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

for Dr. Z......an update =)

Posted by Sheila S on 11/20/02 at 05:04 (100723)

Hi again Dr. Z. Thought you'd be interested in what a met pad did for me. I went to Norman's Custom Shoes in Christiansburg, VA (recommended as the best she's ever seen by a friend's daughter who is an 'all-natural' (!) Doctor). He temporarily fitted me with a pair of pre-made arch supports with Met pads. He shaped them a bit and can work with them to some degree. They are helping tremendously!!!! The orthotics expert (also degreed in the biomechanics of the foot), 4th generation shoe-maker...etc., said that both the 3rd and 4th mets are dropped. I go back this week as he wants to make the pad thicker and bigger, but wanted me to get used to it first so I don't get sore.

He did a foot imprint (don't know proper name) and it showed heavy weight on 3 & 4 mets and almost none on 2, a little on 5 and heavy big-toe and heel pressure. I also am walking on the outsides of my feet and wearing tennis shoe heels crooked - we aren't sure if this is natural and needs to be fixed or if it's a result of avoiding pain the last 2 years. New shoes and the met pads will tell the story.......

As an aside, I went dancing for the first time, since before January's surgery, last Saturday night! Couldn't have done it before the met pad. =)

The only problem is, I don't THINK the met pad is going to help with my horseback riding, but perhaps in time with some healing it might. I'll keep you posted periodically.

Many many thanks for your help and suggestions! You help alot of people on here without pay - and I hope you realize just how valuable your assistance is! You are much appreciated and to be commended for your time and efforts.

Best wishes, Sheila

Re: for Dr. Z......an update =)

Rachael T. on 11/20/02 at 12:29 (100747)

WOW! Sheila, I was tickled to see your update - & comment that the new met/arch inserts may help you with your horseriding. I am still 'working' on that same issue as I am a professional horse trainer who has had PF now since 4/2001!!! I am much better now & can tolerate walking w/o limping or appearing 'lame' -- but I must ice, soak, stretch, & I still argue with my orthotics after being in the barn.....walking on sawdust/sand filled arena is a PF hazard as well as 'iron pressure' when riding. Let me know what takes place.....I wish you more healing! How long have you had PF?

Re: for Dr. Z......an update =)

DR. Z on 11/20/02 at 16:23 (100754)

Thanks

You made my day

Dr. Z

Re: for Dr. Z......an update =)

Sheila S on 11/20/02 at 18:04 (100758)

Hi Rachel....and fellow horse lover =) [Unless someone loves horses they cannot understand why I don't care if I can't walk, as long as I can ride. You, I bet, understand that!] I don't have PF though, I originally posted here grasping for straws, and received some very good help and questions from the doctors (especially Dr. Z, in my case). My problem is neuroma surgery, twice, and still very bad pain (if you 'search' on here and use my name, you'll see the whole story)... but I think we've narrowed the problem down to dropped metatarsal heads and pinched nerves/tendons (whatever!) rather than more neuroma's, scar tissue, etc., etc. And it seems the met pad, pushing up on the met heads, is doing great in easing or eliminating the pain and pressure when I walk.

Prior to the inserts (and I haven't tried riding with them yet, am letting my foot adjust to them and heal whatever is irritated in there), I could only take about a 2 hour ride on level ground and my foot was killing me, less if it was hilly country. So out the window went my 3 and 4 day horse-camping weekends and 8 hour trail rides..... I long to be able to do that again and pray that with time I will! Not being able to ride has added to the depression that constant pain and unsuccessful surgeries have created. It's been a long haul. But perhaps there's light at the end of the tunnel =)

Thanks for your response and best wishes to you in your recovery! By the way, I don't know much about PF or the treatment of it, but I think we all need to learn to think outside the box. I do know I've read some experts feel you should have hard inserts and some feel you should never have hard inserts. Maybe you could try something different. It was actually my chiropractor who told me he thought my problem was the met heads......
Sheila

Re: for Dr. Z......an update =)

Rachael T. on 11/20/02 at 19:44 (100762)

What premade arch supports are you now using & w/ what met. cushion? I am waaay interested....! Today was a very good day - w/ my Ariat Boots & a 3rd pair of orthotics that my pod has made for me..... (rather than my pricey Mephistos & #2 pair of orthotics; which were yesterday's choice!) I have practically no heel & arch pain - it mainly my lateral edge & OH! the soreness under my metatarsel below my pinky & next toe; I also have some ankle soreness from walking on the outside of my foot too.....so that is why I asked the name/style of your orthotic. I await & Thank you for your reply in advance. YES, you are sooo right....I have limitedly tried to ride this past summer - after pushing myself thru the spring only to find myself not improving....since 11/st, I decided to not ride, no long-lining of colts which takes its toll on my feet also - & only longe a few now & then to 'be with' the horses.....so I agree, this doesn't make me at all happy!!! But - I rationalize & say that if I do this, maybe I will heal all the way! That is my hope!

Re: for Dr. Z......an update =)

Sheila S on 11/21/02 at 05:36 (100777)

Hi Rachael,
I am using the Meltonian arch supports. These are only temporary though to see if they help, unless I am satisfied with the relief they provide - he said these may be all I need, or he could make me some for all my different shoes. They have a built-in met support. The shoe man (lol, orthotics guy, whatever you call them)... took it apart and moved the met pad over a bit so it was pushing where he wanted it. He will go back into it on Monday and build the pad a little thicker. (They don't have much pad to begin with, but he said I needed to get used to it first or else I'd get sore.) These supports are firm , but not rock hard. So I'm anxious to try them riding the horse. I think they might be firm enough to keep my foot from flexing in the stirrup, keep my mets pushed up where they belong...and maybe ease the pain riding. (Don't know when the weather will let me try them out though, I'm not a winter rider!)

My foot surgeon gave me some self-stick felt that's about a 1/4' thick and that's what I used when I went dancing (in my cowboy boots, no less!) I cut an oval in the pad and stuck it to the area right behind the 3&4 mets. and I wasn't sure, at first, that it was gonna work but I did real well. So I can use that when I'm wearing a pair of shoes the supports won't fit in, or if I need to be certain it doesn't move. But, keep in mind that these boots are #1)deertanned leather and #2) rubber soled (Naconas) - this means they stretch and are very flexable, unlike most cowboy boots.

A note about your Ariats...I bought a very good pair thinking that a firmer roper with more foot support would work better for me, I wore them 45 mins. and I thought I would die from the pain. I had to turn around and go back to camp in tears. They did not allow my foot to spread or flex at all. So I discovered, the hard way, that is VERY bad.

Have you tried working the horses in a good pair of tennis shoes with your inserts? (like New Balance, for instance)? Try it. I have the least pain in tennis shoes where my foot can spread out.

Here's what I ride in with the most success so far - tennis shoes, which I'm afraid to wear because of no heel (was thinking about buying some of the riding tennis shoes with heels); and my favorites are my Loredo Ropers with the rubber soles. They are suede, stretch alot, and flex. They feel like tennis shoes. Before next spring tho, I will buy some of the tennis shoes with heels, because I can loosen the lowest laces and give my foot room to spread with pressure (a key factor in the pain - bones smooshing together and pinching nerves or tendons or whatever!) and they have the stirrup support in the center. Keeping lowest laces loose is also something Dr. Z recommended, by the way.

You could try some of the 1/2 shoe gel inserts (to help the discomfort in the rest of your foot, there's also similar items to straighten your gait) and a stick-on met pad for the ball of foot/toe pain. ?? Very inexpensive. My doc gave me the felt. You can move it around for a bit until it feels it's in the right place, after walking on it for an hour or two it's stuck good and will stay on even after showering for up to a week or two. I can actually walk barefoot(!) with the pad stuck to my foot without pain (unless I'm going down a step, where I'm on the ball of my foot).

What have you been diagnosed with as the problem??? I don't think you've said and I'm wondering if it's neuroma.

Let me know how it goes - I'm very curious now =). Only you know your pain and discomfort, which leaves YOU trying every manner and method to see what alleviates the pain. I'm thinking you've been trying hard, firm, tight, lots of support.....when maybe you need the opposite?

Take care, Sheila

Re: for Dr. Z......an update =)

Rachael T. on 11/21/02 at 11:30 (100794)

Thanks for the info - & the name of the arch support. Yes, I prefer firm support - maybe walking on the sawdust/sand filled arena (soft or no support!) have caught up with me over the last 25 yrs or so. As for sneakers, I cannot wear them for any length of time even w/ orthotics...they allow my foot to spread out too much & that causes pain immediately & thereafter for next few days. UGH! Today, though, after finding comfort in my Ariats - (firm firm!) I had to wear my Mephisto boots - which are the boot I wear most often....they are soft & have a softer sole - but firmer & more supportive than a sneaker. I had all the tendonitis-es that you can have, I swear in my feet.....but seem to have severe PF. I have had all the conserv. treatments - plus many shots & ESWT too. Yes, I am much improved; but not all the way - & not enough for barn activities. Maybe by spring - I am hopeful! Stay in touch! What kind of horses do you have? I shall look for that answer on the social/support board! Bye now!

Re: for Dr. Z......an update =)

pala on 11/21/02 at 12:12 (100798)

where do i buy self stick felt?

Re: for Dr. Z......an update =)

Sheila S on 11/22/02 at 02:54 (100877)

You can get if from your Podiatrist. =)

Re: for Dr. Z......an update =)

Rachael T. on 11/20/02 at 12:29 (100747)

WOW! Sheila, I was tickled to see your update - & comment that the new met/arch inserts may help you with your horseriding. I am still 'working' on that same issue as I am a professional horse trainer who has had PF now since 4/2001!!! I am much better now & can tolerate walking w/o limping or appearing 'lame' -- but I must ice, soak, stretch, & I still argue with my orthotics after being in the barn.....walking on sawdust/sand filled arena is a PF hazard as well as 'iron pressure' when riding. Let me know what takes place.....I wish you more healing! How long have you had PF?

Re: for Dr. Z......an update =)

DR. Z on 11/20/02 at 16:23 (100754)

Thanks

You made my day

Dr. Z

Re: for Dr. Z......an update =)

Sheila S on 11/20/02 at 18:04 (100758)

Hi Rachel....and fellow horse lover =) [Unless someone loves horses they cannot understand why I don't care if I can't walk, as long as I can ride. You, I bet, understand that!] I don't have PF though, I originally posted here grasping for straws, and received some very good help and questions from the doctors (especially Dr. Z, in my case). My problem is neuroma surgery, twice, and still very bad pain (if you 'search' on here and use my name, you'll see the whole story)... but I think we've narrowed the problem down to dropped metatarsal heads and pinched nerves/tendons (whatever!) rather than more neuroma's, scar tissue, etc., etc. And it seems the met pad, pushing up on the met heads, is doing great in easing or eliminating the pain and pressure when I walk.

Prior to the inserts (and I haven't tried riding with them yet, am letting my foot adjust to them and heal whatever is irritated in there), I could only take about a 2 hour ride on level ground and my foot was killing me, less if it was hilly country. So out the window went my 3 and 4 day horse-camping weekends and 8 hour trail rides..... I long to be able to do that again and pray that with time I will! Not being able to ride has added to the depression that constant pain and unsuccessful surgeries have created. It's been a long haul. But perhaps there's light at the end of the tunnel =)

Thanks for your response and best wishes to you in your recovery! By the way, I don't know much about PF or the treatment of it, but I think we all need to learn to think outside the box. I do know I've read some experts feel you should have hard inserts and some feel you should never have hard inserts. Maybe you could try something different. It was actually my chiropractor who told me he thought my problem was the met heads......
Sheila

Re: for Dr. Z......an update =)

Rachael T. on 11/20/02 at 19:44 (100762)

What premade arch supports are you now using & w/ what met. cushion? I am waaay interested....! Today was a very good day - w/ my Ariat Boots & a 3rd pair of orthotics that my pod has made for me..... (rather than my pricey Mephistos & #2 pair of orthotics; which were yesterday's choice!) I have practically no heel & arch pain - it mainly my lateral edge & OH! the soreness under my metatarsel below my pinky & next toe; I also have some ankle soreness from walking on the outside of my foot too.....so that is why I asked the name/style of your orthotic. I await & Thank you for your reply in advance. YES, you are sooo right....I have limitedly tried to ride this past summer - after pushing myself thru the spring only to find myself not improving....since 11/st, I decided to not ride, no long-lining of colts which takes its toll on my feet also - & only longe a few now & then to 'be with' the horses.....so I agree, this doesn't make me at all happy!!! But - I rationalize & say that if I do this, maybe I will heal all the way! That is my hope!

Re: for Dr. Z......an update =)

Sheila S on 11/21/02 at 05:36 (100777)

Hi Rachael,
I am using the Meltonian arch supports. These are only temporary though to see if they help, unless I am satisfied with the relief they provide - he said these may be all I need, or he could make me some for all my different shoes. They have a built-in met support. The shoe man (lol, orthotics guy, whatever you call them)... took it apart and moved the met pad over a bit so it was pushing where he wanted it. He will go back into it on Monday and build the pad a little thicker. (They don't have much pad to begin with, but he said I needed to get used to it first or else I'd get sore.) These supports are firm , but not rock hard. So I'm anxious to try them riding the horse. I think they might be firm enough to keep my foot from flexing in the stirrup, keep my mets pushed up where they belong...and maybe ease the pain riding. (Don't know when the weather will let me try them out though, I'm not a winter rider!)

My foot surgeon gave me some self-stick felt that's about a 1/4' thick and that's what I used when I went dancing (in my cowboy boots, no less!) I cut an oval in the pad and stuck it to the area right behind the 3&4 mets. and I wasn't sure, at first, that it was gonna work but I did real well. So I can use that when I'm wearing a pair of shoes the supports won't fit in, or if I need to be certain it doesn't move. But, keep in mind that these boots are #1)deertanned leather and #2) rubber soled (Naconas) - this means they stretch and are very flexable, unlike most cowboy boots.

A note about your Ariats...I bought a very good pair thinking that a firmer roper with more foot support would work better for me, I wore them 45 mins. and I thought I would die from the pain. I had to turn around and go back to camp in tears. They did not allow my foot to spread or flex at all. So I discovered, the hard way, that is VERY bad.

Have you tried working the horses in a good pair of tennis shoes with your inserts? (like New Balance, for instance)? Try it. I have the least pain in tennis shoes where my foot can spread out.

Here's what I ride in with the most success so far - tennis shoes, which I'm afraid to wear because of no heel (was thinking about buying some of the riding tennis shoes with heels); and my favorites are my Loredo Ropers with the rubber soles. They are suede, stretch alot, and flex. They feel like tennis shoes. Before next spring tho, I will buy some of the tennis shoes with heels, because I can loosen the lowest laces and give my foot room to spread with pressure (a key factor in the pain - bones smooshing together and pinching nerves or tendons or whatever!) and they have the stirrup support in the center. Keeping lowest laces loose is also something Dr. Z recommended, by the way.

You could try some of the 1/2 shoe gel inserts (to help the discomfort in the rest of your foot, there's also similar items to straighten your gait) and a stick-on met pad for the ball of foot/toe pain. ?? Very inexpensive. My doc gave me the felt. You can move it around for a bit until it feels it's in the right place, after walking on it for an hour or two it's stuck good and will stay on even after showering for up to a week or two. I can actually walk barefoot(!) with the pad stuck to my foot without pain (unless I'm going down a step, where I'm on the ball of my foot).

What have you been diagnosed with as the problem??? I don't think you've said and I'm wondering if it's neuroma.

Let me know how it goes - I'm very curious now =). Only you know your pain and discomfort, which leaves YOU trying every manner and method to see what alleviates the pain. I'm thinking you've been trying hard, firm, tight, lots of support.....when maybe you need the opposite?

Take care, Sheila

Re: for Dr. Z......an update =)

Rachael T. on 11/21/02 at 11:30 (100794)

Thanks for the info - & the name of the arch support. Yes, I prefer firm support - maybe walking on the sawdust/sand filled arena (soft or no support!) have caught up with me over the last 25 yrs or so. As for sneakers, I cannot wear them for any length of time even w/ orthotics...they allow my foot to spread out too much & that causes pain immediately & thereafter for next few days. UGH! Today, though, after finding comfort in my Ariats - (firm firm!) I had to wear my Mephisto boots - which are the boot I wear most often....they are soft & have a softer sole - but firmer & more supportive than a sneaker. I had all the tendonitis-es that you can have, I swear in my feet.....but seem to have severe PF. I have had all the conserv. treatments - plus many shots & ESWT too. Yes, I am much improved; but not all the way - & not enough for barn activities. Maybe by spring - I am hopeful! Stay in touch! What kind of horses do you have? I shall look for that answer on the social/support board! Bye now!

Re: for Dr. Z......an update =)

pala on 11/21/02 at 12:12 (100798)

where do i buy self stick felt?

Re: for Dr. Z......an update =)

Sheila S on 11/22/02 at 02:54 (100877)

You can get if from your Podiatrist. =)