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


Posted by Bev on 4/10/03 at 18:56 (115901)

I had therapy today, she is doing ultrasound (using a cortisone cream) and hot pack treatments - she asked me today if I was doing the stretching exercises at home, such as the towel stretches and all of the ones described on this board that we were not to do. I explained to her that the doctors and pods on this board said that we should not do those and the reasons why. She said that I should be doing them because it causes more micro tears in the ligament and brings more blood flow and healing to the area. What are your views on this please. Thankyou.

Re: Therapist

SteveG on 4/11/03 at 13:45 (115954)

Bev - Frankly, I don't think she knows what she is talking about. When I was seeing a PT for my back, I mentioned my feet and he mentioned the stretches you always see outlined on the internet - wall, stair, etc. I realized that PF is, at best, a sideline for these folks, and that the majority of their time is spent with backs, knees, shoulders, etc. More micro tears is not something that you want. Trust your judgment and the things you have learned on this board.

Re: Therapist

Bev on 4/11/03 at 14:07 (115961)

Thanks Steve G, I will go with what I have learned from all of you as as many of you can say ' Been there- Done that' , right :-/

Re: Therapist

Carole C in NOLA on 4/11/03 at 14:32 (115962)

Bev, I'm so glad you decided to go with what Steve said. Although there are always exceptions to the rule, the towel stretches, stair stretches, and so on seem to nearly always cause big problems among those that talk about stretching here.

I can also attest to the fact that gentle stretching was plenty to be a great help for my PF. If you don't feel like the gentle stretches are enough, then just do them several times a day.

What worked for me were some stretches very similar to Julie's Yoga stretches, that my C.Ped told me about. I came to her with very severe Achilles tendonitis and PF, and she said I was 'as tight as a drum'. I told her I was afraid to do any stretching at all, so she said to do this.

Before you even start, you should know that if any part of the stretching hurts, I strongly believe you should not do it. Do it more gently so that it doesn't hurt, at first, and work up to it only as it becomes not painful. If even wiggling your toes hurts, don't wiggle as intensely. LOL Ok, here are the stretches.

Sit on a flat surface like your bed, with your legs stretched out in front of you on it. Start with your right foot and point your toes towards your nose, in other words both upwards and inwards. Hold for 30 seconds, and then relax. (You may have to work up to the 30 seconds over a few days). Do the same for the other foot. Repeat a few times.

When you finish, rotate your foot on your ankle a few times gently to relax the muscles (I added this last part myself).

Do these stretches before you get up in the morning, and just before falling asleep at night. Do them at least once or twice more whenever you can. If you are watching TV, time to stretch, and so on.

Take care! I hope your feet feel happy again soon. I'm going to have to start doing these stretches more frequently now that my feet are bothering me again.

I'm wearing my custom orthotics today, and my feet feel lots better. They really do good things for my feet, for some reason. I hadn't worn them for months and months, and they sure felt very lumpy and almost mountainous in the arch for the first few minutes... but then my feet said, 'AAAAHHHHH!!!!' and settled right down to the shape of the orthotic.

Carole C

Re: Therapist

Bev on 4/11/03 at 14:53 (115964)

Thanks Carole, I printed it out. I do Julie's yoga exercises a lot and now I will add these too. My therapist said my feet are tight as a drum too and I have no degree of motion. It is very painful to do some things that they suggest to do, so I don't do them. It seems as if the only time I am not in pain is when I am wearing my camboots, day and night, as they keep my feet in perfect aliment, however I have to exercise them off and on too.I give this one more month, then I am checking out that specialist near Detroit and discuss ESWT with him or whatever he suggests. I think I have given all the doctors around here their share of me already :> .
You have a nice evening and I surely hope that your feet start behaving themselves soon too [-o<

Re: Therapist

SteveG on 4/11/03 at 15:21 (115965)

You learn a lot from this board, and we need to give ourselves credit for what we have learned. I think my first pod was a bit startled by the questions I would ask. I could tell he was wondering where I got so much info. When we first started discussing ESWT, it became clear to me that I knew more about it then he did. I recall giving him a brief overview of low energy vs high energy. At the end, I recall giving him the URL and telling him he should check it out some night.

Re: Therapist

Carole C in NOLA on 4/11/03 at 15:22 (115966)

Julie's exercises have a better 'track record' in that a lot of people here have found them to be helpful. I hadn't heard of them when I first started, which is why I did these others. But from what I can tell, the effect is very similar.

I would definitely suggest that you do gentle stretching until you are 'stretched out' and avoid anything that hurts your feet for now. You'll gradually 'loosen up' as you persist with the gentle stretching. That might take a few weeks depending on how much gentle stretching you can do.

To me, hurting usually seemed to signify a setback, tearing of the tissues or some such thing. On the other hand, if you rest a lot (like I did) or are immobilized in your camboot, maybe you really need the gentle stretching like I did just so that you don't tighten up even more. You do need to get loosened up, so that simple movement doesn't hurt and harm your feet as easily, or else you'll just continue to re-damage your feet.

I sure hope that ESWT works out for you! I haven't tried it but it does seem to help some people.

My feet are still thanking me for digging through the closet to find my orthotics and wearing them today. My orthotics are fitted to some amazingly ugly clumpy shoes, in which they work best. So, I'm glad I have today off from work as well as the weekend.

Carole C

Re: Therapist

Carole C in NOLA on 4/11/03 at 15:37 (115967)

I'm appalled at some of the stories I hear about podiatrists who seem to lack fundamental information. I've never been to one, so maybe I'd think differently if I had. Somehow, I doubt it.

My C.Ped, on the other hand, was a wealth of knowledge and information, all of which agreed with what is said here on the board. She also worked with me and the wonderful orthotics she made for me for several hours for relatively little compensation. Consequently I regard C.Peds with infinite respect and gratitude and think that the best ones are nearly angels.

Maybe the problem with podiatrists is that they treat so many different problems like bunions and plantar warts and such, that severe PF is just not 'on their radar screen'.

Carole C

Re: Therapist

Kathy G on 4/12/03 at 08:47 (115992)

It's interesting that my Podiatrist has never even mentioned exercises and stretching to me. At my request, he did send me to for PT but the result of that was the heel pain that I had never had. Overall, he seems extremely knowlegeable about PF. I have mentioned to him that I stretch daily so maybe he figures I know what I'm doing! (Little does he know!)The C.Ped whom I saw this year agreed with all that my Pod was doing, including the type of orthotics that I am wearing.

Bev, I discovered this Board while I was going for PT. They had me doing wall stretches and those exercises seemed to hurt my feet and my knees started to hurt from them. They were also doing deep massage which almost killed me. They were doing it in the area of my neuroma and wouldn't stop until I called my doctor. He had to call them and tell them to cool it. It was a few days after that when I decided to stop going because they had managed to make my heel start to ache which it never had until that time and I had no use for people who wouldn't listen to me, the patient. I didn't tell them about these boards because I had the impression that these particular therapists believed it was their way or else. I simply stopped going.

I made the most progress by doing Julie's Yoga stretches, icing, resting and just being kind to my feet. Oh, and wearing my orthotics, of course!

Hope all goes well for you. This is a condition that certainly tries one's patience!

Re: Therapist

Carole C in NOLA on 4/12/03 at 11:05 (115994)

Oh Kathy... I am so sorry to hear that your PT was having you do wall stretches and hurting your heels with deep massage like that!

How can they be so IGNORANT... when most of us here know that gentle stretching, icing, resting, and good orthotics (if we can get them) plus patience are good ways to progress towards pain free feet?

It's reassuring to hear that your podiatrist knows what he is doing, though! Maybe we just hear about the bad ones too often, here, and don't hear as many stories about the good ones.

Like I mentioned, I've never seen a DPM. If I felt like I could get a definitive, intelligent, expert, non-computerized gait analysis that nobody would contradict (ha!) and some help with my exercycle dilemma, I would go see one. But I haven't heard of any local podiatrists that I would trust to do either. Maybe those are more in the C.Peds' domain than the DPM's domain.

Carole C

Re: Therapist

Bev on 4/12/03 at 11:43 (115996)

Kathy, The first PT I was sent to when this all started over a year ago, had me doing those wall exercises, towel exercises,etc, and those very painful deep massaging of my heels and arches that sent me to the ceiling. She just said' I know what I am doing and the pain means that it is working' . Well, I went until I found this board and learned it 'was not for my own good' and I did not 'have to ' put up with that pain. Then I stopped going and told my doctor that we had to find another treatment to try. I am soo thankfull for this board every day:). Isn't it a lovely day out today? Birds are happy and snow is melting and it is 55 degrees and we are going to get the bikes down today --horrah! Everyone have a warm and lovely day today :)

Re: Therapist

Carole C in NOLA on 4/12/03 at 13:12 (115999)

It is absolutely gorgeous here today. The sun is shining, and the temperature is lovely and warm with a little breeze. The birds are frolicking and having a great time in my back yard. I weeded the flower beds in the front, edged the lawn, swept up the cuttings, and later I'll probably think of more to do out there.

I hope you enjoy your biking! Wish I were riding with you. My feet are rapidly feeling better, because I'm wearing my orthotics this weekend. Maybe in a couple of weeks I'll be ready to try exercycling with my orthotics. Or, perhaps I'll focus on walking more. I'm in great need of some mild aerobic activity of that sort. Even edging the lawn has me very much out of breath! I had to stop and rest for 20 minutes or so, twice.

Carole C