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Success?

Posted by JudyS on 9/30/02 at 10:40 (096518)

Hi all -
John h asked me a question, yesterday I think, about the status of my feet given that I've been doing this interim job for a couple of months now.

With his question I realized a couple of things. One, I actually have days when I don't think about my feet at all (!) and, two, in spite of the fact that I'm spending hours on concrete, my feet haven't taken the beating we might expect.

When I realized that I'd have to be walking on concrete all day I was pretty worried. For the first couple of weeks I had some seriously tired and achy feet but I suspect that anyone would have given the change in circumstances.

I've been wearing either Josef Siebel, Clarks or Reebok cross-trainers. One day, just one, I actually wore penny loafers. And one day, just one, I actually wore dressy/higher heels (sorry, the 'girl' in me just leaked out for a moment....). And I use no orthotics at all. I'm still convinced that they gave me my 'other' foot tendonitis.

I stretch/warm up my feet and ankles for 10-15 minutes every day before I get up. I continue with weight training 3 times a week - I can really feel the results of that in my legs which in turn takes the pressure off my feet and ankles.

The worst of my two feet still gets achy or painful twinges a few times a day but it's nothing I can't deal with. Both feet still get occasional heel pain but, again, it's nothing I can't deal with - now that I know how how!

I can function on these concrete floors all day and I can function at home all day.

The last frontier for me will be running, but, as I told John, I'm no longer certain I want to. I'm beginning to bond with my stationary bike! And the reality of the damage that running can cause is beginning to seep in to my reluctant brain.

So, after four and a half years, I think I'm healed - according to most standards. Having said that, I also think I will never take my foot status for granted. As far as I'm concerned, my feet will always need my attention.

Those four and a half years included over a year of denial and continued physical activity coupled with not following doctor's orders, about six months of sitting in my recliner and being depressed, and about 2.5 years of progressive, positive decision-making and work. I found this site first, I developed my own treatment program based on a combination of traditional treatments and advice here, I did several months of deep-tissue massage, I did two ESWT treatments, and, most of all, I stayed consistent with self-care.

What I wouldn't do again: denial for starters ! and I wouldn't; stay 100% active, stay 100% resting, over-stretch, use any kind of brace or cast, or use orthotics until I'd given other methodologies consistent tries first.

Last, we all know that the PF God frowns upon this kind of optimism so, please, offer up all your old orthotics in sacrifice so that he won't arbitrarily zap my feet in to sudden PF hell!

Re: Success?

Carole C in NOLA on 9/30/02 at 12:14 (096521)

Judy, first of all congratulations! It's wonderful to hear such good news. It sounds like you have indeed been succesful in your recovery from PF. :)

Even though I'm mostly recovered I can't imagine spending all day on concrete and not minding it. I lost my keys at SAMS club during my move, and spending an hour in that concrete-floored warehouse had me nearly in tears. But you are even WORKING on concrete, which is orders of magnitude worse. So, I hearby pronounce you (drumroll) HEALED.

I have a question. You said, 'I continue with weight training 3 times a week - I can really feel the results of that in my legs which in turn takes the pressure off my feet and ankles.' Could you talk more about that? I don't understand. Since like most of us I'd love to take the pressure off my own feet and ankles, it interests me. Thanks!

Carole C

Re: Success?

Janet F on 9/30/02 at 12:32 (096525)

Judy,

It is wonderful to hear of a person that may be licking PF.

I have a couple of questions for you, if you don't mind.

I have recently been diagnosed with PF. I have heel pain and stiffness and pain upon first walking from a sitting or laying position. The more I walk the pain subsides but is never completely gone.

I have not had a cortisone shot because I am afraid of the pain.

So far I do the 'Julie' excersises; POD taped my foot with a foam piece under my arch (I have high arches) and I wear a night splint (new this week).

Did you ever have cortisone shots or wear the night splint? Thanks and I hope you continue to feel good...

Re: Success?

Suzanne D on 9/30/02 at 15:45 (096539)

Judy, I would call that success, indeed! I am very happy for you. Thanks for sharing your good news with us! That will encourage many, no doubt. It encourages me as we will be moving from my nice old school building with wooden floors to a new one with concrete and tile at the end of December.

And are you enjoying your new job?

I, too, would be interested in learning more about your weight training.

Thanks for posting your success story!
Suzanne :-)

Re: Success?

JudyS on 9/30/02 at 19:30 (096551)

Hi Carole - glad you're not having to float around New Orleans!
My weight workout includes about four or five exercises for the legs. Because my lower legs have become significantly stronger, I can actually feel them doing much more of the work necessary to keep me in alignment and to literally draw pressure off the foot area. I know that if I can feel, say my calf muscles, do their job, then I am also feeling my feet not have to do as much. My foot muscles/tendons don't seem to have to be doing as much to push my weight from one step to the next.

I know I'm not explaining it well and I'm sorry about that.....but it's all in actually feeling the leg muscles do a far better job than they were - it kinda puts a spring in your step - literally!

Re: Success?

JudyS on 9/30/02 at 19:41 (096552)

Janet - you're heel pain symptoms are classic - you'd probably benefit a great deal from reading this website's heel pain book - it's full of good information.

You might want to try gently moving, stretching and massaging your foot before you get out of bed - that will go a long way in reducing your initial pain when you get up. My understanding is that much damage is done to already-inflammed fascia when we first get up because the inflamed tendon has stiffened through the night. That's why your doc has recommended the night splint. Many folks here have benefited from nite splints and I hope they chime in here with their experiences for you. I did use a nite splint for a while but, because my foot 'fought' it all night, I ended up with a different tendonitis.
I also did get several cortisone shots. Some folks here benefited from them also, but I did not. I think I didn't because I'd let my inflammation get way too far out of control by the time I had the shots.

If the 'Julie' exercises are what I think they are, knowing Julie, I'd say you couldn't be doing any that are better. You might want to add some icing a few times a day, 15-20 minutes - and remember not to get up on your sore foot for another 10 minutes or so after you've iced. There are some great freezable ice wraps at most drug stores that are extrememly easy and convenient to use. You might also want to add some ibuprofen on a regular basis to help with the inflammation.

The real key, I think, is consistency coupled with patience. Easy for me to say, huh? Hang in there, stay in charge.

Re: Success?

JudyS on 9/30/02 at 19:44 (096553)

Hi Suzanne - thanks for your encouragements here (wish you'd been MY elementary school teacher!).

Yes, I am enjoying my new job quite a bit but, alas, it's interim. Unless the athletic department decides to write the position as a permanent one and I can apply for it, I'll be out of there in November.

But that's OK, I love hanging around the house too!

I talked a bit more about my weight training in a reply to Carole....I imagine you've seen it by now.

Re: Success?

Carole C in NOLA on 9/30/02 at 20:30 (096555)

Super! That explains it very well. Thanks :)

Carole C

Re: Success?

Necee on 9/30/02 at 22:11 (096563)

Howdy Judy,
I sure enjoyed reading your 'success' story! I'd write more, but....its past my bedtime already, and tomorrow is another work day on concrete for me too!!

Happy trails....

Necee

Re: Success?

john h on 10/01/02 at 08:42 (096585)

Like Judy I had about 3 cortisone shots over a 3 year period. They relieved the pain for several days and then it returned. I have read of people who had the shots and the pain never returned so I would not rule out trying the shot especially if you can point to a place on your foot and tell the doctor this is where it reall hurts. Night splints have helped many and I still use mine off and on and certainly should be tried. Scott I think still sells the best night spling going as it is adjustable and easy to sleep in.

Re: Success?

john h on 10/01/02 at 08:48 (096588)

Judy: I am always very reluctant to post about my success because with me it is almost sure to follow a setback will occur. I suspect that when I am doing better I generally do stupid things like climb up a ladder on my 45 degree pitch roof and work in that enviroment for 30-40 minutes. At the beach I walked 3 miles on the sidewalk two days in a row with no bad effect.

Sidebar: while walking down US 98 in Destin I came up on a little memorial in the grass by the sidewalk. A few months earlier a 15 year old girl was walking on the sidewalk when a car jumped the curbed and instantly killed her.My feet seemed a lot less important at that point.

Re: Success?

Carole C in NOLA on 9/30/02 at 12:14 (096521)

Judy, first of all congratulations! It's wonderful to hear such good news. It sounds like you have indeed been succesful in your recovery from PF. :)

Even though I'm mostly recovered I can't imagine spending all day on concrete and not minding it. I lost my keys at SAMS club during my move, and spending an hour in that concrete-floored warehouse had me nearly in tears. But you are even WORKING on concrete, which is orders of magnitude worse. So, I hearby pronounce you (drumroll) HEALED.

I have a question. You said, 'I continue with weight training 3 times a week - I can really feel the results of that in my legs which in turn takes the pressure off my feet and ankles.' Could you talk more about that? I don't understand. Since like most of us I'd love to take the pressure off my own feet and ankles, it interests me. Thanks!

Carole C

Re: Success?

Janet F on 9/30/02 at 12:32 (096525)

Judy,

It is wonderful to hear of a person that may be licking PF.

I have a couple of questions for you, if you don't mind.

I have recently been diagnosed with PF. I have heel pain and stiffness and pain upon first walking from a sitting or laying position. The more I walk the pain subsides but is never completely gone.

I have not had a cortisone shot because I am afraid of the pain.

So far I do the 'Julie' excersises; POD taped my foot with a foam piece under my arch (I have high arches) and I wear a night splint (new this week).

Did you ever have cortisone shots or wear the night splint? Thanks and I hope you continue to feel good...

Re: Success?

Suzanne D on 9/30/02 at 15:45 (096539)

Judy, I would call that success, indeed! I am very happy for you. Thanks for sharing your good news with us! That will encourage many, no doubt. It encourages me as we will be moving from my nice old school building with wooden floors to a new one with concrete and tile at the end of December.

And are you enjoying your new job?

I, too, would be interested in learning more about your weight training.

Thanks for posting your success story!
Suzanne :-)

Re: Success?

JudyS on 9/30/02 at 19:30 (096551)

Hi Carole - glad you're not having to float around New Orleans!
My weight workout includes about four or five exercises for the legs. Because my lower legs have become significantly stronger, I can actually feel them doing much more of the work necessary to keep me in alignment and to literally draw pressure off the foot area. I know that if I can feel, say my calf muscles, do their job, then I am also feeling my feet not have to do as much. My foot muscles/tendons don't seem to have to be doing as much to push my weight from one step to the next.

I know I'm not explaining it well and I'm sorry about that.....but it's all in actually feeling the leg muscles do a far better job than they were - it kinda puts a spring in your step - literally!

Re: Success?

JudyS on 9/30/02 at 19:41 (096552)

Janet - you're heel pain symptoms are classic - you'd probably benefit a great deal from reading this website's heel pain book - it's full of good information.

You might want to try gently moving, stretching and massaging your foot before you get out of bed - that will go a long way in reducing your initial pain when you get up. My understanding is that much damage is done to already-inflammed fascia when we first get up because the inflamed tendon has stiffened through the night. That's why your doc has recommended the night splint. Many folks here have benefited from nite splints and I hope they chime in here with their experiences for you. I did use a nite splint for a while but, because my foot 'fought' it all night, I ended up with a different tendonitis.
I also did get several cortisone shots. Some folks here benefited from them also, but I did not. I think I didn't because I'd let my inflammation get way too far out of control by the time I had the shots.

If the 'Julie' exercises are what I think they are, knowing Julie, I'd say you couldn't be doing any that are better. You might want to add some icing a few times a day, 15-20 minutes - and remember not to get up on your sore foot for another 10 minutes or so after you've iced. There are some great freezable ice wraps at most drug stores that are extrememly easy and convenient to use. You might also want to add some ibuprofen on a regular basis to help with the inflammation.

The real key, I think, is consistency coupled with patience. Easy for me to say, huh? Hang in there, stay in charge.

Re: Success?

JudyS on 9/30/02 at 19:44 (096553)

Hi Suzanne - thanks for your encouragements here (wish you'd been MY elementary school teacher!).

Yes, I am enjoying my new job quite a bit but, alas, it's interim. Unless the athletic department decides to write the position as a permanent one and I can apply for it, I'll be out of there in November.

But that's OK, I love hanging around the house too!

I talked a bit more about my weight training in a reply to Carole....I imagine you've seen it by now.

Re: Success?

Carole C in NOLA on 9/30/02 at 20:30 (096555)

Super! That explains it very well. Thanks :)

Carole C

Re: Success?

Necee on 9/30/02 at 22:11 (096563)

Howdy Judy,
I sure enjoyed reading your 'success' story! I'd write more, but....its past my bedtime already, and tomorrow is another work day on concrete for me too!!

Happy trails....

Necee

Re: Success?

john h on 10/01/02 at 08:42 (096585)

Like Judy I had about 3 cortisone shots over a 3 year period. They relieved the pain for several days and then it returned. I have read of people who had the shots and the pain never returned so I would not rule out trying the shot especially if you can point to a place on your foot and tell the doctor this is where it reall hurts. Night splints have helped many and I still use mine off and on and certainly should be tried. Scott I think still sells the best night spling going as it is adjustable and easy to sleep in.

Re: Success?

john h on 10/01/02 at 08:48 (096588)

Judy: I am always very reluctant to post about my success because with me it is almost sure to follow a setback will occur. I suspect that when I am doing better I generally do stupid things like climb up a ladder on my 45 degree pitch roof and work in that enviroment for 30-40 minutes. At the beach I walked 3 miles on the sidewalk two days in a row with no bad effect.

Sidebar: while walking down US 98 in Destin I came up on a little memorial in the grass by the sidewalk. A few months earlier a 15 year old girl was walking on the sidewalk when a car jumped the curbed and instantly killed her.My feet seemed a lot less important at that point.