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Plantars Fasciitis?

Posted by John G. on 10/03/03 at 19:44 (132116)

I am a 52 year old male, very strong legs from running and tennis over the years. Have resorted to walking, usually, power walks at the high school track. 3-6 miles. In the last three months developed chronic pain more so in the left heel and the symptons are similar to what I've researched as Plantars Fasciitis. I have tried inserts, IBUPROFEN, Bextra, not walking, and cannot seem to relieve the pain or pressure. I have tried stretching, walking on the beach. Believe it or not, I can do the walking, but the after effects are sometimes awful. Do you have any advice. The most relief I feel is when I take a shower and the warm runoff water is very relieving. Ice has not helped. Thanks.

Re: Plantars Fasciitis?

Bob G. on 10/03/03 at 23:07 (132143)

Hi John,

I can relate (age 54)- been there, done that. What helped the most was total rest, for over a year. That's long story short.

Now I am back to running on the beach. Of course, there were other details, like night splint, etc. - but rest was the cure. Then the comeback. It takes time.

Only reason I mention this is that you did not. There is a good chance rest is part of the picture. Good luck! BG

Re: Plantars Fasciitis?

John H on 10/04/03 at 09:45 (132159)

Bob: you are possible correct. as a type A person i am very poor at total rest. I am not sure I could do it unless i was incapaciated. this is what got me into this mess. when I first showed symptoms of PF I just kept on running until the pain stopped me in my tracks. I doubt I have ever rested for a full month without either walking or riding a bike or doing something. I read from some of the posters where they were casted for 12 weeks which sort of simulates rest and many came out worse than before they were casted. when you say total rest what exactly do you mean?

Re: Plantars Fasciitis?

Ellen J. on 10/04/03 at 15:58 (132195)

Hi John,
I have had Plantar F. for 4 yrs. and the thing that kept the inflammation going for so long was that I kept trying to exercise and that would cause re-inflammation of the foot. I was a runner when I got P.F. and as soon as my feet would start to feel better, I would go out and run. Then my feet would be worse the next day. This year I have recovered far more than in the past (still recovering but can now walk pain-free) and I finally started to recover by not exercising for a long time. That was difficult at first since I was an exercise fanatic but over time my brain adjusted to it. I also discovered that all that arch support that works for everyone else was really messing up my feet. Therefore my feet are now far, far better since wearing a pair of Teva Circuit sandals (they have very little arch support). I don't know what I'll do when it starts to snow in Vermont since these are the shoes that are helping my feet so much.
Here is the thing about P.F. that got me into so much trouble: Each time my feet would get to the pain-free point, I would go out and bicycle or something, thinking I was cured. Then, the next day after the workout my feet would be a mess again. When you finally start working out again, you have to do it so slowly that you'll want to pull your hair out! My feet are pain-free when I walk around, so I went on vacation and decided I could walk on flat trails with no problem. I did that for about 3 hours until I found my feet starting to get little pains. Luckily, I quit walking but was a bit sore afterward. I realized I should not have walked so long on the first time out but it was my exercise-fanatic personality that was ruling me while walking.
Sorry this is so long--just thought it might help a bit to describe my experience.
Ellen J.
PS. I also found that stretching was very BAD for me while in the painful stages!! All it did was to rip my feet up again.

Re: Plantars Fasciitis?

John H on 10/04/03 at 18:06 (132211)

Ellen: Your experience is not far off the mark from mine. I do wear my sandals in the winter (sometimes) and even to work (sometimes). For the past month or so I have stayed mostly in my SAS shoes and my feet are not as comfortable as in my sandals (Birks). How does a guy with a home not mow the yard, rake the leaves, clean the gutters, and do all the other guy stuff around the house and still rest? I do not mind doing those things in fact I like doing them but they have to be done. How does a mom with toddlers rest? Unless she can afford a nannny she is in big trouble. Thanks for your post.

Re: resting

Ellen J. on 10/04/03 at 18:47 (132217)

Hi John,
The way I rested during my resting phase was that I just didn't do anything extreme. If I had to mow the lawn I would walk slower so as not to push too hard (pushing or lifting anything strains the feet). Over time you find out what movements strain your feet and you find ways to modify the chores so that your feet can deal with it. For a long time I coudn't even squat down to clean a floor, as that always made my feet worse--so I would slowly get down on my knees instead of squatting--etc. etc. It's really a pain in the rear but when your feet start to heal up it is very exciting! I'm now back at the fitness center lifting weights and using the rowing machine but I do not do any squats or leg presses since in the past, those would strain my feet. I may do them in the future but with P.F. you have to be sure the feet are ready for something and even then I would just do squats using only the bar (no weights) at first.
I hope your feet start to feel better soon. Also, I hope you don't live in a cold climate since you are mostly wearing sandals too!

Re: Plantars Fasciitis?

Bob G. on 10/05/03 at 06:36 (132287)

Hi John,

I really needed to post a long story as my story is long. What I meant by total rest was not doing anything more than simple walking. No stretching, no dancing (ouch!) or anything that could re-injure.

It also took me weeks if not months to learn to live with the nightsplint - which was major help to me.

Then, after a very long time, my heel was in a position to make a gentle come-back. The come-back has taken a long time, but that's another story involving knee pain.

By rest I meant not doing anything that could re-injure. Good luck!