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Healing slowly, but worried...

Posted by Lori W. on 8/01/03 at 18:57 (125933)

I am a teacher and have been diagnosed with PF for the last 2 years (had problems before that, but not severe). I have tried numerous cures and remedies with mixed results. This summer I decided to try rest, what a concept. Although I have not been off my feet completely, I am off them most of the time. Also, I put thicker pads on my orthotics and put them in SAS shoes. My feet are a lot better--but not healed. I've got 2 weeks left and I am worried. I just know that when I am on my feet all day, I'm just going to start all over. Although I have made modifications in how I teach, when you have first graders, you need to move around. I don't want another cortizone shot and I don't want to pay for Ossatron, which is the only option in my area. I've started using the foot trainer, I ice 3 times a day and take a herbal anti-inflammatory (Zyflamend) and Bromelain. Do you have any other suggestions? I've read that walking is good therapy, but would it be good for me if I'm on my feet all day? And then I've read that heat may be better than ice. What should I do? What should I add or subtract from my regimen?

Re: Healing slowly, but worried...

Suzanne D on 8/01/03 at 23:08 (125957)

Hi, Lori! I'm not a doctor, but I also have had PF for two years and also teach first graders, so I wanted to respond to your post.

First, I'm glad that you are better and that you have been able to rest during the summer. I certainly understand what you mean about having to be up and walking in the classroom!

Not that it's a novel suggestion, but if you don't have carpet in your classroom, I would suggest that you buy some with thick padding, if possible. We moved at the end of December last year to a new school building, leaving good old wooden floors with thin carpet. Of course our new building is concrete and tile. I couldn't afford to carpet my entire room, but I carpeted about 2/3 of it and bought the thickest pad possible to go under it. That has helped my situation.

I also wear SAS shoes with orthotics as well as Birkenstock shoes. Sometimes I bring a different pair to change into during the day which can help my feet feel better. It seems they get more tired feeling if I wear the same shoes every day or even all day long. I alternate among Birk sandals, Birk Annapolis Mary Jane shoes, and the SAS walking shoes. Sometimes I can just 'feel' which will be best for the day. Other times I start out in one pair and change during the day.

If you can at all - perhaps during your planning time - it might be good to stretch your legs straight out, pressing against a desk or something sturdy with your feet. I have found that even 10 minutes of doing that while working at my desk or table can help.

Sometimes when I was standing at my old school, I could keep my heel on the floor and lift my forefoot up about 2 inches to rest on the brace at the bottom of the children's desk legs. (Our new desks are more cheaply made and don't have the braces!) But standing at a little bit of a slant like that also stretched my calves and was beneficial.

Also when you're seated, you can rotate your ankles and feet like is described when you click on the work yoga here. I have found that to help throughout the day as well.

I use my high stool even more now that I'm dealing with PF. I can move it around easily and seem to be closer with the children while still sitting.

Good luck to you in a new school year! I hope your progress holds. We begin our first day with the children next Wednesday!

Suzanne :)

Re: Healing slowly, but worried...

Dr. Z on 8/02/03 at 00:25 (125959)

Have you read the heel pain book on this site ? Walking isn't a good activity for your feet and or plantar fasciitis. I like heat. Where do you
live? ESWT is the best option if you have tried everything which it seems you have. If the fascia is micro torn then healing is going to be very difficult without ESWT and or foot surgery.

Re: Healing slowly, but worried...

Lori W. on 8/02/03 at 12:28 (126000)

Thanks for the response. Good ideas. I had not thought about putting some carpet in. Next to the front board would be a good idea. I was going to purchase a tall stool. So that should help. As far as changing shoes goes, I had been toying with that idea recently. I will try it now that I know it has helped you. The yoga exercises I have been doing and planning to take with me. Those seem to really help. I really appreciate your help. Have fun at school!

Re: Healing slowly, but worried...

Lori W. on 8/02/03 at 12:33 (126002)

I have read the heal pain book and I didn't think walking was good, but I had read in posts that some people thought it helped with recovery, that's why I was wondering. I live in Vegas. I do have a Dr. that can do Ossatron, but my insurance does not want to cover it. I e-mailed the company that makes the ESWT machine and they said they have no practitioners in Nevada. So are you thinking that it is probably going to be necessary for me to have the surgery? Can my Dr. do a test to see if the fascia is micro torn? Would that be a good step to take first?

Re: Healing slowly, but worried...

Lori W. on 8/02/03 at 12:35 (126003)

One more question about heat. How much and how often and how? Heating pad, hot water? I've never used it for this.

Re: Healing slowly, but worried...

Dr. Z on 8/02/03 at 17:24 (126023)

You have some decisions to make. Surgery or pay for ESWT. Which companies did you e-mail for information?