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Posted by Mary Y on 3/09/03 at 19:25 (112374)


My podiatrist and a physiatrist mentioned that I have to wear orthotics for the rest of my life and have shoes on in the house. Is all this true for tts?


P.S. if orthotics don't help with tts (unless there is overpronation), what is used for support?

Re: tts

Lara t on 3/09/03 at 19:41 (112377)

Yes and no. My orthotics helped alot until I got compression socks. AFter I got the compression socks I found the orthotics didn't help much one way or the other so I've quit wearing the orthotics.* However, prior to the compression socks, and even now with shoes in the house, I can probably get away with it sometimes. Sort of depends how active I have been/will be that day. So as a general rule the answer is yes for me, but it doesn't mean I NEVER go without or pay dearly every time I forget or get lazy. I like going barefoot (well, I used to, not worth it these days - but there are times I feel like my feet are feet-deprived. I'm thinking of installing a sandbox in the backyard so I can do the infinity walk in it : )

* for me, orthotics slowed the progression of symptoms, but didn't stop it. Compression socks reverse the progression, although I only have so many steps a day, even in compression socks. (For those new, the # of steps I have is plenty for a nice life - not enough for days in the mall, long walks in the forest, or days spent sightseeing, anymore, but there are ways around that, and I have a nice life with TTS)

Re: tts

Rose M on 3/09/03 at 21:56 (112392)

Lara, just wondering, what were your symptoms for TTS, and were you ever diagnosed with PF as well.

Re: tts

Lara t on 3/09/03 at 22:51 (112395)

My symptoms:

Begining was burning on my feet when I stopped walking. As it progressed, it got so bad that I was a bitch (from the first noticing the burning to the becoming a total bitch was probably over a year of discomfort - I think, a little hard to remember that far back)! I was taking 16 ibuprofen/day - that kept me from biting off everyone's head but didn't get rid of the burning. The burning went from the edge (near the arch) and spread out sort of like a fan, but largely missing my arch, and stopped at my toes (I understand being this precise was helpful to the podiatrist who recognized TTS - I wasn't this precise the first time - this was the third podiatrist and a couple of years later). Then as it got even worse I would have sharp pain on the top of my feet when I started to walk, that lasted about a minute/several steps, that I could not identify the location (I had been carefully watching my symptoms the week before so i could give a very good account to the doctor and despite trying very hard, I could never pinpoint where the pain came from. The podiatrist said this was classic nerve pain - I think). As a kicker, although walking was the primary cause of the pain, the only time my feet felt tolerable was when I was walking.

So burning when I stopped walking. Pain when I started walking. WAlking was o.k. (Note: This was at the worst. I haven't felt the pain on the top of my feet for months/years, and the burning is way down to tolerable levels).

Things that helped:
Heavy taping (the kind you could tolerate for a week for diagnositic purposes, but couldn't live with on a daily basis cuz it was 'icky' feeling) made things better.
Ibuprofen (lots of it - it eventually hurt my stomach - now I'm more judicious in taking Ibuprofen, but don't need it much since I've gotten the compression socks.)
soaking feet in hot water (although may have felt better cuz masked the burning and made me rest my feet - not sure it had any lasting effect).

I was initially diagnosed & treated with Plantar Fascitis. I believe that was an erroneous diagnosis, rather than the first stage. I think lots of people are misdiagnosed with PF (although most people diagnosed with PF have PF), as many many doctors are not familiar with TTS. One podiatrist I first went to (well, here I go on the missteps) recognized the signs of nerve pain, but didn't know TTS so told me it was probably the first sign of impending diabetes (this is highly unlikely or impossible based on the history - the excess sugar of diabetes causes the nerve damage (PN), so without excess sugar (I was checked for diabetes a few times over the course of finding the problem), nerve pain wouldn't be a sign of diabetes - as I understand it).

Re: tts

Rose M on 3/10/03 at 07:48 (112403)

Thanks for the detailed explanation. It is amazing how aware the people on this site become in regard to their symptoms. The amount of time we all spend focused on our feet is so draining, and I know at least in my case, has really made it difficult to focus on all the things that previously defined my life and added to my enjoyment. I find that each day is an evaluation of which activities will be completed, how much rest I will allow myself, and of course the facade to the outside world because after awhile complaining about pain becomes tedious. Losing the weight gained from this sedentary experience is close to impossible, eating less than 900 cal. per day can't be healthy! Do you think that exercising other areas, for example upper bodyworkout, would interfere with a body's abilty to heal itself in the area that is injured? Would love others opinions on this.
Someone could make some money in establishing a retreat vacation for PF an TTS sufferers. Six months on a desert island, no stress, no required activity and support (bitch session) groups for those who need to vent. Sun, warm sand (when we need heat), cool water(when we need ice), massage(for muscle stim and increased blood flow), healthy meals and on site physical therapist to avoid reinjury, and of course lots of alcohol if all the above doesn't work.

Re: workouts

Lara t on 3/10/03 at 10:09 (112420)

I have found things I could do, even with TTS, for exercise (until I had surgery for a torn meniscus-knee-totally unrelated except for hours of jogging in college may have contributed to both TTS & the torn meniscus - so much for trying to live a healthy lifestyle : ) Someone did a thread a while ago. For me, my feel can toleate rowing (if I can learn to do it right so I don't hurt my back), biking (I place my arch on the pedal so I'm not 'flexing' my foot), stair stepping (the kind with the cheaper meachines where your feet don't leave some air pistons, not the large ones in the gyms that require you to pick up your feet). I generally place an ankle brace and high-top shoes on top of my compression socks so I minimize the amount of 'flexing' my foot does. I also have a Kathy Smith Weighttraining tape. It's a little obnoxious, but a very good basic routine. I do think upper body workout can be a good aerobic activity. Doesn't do much for flexibility & strength for the lower body obviously, but sometimes you can't get everything.

You're right about living with chronic illness/injury can be draining. I think it gets better with years (and practice, and after achieving a certain level of accommodation!) I've had TTS for several years now and I no longer find paying attention and working my life around it draining. I've found I can predict how my feet with react, sometimes without thinking much about it - like driving a car, and have found a nice life wtihin the limits of my feet. It wasn't always this way - took a long time.

Re: tts

Bev N on 3/12/03 at 13:30 (112667)

Rose M., LOVE your suggestion- as soon as you open your spa retreat for PF'ers lot us know-- we will be there licketty-split!!