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A minor setback!

Posted by R C on 9/12/03 at 10:39 (129706)

Well, I had a minor setback a couple weeks ago, from which I have derived a few thoughts that I wish to share with the group.

I had had PF in my right foot for a couple of years, and managed to get pain-free about this time last year. I continued taping my foot to prevent re-injury. Two weeks ago, I had to carry my 27-pound child the full length of a shopping mall (potty accident!). Even though my foot was pretty well taped, this resulted in a small amount of pain in the original injury site that lasted several days. I managed to get it under control by really taking it easy, icing, and taping more rigorously. I expect to return to pain-free status soon. Here are some lessons that I have drawn from this experience, with the usual disclaimers about not generalizing one person's experience too broadly.

(1) I had been thinking of my PF as being 'cured', but that is not really the right word if I am still so susceptible to re-injury. This is probably the biggest disppointment since it now looks likely that the foot will never be cured in the full sense; the best I can hope for is to be pain-free for long periods of time. In particular, I may have to tape my foot for the rest of my life. (I know - better than a wheelchair.)

(2) 27 pounds is not a lot of weight, and the fact that it caused the setback underscores that if you have excess body fat, your feet might benefit from your losing it. Ironically, during 2002 I made an effort to lose my excess weight and took off about 25 pounds via swimming. It now appears that it was a major factor in my recuperation.

(3) My above experience reinforces my belief that the 'active approach' to healing (e.g., walking or running with PF to stimulate healing) wouldn't have helped in my case. I do believe, however, that exercise should be worked into the program somehow. Let me suggest rather than walking and running, that you first try something low impact such as swimming or stationary bike. You still get the overall aerobic benefit, and there is elevated circulation to the lower extremities that should directly influence healing of the PF.

Re: A minor setback!

BrianJ on 9/12/03 at 13:31 (129718)

RC --

Your points are very well taken. Thanks for taking the time to share them with us.

Re: A minor setback!

Jen L on 9/12/03 at 16:26 (129750)

R C,
I really like your approach when posing -sharing your expeirences but not generalizing what works for one should be working for everone. Every time I read on the board I'm convinced that finding a cure for PF is very individual. For one thing, keeping physically acitive as opposed to resting your feet are both important to battle the PF, and I know it's not easy to do, but the key is to find the right balance the rihgt way for each of our own.
I think you're lucky that you found 25 bl weight is the demartation between pain and pain free. It's not true in my case. I have never been overweight in my life, and have not gained any weight since PF set in 14 months ago. If I try to lose weight I would probably get into the underweight group.
I don't know if you do something to strengthen the fascia or the foot. Tried the foot trainer?

Re: A minor setback!

R C on 9/12/03 at 17:42 (129767)

I have never tried the foot trainer. I never did any exercises that targeted the feet, except during physical therapy, which was needed after 4 weeks of being in a cast.I do not believe that those exercises helped the foot to heal; rather, they restored my ankle joints and muscles from being immobile for all that time.

Re: A minor setback!

Dorothy on 9/13/03 at 02:35 (129820)

Those are very good points and instructive. Thank you. I have noticed that circulation makes a difference that can be felt. Even at those times when I am staying off my feet a little more, if I do movement to increase circulation, the feet and limbs feel much better.

Re: A minor setback!

Dorothy on 9/13/03 at 02:41 (129821)

I think you've described the whole unpredictable, inconsistent process very well.

I am one who does use the Foot Trainers and have written about them here. I got a little 'cocky' lately and had not been using them. The feet were giving a lot of grief this week so I went back to the Foot Trainers and got immediate improvement. That kind of underscores what R C was saying about this being a chronic condition of management, not cure. Sometimes it just seems that doing things to help the feet and not doing things to help the feet takes so much time, energy and attention that I just balk ... Balking didn't help matters. So back on the FT now and grateful for them.

Re: A minor setback!

francesc on 9/14/03 at 15:17 (129988)

hi RC

i have to say that i found the same thing! everytime i have to carry
my 30+ pound daughter around (which turns out to be more often than
i'd like) and i have to walk around doing it, it causes my PF to act
up. so it seems like everytime the pain is going away, it comes back.

i found that when i was on vacation for 4 days without kids, even though
i walked 2 or more hours a day, my PF was not noticeable. partly because
i think i wasn't carrying anyone and partly because i wasn't on my feet
all the time like i am at home -- getting meals ready, doing the dishes,
laundry, etc.

let me point out, though, that when i developed PF, i think it was from
over-training and running with non-running shoes.

i actually read an article in Elle magazine that said that there was a
study that showed that people on low-fat diets seemed to develop over-use
injuries (knee and foot) more often than those on an average diet.

so i write this as i finish 2 scoops of ice cream! :-)


Re: A minor setback!

Dorothy on 9/14/03 at 19:22 (130001)

The last part of your message might tie in to inadequate calcium and/or magnesium (important for muscle flexibility) and/or Vitamin D - if the diet is restricted. It might also be related to inadequate essential fatty acids in the body - for example, fish oils are often recommended for arthritis so it would stand to reason that those EFAs benefit the musculoskeletal system in some ways.
Ice cream? Well, you're getting calcium and the fat from the conjugated lineoleic (or is it lineolinic?) acid - but hey, the reality is you're getting ICE CREAM!!