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Can we all try this......

Posted by monte on 6/12/03 at 16:11 (121668)

Can we try to do something that might be a benefit to all of us sufferers? Let's post our symptoms, whether typical or atypical. Describe what we have done and what sensations we have. Sort of like introducing ourselves all over again. Even those who are better or even if you know of people who go better. Lets start writing to help one another to deal with our PF. Some may feel alone in their suffering until there hear that others have the same symptoms.

I have bilateral atypical PF for 2.5 years. I never had first step morning pain or pain after resting. I have pain in the arches as well as the insertion point.
Had 2 rounds of ESWT with the Donier and that helped the heel pain come down a couple levels, but not the arches.

I tape ball to heel, but that causes pain in the ball of the foot and the back of the heels from pulling. Taping from side to side only makes my foot painful and I get a strangling feeling.

I never go barefoot and I use OTC insoles from 'It's your sole'. They are heat moldable and have a cushion top.

I wear New Balance sneakers, but am waiting for a pair of Sucony Trail Sneakers to arrive from Zappos.

I do feel better that 2 years ago...but still try to stay off my feet as much as possible. My legs and calves have gotten smaller and weaker. But they can be reversed down the road.

I still cannot stand in one place...like a grocery line or on a train ride.

I have a friend that had it bad for 7 years and is now pain free from doing nothing except stretching. I bet time had something to do with it....He is totally pain free.

I know others who had PF so bad that they cried every day for over a year and are now pain free.

I am going to have a treatment of Radio Frequency Lesioning on June 20th to try to calm down some of the hot spots. This is not a cure, but a pain management treatment.

I can share more later.

Re: Can we all try this......

Suzanne D on 6/12/03 at 17:42 (121682)

Good idea, Monte. It's easy to forget that there are new people who come here every week that don't know our stories. I'll try not to be too long-winded! :)

I guess you could say I experienced a 'typical' PF condition. Two years ago this month I began having very sharp heel pain in my left foot which also extended into my arch. (Thinking back and knowing what I know now, I realize that I had had arch pain now and then for a long time, but just thought it was because I was on my feet so much as a teacher. It always went away when I rested for a few minutes, so I thought nothing of it.) I had first-step pain which made me dread to get out of bed and which worsened again after sitting, even for a few minutes.

I was teaching summer school at the time and could hardly walk. I bought some shoe inserts at the drug store which gave me a little relief, and a week later I went to my family doctor who diagnosed plantar fasciitis. He gave me a paper to read which explained icing and stretches that would be helpful and told me it wouldn't go away any time soon.

I limped through the summer icing and doing the stretches as best I could; after the first week back at school in August I was in tears. That Friday night I found Heelspurs.com and read until my eyes hurt. The next day I found a Birkenstock store in the nearest big city and bought a pair of Arizonas. I got a referral to a podiatrist the next week who confirmed the diagnosis, said if the Birks worked, they were fine to wear, taped both feet (By then the other foot hurt almost as badly.), prescribed a week of steroids and then Naproxin (non-steroid anti-inflammatory) which I took every day for three months or so.

I did the yoga stretches which Julie recommended to us every day (still do), and bought SAS shoes and used the 3/4 blue Birk inserts in them whenever I did not wear the Arizonas. By 6 months I was quite a bit better but seemed at a standstill. I began then also taping my feet in the way Scott shows in the Heelpain Book. That seemed to really help. After a year, I could tell that my calves were not so tight any more, and on most days, while I was not pain-free, I could do what I needed/wanted to do with minimal pain if I was cautious and kept up all the right things that seemed to help.

Moving to a new school with concrete floors 5 months ago caused some swelling in my ankles for about 2 weeks. I got another prescription for Naproxin and took it for about a month, and then that settled down. I also bought Superfeet inserts and wear those in my SAS shoes now instead of the Birk inserts. They seem better for me at this time.

Most days, I have very little pain now. If I overdo being on my feet, they begin to hurt, but it is not the same pain as before. It is more of an aching, stiff feeling. I pay extra attention to them at those times, and it doesn't last too long.

I hope this encourages someone! I realize every day when I read and post that I am lucky. I feel so badly that many people have suffered much longer than I have. I keep reading and posting because I have made many friends here and because this site helped me so much that I would like to give back to others.

So much for this not being long! :'>

Oh, yes, I am 51 years old and, while not overweight, I am certainly not 'skinny' like I used to be! This school year I ate a Healthy Choice or Lean Cuisine meal each day rather than cafeteria food and cut out Pepsis (Well, for the most part!), and I lost about 5 pounds. I figured that couldn't hurt. I do know that it gave me a greater understanding of what people go through who are trying to lose weight. It sure isn't easy to cut back and change those habits.

Good luck to everyone!

Suzanne :)

Re: Can we all try this......

Carole C in NOLA on 6/12/03 at 17:54 (121683)

I got PF on 9/22/01, first in one foot but it soon became bilateral. My PF was very classic with first step pain. Also I had considerable Achilles tendonitis, and some bursitis and other tendonitis.

I never had foot trouble before in my life, despite being quite overweight. This foot pain was a repetitive stress injury caused by riding my exercycle injudiciously. At first I didn't know that and continued riding with PF, so my PF became quite severe and extremely painful.

The pain started in the heel, with a knife-like pain in the back part of the bottom of my heel. It gradually spread until I had pain along the outer edge of the soles of my feet, and also in the arch area. Eventually it spread so much that the entire sole of my foot had painful and burning feelings. I've never had much pain at the insertion point at the front of the heel, but it often felt swelled there and pressure there felt good to me. I never had any tingling or ankle pain or forefoot pain.

Here's what helped. Rest, custom semi-rigid orthotics in SAS shoes, Birkenstocks, never standing or taking a step without my orthotics or Birkenstocks, gentle non-weightbearing stretching, and icing helped most (in that order). When my pain is not too bad, I found that New Balance 991's help and I don't wear my orthotics. But when it's bad, I go back to Birkenstock and SAS.

By applying the treatments in the above paragraph, my PF was gone nine months after I got it (six months after I stopped riding my exercycle). Once I was healed it was easy to slowly work back up to the level of activity I was used to in my usual sedentary daily life. No problems in standing, or shopping in warehouse stores, or wearing bad shoes (though I usually didn't, since my closet was full of good shoes). The only exception was for mowing lawns or for lifting boxes when I was moving, in which case I wore my SAS shoes and orthotics to be safe.

Treatments I never tried include taping, ESWT, and a night splint.

My PF was completely gone for about nine months and I lived a normal life. I felt sure I was healed enough, so I tried my exercycle again. After one week, I had more signs of PF. Back to the above treatments. I am usually pain free now, but I'm not completely healed yet. However, I know what works for me.

Actually right now I am in 'PF heaven' because it's summertime, and I can wear my Birkenstock sandals without people staring at me (like they do when I wear them in the winter). So, for once with PF, I can wear shoes that my feet like, and they don't look too weird.

Carole C

Re: Can we all try this......

R C on 6/13/03 at 10:28 (121748)

Here we go...

I was a lifelong runner, quite flat footed. At age 39, I got PF in my right foot from a long weekend of moving heavy furniture and doing my usual daily run. Probably a partial rupture occurred. Tried all of the conservative things to no avail. Orthotics did absolutely nothing, though I tried 5 different approaches. The main things that ultimately helped were: (1) hard cast + crutches for 4 weeks, followed by (2) many many months of keeping foot carefully taped; (3) rest rest rest.

I am now pain free. I still tape my foot daily as a preventive, especially if I know I will be on my feet.

Points to emphasize: (a) If you choose to get a cast, by gosh you really ought to use crutches too and make the immobilization and rest absolute. (b) Taping is not easy to do at first - be patient and experiment to get it right; then do it every day without exception to give your foot uninterrupted protection. (c) I have found that even a change of 10 pounds in weight causes a noticeable difference in pain level (overall I lost 25 pounds via swimming -- this must have helped, too).

Re: Can we all try this......

Lynn B on 6/13/03 at 10:30 (121750)

What a good idea, Monte. I 've had PF noticabely since March but think I had it earlier and thought it was very bad dry skin pulling around my heel. Then it felt like a stone in my shoe, then came the throbbing and cutting pain all day long. The dr. gave me vioxx and took an exray and told me the pain was nerve entrapment etc. Then I found this website and I am 85% better and getting better every day. I was a hiker and avid walker and went barefoot most of the time the minute I got home and probably that is what caused this as I have high arches. I'm below average weight for my height so it wasn't that. So I now wear NB shoes and clogs with power steps inserts around the house and never ever go barefoot, I stretch each day and put the high power jet of the jacuzzi right on the sore spot for 10 minutes each day. I can actually go about a half a day now and not even think that I have PF. That's all. Lynn

Re: Can we all try this......

marie on 6/13/03 at 11:19 (121757)

I started to notice some difficulty in my knees a few years ago. I wrote it off as age. My feet were really sore after I visited a college campus with my oldest son. I wrote it off to a bit of arthritis. Right before the school year began ( I am a HS art tracher) I painted a 9 fot by 192 foot mural tributing Salvidor Dali that was used for a back drop for marching band. I painted it during the hottest week of the summer.....in the 100+ range. Every night I went home in tears because my feet ached so...but I wrote it off....and kept going I painted a staircase and the drumb major's podium as weel. Everyone loved the paintings and kids still talk about that backdrop on the marching band message boards. But my feet were destroyed. I finally ended up at a podiatrist after my GP tried several medications. My podiatrist, who I dearly love, tried several treatments that include cortezone shots and anti-inflamatory meds. Eventually the pain was so severe he sent me for an EEG. The results were bi-lateral tarsal tunnel syndrome. At some point my legs began to bother me more and more. I went to a physical theropist who gave me some orthotics that I had absolutely no luck with and he vigorously massaged right over the tarsal tunnel....which aggrevated it even more. I bagan having twitching and jerking, hand tremors, electric shocks behind my knees, my legs felt like they weighed 100 lbs each, I am definately affected by barometric pressure, and so began my journey to neurologists. My docs wanted me tested for MS. The first neurologist was a real weirdo. I had MRI's of my head and entire spinal corde. They found several tiny lesions on my brain, from there the neuro decided to do a spinal tap. The spinal tap came out clear. But i spiraled downward shortly after the spinal tap barely able to walk or stand. I went to the Univ. of Mich medical center for a second opinion. I saw the head of the MS program....he told me he didn't think I had MS. He felt that the lesions looked more like TIAs (mini-strokes) since I have had a history of ministrokes and they run in my family it seemed that that was the likely cause. From there I went to a cardiologist and was given an emg the results were that I had a patent ovale forum (a hole between the chambers of my heart) I was born with one so it was of great concern to my physicians that it may have never healed correctly. I then had an EEG done.....the results were that I don't have a hole in my heart. Not sure why I have TIAs. My GP just couldn't believe that there wasn't an easy surgery for my tts. He sent me to a foot and ankle surgeon who did all his clinics at Mayo. He straightened out my GP and my Pod and told them to quit sending me for all these tests and start treating my tts. He said TTS had caused all the crazy symptoms in my legs and suggested they look at CFS or Fibro.

Now I am on 40 mg of elavil, 900 mg of neurontin, vitamin supplements: magnesium, glucosamine, msm, c, and I use an over the counter progesterone cream that I sware by. my hubby does all my massages now and I stretch a little every day. I have gone from being on a scooter and wheel chair to walking close to a mile every day. I understand my limits and respect them. I stay on a routine that varies little....less daily stress has made a huge difference. I have learned to say no to alot of people. No more marching band back drops for me.

I hope this helps a little and gives those who are on their medical journey some hope.

odios me amigas and amigos.

Re: Can we all try this......

SteveG on 6/13/03 at 12:10 (121761)

Whoa, Marie, I did not realize how much suffering you have been through. I am glad to hear that you are doing better.

I have bilateral atypical PF for 1.5 years. I, too, have never had first step morning pain or pain after resting. I have pain at various points along the fascia - arches, metatarsals, as well as the insertion point. I have also had 2 rounds of ESWT - low energy sonocur and once with the Dornier. The ESWT had given me a noticeable reduction in pain. I have done just about all of the conservative treatments outlined -- icing, stretching, etc. I found that stretching seemed to aggravate the condition, so now I just wear my night splint - both all night and sometimes in the evening when I am reading.

I do not tape my feet. I have a set of custom made orthodics that I wear in New Balance sneakers. I also have a pair of Arizonas that I wear around the house in the evening. I never go barefoot and I wear a pair of expensive shower shoes in the shower. I can now stand in line at the grocery store and make small shopping trips, but I still rest my feet and take it easy as much as possible.

Re: Can we all try this......

BrianJ on 6/13/03 at 12:15 (121762)

Hi --

I'm 40 years old, 150 lbs., and a former runner. I got bi-lateral PF 5 years ago while playing sports on hard surfaces. I tried to 'play through the pain,' and am now paying for that decision.

My PF is of the atypical variety. I have a little morning stiffness, but no 'first step' pain. My pain comes while standing in one place (very painful sharp ache/pain)and AFTER walking (burning/aching). Most of my pain occurs where the front of the heel meets the back of the arch, but the entire plantar aspects of my feet hurt sometimes. I am certain I have PF, because I've had every possible test to rule out other possibilities.

I have tried every type of treatment, including surgery, ESWT twice, NSAIDS, taping, icing, stretching, orthotics out the wazoo, etc. Nothing has helped much, but I get some temporary relief from icing, hot water, and swimming.

I'm hoping Monte gets some relief from the RFL treatment, as that is about the only treatment I have not had.

Good luck to all, and let's find a way to make progress!

Re: Can we all try this......

ScottW on 6/13/03 at 13:53 (121770)

I haven't posted in awhile. Primarily because I have been a little discouraged as of late. Here is my updated story. The problem with my feet began in February of 2001 after playing basketball all winter. I am a 32 year old civil engineer with a desk job. I have been to 3 podiatrists, 2 physical therapists, 1 orthopedic, 1 sports med doctor, an endocrinologist, a rheumatologist, and a neurologist. I have had many sets of blood work done, a glucose tolerance test (to test for diabetes-it was normal), a bone scan, x-rays (no spurs), and a nerve conduction velocity test (this included an EMG). All were normal. I have tried many conservative treatments including 2 pair of expensive prescription orthotics, many OTC inserts, Birkenstock sandals (Arizona), Vioxx, Aspirin, Jade Balm cream, stretching, taping, and a night splint with no relief. The entire bottom of my feet ache and get really sore after standing for about 2 to 3 minutes. Walking is much easier on them but I still need to sit after about 10 minutes or so. Concrete floors are awful, while soft plush carpet or grass are the best. It feels as if my nerves on the bottom of my feet are super sensitive to anything --- like a dull intense ache, if that makes sense. In fact I can't even rest them on the floor while sitting sometimes due to their sensitivity. I often take my shoes off and prop them up on a stool while working so that nothing is touching the bottom of my feet. To give you an idea of how debilitating it is, I was in a wheelchair at Disney World just this past January when I took my wife and 5 year old son there. There is just no way for me to walk for that long a period of time. I have no 'classic' morning pain, which is what some doctors have said that I have. They don't hurt when pressed on either. Ice numbs my feet and removes the intense aching and soreness temporarily (I ice only on days when I have been on my feet more than usual). I also apply heat which makes my feet feel better too (by way of a small heater under my desk at work and/or a hot tub). My lower legs (including my knees/hips) are aching after I stand or walk for awhile too. Some doctors say it doesn't sound like PF to them because there is no morning pain, and because the dull ache is over entire bottom of both feet instead of just the heal. I do have some redness in my right eye now (since November of 2002) which has to be treated with Acular (a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory eye drop) every other week or so. The eye doctor said that this is usually related to some sort of autoimmune disease but all of my blood work comes back normal. If it is an autoimmune disease causing my feet/eye problems, no doctor can tell me what the disease is called as of yet. Good luck to all.

Re: Can we all try this......

Carole C in NOLA on 6/13/03 at 14:38 (121775)

Scott, I'm sorry to read about all you've been through. It sounds like you may have several conditions going on at once.

If it's any help, a number of people here have said their PF does not cause them 'classic' morning pain, and a number have experienced aching or burning over the entire sole of the foot. Just thought I'd mention this, though it's probably small comfort overall.

I hope your doctors can pinpoint what is causing this, before too long.

Carole C

Re: Can we all try this......

PhysicsRon on 6/13/03 at 16:08 (121782)

I'm 61 & had PF for 8 years. My remendy has been New Balance 854's (Wide & deep) and SDO's. These liquid silicone orthotics seem to exactly support my arches but I'm now thinking its there fluid movement that may be a factor ...sort of a cross between massage & a micro ESWT?

I no longer do exercises but i do walk my dog 3 times a day!

Re: Can we all try this......

D.Thomas on 6/13/03 at 17:26 (121791)


I can relate 100% to everything you stated about your feet. I cannot be on them for more than 5 min without them throbbing and burning. I can't even wear socks. I can't have my feet sitting on the floor for more than 10min - I have to elevate them constantly all day or the inflammation and pain just gets to bad. I have had this constant for 2 years now. I also do not have the morning pain associated with 'insertational PF'. My pain is mainly in the medial arches of both feet. Ice is the only thing that gives me temporary relief-and I do mean temporary. I was also in a wheelchair.

Re: Can we all try this......

marie on 6/13/03 at 19:20 (121799)

OOps....I had a TEE for my heart not an EEG. I have had so many tests that I get confused. After looking at my journal i forgot to mention that my knees and ankles felt like I had rubberbands around them and my feet felt like I was walking on raw bones. I also have PF but it has always taken a back seat to my TTS.

Sorry...for the mistakes....it's that dang neurontin.;)

Re: Can we all try this......

marie on 6/13/03 at 19:26 (121800)


I have been there too. My students wanted to take a feild trip too the Toledo Art Museum. Since I didn't have a scooter I took my wheel chair...or should I say my students did. They not only loaded it and unloaded it but took turns pushing me around the museum. There were a few quarrels about whose turn it was but we had a great day. I know what you mean about baring weight...at one time I could only stand about one minute or so.....before I began to panic. Take care of yourself! I hope you recover soon.


Re: Can we all try this......

BrianJ on 6/13/03 at 22:23 (121822)

Scott --

Your symptoms sound very similar to mine. It feels like the nerves in the bottom of the feet are super sensitive. You might want to try the prescription drug Neurontin. For some people, it 'turns down the volume' of their nerve pain. However, it is not a pain-killer, so it does not have many of the disadvantages associated with pain killers.

It's worth a try.

Re: Can we all try this......

Mar on 6/14/03 at 10:13 (121852)

Monte -

I've been thinking about you and your upcoming RFL -- good luck! I'm praying for you.

Suzanne - hmmm -- 51, thin, teacher -- me too!!

OK - here's a synopsis of my story. I am now 51 years old, 113 lbs, 5'2' and have been a teacher for 30 years and a supervisor for 4 years. My feet hurt while teaching probably for the last 10-15 years, but as soon as I put on sneakers or went barefoot there was no pain. I was an avid walker -- 2-4 miles a day plus walking in place of using a car whenever possible.

I had bunion surgery on the right foot in March 2001, which caused chronic pain and inflamation, and then developed bilateral PF in Nov 2001 from walking incorrectly due to the pain from the surgery. I have been through a lot of treatment modalities and tests and the pain is no less now than it was when it started. I am in less pain only because I use a scooter for work and shopping and allow other people to do a lot of the things I used to do. In short, I stay off my feet as much as possible. I cannot stand for more than a minute or 2 without pain. Some days I can walk around the house with minimal pain, other days it is intense. If I don;t use the scooter, or do a lot around the house, then the pain is intense for several days to 2 weeks. If i didn;t have the scooter, I would not be able to work at my job any longer.

I never had the classic am pain or pain after resting. Resting gives me a little relief. The pain started in both heels at the same time ( I remember the day very well!). It feels like they are severely bruised, as if they were beaten by a baseball bat. The pain is at the insertional point clear across the foot and the entire heel and heel bone. I also have pain in the middle of the foot next to the arches. And of course I have the ball of foot pain the right foot and the 4th metatarsal in the left foot. Tightness usually increases the pain, so i have started to wear my sneakers loosely tied. Walking, standing, pressing on the feet are all painful most of the time. Some days, the pain seems almost gone for no apparent reason, only to return the next day or later in the day.

Treatments and tests include:
MOBIC (couldn't tolerate),
ULTRASOUND: 8 months 2X a week
STRETCHING: Started 11/12/01 ongoing
ICING: Started 11/12/01 ongoing
ORTHOTICS: 1st Pair - Aug 7, 2001 (used until Oct 23, 2001)
2nd Pair - Dec 26, 2001 ongoing
MEDROL: Sept 20, 2001 (6 days)
Nov 13, 2001 (6 days)
CORTISONE SHOTS: Oct. 4, 2001 (toe joints)
Nov 26, 2001 (toe joints)
March 2, 2002 (heels)
May 16, 2002 (big toe)
Sept. 3, 2002 (both feet at insertion point of fascia - heels)
TAPING: Nov 12, 2001 ( 1 week)
March 31, 2002 (1 week)
GLUCOSAMINE: (could not tolerate)
CHIROPRACTOR: Dec 7, 2001 (3 months)
ACUPUNCTURE: Jan 23, 2002 (2X a week for 2 months)
DEEP MASSAGE OF FEET/CALVES: Jan 23, 2002 (2x week for 2 months)
SWIMMING: Feb 6, 2002 (2x week for 2 months)
Nov 29, 2002 (2-3x week ongoing)
VITAMIN B6: Feb 15, 2002 (6 months- 300mg a day)
TENS UNIT: March 9, 2002 (used 2 ½ months)
ULTRACET: March 22, 2002 (tried twice - could not tolerate)
LIDODERM PATCHES ON HEELS: March 28, 2002 (3 weeks)
KETOPROFIN CREAM: April 15, 2002 (10 days)
DEXTROMETHORPHAN: April 23, 2002 (3 weeks, reached a max of 225 mg/day)

ESWT: May 22, 2002
Aug 14, 2002

HEAT: May 24, 2002 after ESWT (twice a day for 20 min - ice on extreme pain days- ongoing)
Aug 16, 2002 after ESWT (3x a day for 20 min - 3 weeks then ice)

AMITRIPTYLINE: June 7, 2002 (worked up to 20 mg) about 4 months
IONIZED BRACELET: Sept. 2003 - 10 days
PAIN COUNSELING: Nov. 25, 2002 - once a week - ongoing
CAM WALKER: Left foot Dec. 16. 2002 for 5 days
IBUPROFEN GEL: Jan. 3, 2003 (3x a day) for 2-3 weeks
BIOFEEDBACK: Jan 22, 2003 (6 sessions)
MAGNETS: Feb 2003 for 2 weeks
RUSSIAN STIM: Feb. 19, 2003 3 times a week for 3 weeks
FOOT TRAINER EXERCISES: Feb. 20, 2003 - once/twice a day for two weeks
GEL HEEL CUPS: March 2, 2003 (used only a few days)
NIGHT SPLINT: March 9, 2003 on left foot for 2 months
LOW LEVEL LASER: June 2003 -- 3 treatments

The worst ones were the cam walker, taping, heel cups,and the capsaicin. The first 2 increased the pain to the point where I could not walk at all, even to the bathroom. The best are the scooter, rest, this website, orthotics, swimming, counseling, biofeedback, acupuncture.


I can;t take meds without serious side effects...

This is way too long -- sorry -- Mar

Re: Can we all try this......

Rebecca R on 6/14/03 at 18:41 (121880)

Hi Everyone,

I'm new to all this. My PF started after purchasing a pair of Land's End All Weather Mocs, which come to find out, lack proper arch support. And, I'm guessing there is something else about the way they fit that contributed, since I have gone barefoot (or sock-foot) most of my 46 years without a problem. It all started in January, and I swore it wasn't the shoes because they were so comfortable. I'm over-weight, but not like I used to be, having lost 80 pounds in the last year and a half. My feet never bothered me when I was so much heavier, so this all seems incredibly unfair. I stopped wearing the shoes all the time, and finally returned them for a refund in April, but the damage has been done. I have that 'first step' pain to a major degree, but have found that doing the stretching before getting out of bed in the morning helps a little. It has been so hard to find comfortable shoes now, since nothing I wear feels good, except flip-flops!! and my doctor said not to wear them!! I also have something akin to achellis tendinitis, which the doc said is basically the same thing but located down where the tendon meets the heel. I can't remember what she called it. I have PF and the tendon thing in both feet, but the left foot is worse. However, the right foot seems to want to catch up. Sometimes I can't even stand to wear socks, so I was in tears when the doctor told me two days ago (first visit to a podiatrist) to wear shoes all the time. And not just Keds or something light, but sturdy athletic-type shoes. I got a pair of Filas a few weeks ago and she said they were good, but I had to get the green arch supports for them. Also, I'm suppose to wear a walking boot on the left for two months, then switch it to the right. Problem with that is I have arthitis in my back and the heels in my shoes aren't as high as the boot, making me walk lop-sided and hurting my back a lot. So, she gave me three choices: Buy new shoes, use crutches, or come in and get a plaster cast. I help my mom take care of my dad, so crutches are out of the question as they would just be in the way. Heck, I don't even want to wear the boot at all. I'm my worst enemy here, cuz I keep taking my shoes off. It hurts so much to wear them sometimes because the pain is on the side of my feet, too. I'm going to get new shoes though, so I can wear the stupid boot, but I don't know what to get. Since I have PF on both feet, I have to get good shoes, not something cheap. I haven't looked into the cost of Birkenstocks yet, which I keep reading are good shoes, and I afraid of what they might cost. I need a shoe with nearly an inch and a half height to balance with the boot. Any suggestions out there?

Well, that's basically my story, which I hope didn't sound too much like complaining. Has anyone else out there had problems with those Lands End shoes, or heard about it before?

Re: Can we all try this......

Carole C in NOLA on 6/14/03 at 23:20 (121893)

Rebecca, I too had lost 80 pounds in the year and a half before I got PF. My weight loss was sort of plateau-ing, so I bought a recumbent bicycle (exercycle) because I thought the exercise would jump-start the weight loss.

It turned out that my new and vigorous exercise program on my recumbent bicycle caused my PF. There is no doubt about it. I got rid of my PF, and then as soon as I started riding my recumbent bike again, bingo! My PF came back. Most people can do that without it aggravating their PF, though.

My suggestion is to think about whether or not you have just started some new sort of exercise that involves repetitive motion like that.

By the way, I too had not had any foot problems when I was heavier. So that is why I'm thinking that it's possible that your PF is an exercise injury.

As far as Birkenstocks go, they are pretty expensive (usually around $90-$120, although you can get them for less sometimes) but they are well worth it. PF is a very expensive condition, because you need good, supportive (expensive) shoes, and you need different pairs because switching from shoe to shoe can help. I ended up buying five pairs of Birkenstocks, 3 pairs of SAS, 2 pairs of New Balance (and a partridge in a pear tree? LOL). I don't know of any good, supportive shoe that will give you an inch and a half height to balance with the boot.

Birkenstocks are very low, lower than most flat shoes. Most people find that the 'Arizona' model is the most helpful for their PF, though the 'Florida' and the 'Boston' are popular too. You can look at the styles at http://www.birkenstockexpress.com . I bought two pairs there, and they arrived promptly and in perfect condition.

Do continue the stretching! It sounds like it's helping considerably. :)

Carole C

Re: Can we all try this......

Mar on 6/15/03 at 06:34 (121902)

Rebecca -

Flip-flops are the most comfortable for me too and my pod and I have a thing about them. He says they are the worst and yet they feel the best. I haven't used them since last summer. Used them yesterday and there is so much less pain. Mine have a little bit of a molded foot bed, although they are old and cheap. My pod also wanted me to wear shoes with orthotics from the minute I get up until i go to bed. I just cannot keep shoes on that long. The pressure of shoes is very uncomfortable and the being enclosed also. I think we should follow doctor's suggestions until we find that we are atypical and then do a combo of their suggestions and what we know helps us. Since it sounds like you are just starting with doctors, following their suggestions as much as possible is probably a good idea. Most people do get relief from the traditional treatments. Good luck -- Mar

Re: Can we all try this......

Rebecca R on 6/16/03 at 00:25 (121967)

I have no doubt that bad shoes were the major cause of my PF. I can't think of anything I did differently physically. The only change was my shoes. I've never been a 'shoe person' and had been wearing the same pair of athletic shoes a long time. Maybe my feet were just not happy with change. :)

I'm going to get some Birkenstocks (thanks for the link), probably the Arizona. But, what does SAS mean?

Re: Can we all try this......

ScottW on 6/16/03 at 08:55 (121980)

Thanks for all of your kind replies and suggestions. It is comforting to know that others are going through similar struggles and that I am not the only one. I wish all of you well.

Re: Can we all try this......

monte on 6/16/03 at 09:42 (121986)

Scott...I remember speaking with you on the telephone last year. Have you had any improvement from that time? I think I spoke to your wife too.
Keep in touch.

Re: Can we all try this......

DianaI on 6/16/03 at 11:49 (121997)

Rebecca - I am usually just read the posts on this site, but your problem has finally given me the courage to reply. I also purchased the LandsEnd All Weather Mocs for my daughter in January. She wore them on a trip she made with her son to Illinois to look at a college he is interested in attending. They were the only shoes she took on her trip. Her feet constantly bothered her and they only relief she got was when she kicked them off at the end of day. When she got home and told me about it I said for her to not put them on again! She doesn't have a problem with her feet. I have PF also (which is the reason I keep reading here) and I certainly wouldn't wish that on anyone. They didn't injure her feet, thank goodness, as they did yours. It was strange as she had previously had a pair of clogs from the same company and got along fine with them. Must have had more of an arch support.
Anyway, I constantly change my shoes and have many pair of orthotics, most of them gathering dust in the closet. I wear 810 New Balance, SAS,with orthotics, and my good old Arizona Birkenstocks - they give me cool comfort at the end of a day. My New Balance are new so still don't leave them on too long at a time. Thanks to all who post here - I have received so much helpful information.

Re: Can we all try this......

Rebecca R on 6/16/03 at 14:16 (122007)

Hi Diana,

I hope your daughter listens and never wears those shoes again. Lands' End has a great return policy. You can return anything at anytime for any reason. My sister also got a pair of the mocs when I did, and she started having problems, but she still hasn't given up the shoes. I told her that cute shoes are not worth hurt feet, but she is a little odd about these kinds of things. I'm hoping that now as she sees what I'm going through, she will get rid of them.

I ordered some Arizona's on line last night. I've never heard of SAS before and can't find anything on line about them. I'm wishing I could afford a pair of New Balance, but the Birdenstocks busted me for now. :)

By the way, I aslo usually only read any message boards I come across. This is the first one I've posted to. I'm glad I did, as I have received many helpful responses. Thanks to everyone!

Re: Can we all try this......

Suzanne D on 6/16/03 at 15:05 (122012)

Hi, Rebecca! SAS stands for San Antonio Shoes, I believe. Someone on the shoes/inserts/orthotics board asked about finding them online, and I am pasting my reply to her here:

Unfortunately, the SAS company does not allow their products to be advertised or sold online. Places you can look are the following: specialty shoe stores, stores which advertise they have products for diabetics or those who wear orthotics, the Yahoo yellow pages (I think that's what they're called; Carole C. if you see this, please straighten me out!), and the yellow pages in your phone book. The store where I purchase my SAS shoes is just a locally owned, private business that carries many brands of shoes. But in their ad in the phone book, they list SAS shoes among a few others.

Good luck! I understand what you mean about spending so much on shoes; many of us have 'been there'!

Hope you begin feeling better soon!
Suzanne :)

Re: Rebecca and Diana

marie on 6/16/03 at 18:16 (122026)

Welcome! Thanks for your posts. Now we can learn from you!;)

Do come back!


Re: Can we all try this......

Carole C in NOLA on 6/16/03 at 19:39 (122040)

SAS stands for the San Antonio Shoe Company. They aren't easy to find, though. You might be able to find them if you try your yellow pages for a SAS shoe store, or a store that sells diabetic or orthopedic shoes.

I hope you have thrown those shoes away! They sound like they are definitely not right for your feet. I hope the Birkenstocks help you. Be sure to get a pair with the 'classic footbed' to begin with, like the Arizona (which is the most popular here), or the Florida, the Granada (kind of pretty! I'm wearing them now), the Boston, or some others. That website tells you for each shoe if it's a classic footbed or not.

Carole C

Re: also, breaking in Birkenstocks...

Carole C in NOLA on 6/16/03 at 19:43 (122041)

Also, I forgot to say... be sure to break in your Birkenstocks. Start with an hour or two the first day, and increase by a half hour or hour a day for the first week or two. You can tell when they are broken in, because after a few days suddenly the cork footbeds will feel much softer like marshmallows kind of. If you don't break them in slowly, your feet may 'reject' them and cramp up, and you won't be able to wear your $120 shoes. :)

Carole C

Re: Can we all try this......

Carole C in NOLA on 6/16/03 at 19:46 (122042)

yes, Suzanne, they are called the Yahoo yellow pages. Go to http://www.yahoo.com , and then click on 'yellow pages'. That's where I found my SAS shoe store, and it's the only place I know of online where a person can find them.

CArole C

Re: Can we all try this......

Rachael T. on 6/16/03 at 22:38 (122063)

Hmmmm, Hate to sound like I am echoing everyone else....but after2+ years of PF & all ALL the treatments (orth., umpteen shots, tapings, heat, ionto, u/sound, accupuncture, ice, hot wax foot baths, rest, & more!) which includes ESWT & several pairs of prescribed orthotics - Yes, thank goodness, I am a lot better; but not there yet! I have always been active - a dancer from age 5 to 20; a cheerleader all thru high school; & a horsetrainer for my entire adult life & I am now 52, & much less active - but only due to PF! I have been off anti-inflamm. for 2 wks. 'this time' & I am hoping that the latest orthotics by 'Foot Management' are going to 'keep me OK.' But, I continue to be careful & take 1-10mg. elavil nightly -- Pain Level..? On a scale of 1-10, a year or so ago, I used to say I was a pain level of 12 or 15, depending upon which day it was!! Now, I hover around 0,1,2 & sometimes 3. What has helped me the most? I think Birkenstocks have been my greatest help & Yes, 've been known to 'paste & patch' on my arch area regularly adding pads on bad days to 'protect/or heal' myself more. It seems like this has truly been a battle as it has been for everyone else here. But, after 2 years now, I can truly say I am much better - I am hopeful!! & I hope that hearing that I have improved can make each of you have hope that you will too - in time!!

Re: Can we all try this......

ScottW on 6/17/03 at 06:48 (122080)

Yes we spoke by phone. I couldn't remember your screen name here. Good to talk to you again. No improvement for me. I am still pretty much at the same place. Thanks for asking. How about yourself? Any improvement?

Re: SAS address and phone number

Suzanne D on 6/17/03 at 09:42 (122096)

For those who have been inquiring about how to find SAS shoes, I have looked up this address and phone number. This information appeared in material which came with my shoes:

'If you have any questions about SAS products or where to find them, we will be glad to help you at the SAS Casa Department, 1717 SAS Drive, San Antonio, TX 78224. (210) 921-7415.'

Re: Can we all try this......

Marty on 6/17/03 at 13:19 (122124)

Hi Everyone,

There's so many new names here and it's only been 3 months since I was a daily poster. I'm 43 6'2' 210lbs. I have weight lifted since just a teen.

My symptoms started 7 years ago when I went from sitting all day for 7 years to standing all day on concrete.

I have both TTS and PF

1st burning in arch area.
2nd arching pains up to my knees

4 pods
2 neurologist
1 orthopedic surgeon
1 general

2 sets of blood work ups Last one real extensive
Nerve conduction test

All - including surgery (3 months post opp) and neurontin. I haven't yet had eswt ... working on getting soon

Re: Can we all try this......

Zane U on 6/18/03 at 08:22 (122212)

Mar, this is interesting. I have the same symptoms as you. PF for 13 years, no pain upon first getting out of bed, but pain within a few minutes of standing. Walking wears me down to a painful condition. Standing still is the worst for me. My heels feel like they are bruised & hit with a baseball bat. I was very surprised to read your similar description.

I think we should keep in contact. If one of us is healed we can help the other. My email address is below. I'm thinking of trying eswt, I have tried everything else like you have. It seems eswt did not help you. Was there any % improvement? Can you tell me what kind of eswt machine was used? Was it low or high energy, Ossatron, Sonocur? My doctor has Sonocur but only Ossatron is FDA approved.

Thanks for any info and I hope you have more good days than bad. Please write me back.

Zane Ullman
(email removed)

Re: also, breaking in Birkenstocks...

Holly on 6/19/03 at 15:27 (122371)

Whoa!! I can't believe all the stuff I'm hearing. I never thought anyone could hurt so bad from foot pain until I've read your posts!! Now I'm worried. I'm 37 year old mom of 3 kids. Always barefoot on tile floors. Never a problem. Started aerobics a month ago and after about 2 minutes (in my shoes that I've had for 7 years), my feet would feel like I got a charlie horse in them...along the arches. It would gradually go away as the workout continued but would come back again the next day. Everyone told me to throw my Nike's away and get some new shoes because that was probably what was causing the problem. I went and bought New Balance Cross Trainers. Tried those and what a joke. Made my feet hurt worse. Tried putting Dr. Scholls insoles in my old shoes and that didn't work. Tried bandaging my feet with special sport bandage thingies from Sports Authority and that didn't work. Sprained my ankle trying to 'shake off' an impending attack. I've been told to wear shoes constantly now. So, now I am and my foot pain seems to be all the time now, even though I've stopped aerobics last week. I went and bought Birkenstocks (Tahiti) from the outlet store here ($40) and they are very comfortable so I'm trying to wear them all day. I don't have any heal pain but almost more toward the front of my foot (whatever that place is called) and sometmes on the outsides. The other day I woke up and my feet hurt but then I started walking around and it quit a little. Now they're hurting me talking to you and I'm beginning to wonder if I am hypocondriac. That heel pain you guys talk about sounds absolutely awful and I'm glad I don't have that. I'm also glad there's a message board to talk about it cuz it does sound kinda broken-record around here lately...'I can't, my feet hurt' type thing... Oh, I do have to add one thing, though.... After I sprained my ankle I wore a complete ankle brace when I was doing aerobics and that seemed to help a little, but I wasn't doing a complete routine and I did baby my foot. I wonder if a supported ankle could help any of this, although I highly doubt it cuz just sitting here my feet hurt.