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Question for Carole C...

Posted by Suzanne D on 12/28/02 at 16:47 (104181)

Hi, Carole! I hope your Christmas was merry and bright!

Knowing you are recovered from PF and successfully treating arthritis, I wanted to ask you a question: Did you/do you have very stiff feet even after the pain of PF has resolved?

I ask this because that is what has happened to me. I am extremely THANKFUL to say that it has been 3 weeks since I have even felt a little twinge of foot pain - even though I have worked many hours packing and unpacking all my school things during our move. When I did feel the small twinges, it was after a too-long shopping trip, and they resolved by the next day. I don't take that improvement lightly, believe me!

But I do have very stiff feet. Stiff in the morning or after sitting for 20 or 30 minutes, particularly when riding with the restricted movement in the vehicle.

I must add that my feet are not the only things stiff ~ my knees and my hands are, too, but not to the extent of my feet.

Early last spring I went to my family doctor to discuss my knee stiffness. My feet still had pain at that time although they were greatly improved. I asked about arthritis, and the dr. did a physical examination after which he stated that he didn't feel much 'crepidation' (I think that's the word. I do know the word 'decrepid', so I guess it's some form of that.) and told me that if the Naproxin helped (which the Pod had prescribed), then he would write a prescription with refills for that. I didn't take it regularly in the summer or fall, but I have started taking it again as it seems to help the stiffness. A warm bath in the morning helps everything.

I just wondered if this stiffness is like that last segment of the PF problem or if it is a new problem to be dealt with. Thanks for your help! I'm not trying to substitute your advice for going to the doctor, but I did want to ask if you had experienced this stiffness.

Thank you, Carole.
Suzanne :-)

Re: Question for Carole C...

Carole C in NOLA on 12/29/02 at 08:45 (104202)

Suzanne,

I am SO HAPPY to hear that you haven't had even a little twinge of foot pain in 3 weeks! What great timing with respect to the new classroom. This is wonderful!!

As for the stiffness, I think probably that will diminish in time. Meanwhile, if it was me I'd very definitely continue with gentle non-weightbearing stretching as long as there is some stiffness. Also, if the naproxin and warm baths help then these remedies might be a good idea too.

I don't feel much stiffness in my feet, but that varies from day to day. Getting older, there is some mild stiffness everywhere, but for me it's nowhere near the tightness that I felt with PF. Also, the overall stiffness that I feel doesn't seem to focus on my Achilles tendon too much, so I don't feel the as much tightness and need to stretch as I did before. Sometimes when I overdo, I feel stiffness for a few days and really do have to stretch and rest and so on.

As I was healing, the pain did go away before the stiffness did. Also, the stiffness didn't go away evenly... there would be weeks when I felt almost no stiffness, and then weeks that were not quite as perfect, and as I healed the balance of 'stiff days' to 'non-stiff days' seemed to improve.

My thoughts are that probably the stiffness you are feeling will be there for a while (especially while you are standing and teaching so much) but will eventually lessen as you heal. I think that maybe it is telling you that although you are healing and feeling well, you still need to pay attention to your feet and apply conservative treatments when they seem to be neeeded.

Crepidation is a sort of crackling in the joints that doctors can hear with their stethescope or feel when they move your joints, and it is sometimes a sign of arthritis. But, you can still have mild arthritis without detectable crepidation.

There are many types of arthritis, the most common of which seem to be osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Most arthritis medications treat the symptoms of arthritis, and do not actually slow the disease, except in the case of certain medications for rheumatoid arthritis (which is a serious systemic disease, and your doctor is probably watching out for it and has decided you don't have it or don't have it badly enough to warrant using these very powerful medications). My doctor simply treats my osteoarthritis with Celebrex, for the pain and swelling. Naproxin also treats the pain and swelling from most kinds of arthritis and it also helps with the symptoms of PF.

I hope this helps! If my rambling above didn't answer your questions let me know.

Carole C

Re: P.S.

Carole C in NOLA on 12/29/02 at 09:20 (104203)

P.S.

Yesterday Frank and I went antique shopping all up and down Magazine Street in New Orleans. This street is a real 'antique wonderland', like being in a different world! In more than one store, many of the finest antiques were up an extra-long, steep flight of stairs and these stairs were very difficult for me. Although I can and do climb stairs, I do not often climb this many stairs (due to the arthritis in my knees and my overweight, not my feet).

Though most of the antiques we saw were not anywhere near my price range, even just seeing such beautiful and artistically crafted items is very rewarding and I am so glad I could get up those stairs. It was especially delightful to browse through these beautiful things with Frank, who I enjoy being with so much.

Today my knees are very painful and visibly swollen, and I felt some minor twinges and stiffness in my feet, so I'm wearing my Birkenstocks around the house rather than going barefoot today. I've also been doing some gentle stretching, and rotating of my feet before standing.

My knee pain and stiffness is a lot worse than my foot pain and stiffness at present, but when my foot pain and stiffness increases I take it as a warning sign and treat it as though it was PF stiffness. I figure it can't do any harm.

Carole C

Re: Thank you so much, Carole!

Suzanne D on 12/29/02 at 13:16 (104220)

I do appreciate your taking the time to give me such a thorough answer, Carole. I believe you are right that the stiffness in part is still related to the PF and is a good warning to not let up my defenses! I have not gone one step in my bare feet in the 16 months since I found this site, and I routinely do the stretches. I haven't tried to wear any shoes other than Birks or the SAS shoes with Superfeet inserts or my boots when it snows with the Birk inserts (since the Superfeet don't fit in them.)

The other night I dreamed I walked barefoot for 4 steps and then came to the computer and wrote to you all about my success! Whew! I guess that is a good indicator of how much all the PF 'stuff' gets to a person after a while! :-)

Since your pain went away before the stiffness did, that helps me to believe this might happen to me. Also, it makes sense that the stiffness could come and go since the pain was that way, too. My, one must certainly be diligent with this ailment!

Once again, thank you for answering my questions.

Suzanne :-)

Re: P.S.

Suzanne D on 12/29/02 at 13:24 (104221)

What fun, Carole! And how nice that you were able to climb those steep steps and enjoy the time with Frank. I, too. love browsing and just looking at beautiful things. It doesn't matter that I can't buy them; it brings pleasure just to enjoy seeing them. This is doubled if you can go with someone who enjoys it as well and that you enjoy being with.

I remember an old Disney movie entitled 'So Dear to My Heart' in which the lady made beautiful quilts. There wasn't much in the way of pretty things in her home, and she was asked why she worked so hard on the quilts. She replied that 'It pleasures me to look at them'. I think that's how I feel about pretty things!

I hope your knees and feet soon recover. I'm sure they will since you are using good sense and taking precautions. When I had the twinges in my feet last, it was after a day in Brown County, Indiana, with my daughter and a friend. We had such a good time going in all the little craft shops and looking at the Christmas decorations. It was worth the foot pain later. I imagine that's how you feel today about your antique browsing!

My future son-in-law was an All-American cross country runner in college, and in his first year of teaching and assistant coaching in the sport. He saw me stretching last week and said they have the runners 'spell out their ABC's' with their feet. They rotate them, pretending to write the lowercase alphabet with their feet. He said this way, they make sure they are rotating and stretching enough and in enough different directions. I guess with my teaching first grade, that sort of appealed to me!

Take care!
Suzanne :-)

Re: P.S.

Carole C in NOLA on 12/30/02 at 06:36 (104262)

That 'spelling out one's ABC's' with one's feet sounds like a great thing to do, that might be very helpful in PF. Thanks for mentioning it.

Going to those craft stores sounds like so much fun! I know what you mean about it being worth the pain later. I felt that way about the antique stores, even though I usually do try to be more careful. Frank, who has never had heel pain and who is much more physically capable than me, mentioned that he has felt like his joints were stiff and 'cracking and popping' a lot since we went antiquing. It's nice to date someone who is also old enough to understand such things.

Yesterday Frank wanted to take me to the French Market in the French Quarter. The French Market, which was originally just an outdoor produce market, now has a section that is like a large garage sale. Although that sounded like fun, I was also dreading it because the French Quarter always means lots of walking. But, when we got there it was SO crowded (due to being a beautiful day) that we could not find a parking place anywhere at all. So, we went for a drive in the country, instead, and that was both fun and easy on the feet and knees. I do feel better after a day of resting.

Carole C

Re: You're welcome, Suzanne :)

Carole C in NOLA on 12/30/02 at 07:09 (104264)

Good! I'm glad you have not let your defenses slide quite yet. It's so tempting when the pain goes away, but the stiffness might be an indication that your feet still need 'TLC'. It's hard for your feet to heal very fast since you do have to stand a lot when you teach, but it sounds like you are making some real progress.

I know what you mean about the dreams! I once had a similar dream about walking barefoot in the sand just like Julie and writing her about it. I've been doing a lot of barefoot walking around the house in recent months, as you know, but I put that on hold as soon as I felt those twinges in my feet at the antique store. Birkenstocks in the house feel better right now. I've also returned to switching shoes from SAS to New Balance and back, and I've been trying to continue stretching too.

Part of the swelling in my knees might be water retention due to too many carbohydrates, or additional strain from weight gain in general. The holidays have been challenging to me this year when it comes to overeating and weight gain. You would not believe the absolutely delectible cheesecake in my refrigerator! So much for weight watchers (for now).

Carole C

Re: Question for Carole C...

Carole C in NOLA on 12/29/02 at 08:45 (104202)

Suzanne,

I am SO HAPPY to hear that you haven't had even a little twinge of foot pain in 3 weeks! What great timing with respect to the new classroom. This is wonderful!!

As for the stiffness, I think probably that will diminish in time. Meanwhile, if it was me I'd very definitely continue with gentle non-weightbearing stretching as long as there is some stiffness. Also, if the naproxin and warm baths help then these remedies might be a good idea too.

I don't feel much stiffness in my feet, but that varies from day to day. Getting older, there is some mild stiffness everywhere, but for me it's nowhere near the tightness that I felt with PF. Also, the overall stiffness that I feel doesn't seem to focus on my Achilles tendon too much, so I don't feel the as much tightness and need to stretch as I did before. Sometimes when I overdo, I feel stiffness for a few days and really do have to stretch and rest and so on.

As I was healing, the pain did go away before the stiffness did. Also, the stiffness didn't go away evenly... there would be weeks when I felt almost no stiffness, and then weeks that were not quite as perfect, and as I healed the balance of 'stiff days' to 'non-stiff days' seemed to improve.

My thoughts are that probably the stiffness you are feeling will be there for a while (especially while you are standing and teaching so much) but will eventually lessen as you heal. I think that maybe it is telling you that although you are healing and feeling well, you still need to pay attention to your feet and apply conservative treatments when they seem to be neeeded.

Crepidation is a sort of crackling in the joints that doctors can hear with their stethescope or feel when they move your joints, and it is sometimes a sign of arthritis. But, you can still have mild arthritis without detectable crepidation.

There are many types of arthritis, the most common of which seem to be osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Most arthritis medications treat the symptoms of arthritis, and do not actually slow the disease, except in the case of certain medications for rheumatoid arthritis (which is a serious systemic disease, and your doctor is probably watching out for it and has decided you don't have it or don't have it badly enough to warrant using these very powerful medications). My doctor simply treats my osteoarthritis with Celebrex, for the pain and swelling. Naproxin also treats the pain and swelling from most kinds of arthritis and it also helps with the symptoms of PF.

I hope this helps! If my rambling above didn't answer your questions let me know.

Carole C

Re: P.S.

Carole C in NOLA on 12/29/02 at 09:20 (104203)

P.S.

Yesterday Frank and I went antique shopping all up and down Magazine Street in New Orleans. This street is a real 'antique wonderland', like being in a different world! In more than one store, many of the finest antiques were up an extra-long, steep flight of stairs and these stairs were very difficult for me. Although I can and do climb stairs, I do not often climb this many stairs (due to the arthritis in my knees and my overweight, not my feet).

Though most of the antiques we saw were not anywhere near my price range, even just seeing such beautiful and artistically crafted items is very rewarding and I am so glad I could get up those stairs. It was especially delightful to browse through these beautiful things with Frank, who I enjoy being with so much.

Today my knees are very painful and visibly swollen, and I felt some minor twinges and stiffness in my feet, so I'm wearing my Birkenstocks around the house rather than going barefoot today. I've also been doing some gentle stretching, and rotating of my feet before standing.

My knee pain and stiffness is a lot worse than my foot pain and stiffness at present, but when my foot pain and stiffness increases I take it as a warning sign and treat it as though it was PF stiffness. I figure it can't do any harm.

Carole C

Re: Thank you so much, Carole!

Suzanne D on 12/29/02 at 13:16 (104220)

I do appreciate your taking the time to give me such a thorough answer, Carole. I believe you are right that the stiffness in part is still related to the PF and is a good warning to not let up my defenses! I have not gone one step in my bare feet in the 16 months since I found this site, and I routinely do the stretches. I haven't tried to wear any shoes other than Birks or the SAS shoes with Superfeet inserts or my boots when it snows with the Birk inserts (since the Superfeet don't fit in them.)

The other night I dreamed I walked barefoot for 4 steps and then came to the computer and wrote to you all about my success! Whew! I guess that is a good indicator of how much all the PF 'stuff' gets to a person after a while! :-)

Since your pain went away before the stiffness did, that helps me to believe this might happen to me. Also, it makes sense that the stiffness could come and go since the pain was that way, too. My, one must certainly be diligent with this ailment!

Once again, thank you for answering my questions.

Suzanne :-)

Re: P.S.

Suzanne D on 12/29/02 at 13:24 (104221)

What fun, Carole! And how nice that you were able to climb those steep steps and enjoy the time with Frank. I, too. love browsing and just looking at beautiful things. It doesn't matter that I can't buy them; it brings pleasure just to enjoy seeing them. This is doubled if you can go with someone who enjoys it as well and that you enjoy being with.

I remember an old Disney movie entitled 'So Dear to My Heart' in which the lady made beautiful quilts. There wasn't much in the way of pretty things in her home, and she was asked why she worked so hard on the quilts. She replied that 'It pleasures me to look at them'. I think that's how I feel about pretty things!

I hope your knees and feet soon recover. I'm sure they will since you are using good sense and taking precautions. When I had the twinges in my feet last, it was after a day in Brown County, Indiana, with my daughter and a friend. We had such a good time going in all the little craft shops and looking at the Christmas decorations. It was worth the foot pain later. I imagine that's how you feel today about your antique browsing!

My future son-in-law was an All-American cross country runner in college, and in his first year of teaching and assistant coaching in the sport. He saw me stretching last week and said they have the runners 'spell out their ABC's' with their feet. They rotate them, pretending to write the lowercase alphabet with their feet. He said this way, they make sure they are rotating and stretching enough and in enough different directions. I guess with my teaching first grade, that sort of appealed to me!

Take care!
Suzanne :-)

Re: P.S.

Carole C in NOLA on 12/30/02 at 06:36 (104262)

That 'spelling out one's ABC's' with one's feet sounds like a great thing to do, that might be very helpful in PF. Thanks for mentioning it.

Going to those craft stores sounds like so much fun! I know what you mean about it being worth the pain later. I felt that way about the antique stores, even though I usually do try to be more careful. Frank, who has never had heel pain and who is much more physically capable than me, mentioned that he has felt like his joints were stiff and 'cracking and popping' a lot since we went antiquing. It's nice to date someone who is also old enough to understand such things.

Yesterday Frank wanted to take me to the French Market in the French Quarter. The French Market, which was originally just an outdoor produce market, now has a section that is like a large garage sale. Although that sounded like fun, I was also dreading it because the French Quarter always means lots of walking. But, when we got there it was SO crowded (due to being a beautiful day) that we could not find a parking place anywhere at all. So, we went for a drive in the country, instead, and that was both fun and easy on the feet and knees. I do feel better after a day of resting.

Carole C

Re: You're welcome, Suzanne :)

Carole C in NOLA on 12/30/02 at 07:09 (104264)

Good! I'm glad you have not let your defenses slide quite yet. It's so tempting when the pain goes away, but the stiffness might be an indication that your feet still need 'TLC'. It's hard for your feet to heal very fast since you do have to stand a lot when you teach, but it sounds like you are making some real progress.

I know what you mean about the dreams! I once had a similar dream about walking barefoot in the sand just like Julie and writing her about it. I've been doing a lot of barefoot walking around the house in recent months, as you know, but I put that on hold as soon as I felt those twinges in my feet at the antique store. Birkenstocks in the house feel better right now. I've also returned to switching shoes from SAS to New Balance and back, and I've been trying to continue stretching too.

Part of the swelling in my knees might be water retention due to too many carbohydrates, or additional strain from weight gain in general. The holidays have been challenging to me this year when it comes to overeating and weight gain. You would not believe the absolutely delectible cheesecake in my refrigerator! So much for weight watchers (for now).

Carole C