Home The Book Dr Articles Products Message Boards Journal Articles Search Our Surveys Surgery ESWT Dr Messages Find Good Drs video

Feeling a whole lot BETTER - see inside and post your healing stories here!

Posted by Shaira on 9/22/02 at 08:48 (095941)

I followed Carole's advice and bought 2 pairs of brand new Merrills. WOW! What a difference! I change my shoes every single day. Last night I walked for 2 hours with my DH up and down San Francisco hills and my feet didn't even ache!!! Of course, I've been training by walking home from work every day which takes 1 1/2 hours. I was so PROUD of myself (DH was proud too!).

I still have PF, I don't think that EVER goes *away* (I've had it for years and years, I've been here at this website for years off and on), but I think real healing can come IF you get at least 2 pairs of totally cushy shoes often.

I'm going to get another couple pairs in October.

The other thing is...my DH also is getting foot pain. He's different than me though, his is upper, near the ball of his foot. He says 'Oh I'm fine', but *we here* know all about foot pain. One of the things I said was 'I want you to be healthy, so we have to get you good shoes tomorrow'. He's been complaining to me that his feet ache when we walk a lot.

I know from being at this site, and having PF for years on end, that you have to take care of it immediately. There is no 'cure', but one MUST get new shoes. He hates orthotic type (i.e., with arch supports) shoes like Eccos and Merrills.

So every person has their own healing cure for this with the type of shoes they must wear. His needs are that he needs flat cushy shoes (ie, I'm thinking of Skechers). We're going to buy some TODAY. I want him WELL.

The other good thing is that I have a friend who's got PF in one foot, and I gave her my old Merrills (too flat for me) and she LOVES them! She says they totally help her! So I'm recycling as well...it just worked out that way for me.

I am feeling so much better, and the reason is because of the SHOES.

The key for me is: buy shoes OFTEN and change them OFTEN.

Re: Feeling a whole lot BETTER - see inside and post your healing stories here!

Carmen H on 9/22/02 at 10:48 (095948)

Just a suggestion...Sketchers (cheap shoes) are probably not the best choice for DH (who is DH??). I would go with New Balance or something like that...he may have metatarsalgia or sesmoiditis or something like that.
My hubby went through that for awhile.
Hope he gets better soon!

Re: Re:Great to hear your story!

Ellen J. on 9/22/02 at 10:53 (095949)

Thanks for letting us know that you are feeling better. My thoughts are that the right pair of shoes can make a HUGE difference for many of us. The challenge is finding them, and hoping your feet can withstand all the walking to stores and trying on the shoes. I've tried Merrills and thought they were nice, though a bit too high in the arch for me. Can you tell us which model you bought? I'm always up for checking out a pair that I haven't tried yet. Some Merrills fit me better than others. They make some suede mockasins (that sort of look like clogs) that have really cushy footbeds.
Can you get your friend to go to a doctor about the sore feet? I'm not a doctor but I wonder if it could be morton's neuroma?
A wild guess, but I would think a doctor would be a good idea.
Keep up the good work!
Ellen J.

Re: PS to last note...

Ellen J. on 9/22/02 at 10:56 (095950)

One more thought I had--
Your 'DH' might want to experiment with shoes that have a wider toe box area to allow plenty of room (at the sides) for the ball of foot and toes. That type of shoe might already have been tried, but it's just a thought.
Ellen

Re: A question

Pete on 9/22/02 at 11:46 (095954)

When you talk about these great shoes, do I assume you still wear orthotics with them ?

Re: What's wrong with this picture?

Carole C in NOLA on 9/22/02 at 13:00 (095960)

Plantar fasciitis is an inflammation/injury of the tissues of the foot. The idea is to let the foot heal.

To all those on the message board that post (brag?) about their unusual athletic accomplishments with PF (but that aren't healing, after years and years) I'd suggest that you think about healing and what is needed for that.

How can you POSSIBLY expect your feet to ever heal completely if they are genuinely injured, and if you continue to walk one and a half or two hours a day on them, or run ten miles, or whatever? Good shoes will help you but they can't accomplish miracles.

Common sense is probably the most important treatment of PF if you have any desire to heal completely.

Carole C

Re: What's wrong with this picture?

Dr. Z on 9/22/02 at 13:24 (095965)

I second that emotion !!. Rest and good shoe support go hand and hand. There isn't an easy way around this You have to let mother nature heal thy self.

Re: What's wrong with this picture?

Julie on 9/22/02 at 15:21 (095969)

Agreed, Carole. Shaira, I too am pleased you are better, but I'd rather see you at pain level 0 rather than 2 or 3. That's possible, I'm sure - but probably not if you keep pounding the pavements for 1 1/2 hours a day.

Shoes are certainly part of the healing picture, and a very important part at that. But they are not the whole picture. No one thing ever is.

Re: What's wrong with this picture?

elliott on 9/22/02 at 21:47 (095985)

Good point, but even if you're rightm, I think the problem is they may have to wait years and years to be 100%. That's a very long time to go without any prolonged walking, and an eternity which would just about ruin even a casual runner's career. Anyway, aren't you more interested in just who and what DH is? :-)

[[[[

Re: Acronyms

Carole C on 9/23/02 at 07:32 (096000)

DH is a commonly used acronym (online) that stands for 'Dear Husband'. DS is 'Dear Son', DD is 'Dear Daughter', DB is 'Dear Boyfriend', and so on.

Carole C

Re: Feeling a whole lot BETTER - see inside and post your healing stories here!

jfinkel on 9/23/02 at 10:22 (096009)

Gosh this is exactly what I am trying to find out. WHAT SHOES TO BUY!! It seems like a pretty expensive trial and error procedure. I never heard of Merrills. Now I can add them to my list. My husband wears SAS and he loves them, but his problems are not related to PF...

Re: What's wrong with this picture?

john h on 9/23/02 at 13:50 (096018)

Carole: Do not disagree with your post but is you have inflamed tissue on your fascia and that 'is the problem?' any weight on that foot what so ever is going to place tension on the fascia and produce further small tears. From my own personal experience I have climbed up a steep mountain mostly on rocks about 1.5 miles up and it caused no problem at all with my feet. On the other hand I have had days when the feet just started hurting for no apparent reason or cause that I could recall.

P.S. I just returned from Destin where every day I observed multiple schools of Rays of up to 50 within 10 feet of the beach. They would ocassionaly jump almost 5 feet into the air. They swam all around the bathers and I could only guess they must be feeding? In the many years I have gone to Destin I have never observed so many Rays in such large schools. What is this all about?

Re: Re:Great to hear your story!

john h on 9/23/02 at 13:55 (096020)

Ellen: I just returned from a week at the beach. One day I walked about 2 miles in the sand in Sensi shower sandals. Caused no problem but shower sandals is not the way to go because they tend to fall off. Walked short distance barefooted. No problem. Walked 3 miles on the sidewalks in my NB and inserts with no problem. Basically my feet did well at the beach and for the most part I stayed in my Birk sandals and also did all my driving in them. Other than being off my feet more than when at home and work I have no real explanation of why my feet did fine at the beach as I violated many 'PF rules'.

Re: John

Julie on 9/23/02 at 15:02 (096023)

The explanation is probably that you were enjoying yourself. Your description of your 2-mile beach walk recalls my liberating, wonderful long barefoot walk on the beach south of Madras when I was in India in January 2001. That was the turning point for me, PF-wise. I broke the rules - and my foot got better and better after that. There's no explaining these things.

Re: Re:walking in sand

Ellen J. on 9/23/02 at 15:27 (096025)

Hi John,
My guess is that the sand conforms to the feet and acts almost like natural orthotics. Sounds like a dream to be walking in sand right now--I know my feet would love it, other than stepping on the occasional sharp shell.
I imagine you had fun!
Ellen

Re: Re:walking in sand

nancy s. on 9/23/02 at 17:09 (096035)

ellen, i think you're right. i moved near a beach almost a year ago, and i can walk longer and farther on it than anywhere else (in athletic shoes, when i'm there for a real walk). also, this summer i broke the 'no barefoot' rule when on the beach -- because it Felt Good, including in the way of support. i'd wear my birks to the edge of the sand, and then take them off. i didn't take long walks barefoot, but walking down to the ocean, frolicking in the ocean, all done barefoot, didn't harm me at all. it was g-r-e-a-t! the sand really does feel like a natural orthotic, whether wet or dry.

i'll emphasize, though, that i still do not go barefoot in the house or anywhere other than on the beach, and doubt i ever will. it's not worth the risk.

nancy
p.s. welcome home, johnboy!
***

Re: Re:Great to hear your story!

Suzanne D on 9/23/02 at 17:39 (096040)

John, I'm glad you had such a nice trip and that your feet didn't bother you while at the beach!

In my latest Birkenstock catalog, Birks are compared to walking barefoot in the sand: the heel goes down, the sand moves to support the arch, and the toes spread out, gripping the sand. So according to that analogy, you were getting a similar experience to walking in Birks when you walked barefoot in the sand.

By the way, I went to another college football game Saturday to see my daughter as field commander of her band. I still didn't understand it, but I did get a different view of it as my husband and I went to the opposing side's bleachers so that he could video tape her conducting the band. If we sit on 'our side', we see the band, but her back is to us during the show.

I guess I'm hopeless when it comes to football: I kept noticing how muddy their uniforms were getting as they played (hard rain the day before) and wondering what kind of detergent they used to get the white ones clean. I don't guess anyone else was thinking of that!

Suzanne :-)

Re: Re:walking in sand/new invention!

Ellen J. on 9/23/02 at 21:01 (096049)

I think we now need a new type of shoe which has a layer of sand in the footbed which is covered with something soft and flexible which would allow the sand to conform to the individual foot as it walked.
Any engineers out there who want to try creating it? I'm mostly joking but in the back of my mind I keep thinking that something like that might be a good idea!
Ellen J.

Re: Re:Great to hear your story!

Andrue on 9/24/02 at 13:24 (096111)

I suspect there is a link with Work as well. When I was on holiday my PF appeared to vanish completely. Even though I walked for nearly an hour around a shopping centre wearing nothing but normal shoes (no inserts) I didn't have any problems.

Yet within an hour of arriving at work my feet had detiorated. Admittedly these days when they're bad they're only 1 or 2 on the 'out of ten' pain scale but since I have a desk job (I'm a computer programmer) how can this aggravate my feet?

Perhaps I/we tend to tense up when at work? I know that if I have a cold my nose will be less congested while at Work and this would fit in with an increase in tension.

Re: Re:walking in sand

JudyS on 9/30/02 at 09:46 (096515)

Ellen, John, I'm remembering that I did a 'beach walk' about a year and a half ago barefoot. I was still suffering enough heel pain that it was not a smart decision but I was feeling rebellious. Well - I walked for about an hour and had zero soreness! I ended up attributing that to the fact that I walked at water's edge - and the water was chilly. Perhaps that chilliness kept my inflammation in check?

Re: Re:walking in sand

john h on 10/01/02 at 08:22 (096582)

Judy: I did not walk in the sand for an hour but about a mile and half. I walked on the hard flat sand, in the regular sand and on the edge of the water and sometimes in it. It caused no problem. Walking in flip flops in the sand does not get it. I tried that for about 50 feet. Scott made a telling comment some weeks ago when he was saying that everything is different while you are at the beach. You are resting more, less daily pressures, your shoes are probably different so it is not supprising that some people do well at the beach. The only downside to all this was I gained 4 lbs.

Re: Re:walking in sand

Ellen J. on 10/01/02 at 21:15 (096657)

My thoughts are that the soft sand supported your arches naturally--the way nature intended.
Too bad we don't have sand everywhere! (well, at least on walking paths).
Ellen

Re: Feeling a whole lot BETTER - see inside and post your healing stories here!

Carmen H on 9/22/02 at 10:48 (095948)

Just a suggestion...Sketchers (cheap shoes) are probably not the best choice for DH (who is DH??). I would go with New Balance or something like that...he may have metatarsalgia or sesmoiditis or something like that.
My hubby went through that for awhile.
Hope he gets better soon!

Re: Re:Great to hear your story!

Ellen J. on 9/22/02 at 10:53 (095949)

Thanks for letting us know that you are feeling better. My thoughts are that the right pair of shoes can make a HUGE difference for many of us. The challenge is finding them, and hoping your feet can withstand all the walking to stores and trying on the shoes. I've tried Merrills and thought they were nice, though a bit too high in the arch for me. Can you tell us which model you bought? I'm always up for checking out a pair that I haven't tried yet. Some Merrills fit me better than others. They make some suede mockasins (that sort of look like clogs) that have really cushy footbeds.
Can you get your friend to go to a doctor about the sore feet? I'm not a doctor but I wonder if it could be morton's neuroma?
A wild guess, but I would think a doctor would be a good idea.
Keep up the good work!
Ellen J.

Re: PS to last note...

Ellen J. on 9/22/02 at 10:56 (095950)

One more thought I had--
Your 'DH' might want to experiment with shoes that have a wider toe box area to allow plenty of room (at the sides) for the ball of foot and toes. That type of shoe might already have been tried, but it's just a thought.
Ellen

Re: A question

Pete on 9/22/02 at 11:46 (095954)

When you talk about these great shoes, do I assume you still wear orthotics with them ?

Re: What's wrong with this picture?

Carole C in NOLA on 9/22/02 at 13:00 (095960)

Plantar fasciitis is an inflammation/injury of the tissues of the foot. The idea is to let the foot heal.

To all those on the message board that post (brag?) about their unusual athletic accomplishments with PF (but that aren't healing, after years and years) I'd suggest that you think about healing and what is needed for that.

How can you POSSIBLY expect your feet to ever heal completely if they are genuinely injured, and if you continue to walk one and a half or two hours a day on them, or run ten miles, or whatever? Good shoes will help you but they can't accomplish miracles.

Common sense is probably the most important treatment of PF if you have any desire to heal completely.

Carole C

Re: What's wrong with this picture?

Dr. Z on 9/22/02 at 13:24 (095965)

I second that emotion !!. Rest and good shoe support go hand and hand. There isn't an easy way around this You have to let mother nature heal thy self.

Re: What's wrong with this picture?

Julie on 9/22/02 at 15:21 (095969)

Agreed, Carole. Shaira, I too am pleased you are better, but I'd rather see you at pain level 0 rather than 2 or 3. That's possible, I'm sure - but probably not if you keep pounding the pavements for 1 1/2 hours a day.

Shoes are certainly part of the healing picture, and a very important part at that. But they are not the whole picture. No one thing ever is.

Re: What's wrong with this picture?

elliott on 9/22/02 at 21:47 (095985)

Good point, but even if you're rightm, I think the problem is they may have to wait years and years to be 100%. That's a very long time to go without any prolonged walking, and an eternity which would just about ruin even a casual runner's career. Anyway, aren't you more interested in just who and what DH is? :-)

[[[[

Re: Acronyms

Carole C on 9/23/02 at 07:32 (096000)

DH is a commonly used acronym (online) that stands for 'Dear Husband'. DS is 'Dear Son', DD is 'Dear Daughter', DB is 'Dear Boyfriend', and so on.

Carole C

Re: Feeling a whole lot BETTER - see inside and post your healing stories here!

jfinkel on 9/23/02 at 10:22 (096009)

Gosh this is exactly what I am trying to find out. WHAT SHOES TO BUY!! It seems like a pretty expensive trial and error procedure. I never heard of Merrills. Now I can add them to my list. My husband wears SAS and he loves them, but his problems are not related to PF...

Re: What's wrong with this picture?

john h on 9/23/02 at 13:50 (096018)

Carole: Do not disagree with your post but is you have inflamed tissue on your fascia and that 'is the problem?' any weight on that foot what so ever is going to place tension on the fascia and produce further small tears. From my own personal experience I have climbed up a steep mountain mostly on rocks about 1.5 miles up and it caused no problem at all with my feet. On the other hand I have had days when the feet just started hurting for no apparent reason or cause that I could recall.

P.S. I just returned from Destin where every day I observed multiple schools of Rays of up to 50 within 10 feet of the beach. They would ocassionaly jump almost 5 feet into the air. They swam all around the bathers and I could only guess they must be feeding? In the many years I have gone to Destin I have never observed so many Rays in such large schools. What is this all about?

Re: Re:Great to hear your story!

john h on 9/23/02 at 13:55 (096020)

Ellen: I just returned from a week at the beach. One day I walked about 2 miles in the sand in Sensi shower sandals. Caused no problem but shower sandals is not the way to go because they tend to fall off. Walked short distance barefooted. No problem. Walked 3 miles on the sidewalks in my NB and inserts with no problem. Basically my feet did well at the beach and for the most part I stayed in my Birk sandals and also did all my driving in them. Other than being off my feet more than when at home and work I have no real explanation of why my feet did fine at the beach as I violated many 'PF rules'.

Re: John

Julie on 9/23/02 at 15:02 (096023)

The explanation is probably that you were enjoying yourself. Your description of your 2-mile beach walk recalls my liberating, wonderful long barefoot walk on the beach south of Madras when I was in India in January 2001. That was the turning point for me, PF-wise. I broke the rules - and my foot got better and better after that. There's no explaining these things.

Re: Re:walking in sand

Ellen J. on 9/23/02 at 15:27 (096025)

Hi John,
My guess is that the sand conforms to the feet and acts almost like natural orthotics. Sounds like a dream to be walking in sand right now--I know my feet would love it, other than stepping on the occasional sharp shell.
I imagine you had fun!
Ellen

Re: Re:walking in sand

nancy s. on 9/23/02 at 17:09 (096035)

ellen, i think you're right. i moved near a beach almost a year ago, and i can walk longer and farther on it than anywhere else (in athletic shoes, when i'm there for a real walk). also, this summer i broke the 'no barefoot' rule when on the beach -- because it Felt Good, including in the way of support. i'd wear my birks to the edge of the sand, and then take them off. i didn't take long walks barefoot, but walking down to the ocean, frolicking in the ocean, all done barefoot, didn't harm me at all. it was g-r-e-a-t! the sand really does feel like a natural orthotic, whether wet or dry.

i'll emphasize, though, that i still do not go barefoot in the house or anywhere other than on the beach, and doubt i ever will. it's not worth the risk.

nancy
p.s. welcome home, johnboy!
***

Re: Re:Great to hear your story!

Suzanne D on 9/23/02 at 17:39 (096040)

John, I'm glad you had such a nice trip and that your feet didn't bother you while at the beach!

In my latest Birkenstock catalog, Birks are compared to walking barefoot in the sand: the heel goes down, the sand moves to support the arch, and the toes spread out, gripping the sand. So according to that analogy, you were getting a similar experience to walking in Birks when you walked barefoot in the sand.

By the way, I went to another college football game Saturday to see my daughter as field commander of her band. I still didn't understand it, but I did get a different view of it as my husband and I went to the opposing side's bleachers so that he could video tape her conducting the band. If we sit on 'our side', we see the band, but her back is to us during the show.

I guess I'm hopeless when it comes to football: I kept noticing how muddy their uniforms were getting as they played (hard rain the day before) and wondering what kind of detergent they used to get the white ones clean. I don't guess anyone else was thinking of that!

Suzanne :-)

Re: Re:walking in sand/new invention!

Ellen J. on 9/23/02 at 21:01 (096049)

I think we now need a new type of shoe which has a layer of sand in the footbed which is covered with something soft and flexible which would allow the sand to conform to the individual foot as it walked.
Any engineers out there who want to try creating it? I'm mostly joking but in the back of my mind I keep thinking that something like that might be a good idea!
Ellen J.

Re: Re:Great to hear your story!

Andrue on 9/24/02 at 13:24 (096111)

I suspect there is a link with Work as well. When I was on holiday my PF appeared to vanish completely. Even though I walked for nearly an hour around a shopping centre wearing nothing but normal shoes (no inserts) I didn't have any problems.

Yet within an hour of arriving at work my feet had detiorated. Admittedly these days when they're bad they're only 1 or 2 on the 'out of ten' pain scale but since I have a desk job (I'm a computer programmer) how can this aggravate my feet?

Perhaps I/we tend to tense up when at work? I know that if I have a cold my nose will be less congested while at Work and this would fit in with an increase in tension.

Re: Re:walking in sand

JudyS on 9/30/02 at 09:46 (096515)

Ellen, John, I'm remembering that I did a 'beach walk' about a year and a half ago barefoot. I was still suffering enough heel pain that it was not a smart decision but I was feeling rebellious. Well - I walked for about an hour and had zero soreness! I ended up attributing that to the fact that I walked at water's edge - and the water was chilly. Perhaps that chilliness kept my inflammation in check?

Re: Re:walking in sand

john h on 10/01/02 at 08:22 (096582)

Judy: I did not walk in the sand for an hour but about a mile and half. I walked on the hard flat sand, in the regular sand and on the edge of the water and sometimes in it. It caused no problem. Walking in flip flops in the sand does not get it. I tried that for about 50 feet. Scott made a telling comment some weeks ago when he was saying that everything is different while you are at the beach. You are resting more, less daily pressures, your shoes are probably different so it is not supprising that some people do well at the beach. The only downside to all this was I gained 4 lbs.

Re: Re:walking in sand

Ellen J. on 10/01/02 at 21:15 (096657)

My thoughts are that the soft sand supported your arches naturally--the way nature intended.
Too bad we don't have sand everywhere! (well, at least on walking paths).
Ellen