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Mountain Climb

Posted by John H on 9/29/03 at 18:22 (131664)

It is now 24 hours since my climb up a very steep and rocky mountain. My feet have been around a 1-3 pain level for many months. After my descent my feet were sore as most of the climb was on rocks and your feet were constantly being torqued or dorsiflexed. I am happy to report today my feet are no worse. I am unhappy to report that my thigh muscles are in agony. Going up stairs in no problem. Going down stairs I prefer to slide on the banister. I think when you make a steep descent you put a lot of tension on those thigh muscles and stretch them which has them very sore. I can deal with this as I know it will go away soon enough. I am very happy my fascia is no worse and I very much wonder how after putting my feet through this torture test they have not reacted? This brings up the matter often discussed about resting feet and being careful of what you do with them. Why do my feet not feel worse? I had to jump on various occasions from one rock to another which is a no no in the PF world. Rebocks are a little to slippery on sloping rocks. I did not fall but my feet did slide a couple of times and I came close. Next time I will buy some hiking boots.

Re: Mountain Climb

Suzanne D on 9/29/03 at 18:54 (131667)

Good for you, John! =D> I'm very happy that your feet are no worse after such a strenuous workout.

That is a puzzle, isn't it? Sometimes for no apparent reason, we have all noticed that our feet just feel so much worse. Then there are those times like you have reported when we don't understand why they DON'T feel worse!

At any rate, I'm glad to hear the good news,
Suzanne :)

Re: Mountain Climb

Carole C in NOLA on 9/29/03 at 19:19 (131668)

John, it's great to read about you mountain climbing, slippery Reeboks or not. I think you have made considerable progress, perhaps partially due to that last ESWT treatment or who knows? I remember how you used to long to run and hike again and lead an active life. And now you are springing off of slippery sloping rocks like a gazelle. Such a satisfying triumph. :)

P.S., I found as my feet allowed me to do more, that the rest of my body had gotten even more out of shape because I had not been able to keep up my normal level of activity with PF. When I began to be able to do more things, my legs and especially my knees ached because I didn't realize that they were not used to it. It probably won't take long before your legs feel strong and pain free. :)

Carole C

Re: Mountain Climb

John H on 9/29/03 at 19:41 (131673)

Carole it is now 7:30pm and I think my PF actually feels better but since my thighs are so sore I am not sure. I finally used that European walking stick I bought last year. It works wonders in the rocky area. I saw a number of people using them but of the hundreds of people at the base of the mountain I only met 4 at the summit including a mom and two teens and Mr. World Athlete who ran up the mountain and passed me on the way down like a mountain goat. One slip on those boulders and you would do something real bad to your body as in some places the drop off was into areas I could not even see the bottom of. I would hate to be at the top and have it rain as I do not think you could make it down those rocks except on hands and knees which is not very possible. I think the only way anyone injured up there could be evacuated would be by helcopter. If I did not have a cell phone I would not make that climb. Since PF has it's own time table I will wait a few days before I proclaim it caused no harm.

Re: Mountain Climb

marie on 9/29/03 at 19:49 (131674)

Congratulations! I thought making it through the grocery store was a big feat or is that feet...haha. Could it be that you may have used some muscles in your thighs that you haven't used in a while? I have to wonder how active you were before PF. Could it be that you overdid it back then and now you can do some physical activities in moderation without making your PF flare up? Whatever your doing it must be working.

I'm getting ready to take high school kids on a hiking trip to photograph landscape and nature. We'll be at a Buffalo Preserve in the afternoon. I hope I fare as well as you.

best wishes marie

Re: Mountain Climb

Suzanne D on 9/29/03 at 20:31 (131682)

John, three years ago (before PF) I got a chance to go to Mexico with my daughter to visit friends. While there we got to go up a mountain in the butterfly sanctuary ~ so beautiful. We were there at just the right time; the butterflies which had been there all winter were just leaving to fly back north. There were hundreds of thousands of them! They hung in clumps as big as hornet's nests in the trees, and there were so many of them that you could hear them flying!

Anyway, we had a nice guide who spoke only Spanish, and I only knew two words - hola and gracias. On the way down, we didn't need words to communicate: he just watched me for a little while and then smiled and handed me his walking stick. I said, 'Gracias!' and was thankful for it. I had been clutching to trees on my way down to keep from slipping. He scampered down easily while I used the stick and gingerly made my way down.

Sorry for the long story! Your telling about using the European walking stick brought that to my mind.

Suzanne :)

Re: Mountain Climb

Kathy G on 9/30/03 at 07:55 (131717)


Glad to hear you didn't come down on your rear end or you'd really be sore! That's the way I would have made it down, sore feet or not! Heck, I'd have fallen off the mountain before I reached the summit!

Perhaps you've reached the point, in your recovery, where you can do things like mountain climbing again. That would be wonderful. Who knows the reason why? Are you taking it easier than usual since you went for the climb?

Hope the good news continues!

Re: Mountain Climb

john h on 9/30/03 at 13:06 (131747)

Yes I am Kathy because my darn thigh muscles are so sore. My next great venture will be to run around the track at the health club for a few laps and see what happens. My feet are still around a pain level of 1-3 depending and have been this way for over a year. If climbing in those rocks did not cause anything bad it is hard to think running a few laps on a soft track.could be any worse. I know this for sure that the next time I climb in the rocks I will have some rock climbing shoes. Your standard running shoe will slide on steep rocks. I am really not into mountain climbing so was ill prepared. Once I got started I was not going to turn back. This Saturday we are having the breast cancer run (women only) and there will be 3 miles of men on the sidelines shoulder to shoulder. In our small city of 186,000 we will have 35,000 runners. One of the largest turnouts anywhere in the country. We had over 30,000 last year. It is a sight to behold.

Re: Mountain Climb

john h on 9/30/03 at 14:01 (131752)

Suzanne: The walking stick is really great, It is sort of high tech. It collapses and is easily adjustable in length. The tip that hits the ground also has several change outs including one for snow. I doubt if it weighs 1 lb. I have always wondered how all those butterflys make it this far in high winds? Same thing with the humming birds. In Europe a lot of people apparently use them in pairs.

Re: Mountain Climb

john h on 9/30/03 at 14:11 (131755)

Marie: before PF I played basketball every day at noon with my buddies. We were very competitive so you used all your leg muscles. I also was a certified running addict but with PF for the past 8 years I have surely lost my muscle tone. The mind is willing but the body seems to have some difficulty. I did a stress test a couple of months ago and aced that so my heart is in top shape so says the cardiologist. I did manage to run on the treadmill at a steep angle during this test which created no foot problems. It is interesting to be running on the treadmill and looking at a monitor with a live picture of your heart as you run. I was proud of myself as I felt I could have gone on for another 25 minutes when he said I was wasting his time and he had me stop. Both the cardiologist and nurse who was there had PF and seemed more worried about my PF than my heart.

Re: Mountain Climb

marie on 9/30/03 at 15:55 (131765)

Well it's good to know that your heart is in good condition. I had an overhaul last year on tests. Overall I'm in pretty good shape. I have to keep an eye on my heart because I was born with a patent ovale forum. The docs believe that the flap opens occasionally and that's why i had a few mini and not so mini strokes. So I take my baby aspirin every day.

My understanding of muscles is that as you get older you can actually loose muscle mass that's almost impossible to regain. I'm trying to exercise as much as possible so my legs don't get any mushier than they already are. It's not an easy task. I used to love to shoot hoops and play basketball with the guys but no way now. I still shoot however.

Well it sounds like your doing well and that makes me happy.


Re: Mountain Climb

Ed Davis, DPM on 9/30/03 at 16:36 (131771)

The difficulty in regaining the muscle mass with aging is due to hormonal changes, particularly decreased testosterone and growth hormone levels which occurs naturally with the aging process. Supplementation of those hormones is sometimes performed as part of 'anti-aging' medicine and is somewhat controversial.

Re: Mountain Climb

marie on 9/30/03 at 20:13 (131798)

I don't take hormones for a variety of reasons. for one thing my doctor never believed me when I told him I thought I was menopausal. That was about 7 years ago. When he finally broke down and gave me the test he said I had the highest score he'd ever seen and apologized. Basically I went through menopause cold turkey. I very rarely have a hot flash NOW so I didn't see the purpose of going on it. Plus there seemed to be alot of research indicating that women who took it were at risk for breast cancer and heart disease. Since I have that in my family history I decided not to go on it. I do take calcium amongst a variety of vitamins. I feel pretty healthy except for my dumb feet and this really stupid flu that turned into a miserable sinus infection. Time to go fill my vaporizer and slab on some vicks.....ugh!!!!

Thanks for the info....I hope I can maintain what muscle tone I have.

best wishes marie

Re: John...

Suzanne D on 9/30/03 at 21:43 (131806)

That DOES sound like a high-tech walking stick - and a very handy one to have around!

Yes, those beautiful butterflies look so very fragile, but evidently they are tougher than they appear! Of course the guide explained (interpreted through my Spanish speaking friends) that actually the ones that start out on the long journey don't make it all the way, but their offspring continue the journey. Isn't that amazing that they all know where to go?! When I was there in March, they were just stirring and beginning to leave the mountains to travel north. There had been some snow just about a week before which broke some branches, and there they lay with huge clumps of dead butterflies on them, in the remains of the snow.

By the way, John, I just saw tonight(because of reading a message Dr. Ed posted) that if I type in 'reverse order' on the social/support board, messages come up. One of them was from you asking where everyone went. I usually use the 'index' feature, and clicking on it, since Sunday afternoon there has been a message stating that the social board was shut down for 3 days. I didn't try to post anything, but I thought I would tell you that.

Hope your feet are still feeling fine after your climb.

Suzanne :)

Re: Mountain Climb

Dorothy on 10/01/03 at 00:49 (131817)

Marie ~
Are you familiar with the technique for sinus problems - acute as well as chronic as well as prevention - that is called sinus irrigation, also called nasal irrigation or nasal douching or nasal lavage? This is an ancient technique - part of yoga (in the most complete sense) practice and has been shown to be extremely effective at relieving sinus problems and preventing them. If you do a google search under nasal irrigation, I think you will find various sites that will describe it for you. Although you did not ask, I am offering this information because I am prone to sinus problems and have had a couple of very painful sinus infections in the past. Since I discovered this practice and use it regularly, this is one problem that I can pretty well fix. It's a great thing to know about.
Nasal irrigation is different from using the sprays that you find at drugstores because it is a method that actually washes out the sinus and nasal passages, but it does use a saline solution. There are various methods that people use, but many use what is called the neti pot - a ceramic pot that is designed for easy use. Most health food/natural health stores carry them or you can mail order one from http://www.gaiam or http://www.harmony - and other places, too. If you are not familiar with all of this practice, it sounds weird - but, honest, it works, is cheap, easy and it works. The problem with antibiotics for a sinus infection is that the organisms that cause s.i. are increasingly antibiotic resistant; that is why this simple and effective method is such a marvelous thing. Just offering something that I know to be useful for something that I know to be painful ....

Re: John...

john h on 10/01/03 at 09:53 (131828)

Suzanne: Since I always open up using the 'reverse order' button I did not realize it was down. I was going to take a week or so hiatus from it anyway so thanks for the information. Was wondering why I was the only one tht seemed to be left. The techno geek Judy aslso advised me that the reverse order was still open.

Re: Mountain Climb

marie on 10/01/03 at 15:15 (131853)

Thanks Dorothy. I looked up some of the various nasal irrigation systems. I will check out some of our health stores and the drug stores in town. Hey I'd be willing to try anything. I have had sinus problems for 20 years. It's certainly worth a try. My kids have problems too...now I know what to get them for Christmas.

I'm a little better today but am just feeling run down.


Re: Mountain Climb

diana on 10/01/03 at 21:58 (131903)

I have had the same experience you have had after hiking. It doesn't make sense because I can stroll thru walmart and they hurt like crazy. I do have more trouble going down than up, footwise but I wear hiking boots. I don't hike as much as I'd like to but I've decided I'm going to keep hiking some. I have had PF/tts for 5 years now and tried all the 'cures' including surgery on one foot. I do wear backless shoes alot now and I think that helps me also. Diana

Re: Mountain Climb

Dorothy on 10/02/03 at 02:10 (131913)

I didn't know you had sinus problems. I do, too and it can be a bummer. I hope the nasal irrigation helps you. It certainly has helped me and many others. Many allergists and otolaryngologists recommend it as first 'line of defense'. What I found was that I had to experiment for a while before I got the right combination of solution and technique but I think you'll find it pretty do-able with a little practice. This past year I found the solution that I think works the best for me and will be glad to share it if you don't find good success with your own search. I think you'll be glad you found this information eventually. Good luck!