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Heel Pain

Posted by Kristen on 8/19/03 at 11:41 (127299)

I have had heel pain for five years and I finally went to the doctor 2 weeks ago since it was getting to the point that I could hardly walk anymore. I was diagosed with PF in both feet and I have 2 heel spurs in each foot. I am at my wits end now since I am unable to work because I can't be on my feet and no offices hire w/o experience. I feel I have tried almost everything and nothing helps. I have tried inserts, birkenstock shoes, night splints,arch supporting shoes,ice, excercises and yesterday I had cortizone injections which made my pain 100 times worse. The doctor told me today to soak my feet in warm water a couple times a day to help with the pain, but I don't know what else to do. It seems like all the treatments out there either don't work, are temporary, or take a long time to see any results. Nowadays it takes 2 incomes to pay the bills and by treatments not helping isn't getting me back to work any sooner, and I cannot have the surgery because there will be no one to take take care of me and I have not heard good things about ESWT (Electronic Shock Wave Therapy)which my podiatrist want to try next. DOes anyone have have any suggestions?

Re: Heel Pain

R C on 8/19/03 at 11:54 (127300)

Sorry to hear about your injury.

Some additional things to try: tape your feet (see link to Scott's heel book); if one foot is much worse, talk to your pod about a cast.

Things to avoid: weight-bearing stretches, any exercise or activity that is painful. If you stand a lot at work, that may be the thing that keeps the injury from healing.

Do you know what caused your PF? Was it an avoidable thing (e.g., basketball, running on sand, etc.)? Do you have extra pounds to spare (I lost about 25 pounds by swimming, and it made a big difference to my feet)?

We'll try to help you through this with more thoughts and suggestions. Keep the faith.

Re: Heel Pain

Carolyn L on 8/19/03 at 17:16 (127340)

I have to tell you I have had friend with PF and they have gotten relief with z-coil shoes. They have a coil for cushioning and a rigid orthotic for support and protection of the plantar ligament. I know more than one person with PF that have tried z-coils and they say in 2-3 weeks the symptoms have disappeared. You can check them out at http://www.zcoil.com .
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Re: Heel Pain

Carolyn L on 8/19/03 at 17:19 (127341)

I have to tell you I have a friend with PF and they have gotten relief with z-coil shoes. They have a coil for cushioning and a rigid orthotic for support and protection of the plantar ligament. I know more than one person with PF that have tried z-coils and they say in 2-3 weeks the symptoms have disappeared. You can check them out at http://www.zcoil.com . Good Luck
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Re: Heel Pain

Kristen on 8/20/03 at 09:52 (127387)

The pain started 5 years ago when I got a job that required me to be on my fett all the time(there aren't many jobs where you can sit).
I was never into sports except for swimming which I rarely get to do anymore. I am mostly active around my house. I was recently doing alot of things outside in the heat, and all the other things that go along with being a house wife lately since I am unable to work.
My doctor gave me stretches to do to stretch my tendon because he said it was one of the worst that he has seen,and that puts all my weight on my legs and feet, and especially my back. He wanted me to do them 15 minutes 2-3 times a day but I have hardly done them because they are so painful.
My heel is worse in my left foot and my ankle (tendon area)is worse in my right foot.
The one thing the doctor had not told is how I am supposed to get rid of these 2 heel spurs in each foot. He is primarily concerned with my tendons.
Soaking my feet in warm water has helped very little so far since these crystals formed in my feet after the cortizone injections. Hopefully it passes soon.
Thanks you for your support and advice, it really means alot to me.

Re: Heel Pain

Kristen on 8/20/03 at 09:54 (127388)

Thank you. I found a store that sells them about an hour away from where I live and I plan on going there today to try them. Again thanks alot.

Re: Heel Pain

R C on 8/20/03 at 14:59 (127416)

I would discontinue the weight-bearing stretches, as very few readers of this board have anything good to say about them. Search under 'Juile's Stretches' for an alternative to stretch out the calf muscle.

Staying off your feet as much as possible will probably help.

My understanding is that the bone spur itself does cause the pain (see Scott's heel pain book) -- this is good news, as you need not be thinking about surgery for spur removal.

My next suggestion is to try either orthotics or tape. For most people they are the main element of a succesful treatment.

If there's any way you can swim 2 or 3 times a week, it would help, too. Something about working your whole body aerobically seems to promote good health, healing of injuries.

Re: Heel Pain

BrianG on 8/21/03 at 20:37 (127596)

Hi Kristen,

If it is impossible for you to work, and you expect to be out of work for at least 1 year, you can apply for Social Security Disability. It's not easy to get approved, but it can be done. You really need meticulous notes, a doctor that will back you all the way, a good lawyer wouldn't hurt, and be over 50 years old. MIssing any one of these key things will lower your odds of being accepted. I hope you don't have to apply, but it's an option.

Good luck
Brian

Re: Heel Pain

john h on 8/22/03 at 15:39 (127697)

Brian I thought you were 39.

Re: Heel Pain

Kristie R. on 8/24/03 at 08:23 (127800)

I found some relief throught pyhical theraphy and massage of the calf muscles. My first PT was avery nice man---but didn't help. I now see two young men who have helped me with my streching, massage and strenghting. When I first started going I couldn't walk down stairs, because my achillis tendon was too tight. It hasn't cured the problem but it makes life a little more livable.

Re: Heel Pain

Kathy G on 8/26/03 at 08:18 (128022)

Kristie,

Have you tried a slant board? Sometimes that can really help to stretch the achilles tendon and lessen the pain. Scott explains the correct angle in the heel pain book. You can just use books to make it. It might help, along with the massage.

Re: Heel Pain

Kristie R. on 8/26/03 at 08:47 (128025)

Great idea Kathy. I'll give it a try.

Re: Heel Pain

john h on 8/26/03 at 10:36 (128036)

Most physical thearpy locations use a slant board. I purchased one on the net somewhere. I really have not used it on a regular basis as one should and i think it's big use is for achilles tendonitits which is what I originally purchased it for.

Re: Heel Pain

Dorothy on 8/26/03 at 14:24 (128063)

And maybe warming up the area first - maybe using an infrared massager (cheap, effective, under $10 at WalMart - handheld, heat and/or massage) or some gentle movements - getting the area warmed up - then the stretches and massage. The FootTrainers can be helpful for this kind of problem as well.