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PF/ESWT/Stretching/Pain -- Docs help!

Posted by Mar on 10/03/02 at 17:08 (096836)

I am at week 7 after my second round of ESWT and I still have NO pain relief. I wear custom orthotics, keep walking to a bare minimum and walk very slowly when I have to walk, have increased my non-weight bearing stretching, and ice the feet twice a day. I occasionally soak my feet in warm water as it feels soothing. The pain is occasionally at a level 5 or 6 but is generally at 8 or 9 as it has been all week again. In addition my knees and legs ache too. I am getting so depressed and discouraged. Is there still hope that the ESWT will work? And is there anything else I can or should be doing? I have had severe PF for 11 months now. Any help you can offer will be appreciated. Thanks -- Mar

Re: PF/ESWT/Stretching/Pain -- Docs help!

Ellen J. on 10/04/02 at 09:58 (096867)

Hi Mar,
I hope the doctors can help you. I am not a doctor, but I found that any kind of stretching while the pain was severe actually made it worse. I waited until the pain went way down before stretching. Take this note with a huge grain of salt, as the doctors will have much better advice than I would, and may say you should continue stretching. I'm just telling you what my experience has been for my particular feet.
I hope you start to feel better soon.
Ellen J.

Re: PF/ESWT/Stretching/Pain -- Docs help!

Mar on 10/04/02 at 10:05 (096869)

Ellen --

Thanks for your input -- you may be right. I know I need to stretch before getting up in the morning, but maybe the rest of the day I shouldn;t. I'll experiment I guess -- thanks -- Mar

Re: PF/ESWT/Stretching/Pain -- Docs help!

JudyS on 10/04/02 at 13:39 (096883)

Ellen I think you're actually right-on regarding that stretching....it's very easy to overdo! The conversation about stretching has been had lots of times here as HS.com and, if I remember correctly, there was some agreement that stretching for the sake of stretching could make things worse. Rather, stretching very gently for the sake of staying as loose as possible, and for slowly loosening up the calf muscles, during healing seems to be the key.

Re: PF/ESWT/Stretching/Pain -- Docs help!

Ellen J. on 10/04/02 at 15:22 (096892)

What I discovered (when the pain was more severe) was that if I attempted to stretch a little and felt even a slight 'pulling' sensation, my feet would be worse the next day. That's when I realized I would have to wait until my feet healed up a bit before starting to do any stretching. The sensations I felt when I stretched at the wrong time were: A slight pulling, popping feeling. Similar to bugs crawling inside my feet. Since that sensation is so slight and not necessarily painful, I think many people don't think anything of it and continue to stretch. Then they end up confused as to why they are more sore the next day.
Now that my feet are mostly pain-free, I can do careful yoga and gentle non-weight bearing stretches. I continue to be extremely cautious after having a bad recurrence last march. Even after the feet are pain-free, they still have some healing to do. As Judy says, it has to be very gentle--more gentle than you think.
Ellen J.

Re: PF/ESWT/Stretching/Pain -- Docs help!

Mar on 10/05/02 at 17:46 (096943)

Well, I've stopped the stretching except before getting out of bed in the morning, and at least my knees and legs don;t ache quite as much. The feet of course are still as painful as ever. Thanks for your suggestions. I think the docs are tired of my whining and don;t know what else to say! ;-) Mar

Re: PF/ESWT/Stretching/Pain -- Docs help!

Ellen J. on 10/05/02 at 20:01 (096947)

Hi Mar,
I think Julie once mentioned that when you are in bed and in the process of waking up, you can move your feet around in circles gently in order to warm them up before the gentle stretching of the feet. You might want to ask her the specifics if you are interested. If the stretching had been causing a problem, it may take a little bit of time for your feet to start feeling better after you stop the stretching.
I sure hope you can start feeling better soon. I'll also have to follow your example and start stretching before getting out of bed since I wake up with tight calf muscles.
Ellen J.

Re: PF/ESWT/Stretching/Pain -- Docs help!

Mar on 10/06/02 at 07:09 (096968)

Yes, I have Julie's exercises and do them. I hope the feet will improve, but I doubt that the exercises or lack of them makes a difference. I only increased them on the advice of my doc about 6 weeks ago because the feet were not improving! It doesn't seem to make any difference what I do. I keep wondering if it is not PF, although the docs say it is. I don;t know. If this ESWT doesn't work, I don;t know what I'll do next... I certainly don;t want surgery, as that is what started this whole thing. Oh well, thanks again for your interest and kindness. Mar

Re: PF/ESWT/Stretching/Pain -- Docs help!

Ellen J. on 10/04/02 at 09:58 (096867)

Hi Mar,
I hope the doctors can help you. I am not a doctor, but I found that any kind of stretching while the pain was severe actually made it worse. I waited until the pain went way down before stretching. Take this note with a huge grain of salt, as the doctors will have much better advice than I would, and may say you should continue stretching. I'm just telling you what my experience has been for my particular feet.
I hope you start to feel better soon.
Ellen J.

Re: PF/ESWT/Stretching/Pain -- Docs help!

Mar on 10/04/02 at 10:05 (096869)

Ellen --

Thanks for your input -- you may be right. I know I need to stretch before getting up in the morning, but maybe the rest of the day I shouldn;t. I'll experiment I guess -- thanks -- Mar

Re: PF/ESWT/Stretching/Pain -- Docs help!

JudyS on 10/04/02 at 13:39 (096883)

Ellen I think you're actually right-on regarding that stretching....it's very easy to overdo! The conversation about stretching has been had lots of times here as HS.com and, if I remember correctly, there was some agreement that stretching for the sake of stretching could make things worse. Rather, stretching very gently for the sake of staying as loose as possible, and for slowly loosening up the calf muscles, during healing seems to be the key.

Re: PF/ESWT/Stretching/Pain -- Docs help!

Ellen J. on 10/04/02 at 15:22 (096892)

What I discovered (when the pain was more severe) was that if I attempted to stretch a little and felt even a slight 'pulling' sensation, my feet would be worse the next day. That's when I realized I would have to wait until my feet healed up a bit before starting to do any stretching. The sensations I felt when I stretched at the wrong time were: A slight pulling, popping feeling. Similar to bugs crawling inside my feet. Since that sensation is so slight and not necessarily painful, I think many people don't think anything of it and continue to stretch. Then they end up confused as to why they are more sore the next day.
Now that my feet are mostly pain-free, I can do careful yoga and gentle non-weight bearing stretches. I continue to be extremely cautious after having a bad recurrence last march. Even after the feet are pain-free, they still have some healing to do. As Judy says, it has to be very gentle--more gentle than you think.
Ellen J.

Re: PF/ESWT/Stretching/Pain -- Docs help!

Mar on 10/05/02 at 17:46 (096943)

Well, I've stopped the stretching except before getting out of bed in the morning, and at least my knees and legs don;t ache quite as much. The feet of course are still as painful as ever. Thanks for your suggestions. I think the docs are tired of my whining and don;t know what else to say! ;-) Mar

Re: PF/ESWT/Stretching/Pain -- Docs help!

Ellen J. on 10/05/02 at 20:01 (096947)

Hi Mar,
I think Julie once mentioned that when you are in bed and in the process of waking up, you can move your feet around in circles gently in order to warm them up before the gentle stretching of the feet. You might want to ask her the specifics if you are interested. If the stretching had been causing a problem, it may take a little bit of time for your feet to start feeling better after you stop the stretching.
I sure hope you can start feeling better soon. I'll also have to follow your example and start stretching before getting out of bed since I wake up with tight calf muscles.
Ellen J.

Re: PF/ESWT/Stretching/Pain -- Docs help!

Mar on 10/06/02 at 07:09 (096968)

Yes, I have Julie's exercises and do them. I hope the feet will improve, but I doubt that the exercises or lack of them makes a difference. I only increased them on the advice of my doc about 6 weeks ago because the feet were not improving! It doesn't seem to make any difference what I do. I keep wondering if it is not PF, although the docs say it is. I don;t know. If this ESWT doesn't work, I don;t know what I'll do next... I certainly don;t want surgery, as that is what started this whole thing. Oh well, thanks again for your interest and kindness. Mar