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re; heel spur?????????

Posted by Judi N on 1/31/03 at 17:17 (107510)

Hello,
I JUST went to my Dr. because of foot pain that has been getting worse over the past 3 months.He said I have a heel spur and I need to stay off my feet, lose weight and wear comfortable shoes.The pain is on the inside of my foot near the front of my heel. I don't think it is a spur. At times the pain is excruciating.I found this site by typing in heel spur. It does sound like what I have (planter facititas). I have swelling in the area as well. How do I tell my Dr. I think he has the wrong diagnosis?

Re: re; heel spur?????????

Carole C in NOLA on 1/31/03 at 18:21 (107519)

Judi,

I am not a foot doctor, but until one jumps in, I think I can answer your question. I had plantar fasciitis last year. Your symptoms do sound a lot like plantar fasciitis ('PF'). PF is a very painful condition, and actually it can cause heel spurs.

From what the doctors say, heel spurs aren't painful themselves; plantar fasciitis is. But sometimes people say their pain is due to having heel spurs because heel spurs show on an x-ray and help the doctor in diagnosing plantar fasciitis.

So, the good news is that your doctor doesn't have the wrong diagnosis. The bad news is that PF is painful and it takes a long time to get over it. A good way to start is reading the free heel pain book that is on this website, and trying some of the non-surgical treatments like gentle non-weightbearing stretching, icing, rest, staying off your feet, and never going barefoot for now.

Come back to the message board often and ask any questions you have! most of the people here are either foot professionals or they have had PF.

Carole C

Re: re; heel spur?????????

Judi N on 1/31/03 at 20:07 (107536)

Thanks Carol,
I am a bit confused by what my Dr. said. I read here that arch support and a 1' heel on the shoe is best. My Dr. said that no arch support is needed and a cheap shoe with a cusion sole is best. no heel.
I asked if it was caused by the support in the foot stretching or weakening and he said No, I had a calcium deposit(heel Spur)caused from the fat layer dying and calcifying due to lack of oxygen.
At any rate, the only reason I gained the weight is because I have so much foot pain, who wants to walk around?
I will keep reading and I'll look at the book. Thanks again, Judi

Re: re; heel spur?????????

nancy s. on 1/31/03 at 20:16 (107538)

hi judi,

no arch support and a cheap shoe is a recipe for continuing disaster. your feet need help, and they won't get it with no arch support and cheap shoes. i'm not sure your doc is up to date on treatment of pf. very good idea to read scott's heel pain book, and keep posting to the boards if you have questions.

nancy
(not a doc)
.

Re: re; heel spur?????????

Judi N on 1/31/03 at 20:54 (107545)

Thanks Nancy:
Thats what I thought ! I had a pair of schols arch supports that helped for awhile. I also found that an elastic tensor bandage worked well. The Dr. told me not to use them. Just to get a cheap pair of shoes and replace them when the cushion in the heel flattened out.
I like the tensor bandage since it relieved my pain. I don't know if I should use it.
All the Dr. did was feel my foot and said pain pills won't help. I am on my feet all day long. At least I work from home and bought a couple of bar stools to sit on while I work.I make candles. soaps and bath/body products and when I am getting an order out, I can be on my feet for 12 or more hrs.
my Dr. just may not know much about this condition. Judi

Re: re; heel spur?????????

Carole C in NOLA on 1/31/03 at 22:58 (107567)

You said that your Dr. Scholl's arch supports helped for a while, so I am thinking that probably they aren't helping any more. Another idea to try might be Birkenstock shoes. The Arizona or Boston models of Birkenstocks seem to be especially helpful to a lot of us. They are pretty expensive, but many of us find them to be a lot better than Dr. Scholl's arch supports.

Think about whether there's any way to stand less when you are getting an order out. Maybe there is some way.

Carole C

Re: re; heel spur?????????

Judi N on 1/31/03 at 23:34 (107570)

That is why I bought 2 bar stools. I have one in my kitchen and one in my craft kitchen down stairs.
I do work in both areas. The problem is when I am doing clean -up.

Re: re; heel spur?????????

nancy s. on 2/01/03 at 04:16 (107574)

judi, carole is right: you need some good pf shoes, and you need to stay in them as much as possible. have you tried the birks? some people aren't helped by them, but many many are (they saved me!). find a store that carries them -- call around, it's usually smaller specialty stores that do -- and go, even if you have to travel a bit. they are worth the try. if they don't help you, please come back and ask here -- lots of people with lots of pf experience have different brands to recommend. your feet need constant support, so make this a top priority; and don't ever go barefoot.

another top priority for you has to be this: find a new foot doc! it's clear that yours does not know how to treat pf. it doesn't sound as though he knows the first thing about it, in fact. you need a doc to really spend some time with you, make sure you have been diagnosed correctly, and come up with a comprehensive treatment plan for you. this isn't something to fool around with -- it can become chronic if it goes on too long untreated or mistreated.

i don't know what a tensor bandage is. is it like an elastic brace, that goes around your entire foot, top and bottom, and provides some support for the arch? i have used similar braces in the past, and so have many other people here; they can help as an interim measure. i would be wearing those all the time until you can find proper shoes and see a competent foot doctor. but please don't wait: start looking to try birks and to find another doctor right away.

nancy
.

Re: re; heel spur?????????

Julie on 2/01/03 at 04:20 (107575)

Judi

The terms 'heel spur' and 'plantar fasciitis' are still used interchangeably by some doctors, even though it has been a long time since heel spurs were thought to cause heel pain. Your doctor (whom I take to be a general practitioner) is obviously not up to date, and doesn't have a great deal of knowledge about this common, painful condition. He can't be blamed for this: he is a general practitioner, so he knows a little bit about a lot of things, but what you need is a foot specialist who knows a lot about feet and plantar fasciitis.

Ask to be referred to a podiatrist. Hopefully you will see one who will give you a thorough examination, which should include watching you and possibly videoing you while you walk to determine if abnormal biomechanics are causing your problem. Once s/he has diagnosed the problem and its cause, and suggested an appropriate, comprehensive treatment programme, you should notice improvement.

Standing as much as you do is a real problem, because you are re-injuring your plantar fascia, so think up every strategy you can to stay off your feet as much as possible.

Your arches do need support (arch support is the function of the plantar fascia, which now can't give the needed support because it is injured). Do some research on shoes: cushioning isn't that important, support and stability are. A podiatrist will be able to help you with this (and if abnormal biomechanics are your problem, s/he may prescribe custom orthotics).

I'm not surprised you found the elastic support helpful, and would suggest you continue using it, certainly until you've seen a podiatrist.
You may also find taping helpful (I did, and so have many others). There are instructions and illustrations in part 2 of the heel pain book.

Gentle exercise (not aggressive stretching) will help you to maintain and improve range of motion in your feet and ankles. If you click on the word yoga here you'll be taken to a past post of mine that describes simple exercises that many have found helpful.

But the most important thing is to see a foot specialist for a proper diagnosis and advice on treatment.

Re: re; heel spur?????????

Suzanne D on 2/01/03 at 09:45 (107610)

You have been given some very wise advise here, Judi. I wanted to also point out to you two threads down on this board: 'Question for a podiatrist'. In this thread you will find mentioned SAS as well as Birkenstock shoes. Those are the two brands of shoes which have helped me so much and the only two kinds that I wear (with an orthotic in the SAS shoes).

Of course, first and foremost, you need to see a doctor (podiatrist) who understands PF and how to treat it. Please do not wear cheap, flat shoes. They will only make your problem worse and take longer to heal.

Suzanne (not a doctor) :-)

Re: re; heel spur?????????

Judi N on 2/01/03 at 15:04 (107633)

I want to thank everyone who has responded to my post. You all have been very helpful.
I was looking into Yoga. I thought it would help my feet as well as weight loss.
I know there are foot clinics in the city so I will also look into that. Mt GP is not up on this so I need to look for a Dr who is. I also will get some good shoes and arch supports.
Thanks everyone, you are great. Judi

Re: re; heel spur?????????

Julie on 2/01/03 at 15:24 (107634)

Judi, do keep reading these message boards. Reading posts by people who are going through or have been through plantar fasciitis and other foot ailments can be helpful - as you've already discovered.

Yes: do look for a podiatrist who knows about feet and the various troubles than can affect it - and knows what to do about them.

If you are looking into yoga, may I offer you a bit of advice? Make sure you find a teacher and a class suitable for you. Many classes focus on standing poses, which are not really what you need. Also, you should talk to any teacher whose class you are considering attending before you go, so that s/he knows about your problem. Yoga is usually practised barefoot, but you should always wear good athletic shoes while doing standing poses, and the teacher needs to know this.

I teach yoga, and would want any prospective student to explain her problems to me - most reputable teachers would, and no teacher should insist on bare feet if you need to wear shoes.

Re: re; heel spur?????????

Judi N on 2/01/03 at 18:10 (107643)

Hi Julie:
I will keep reading the pots, they are great and I have many more to read ! :>)
I was planning on buying a tape to practice Yoga. I live a village in norther Alberta( less than 500 people)
I don't know of any teachers here. I will keep looking !
Judi

Re: re; heel spur?????????

Judi N on 2/02/03 at 16:54 (107737)

Hi Carole,
I am not sure if we can get that brand of shoe in Canada. I live in Northern Alberta.

Re: re; heel spur?????????

Carole C in NOLA on 2/02/03 at 21:54 (107771)

Then try http://www.birkenstockexpress.com , or one of the other Birkenstock websites. You might have to exchange the shoe if the size is wrong, but I think they will probably ship them to you.

Carole C

Re: re; heel spur?????????

Judi N on 2/02/03 at 23:21 (107776)

Thanks Carole,
I will look into this. I know we have a shop called RedWing shoes in Edmonton( closest city). I know they have the best shoes but not sure if they handle Birkenstock. I'll check things out and let you know, :>)

Re: re; heel spur?????????

Carole C in NOLA on 1/31/03 at 18:21 (107519)

Judi,

I am not a foot doctor, but until one jumps in, I think I can answer your question. I had plantar fasciitis last year. Your symptoms do sound a lot like plantar fasciitis ('PF'). PF is a very painful condition, and actually it can cause heel spurs.

From what the doctors say, heel spurs aren't painful themselves; plantar fasciitis is. But sometimes people say their pain is due to having heel spurs because heel spurs show on an x-ray and help the doctor in diagnosing plantar fasciitis.

So, the good news is that your doctor doesn't have the wrong diagnosis. The bad news is that PF is painful and it takes a long time to get over it. A good way to start is reading the free heel pain book that is on this website, and trying some of the non-surgical treatments like gentle non-weightbearing stretching, icing, rest, staying off your feet, and never going barefoot for now.

Come back to the message board often and ask any questions you have! most of the people here are either foot professionals or they have had PF.

Carole C

Re: re; heel spur?????????

Judi N on 1/31/03 at 20:07 (107536)

Thanks Carol,
I am a bit confused by what my Dr. said. I read here that arch support and a 1' heel on the shoe is best. My Dr. said that no arch support is needed and a cheap shoe with a cusion sole is best. no heel.
I asked if it was caused by the support in the foot stretching or weakening and he said No, I had a calcium deposit(heel Spur)caused from the fat layer dying and calcifying due to lack of oxygen.
At any rate, the only reason I gained the weight is because I have so much foot pain, who wants to walk around?
I will keep reading and I'll look at the book. Thanks again, Judi

Re: re; heel spur?????????

nancy s. on 1/31/03 at 20:16 (107538)

hi judi,

no arch support and a cheap shoe is a recipe for continuing disaster. your feet need help, and they won't get it with no arch support and cheap shoes. i'm not sure your doc is up to date on treatment of pf. very good idea to read scott's heel pain book, and keep posting to the boards if you have questions.

nancy
(not a doc)
.

Re: re; heel spur?????????

Judi N on 1/31/03 at 20:54 (107545)

Thanks Nancy:
Thats what I thought ! I had a pair of schols arch supports that helped for awhile. I also found that an elastic tensor bandage worked well. The Dr. told me not to use them. Just to get a cheap pair of shoes and replace them when the cushion in the heel flattened out.
I like the tensor bandage since it relieved my pain. I don't know if I should use it.
All the Dr. did was feel my foot and said pain pills won't help. I am on my feet all day long. At least I work from home and bought a couple of bar stools to sit on while I work.I make candles. soaps and bath/body products and when I am getting an order out, I can be on my feet for 12 or more hrs.
my Dr. just may not know much about this condition. Judi

Re: re; heel spur?????????

Carole C in NOLA on 1/31/03 at 22:58 (107567)

You said that your Dr. Scholl's arch supports helped for a while, so I am thinking that probably they aren't helping any more. Another idea to try might be Birkenstock shoes. The Arizona or Boston models of Birkenstocks seem to be especially helpful to a lot of us. They are pretty expensive, but many of us find them to be a lot better than Dr. Scholl's arch supports.

Think about whether there's any way to stand less when you are getting an order out. Maybe there is some way.

Carole C

Re: re; heel spur?????????

Judi N on 1/31/03 at 23:34 (107570)

That is why I bought 2 bar stools. I have one in my kitchen and one in my craft kitchen down stairs.
I do work in both areas. The problem is when I am doing clean -up.

Re: re; heel spur?????????

nancy s. on 2/01/03 at 04:16 (107574)

judi, carole is right: you need some good pf shoes, and you need to stay in them as much as possible. have you tried the birks? some people aren't helped by them, but many many are (they saved me!). find a store that carries them -- call around, it's usually smaller specialty stores that do -- and go, even if you have to travel a bit. they are worth the try. if they don't help you, please come back and ask here -- lots of people with lots of pf experience have different brands to recommend. your feet need constant support, so make this a top priority; and don't ever go barefoot.

another top priority for you has to be this: find a new foot doc! it's clear that yours does not know how to treat pf. it doesn't sound as though he knows the first thing about it, in fact. you need a doc to really spend some time with you, make sure you have been diagnosed correctly, and come up with a comprehensive treatment plan for you. this isn't something to fool around with -- it can become chronic if it goes on too long untreated or mistreated.

i don't know what a tensor bandage is. is it like an elastic brace, that goes around your entire foot, top and bottom, and provides some support for the arch? i have used similar braces in the past, and so have many other people here; they can help as an interim measure. i would be wearing those all the time until you can find proper shoes and see a competent foot doctor. but please don't wait: start looking to try birks and to find another doctor right away.

nancy
.

Re: re; heel spur?????????

Julie on 2/01/03 at 04:20 (107575)

Judi

The terms 'heel spur' and 'plantar fasciitis' are still used interchangeably by some doctors, even though it has been a long time since heel spurs were thought to cause heel pain. Your doctor (whom I take to be a general practitioner) is obviously not up to date, and doesn't have a great deal of knowledge about this common, painful condition. He can't be blamed for this: he is a general practitioner, so he knows a little bit about a lot of things, but what you need is a foot specialist who knows a lot about feet and plantar fasciitis.

Ask to be referred to a podiatrist. Hopefully you will see one who will give you a thorough examination, which should include watching you and possibly videoing you while you walk to determine if abnormal biomechanics are causing your problem. Once s/he has diagnosed the problem and its cause, and suggested an appropriate, comprehensive treatment programme, you should notice improvement.

Standing as much as you do is a real problem, because you are re-injuring your plantar fascia, so think up every strategy you can to stay off your feet as much as possible.

Your arches do need support (arch support is the function of the plantar fascia, which now can't give the needed support because it is injured). Do some research on shoes: cushioning isn't that important, support and stability are. A podiatrist will be able to help you with this (and if abnormal biomechanics are your problem, s/he may prescribe custom orthotics).

I'm not surprised you found the elastic support helpful, and would suggest you continue using it, certainly until you've seen a podiatrist.
You may also find taping helpful (I did, and so have many others). There are instructions and illustrations in part 2 of the heel pain book.

Gentle exercise (not aggressive stretching) will help you to maintain and improve range of motion in your feet and ankles. If you click on the word yoga here you'll be taken to a past post of mine that describes simple exercises that many have found helpful.

But the most important thing is to see a foot specialist for a proper diagnosis and advice on treatment.

Re: re; heel spur?????????

Suzanne D on 2/01/03 at 09:45 (107610)

You have been given some very wise advise here, Judi. I wanted to also point out to you two threads down on this board: 'Question for a podiatrist'. In this thread you will find mentioned SAS as well as Birkenstock shoes. Those are the two brands of shoes which have helped me so much and the only two kinds that I wear (with an orthotic in the SAS shoes).

Of course, first and foremost, you need to see a doctor (podiatrist) who understands PF and how to treat it. Please do not wear cheap, flat shoes. They will only make your problem worse and take longer to heal.

Suzanne (not a doctor) :-)

Re: re; heel spur?????????

Judi N on 2/01/03 at 15:04 (107633)

I want to thank everyone who has responded to my post. You all have been very helpful.
I was looking into Yoga. I thought it would help my feet as well as weight loss.
I know there are foot clinics in the city so I will also look into that. Mt GP is not up on this so I need to look for a Dr who is. I also will get some good shoes and arch supports.
Thanks everyone, you are great. Judi

Re: re; heel spur?????????

Julie on 2/01/03 at 15:24 (107634)

Judi, do keep reading these message boards. Reading posts by people who are going through or have been through plantar fasciitis and other foot ailments can be helpful - as you've already discovered.

Yes: do look for a podiatrist who knows about feet and the various troubles than can affect it - and knows what to do about them.

If you are looking into yoga, may I offer you a bit of advice? Make sure you find a teacher and a class suitable for you. Many classes focus on standing poses, which are not really what you need. Also, you should talk to any teacher whose class you are considering attending before you go, so that s/he knows about your problem. Yoga is usually practised barefoot, but you should always wear good athletic shoes while doing standing poses, and the teacher needs to know this.

I teach yoga, and would want any prospective student to explain her problems to me - most reputable teachers would, and no teacher should insist on bare feet if you need to wear shoes.

Re: re; heel spur?????????

Judi N on 2/01/03 at 18:10 (107643)

Hi Julie:
I will keep reading the pots, they are great and I have many more to read ! :>)
I was planning on buying a tape to practice Yoga. I live a village in norther Alberta( less than 500 people)
I don't know of any teachers here. I will keep looking !
Judi

Re: re; heel spur?????????

Judi N on 2/02/03 at 16:54 (107737)

Hi Carole,
I am not sure if we can get that brand of shoe in Canada. I live in Northern Alberta.

Re: re; heel spur?????????

Carole C in NOLA on 2/02/03 at 21:54 (107771)

Then try http://www.birkenstockexpress.com , or one of the other Birkenstock websites. You might have to exchange the shoe if the size is wrong, but I think they will probably ship them to you.

Carole C

Re: re; heel spur?????????

Judi N on 2/02/03 at 23:21 (107776)

Thanks Carole,
I will look into this. I know we have a shop called RedWing shoes in Edmonton( closest city). I know they have the best shoes but not sure if they handle Birkenstock. I'll check things out and let you know, :>)