Rachel

Pete R on 5/16/02 at 11:01 (084145)

Rachel, As a fellow brit I agree with everything Julie says. Having seen some real comics who call themselves pod's I really would try to see someone private. That said, make sure whoever you see is experienced in your problem. Do plenty of research, ask lots of personal questions etc Many pod's are really chiropodists, more used to dealing with bunions etc. PF is obvioulsy more complicated than that. Julie, saw some one in London who she recommended to me, I haven't been down yet, as I'm showing some small improvement in the people I'm seeing in the Midlands, but why don't you give them a try. Better to go on recommendations from someone who is cured than go to someone cold.

Wish you luck, but go on holiday, you'll feel better for it.

Re: Also a Brit PF Sufferer!!!!

yasmin on 5/16/02 at 17:25 (084203)

Hi

I've been suffering form PF for a year now. I saw a rhemotologist in private care because I was put onto a waiting list for 6 months!! And I couldn't bear it no more! I have a 2year old toddler and am doing a masters course. I was diagonised about seven months ago. The docter I saw gave me steriod shots which have taken the sharp pain away but I am still left with the soreness and aching, can you reccommend any docters or podartits that I can see to get this sorted? This is so depressing, I feel I can't do anything most of the time (which is pretty difficult when u have a little running around). Who did Julie see in London? Can you let me know? Also have you heard about the foot clinic in London, Clapham called 'Fitter Feet for Life' ? I am thinking about giving them a try.

Thanks

Re: That's good, Rachel

Rachel W. on 5/17/02 at 04:40 (084254)

Maybe I will go on holiday after all.

I could do with cheering up.

Thanks again.

Rachel.

Re: How long can it be so severe?

Carole C in NOLA on 5/15/02 at 16:22 (084052)

Rachel, some of us are rare cases and some of us aren't.

I got my PF on September 22nd of last year. At about 3 months my pain was at its worst (December and January). But finally in February I started making great progress, and by March I was MUCH better. In my case I think that reading the board and the heel pain book, and going all out in pursuing conservative treatments really helped.

These conservative treatments included many things such as rest, custom orthotics, Birkenstocks, gentle stretching, icing, anti-inflammatories, never never ever going barefoot, and my shower stool and shower shoes, and even taking a multivitamin and calcium just because it couldn't do any harm.

You don't have to be like this for years. It's your choice! Make it a high priority. Nobody has time to rest, but if you do it anyway it's likely to help.

Hope this encourages you a little!

Carole C

Re: How long can it be so severe?

Sharon W on 5/15/02 at 16:49 (084053)

Rachel,
It depends on what you mean by rare. There are many people who develop a mild case of PF and have sore feet for a while. Some of them never even go to the Dr. about it, they just try to keep off their feet more (because their feet are sore) and on their own they may take over-the-counter painkillers like ibuprofen (like I did). Others DO go to their family doctor and are told to use arch supports and take anti-inflammatories and try to stay off their feet. I don't know percentages but I do know that anyone who has the kind of pain with PF that effectively CRIPPLES them, does NOT have a 'mild' case, and probably not a 'typical' one, either.

I'm sure MANY of us have met people who say, 'Plantar facaetis? Oh, I had that once...' but it soon becomes obvious that what THEY had, was MUCH less serious than what you are going through. Sometimes that can actually be very FRUSTRATING, because of course if someone has had a mild case of PF they think they know EXACTLY what PF is like, and they may think you are exaggerating your pain and symptoms. Sometimes primary care doctors who apparently have ONLY seen mild cases will not recognize a severe case and send them on to a specialist, probably because of this same thing.

On the other hand, the good news is your PF is relatively NEW and therefore I assume it is NOT 'chronic'. That means you should have a VERY good chance for a full recovery, especially since you are learning all the tricks from this message board. There is no reason I know of to think that you won't heal and recover. It is a slow and frustrating process, to be sure, but you can do it!

-- Sharon

Re: How long can it be so severe?

Pauline on 5/15/02 at 17:16 (084059)

Rachel,
I don't think we are all rare cases, just rare people. By that I mean, by coming to this site you've found a nice group of friends and they will provide excellent information for you.

I've had P.F. three times each lasting about 2 1/2 years give or take a few months. I've never had surgery nor ESWT. I just used all the conservative treatments you find in Scott's book which were the same one's given to me by my physician. In an out of physical therapy etc and it just seems to go away. Others have not been so lucky.

Just hang in there following the good advice that people will share with you and before you ever consider surgery as a solution consider ESWT first.
Good luck.

Re: How long can it be so severe?

Dr. John Cozzarelli on 5/15/02 at 18:18 (084069)

Hi Rachel:
Please get treatment! Do not hesitate. The sooner you intiate treamtment the better off you will be. Hold off on any type of surgery. If you do not respond to conervative therapy consider ESWT. I would also suggest on holding off on cortisone injections.

Dr. John Cozzarelli

Re: How long can it be so severe?

Kathy G on 5/15/02 at 18:25 (084074)

Oh Rachel, my family would say I was a rare case indeed! But they wouldn't be talking about my feet!!

Seriously, don't get discouraged. Everyone is different and you may respond very well and fairly quickly to conservative treatment. I'd listen to Dr. John and go for it! Don't get discouraged - even when it lasts for a while, it does get better!!

Re: How long can it be so severe?

Ellen J. on 5/15/02 at 20:03 (084084)

Hi Rachel,
I don't know if I'm a rare case or not, but I have had it almost 3 years. However, the reason I have had it so long is because I didn't find this website until 2 yrs into the P.F. and I also kept trying to exercise throughout my P.F., not knowing I was supposed to rest. I did all kinds of things that were the wrong thing to do because the doctors I went to didn't give me much information. When I got my first custom orthotics, I said, 'So, when do you think I can run again?'. The physical therapist said, 'Well, go out and try it'. Which I did, with pretty bad results. If I had access to this website way back I would probably be over this by now. I still make mistakes but am now so cautious that when I do make mistakes they are smaller ones and I get over them more quickly.
My feet are finally gradually improving thanks to all the kind people (doctors and fellow sufferers) who are helping me. I think you will do fine once you discover what the aggravating factors are for you. Sounds like you are now on your way since you visited the foot clinic and I hope your custom orthotics help. From what people say, it sounds like it will take a bit for the orthotics to make a difference. The great part is that you have only had P.F. for 3 months AND you have access to this site--two good things very much in your favor.
Ellen

Re: How long can it be so severe?

DR Zuckerman on 5/15/02 at 20:06 (084086)

Hi

Get an evaluation asap. Some tips. Rest, no bare feet, stretching as tolerated, heat adavil type medicatoins. Make sure you see as doctor

Re: How long can it be so severe?

Rick R on 5/15/02 at 21:14 (084091)

Rachel,

Yes, some of us have been experiencing PF for many years. Despite the fact that I have had it since 1983, I believe with out a doubt, if I knew what I do now, or had this web site 3 months into my PF journey, I could have achieved recovery in months rather than decades. Please do not despair, even if you are prone to becoming a chronic case, with the support you have here and the technology of today there is no reason to believe you will not be fine in a fairly short time. Hang in there.

Rick

Re: How long can it be so severe?

Julie on 5/16/02 at 03:03 (084111)

Dear Rachel

Because you live in England (and live not very far from me at that, only about 30 miles around the M25) I feel a special concern for you. Yet I have hesitated lately in writing to you because I know you didn't like what I said a couple of weeks ago. Well - I will try again.

You need to see a good podiatrist.

* You need a full evaluation of your condition, including an examination of the way you walk.

* You need an accurate diagnosis.

* You need a practitioner who is skilled, experienced and knowledgeable, who can do all these things

* AND prescribe a co-ordinated package of treatments that you can follow until you are better.

You've only had PF for three months. If you see someone now, and follow a treatment plan, you will almost certainly get better quicker.

I was very worried for you when I read about your visit to the foot clinic, where you saw a very young and inexperienced practitioner. I didn't say anything then, but I will now. She told you it was all right for you to walk barefoot. It isn't - as I think you realize. And you said that she is 'making orthotics' for you. Did she cast your feet for them?

Two doctors here have advised you to get treatment. Now I'm going to repeat myself, and them. Please get treatment.

This internet forum is a wonderful community of caring people, some of whom know a good deal about foot problems. I've been part of it for nearly two years, and it was a big help to me when I had PF. But although I learned a lot from the heel pain book and from people's posts, I wouldn't have relied on it entirely, and I don't think you should. It is NOT a substitute for a good foot doctor who can see you, examine you, and prescribe for you. Read the home page again, where this is spelled out very clearly.

Please do some research and find a podiatrist. Yes, I know, you said you can't afford to go privately. But I hope you can find a way to do so, even if you have to borrow the money. It isn't that expensive, and you may even save money in the long term if as a result you get better quicker. People live on credit for all kinds of things they don't actually need! This is your health. Please take care of it.

Youm don't have to respond to this post. I know you don't like being 'told things', and you probably won't like this. But I hope you will think about what I've said.

All the very best for your healing.

Julie

Re: How long can it be so severe?

Rachel W. on 5/16/02 at 06:02 (084115)

Julie,

Don't be so paranoid. What was it that I didn't like what you said?

Your are right. I should go private and get someone thats going to give me a bit more of a thorough going over. I was relying on this visit to the foot clinic and was disappointed by it.

My husband has suggested I see a podiatrist. I don't think we'll be going on holiday now as it won't be much fun for me stuck in a caravan so my husband is going to take the children for days out instead. There should be some money left over for me for my feet.

My mum suggested that my Dad should pay for it but I think she is just bitter and twisted with him because they are divorced and he has a new wife. lol.

Anyway, Thanks everyone. I am overwhelmed by the amount of people that has responded.

Rachel.

Re: That's good, Rachel

Julie on 5/16/02 at 06:13 (084116)

I'm glad you're thinking about seeing a podiatrist. Have a look around and see if you can find someone top notch. I'm glad your husband is encouraging you too.

Do you really have to cancel your holiday? When my PF was at its worst, it coincided with a holiday in Crete. I was sad knowing I wouldn't be able to walk, which is what I go there for (that and the swimming) but we had a lovely time, sitting and reading and going for drives. It was a different sort of holiday from the one I like best, but it was fine.

That was almost two years ago. My foot is fine now and has been for over a year, and now when I go to Crete I can do all the walking I want to do. This is to encourage you. You will get better too.

All the best

Julie

Re: That's good, Rachel

Pete R on 5/16/02 at 11:01 (084145)

Rachel, As a fellow brit I agree with everything Julie says. Having seen some real comics who call themselves pod's I really would try to see someone private. That said, make sure whoever you see is experienced in your problem. Do plenty of research, ask lots of personal questions etc Many pod's are really chiropodists, more used to dealing with bunions etc. PF is obvioulsy more complicated than that. Julie, saw some one in London who she recommended to me, I haven't been down yet, as I'm showing some small improvement in the people I'm seeing in the Midlands, but why don't you give them a try. Better to go on recommendations from someone who is cured than go to someone cold.

Wish you luck, but go on holiday, you'll feel better for it.

Re: Also a Brit PF Sufferer!!!!

yasmin on 5/16/02 at 17:25 (084203)

Hi

I've been suffering form PF for a year now. I saw a rhemotologist in private care because I was put onto a waiting list for 6 months!! And I couldn't bear it no more! I have a 2year old toddler and am doing a masters course. I was diagonised about seven months ago. The docter I saw gave me steriod shots which have taken the sharp pain away but I am still left with the soreness and aching, can you reccommend any docters or podartits that I can see to get this sorted? This is so depressing, I feel I can't do anything most of the time (which is pretty difficult when u have a little running around). Who did Julie see in London? Can you let me know? Also have you heard about the foot clinic in London, Clapham called 'Fitter Feet for Life' ? I am thinking about giving them a try.

Thanks

Re: That's good, Rachel

Rachel W. on 5/17/02 at 04:40 (084254)

Maybe I will go on holiday after all.

I could do with cheering up.

Thanks again.

Rachel.