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Jim C (PF getting worse)

Posted by R C on 8/16/02 at 13:18 (092666)

Sorry that your PF is getting worse. Let me add to the comments from others, who posted earlier.

* Yeah, overly aggressive stretching (including weight-bearing stretches) appears to make PF worse in many PF patients. But stretching does help keep the calf muscle from adding tension in the plantar fascia. Therefore many posters here recommend the stretch where you sit on the floor, legs straight out, and you pull back your foot with a towel or belt.

* I didn't see that you tried taping your foot. For some people (like myself), taping was a lot more effective than orthotics. You might try it, if other things don't lead to relief.

* A little heat, especially in the morning or before stretching, seemed to help in my case. I used a standard electric heating pad or a bucket of hot water. Also massage helps (by hand or a rolling dowel.)

* Like yourself, I used to be a runner. I have elected not to run anymore, since I do not wish to risk re-injury. But I have started swimming instead, and have become very satisfied with it. If you have access to a pool, I urge you to consider swimming as an alternative to running.

Re: Jim C (PF getting worse)

Jim C on 8/16/02 at 14:27 (092674)

Thanks for the tips RC.
I haven't done any major stretching for the last 5 days and I have greatly improved, my right foot for the most part is pain free. As you mentioned I have been applying heat along with some very gentle stretching first thing in the mornings, this morning I was completly pain free in both feet for about and hour...first time being pain free in months. All of this has greatly improved my outlook on overcomeing this condition. Which brings me to this point, based on my own experiences and the post on this website I think mental attitude/stress has a tremendious impact on the healing process. when I'm having a bad day my feet just plain hurt. So I can't over emphisize the importance of a positive mental attitude in additon to the phycical treatments.
I will take your advice on taping when I go back to work next week, I have taken the next 4 days off work just to pamper my feet and stay on this healing run that I'm on.

Jim

Re: Jim C (PF getting worse)

DJ on 8/16/02 at 22:27 (092713)

Excellent point you make about positive attitude. I also have found that the pain is much worse when I am stressed, sleep deprived, frustrated or just not happy.

Re: Jim C (PF getting worse)

Ellen J. on 8/18/02 at 22:35 (092868)

Very interesting posts here, and I thought I would add my two cents worth.
I agree with everything that's been said, of course, and the stretching has aggravated my P.F. in the past and in addition, I've found that stress does have a negative impact. I don't know if it causes chemical changes or if it causes us to hold our bodies more rigidly.
Anyway, I've found a few other things that caused problems for me and perpetuated my P.F. Therefore, I've been very careful about not doing these things and I'm getting better now. As I improve, I find I can now do some of the following in moderation.
Here's what made my P.F. worse:

Squatting down. It stretched and strained the fascia.

pushing off with the ball of foot. This includes paying attention to how I climb stairs, reaching for things on high shelves, etc.
I just don't get up on my tiptoes at all--it wrecks my feet.

leaning forward too far. It seems to stress the fascia if I lean forward, as the feet have to tense to keep me from falling forward.

lifting anything heavy. Even lifting two 20 pound weights can set off my feet. I think it is because it collapses the arches when heavy weights are lifted--even a wimpy 40 pounds!

pushing wheelbarrows, etc. In order to push something you have to push off with the ball of the foot, which messes up the feet. Also, with wheelbarrows, you are lifting weight at the same time which seems to double the stress.

The wrong amount of arch support. Different for everyone, I guess.

Inflexible shoes which don't bend easily at the ball of the foot. My most comfortable shoes are super flexible and I live in those.

Shoes with high heels. Seems to throw the bodyweight onto the ball of the foot and cause problems for me.

I'm sure the above doesn't apply to everyone, but I just thought I would list the things that I found were aggravating my feet.
Good luck to everyone,
Ellen J.

Re: Jim C (PF getting worse)

Jim C on 8/16/02 at 14:27 (092674)

Thanks for the tips RC.
I haven't done any major stretching for the last 5 days and I have greatly improved, my right foot for the most part is pain free. As you mentioned I have been applying heat along with some very gentle stretching first thing in the mornings, this morning I was completly pain free in both feet for about and hour...first time being pain free in months. All of this has greatly improved my outlook on overcomeing this condition. Which brings me to this point, based on my own experiences and the post on this website I think mental attitude/stress has a tremendious impact on the healing process. when I'm having a bad day my feet just plain hurt. So I can't over emphisize the importance of a positive mental attitude in additon to the phycical treatments.
I will take your advice on taping when I go back to work next week, I have taken the next 4 days off work just to pamper my feet and stay on this healing run that I'm on.

Jim

Re: Jim C (PF getting worse)

DJ on 8/16/02 at 22:27 (092713)

Excellent point you make about positive attitude. I also have found that the pain is much worse when I am stressed, sleep deprived, frustrated or just not happy.

Re: Jim C (PF getting worse)

Ellen J. on 8/18/02 at 22:35 (092868)

Very interesting posts here, and I thought I would add my two cents worth.
I agree with everything that's been said, of course, and the stretching has aggravated my P.F. in the past and in addition, I've found that stress does have a negative impact. I don't know if it causes chemical changes or if it causes us to hold our bodies more rigidly.
Anyway, I've found a few other things that caused problems for me and perpetuated my P.F. Therefore, I've been very careful about not doing these things and I'm getting better now. As I improve, I find I can now do some of the following in moderation.
Here's what made my P.F. worse:

Squatting down. It stretched and strained the fascia.

pushing off with the ball of foot. This includes paying attention to how I climb stairs, reaching for things on high shelves, etc.
I just don't get up on my tiptoes at all--it wrecks my feet.

leaning forward too far. It seems to stress the fascia if I lean forward, as the feet have to tense to keep me from falling forward.

lifting anything heavy. Even lifting two 20 pound weights can set off my feet. I think it is because it collapses the arches when heavy weights are lifted--even a wimpy 40 pounds!

pushing wheelbarrows, etc. In order to push something you have to push off with the ball of the foot, which messes up the feet. Also, with wheelbarrows, you are lifting weight at the same time which seems to double the stress.

The wrong amount of arch support. Different for everyone, I guess.

Inflexible shoes which don't bend easily at the ball of the foot. My most comfortable shoes are super flexible and I live in those.

Shoes with high heels. Seems to throw the bodyweight onto the ball of the foot and cause problems for me.

I'm sure the above doesn't apply to everyone, but I just thought I would list the things that I found were aggravating my feet.
Good luck to everyone,
Ellen J.