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PF diagnosis, no insurance, cheapest treatment?

Posted by Sue H on 9/10/02 at 17:18 (094936)

I'm 55 and just diagnosed with Plantar fasciitis, been in so much pain and limping all summer. I got x-rays done but the family practice doctor just says I need to see a specialist and the consultation would be $300. I don't have any insurance and just work part time so can't afford a consultation and thus not getting any treatment.Even if I could get the consultation, I couldn't afford custom orthotics anyway. I've been trying icing and stretching at home, also ibuprofen, none has helped very much. Also have OTC heel pads in my shoes. Would it help to try night splints purchased online? I hate to spend the money for them unless it is likely to help some? Any other ideas for low costs things I can try to ease the continual pain and limping? Thx! Sue

Re: PF diagnosis, no insurance, cheapest treatment?

Leon S. on 9/10/02 at 18:44 (094946)

Sue, it sounds like you've done the same things I've done since the beginning of August when my pain got worse. I haven't been to a podiatrist yet but I just found out about one who incidently also has PF, so if anyone knows how to treat it, he will (I hope). I don't know what kind of stretching you've done but check through these messages and read about 'Julies Stretches.' She's got some incite about what's good and bad about different stretching exercises. Some of the tactics you mentioned work intermittently. Last night, I took 3 ibuprofen before I went to bed and this morning I felt well enough to walk 1 1/4 to work for the first time in a month. The rest of the day there was some soreness but nothing I haven't been through. While I'm typing this, I'm also icing my foot. I also use the OTC heel pads and they help a little. The best advice I got through these threads was to stay off my feet as much as possible.

Re: PF diagnosis, no insurance, cheapest treatment?

Nancy N on 9/10/02 at 19:04 (094951)

Sue--

Have you read the Heel Pain Book? Lots of excellent info and ideas in there, not all of which are expensive. Have you tried taping? I've never done it myself but a lot of people here have had great relief from it. It would certainly be worth a try.

Re: PF diagnosis, no insurance, cheapest treatment?

Ellen J. on 9/10/02 at 20:14 (094957)

Hi Sue,
Have you given alot of thought to what shoes you are wearing? Sometimes the heel pads are not enough--you might want to look into full length foot beds that support your arches in just the right way for your feet. Each person's feet need differing amounts of support in the arch area. Also, are your shoes nice and flexible at the ball of the foot area? Some like stiffer shoes, whereas I do better with flexible shoes. Keep close track of what days your feet hurt more, and then think back a day or two and try to remember what you were doing or what shoes you were wearing. Sometimes it takes a day or two (or three) for pain to show up after you've done the wrong thing to your feet. It can be very frustrating to figure out what is causing the feet to hurt, but you just have to pay very close attention. As others mentioned, you'll want to read the Heel Pain Book thoroughly.
Hope to hear you are feeling better soon!
Ellen J.

Re: PF diagnosis, no insurance, cheapest treatment?

JoAnn V on 9/10/02 at 22:04 (094967)

Hi Sue, I was diagnosed a year ago, I had no Insurance and not much cash. I went to a podiatrist and he taped my foot, which helped very much to be able to walk. I went back again for a second visit and he taped it again. After that my husband taped it almost daily for about another month or so. I did some stretches, especially before getting out of bed, I iced my foot every night, and of course tried everything & read everything I could. When my arches hurt I used a arch band or ace bandage around the arch of my foot. I took 2 or 3 Ibprofin tables twice a day.... since I am a waitress and I was in pain while walking. Shoes were & still are a big problem. I did buy some birkenstock sandals which I use around the house or use like slippers. (I found them fairly inexpensive on ebay) Find a good supportive shoe to wear everyday and NEVER go bearfoot. After I got tired of tapeing my foot I bought some 'powerstep' insoles (about $30), 'superfeet' are good also.... at the same cost. I still have PF but it doesn't bother me as much anymore. Just read everything you can, especially this message board. I have not been back to the doctor since that second visit. Hope you feel better soon.

Re: If I had to pick one thing........

Ed Davis, DPM on 9/11/02 at 15:04 (095029)

If I had to pick one thing only I would obtain a pair of New Balance 1121 running shoes (or Brooks Beast/Ariel) and place a pair of Superfeet orthotics in them. http://www.superfeet.com
Ed

Re: If I had to pick one thing........

Carrie on 9/11/02 at 16:43 (095051)

I guess we all have different things, to me the one thing would be the birkenstocks and the iceing stretching , then onto things that cost more I would say the night splint and the dexamethasone treatments from my pt, in reality the birks and the dex treatments are what has saved my ass right now.

hugs
C

Re: If I had to pick one thing........

john h on 9/12/02 at 09:25 (095121)

Dr. Ed: I hope you get a commission because I ordered a pair of the Superfeet inserts (Green). As most people know I buy anything and try anything. I just thined out my drawer full of orthotics so have room for another pair. Not much to lose at only $30 plus shipping. They will have to go in my NB857 however.

Re: If I had to pick one thing........

Carole C in NOLA on 9/13/02 at 08:44 (095222)

John, let us know how they feel! I know you have tried a lot of orthotics to compare them with.

The only orthotics I've had is my soft custom orthotics in those HUGE ugly oversized men's SAS shoes to which they were fitted. They won't fit in any other shoes, and I haven't worn them since March until recently. I decided to relegate my big ugly men's leather SAS shoes to lawnmowing duty, since they seem safer than Birks or New Balance for that.

I have to admit that the orthotics really felt great when I wore them mowing the lawn during the past couple of weeks. Aaah! I don't need them all the time, but they do feel so nice. I wonder if they will have a positive effect even if I only wear them for an hour or two a week.

Anyway, this has made me feel curious about OTC orthotics which might feel pretty nice too. I could buy a nice, new, fresh pair that fit my New Balance if they are any good.

Carole C

Re: have you given any thought...

elliott on 9/13/02 at 09:01 (095223)

to trying super-thin Northwest Podiatric orthotics? Many docs agree they are one of the best out there and will fit in just about all your shoes.

[[[[[

Re: have you given any thought...

Carole C in NOLA on 9/13/02 at 14:47 (095265)

Yes, I have, and that has been in the back of my mind, so to speak. They do sound really good, and like they might just be exactly right for me. But maybe my feet are not that bad off or that unusual. I got PF from operating my recumbent bike in a stupid way that stressed my feet, rather than from stressing my feet by merely walking or doing normal things. (They ought to require licenses to operate those bikes! LOL) Anyway, maybe I could get some good out of an OTC orthotic that's 1/10th the price of NW Pod. I haven't resolved this question.

Since my PF has not been keeping me from my usual activities, and since I haven't been hurting very much, I'm kind of reluctant to shell out the kind of money that something like that might cost me. On the other hand, my custom orthotics sure felt nice when I was mowing the lawn, and afterwards. So I dunno.

Carole C

Re: If I had to pick one thing........

john h on 9/13/02 at 16:59 (095271)

better yet Carole if they do not feel good I will send them to you. Me and Suzanne wear the same size so join us if you wish.

Re: If I had to pick one thing........

Carole C in NOLA on 9/13/02 at 17:32 (095275)

Too bad, I wear a smaller size than Suzanne and you. I'm between a 39 and 40 in Birkenstocks. But thanks for the offer!

Carole C

Re: PF diagnosis, no insurance, cheapest treatment?

Leon S. on 9/10/02 at 18:44 (094946)

Sue, it sounds like you've done the same things I've done since the beginning of August when my pain got worse. I haven't been to a podiatrist yet but I just found out about one who incidently also has PF, so if anyone knows how to treat it, he will (I hope). I don't know what kind of stretching you've done but check through these messages and read about 'Julies Stretches.' She's got some incite about what's good and bad about different stretching exercises. Some of the tactics you mentioned work intermittently. Last night, I took 3 ibuprofen before I went to bed and this morning I felt well enough to walk 1 1/4 to work for the first time in a month. The rest of the day there was some soreness but nothing I haven't been through. While I'm typing this, I'm also icing my foot. I also use the OTC heel pads and they help a little. The best advice I got through these threads was to stay off my feet as much as possible.

Re: PF diagnosis, no insurance, cheapest treatment?

Nancy N on 9/10/02 at 19:04 (094951)

Sue--

Have you read the Heel Pain Book? Lots of excellent info and ideas in there, not all of which are expensive. Have you tried taping? I've never done it myself but a lot of people here have had great relief from it. It would certainly be worth a try.

Re: PF diagnosis, no insurance, cheapest treatment?

Ellen J. on 9/10/02 at 20:14 (094957)

Hi Sue,
Have you given alot of thought to what shoes you are wearing? Sometimes the heel pads are not enough--you might want to look into full length foot beds that support your arches in just the right way for your feet. Each person's feet need differing amounts of support in the arch area. Also, are your shoes nice and flexible at the ball of the foot area? Some like stiffer shoes, whereas I do better with flexible shoes. Keep close track of what days your feet hurt more, and then think back a day or two and try to remember what you were doing or what shoes you were wearing. Sometimes it takes a day or two (or three) for pain to show up after you've done the wrong thing to your feet. It can be very frustrating to figure out what is causing the feet to hurt, but you just have to pay very close attention. As others mentioned, you'll want to read the Heel Pain Book thoroughly.
Hope to hear you are feeling better soon!
Ellen J.

Re: PF diagnosis, no insurance, cheapest treatment?

JoAnn V on 9/10/02 at 22:04 (094967)

Hi Sue, I was diagnosed a year ago, I had no Insurance and not much cash. I went to a podiatrist and he taped my foot, which helped very much to be able to walk. I went back again for a second visit and he taped it again. After that my husband taped it almost daily for about another month or so. I did some stretches, especially before getting out of bed, I iced my foot every night, and of course tried everything & read everything I could. When my arches hurt I used a arch band or ace bandage around the arch of my foot. I took 2 or 3 Ibprofin tables twice a day.... since I am a waitress and I was in pain while walking. Shoes were & still are a big problem. I did buy some birkenstock sandals which I use around the house or use like slippers. (I found them fairly inexpensive on ebay) Find a good supportive shoe to wear everyday and NEVER go bearfoot. After I got tired of tapeing my foot I bought some 'powerstep' insoles (about $30), 'superfeet' are good also.... at the same cost. I still have PF but it doesn't bother me as much anymore. Just read everything you can, especially this message board. I have not been back to the doctor since that second visit. Hope you feel better soon.

Re: If I had to pick one thing........

Ed Davis, DPM on 9/11/02 at 15:04 (095029)

If I had to pick one thing only I would obtain a pair of New Balance 1121 running shoes (or Brooks Beast/Ariel) and place a pair of Superfeet orthotics in them. http://www.superfeet.com
Ed

Re: If I had to pick one thing........

Carrie on 9/11/02 at 16:43 (095051)

I guess we all have different things, to me the one thing would be the birkenstocks and the iceing stretching , then onto things that cost more I would say the night splint and the dexamethasone treatments from my pt, in reality the birks and the dex treatments are what has saved my ass right now.

hugs
C

Re: If I had to pick one thing........

john h on 9/12/02 at 09:25 (095121)

Dr. Ed: I hope you get a commission because I ordered a pair of the Superfeet inserts (Green). As most people know I buy anything and try anything. I just thined out my drawer full of orthotics so have room for another pair. Not much to lose at only $30 plus shipping. They will have to go in my NB857 however.

Re: If I had to pick one thing........

Carole C in NOLA on 9/13/02 at 08:44 (095222)

John, let us know how they feel! I know you have tried a lot of orthotics to compare them with.

The only orthotics I've had is my soft custom orthotics in those HUGE ugly oversized men's SAS shoes to which they were fitted. They won't fit in any other shoes, and I haven't worn them since March until recently. I decided to relegate my big ugly men's leather SAS shoes to lawnmowing duty, since they seem safer than Birks or New Balance for that.

I have to admit that the orthotics really felt great when I wore them mowing the lawn during the past couple of weeks. Aaah! I don't need them all the time, but they do feel so nice. I wonder if they will have a positive effect even if I only wear them for an hour or two a week.

Anyway, this has made me feel curious about OTC orthotics which might feel pretty nice too. I could buy a nice, new, fresh pair that fit my New Balance if they are any good.

Carole C

Re: have you given any thought...

elliott on 9/13/02 at 09:01 (095223)

to trying super-thin Northwest Podiatric orthotics? Many docs agree they are one of the best out there and will fit in just about all your shoes.

[[[[[

Re: have you given any thought...

Carole C in NOLA on 9/13/02 at 14:47 (095265)

Yes, I have, and that has been in the back of my mind, so to speak. They do sound really good, and like they might just be exactly right for me. But maybe my feet are not that bad off or that unusual. I got PF from operating my recumbent bike in a stupid way that stressed my feet, rather than from stressing my feet by merely walking or doing normal things. (They ought to require licenses to operate those bikes! LOL) Anyway, maybe I could get some good out of an OTC orthotic that's 1/10th the price of NW Pod. I haven't resolved this question.

Since my PF has not been keeping me from my usual activities, and since I haven't been hurting very much, I'm kind of reluctant to shell out the kind of money that something like that might cost me. On the other hand, my custom orthotics sure felt nice when I was mowing the lawn, and afterwards. So I dunno.

Carole C

Re: If I had to pick one thing........

john h on 9/13/02 at 16:59 (095271)

better yet Carole if they do not feel good I will send them to you. Me and Suzanne wear the same size so join us if you wish.

Re: If I had to pick one thing........

Carole C in NOLA on 9/13/02 at 17:32 (095275)

Too bad, I wear a smaller size than Suzanne and you. I'm between a 39 and 40 in Birkenstocks. But thanks for the offer!

Carole C