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plantar fasciitis/2 yrs & nothing helps

Posted by Gail M on 10/23/03 at 22:35 (135218)

I've been fighting this for two years, have seen 2 different podiatrists and they have very different opinions on how to treat it, what kind of shoe I should wear, etc. I've had 10 cortizone shots in 2 years and they only help temporarily. My doctor is now talking about surgery to collapse the fasca. He says it's not a major surgery and should stop the pain. Has anyone had this? If so, did it help and what was the down time.

Thanks

Re: plantar fasciitis/2 yrs & nothing helps

nancy s. on 10/23/03 at 22:52 (135220)

lorinda: oh, i'm sorry -- gail! : have you read the heel pain book? it should provide you with the answers you seek. if not, please go ahead and ask specific questions of the many caring posters here.

good luck to you.

nancy
.

Re: plantar fasciitis/2 yrs & nothing helps

Steve G on 10/23/03 at 23:50 (135226)

Gail - First of all, that's too many shots in a two year period. don't have any more. Read the book and make sure you are taking advantage of all the treatment options. Surgery is the LAST resort. Ask you doctor about ESWT. This non-invasive procedure should definitely be considered before surgery.

Re: plantar fasciitis/2 yrs & nothing helps

Kathy L on 10/24/03 at 02:05 (135231)

I suggest you search back on my posts on MSM and supplements and try them!

Re: plantar fasciitis/2 yrs & nothing helps

LARA on 10/24/03 at 09:00 (135248)

My podiatrist (who recognized TTS immediately after I'd had 3 years of dealing with it and having it missed by 4 other doctors) says that if PF lasts over a year with treatment, it is likely Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome. Have you explored that?

Also, the same doctor 'gave' me compression socks, and they provided some relief immediately and in about a month I was stabilized at a level that was quite nice.

I also realized that my feet got worse when I had soup or heavily salted shoes so my doctor and I thought I should try a diuretic (sp?). I think it's helped - but not a cure.

Both of these are relatively non-invasive things to try. In some areas of the country I've seen compression socks in the drug stores. In other areas you have to go to medical supply stores. There are varying levels of compression. I started with moderate, but now use milds mostly.

x



Re: plantar fasciitis/2 yrs & nothing helps

Sher A on 10/24/03 at 18:41 (135391)

This is the first time I've heard of compression socks - are they kind of like ace bandages? In a Walmart type store, would one find them in the pharmacy area, around the foot related items? Over the counter? Or would they be in with the hosiery and socks?

Re: plantar fasciitis/2 yrs & nothing helps

Carole C in NOLA on 10/25/03 at 08:44 (135441)

Sher, my closest friend at work has to wear compression hose. They are individually made, and she got them from her doctor. They cost $180, I think!!

She has circulatory problems in her lower legs and the compression hose help with that, but she has to wear them for a specific amount of time and no longer each day.

Anyway, if the compression socks are like her compression hose, then you can't buy them in the pharmacy or over the counter.

Carole C

Re: plantar fasciitis/2 yrs & nothing helps

nancy s. on 10/25/03 at 08:56 (135444)

i think i've seen compression hose in some drugstores in the foot section. i don't know if they're great, though. john h?

if not there, you can probably find them at medical supply stores, and i doubt you'd need a prescription. but call first before making a longish journey.

nancy
.

Re: plantar fasciitis/2 yrs & nothing helps

Julie on 10/25/03 at 09:13 (135450)

Sher, if you do a search on 'Lara' you'll find some information - she swears by compression socks.

Re: plantar fasciitis/2 yrs & nothing helps

Julie on 10/25/03 at 09:14 (135451)

Sorry - I see she has already replied to you. I should have read the whole thread before posting.

Re: plantar fasciitis/2 yrs & nothing helps

John H on 10/25/03 at 09:15 (135452)

Most of the large drug stores carry compression stockings. It is not unusual for Doctors to use them during surgery to prevent blood clots. You see them ofen in sepeciality foot magazines. Cost from 8-$20. Some say they could be good for TTS since vericose veins in the tarsal tunnel can be a cause of TTS. Compression speeds up the blood flow in the legs and could be a help for vericose veins and clotting.

Re: plantar fasciitis/2 yrs & nothing helps

Ellen J. on 10/25/03 at 09:25 (135455)

Hi Gail,
I had Plantar Faciitis for 4 yrs and am finally much better after all this time. I went to many different doctors, none of whom gave me the answer. However, some of them gave me different pieces to the puzzle and over time I pieced enough of the puzzle together to finally heal my feet. Part of that involved thinking hard about what my feet were telling me regarding shoes, exercise (or lack of it), etc.throughout each day. Some of the doctors I went to gave me terrible advice and others provided some degree of help, so if I were you I would read the Heel Pain Book (as suggested by others here), think hard about how your feet are reacting to each situation (whether that is stretching them, wearing certain shoes, etc.), keep gathering information and see if people's advice applies to your feet or not. One thing I found out is that some of the standard P.F. treatments did NOT apply to my oddball feet so I have had to figure out a different course of treatment for my feet. My view is that if something hurts your feet, then don't do it. That's pretty difficult when just plain walking hurts, but what I mean is: Don't wear any shoes that cause pain--choose one comfortable pair and stick with them until you find an even MORE comfortable pair. I couldn't stretch my feet/calves at first, as that aggravated the feet so I didn't stretch if that hurt--until my feet healed up, and then I started stretching gently.
I hope you can begin finding out what helps your feet soon, and don't follow my advice if it doesn't apply to you. Just listen to your own feet. Sorry if my letter is particularly rambling. I have a bad case of the flu today so my brain isn't working well!
Ellen J.

Re: plantar fasciitis/2 yrs & nothing helps

Carole C in NOLA on 10/25/03 at 10:04 (135461)

Ellen, sorry to hear that you have the flu, but I think your brain is working just fine. You said,

'My view is that if something hurts your feet, then don't do it.'

That philosophy really helped me too, especially when my PF was at its most severe. I think that listening to our feet is very helpful.

Carole C

Re: Oops! My mistake

Carole C in NOLA on 10/25/03 at 10:07 (135462)

Oops! I didn't know that compression hose could be bought OTC; my friend's compresson hose are prescription ones.

My mistake. Live and learn, I suppose. The OTC hose sound a lot less expensive, according to John's post. I have no idea why my friend has to have prescription ones.

Carole C

Re: Oops! My mistake

John H on 10/25/03 at 12:55 (135494)

http://www.medquipdirect.com/thigh.asp

you can buy custom made compression stockings which I assume could cost $200. You can buy them at various degrees of compression.

Re: things that caused setbacks

Ellen J. on 10/25/03 at 16:28 (135517)

Hi Carole,
Thanks for your note. My brain is better now that I drank a cup of coffee!
Anyway, I went through alot of trial and error (mostly error) to discover that whatever hurts the feet is probably reinjuring the feet. For me, the hard part was discovering what exactly my errors were since there was sometimes a delay between doing the wrong thing and having the pain start up--sometimes it took a day or two for the pain to start after trying on a 'bad' pair of shoes. For whatever it's worth to anyone on the message board, here are a few things that I found to be the WRONG things to do:
Things that strained the fascia:
1. Squatting down
2. getting up on tiptoes to reach something (even for a second)
3. leaning forward alot, putting pressure on the toe area
4. wearing inserts in shoes with too much arch support (this wouldn't apply to everyone) or with too little arch support
5. shoes that didn't bend easily at the ball of foot area.
6. lifting heavy things and worse, walking with heavy things
7. lifting weights at gym, even carrying dumbells
8. even a short jog to get out of the rain or across a street
9. wearing shoes that are too tight and press on the toes
10. pushing heavy things
11. walking on a treadmill, esp. on an incline
12. walking up hills
13. stairclimbing machines (but not as bad if the heels remain in contact with pedals)
14. bike riding with too much resistance (better to set a stationary bike at low resistance so feet don't press too hard)
15. stretching too much too soon.
16. tying shoe laces too tight (which, in my mind, compresses the arch area downward--just my guess)
I'm sure there are things I've forgotten in this list of things I did wrong, and these items won't apply to everyone, I'm sure. I can now do most of these things since my feet have healed, though I still am very cautious since setbacks can happen at any point. If anyone wants to add to the list, feel free!
Ellen J.

Re: things that caused setbacks

Carole C in NOLA on 10/25/03 at 16:37 (135522)

Ellen, that is a terrific list! I wish I had seen such a list about two years ago.

Here's another one...

17. Standing barefoot to take a shower, especially in a slick bottomed shower-tub combination

(The standard shower-tub has a hard slick bottomed tub, and I think what happens is that the ball of the foot slips forward and/or the heel slips backwards, overstretching the arch area and straining the PF. I don't know if that's exactly what happens, but I do know that standing on such a slick hard surface barefoot to take a shower is murder on the feet. A shower with the 1' square tiles is better, but in general it's not good to shower barefoot. Wear shower shoes or use a shower stool! or both..)

Carole C

Re: plantar fasciitis/2 yrs & nothing helps

LARA on 10/25/03 at 17:15 (135530)

JOhn is right that the theory as to why compression socks work for some people has to do with varicose veins. However, to my knowledge, no one has proved a 1:1 relationship. There are many people with TTS who don't know (if) they have varicose veins until the autopsy is performed (in which case they obviously don't know it, but the doctors now do). I've heard doctors hypothesize that if compression socks work it makes a varicose vein more likely. IN any case, I just want people to realize you need to find the varicose vein before trying compression socks.

Re: Sorry - my computer was hiccupping

LARA on 10/25/03 at 17:17 (135531)

Sorry folks. My computer was being onery. Didn't mean to post so many times.

Re: plantar fasciitis/2 yrs & nothing helps

LARA on 10/25/03 at 17:21 (135532)

I've had 'mild' anklets (about $20) and 'moderate' knee-highs (about $20 too I think). I had a friend who had compression panty-hose that cost over $100 and she got them in the mail - so may have been individually made. In any case, particularly if trying it out, you don't need the mega-expensive ones. I got them by prescription from my doctor - or filled by a medical supply house. However I have seen milds & moderates in drug stores in some regions of the country.

Re: plantar fasciitis/2 yrs & nothing helps

John H on 10/25/03 at 17:56 (135543)

I had TTS surgery. The Doctor did find a vericose vein in my tarsal tunnel which he reomoved. This was not the cause of my PF pain.

Re: things that caused setbacks

nancy s. on 10/25/03 at 20:19 (135553)

ellen, your list is fabulous. only one other thing occurs to me, related to your #15:

weight-bearing stretches

nancy
.

Re: things that caused setbacks

Sher A on 10/25/03 at 22:53 (135581)

Wow, that's a great list! I think it ought to be posted in a major place somewhere and that we would add to it as we find things. People are always stressing walking, jogging, the gym. I'm sure they're fine for some but they definitely aren't fine for others, like those of us in office jobs. The problem is overdoing it. When I belonged to the gym, I wanted to get the aerobic type exercise done as quickly as possible, so I did 2 miles on the treadmill in 20 minutes. Not only did that screw up my feet, it put stress on my hipbones. I think probably the best all around exercise is swimming. I sure don't have time for it though, nor is there a pool conveniently located here.

As for compression socks, yes I can sure imagine them costing $200 or more if they come from the doctor. Does anything that comes from a doctor anymore reasonably priced? I just got my catalog from the Vermont Country Store, which is a neat place to visit. I may order a pair of compression socks from there, just to try them:
http://www.vermontcountrystore.com/prdSell.asp?ProdGroupID=25545 for $12.95. Granted, they aren't replacements for perscription ones, but they do look comfortable. I'm a little confused though, are you supposed to have visible varicose veins before you should wear them?

Re: things that caused setbacks

Pauline on 10/26/03 at 07:37 (135592)

Watching T.V. with your legs curled under you is one I'd like to add. I think this helps to shorten leg muscles.

Re: things that caused setbacks

nancy s. on 10/26/03 at 07:47 (135594)

that's a good one, pauline. it wouldn't help circulation, either.

nancy
.

Re: things that caused setbacks

Carole C in NOLA on 10/26/03 at 09:33 (135604)

Oh cool, see? There really is an advantage to having arthritis. My knees have hurt too much for me to curl my legs under me while watching TV, for the past several years. Now aren't you envious? Just joking. LOL

Carole C

Re: things that caused setbacks

Rachael T. on 10/26/03 at 13:03 (135630)

ugh! The 'setback' subject.....I can relate especially today! I guess I 'overdid' it w/ too many days in a row of 'activity'....so now, I am using ice (& I've not done that for sometime!!) And, considering how my feet are today, I reached for my ibuprofin & shall do so for the next few days, it looks! ugh! I know that you all have experienced 'this moment' - sooo, improper budget of foot activity should also be added to the list of causes for a setback!

Re: things that caused setbacks

Carole C in NOLA on 10/26/03 at 13:28 (135639)

Rachael, I hope that the ice, ibuprofin, and (hopefully?) some rest will help your feet to heal quickly! Sorry to hear that you're hurting.

You're right. We have to be ever so gradual in resuming activities that we once didn't even think twice about. :(

Carole C

Re: things that caused setbacks

John H on 10/26/03 at 13:52 (135650)

Real Couch Potatoes lie on their back with their feet up on top of the sofa. Couch potatoes learn that early on as you can maintain this position for long periods and also reach for your beer and change channels at the same time. The cat can also lounge on your stomach.

Re: plantar fasciitis/2 yrs & nothing helps

LARA on 10/26/03 at 19:00 (135679)

Ooops. I mean to say that you DON'T need to find the varicose veing before trying compression socks.

Re: things that caused setbacks

LARA on 10/26/03 at 19:02 (135680)

I've bought these. As best I can tell, they provide less compression than the 'mild's' I got from the doctor for $20.00. I still like them, but if they don't help, you might want to try heavier ones.

Re: things that caused setbacks

Suzanne D. on 10/26/03 at 21:39 (135707)

Having long legs and often sitting in very low chairs beside the children at school, I got into the habit of pulling my feet far back under the chair and not keeping my feet flat on the floor. My heels would be raised up some, and I don't think that was a good position for my feet. I still catch myself doing it - even at the computer where I have no trouble putting my feet flat on the floor. I have to consciously work at keeping my feet flat on the floor while sitting.

Suzanne :)

Re: things that caused setbacks

wendyn on 10/26/03 at 22:04 (135711)

I don't put my feet flat on the floor because my feet rarely reach the floor.

Re: couch potatoes

Lorinda N on 10/26/03 at 23:57 (135714)

LOL... also a good time to ice your feet

Re: things that caused setbacks

Julie on 10/27/03 at 01:36 (135717)

Wendy, don't let your feet dangle. Put a telephone directory under them. Or two or three if you live in an area with a thin telephone directory. Or anything - a letter tray, maybe - that fills the space between your feet and the floor. It really is important. Your spine needs the support of your feet firmly on the floor, as if you're standing on them. And the weight of your legs hanging off your lower back when your feet dangle contributes to low back problems.

Have you heard of a little book called Office Yoga? :) Lots of practical advice for organising your desk, chair, work arrangements.

Re: things that caused setbacks

Julie on 10/27/03 at 01:40 (135718)

Suzanne, you and Wendy are opposites (leg-length-wise). It's good you're aware of the tucking-under habit and try not to do it because it puts your feet in an equinus position, which contracts the calf muscles and achilles tendon - just the opposite of what you're (what we're all) trying to do.

Can't you use a grown-up chair for yourself? You'd still be close to the children.

Re: things that caused setbacks

Suzanne D. on 10/27/03 at 06:03 (135719)

Thanks, Julie. :) You're right, of course. My chair at my desk fits me as well as one at a side table. Sometimes, through the years, in an effort to get right next to the children, I have sat in a child's seat right beside them. But I try not to do that any more! But old habits die hard, and I find myself tucking my legs under unconsciously - even under chairs that fit me!

Your book, Office Yoga, does have so many wonderful tips that would help most everyone! I'm glad I found one to order!

Suzanne :)

Re: things that caused setbacks

wendyn on 10/27/03 at 06:53 (135724)

Julie, I have a pretty good set up at work (small desk, small chair, foot rest).

I was thinking more of at school, where I spend a lot of time (and there's no way I can haul around telphone books!)

Re: things that caused setbacks

Rachael T. on 10/27/03 at 11:59 (135746)

Still on this 'setback subj.' - but yes, I am recovering from my latest of setbacks....which I attributed to doing too much on my feet.....I also realize the day or two before this latest 'setback', I had been painting & crouched down - squatting to reach the lower sections of all the outside doors to our home.....hmm, this certainly did give my feet toooo much of a stretch. I shall not squat again! Smiling as I type that! Another suggestion that I offer, is something I do while at the pc.....I leave a book under the desk & put my balls of my feet on it periodically to 'gently' stretch my feet & fascia sometimes - rather than always sitting w/ feet firmly placed on floor & this gives me some 'consciousness' as to not put my feet under my chair too! A stretching type habit (on book) replacing an old habit of feet on rungs of deskchair or under the chair!!

Re: plantar fasciitis/2 yrs & nothing helps

Rose on 10/27/03 at 13:58 (135754)

I had the open release surgery July 1st, and I am doing very well. I had tried everything and finally went for it. I expect to be completely recovered in another three months. By that, I fmean back to step class!!!!I have very little pain and can even go barefooted, althought I shouldn't. I took it very slow after surgery and iced for a week straight. It hurts a lot the first week, but the result is well worth it. I never took more than aspirin, because I didn't want to get addicted to any heavy drugs. I probably should have taken the meds, as it was painful, but I didn't and I was fine.
I am able to go for walks and do shopping with little or no pain. I wear burks around the house for slippers and out on warm days. The rest of the time I have my old orthodics in my SAS shoes for dress and in my New Balance.
So, when all else fails, surgery can be wonderful. Just take time and don;t rush it. Be kind to your feet and I would expect a full recovery.

Re: things that caused setbacks

Ellen J. on 10/27/03 at 18:21 (135785)

Great addition, Carole.
I hadn't thought of that one because I was lucky enough to be able to go barefoot in the shower but I know that most sufferers cannot. Thanks for the addition to the list!
Ellen J.

Re: things that caused setbacks

Ellen J. on 10/27/03 at 18:23 (135787)

That's true, Nancy. I had forgotten about that 'no no' of doing those wall stretches where the toes are against the wall and you lean into it. Apparently that's a bad weight-bearing stretch and I remember that it ripped my fascia when I did that.
Thanks!
Ellen

Re: things that caused setbacks

Ellen J. on 10/27/03 at 18:28 (135788)

Hi Sher,
I have not been on the message board as much lately so maybe someone mentioned this already--but I think you can get those compression stockings at a medical supply store if you have one in your area. We have three of that type of store, and I think that drug stores could possibly order them for you. Just a thought but I suppose if I were looking I might search the net--easier, and I can drink coffee while I shop!
Ellen J.

Re: things that caused setbacks

Ellen J. on 10/27/03 at 18:32 (135789)

Hi Rachael,
I'm sorry you are having a setback right now. One thing I discovered is that over time (as the feet heal), the setbacks don't seem to last as long as when a setback occurs when the feet are really bad. I hope you bounce back quickly!
Ellen J.

Re: things that caused setbacks

Ellen J. on 10/27/03 at 18:37 (135790)

That sounds like a good way to stretch the feet, Rachael.
Also, I think the squatting must have contributed to your setback, as I know it has done that to me in the past. Although I can squat down now, what I used to do was to carefully get down on my knees, toes pointed (away from me) and used a pad under my knees. I remember that it was a bad idea to curl the toes backward while on the knees, as it stretched the fascia too much--so that's why I point my toes instead, so the top of the foot is resting on the ground.
Ellen J.

Re: things that caused setbacks

Ellen J. on 10/27/03 at 18:39 (135791)

Sounds quite comfy to me! I like the cat idea, though in my case it would be my pet bird who sleeps on my chest during those rare moments I'm lying on the couch.
Ellen

Re: things that caused setbacks

Rachael T. on 10/27/03 at 22:02 (135817)

Hi to you too! & Thanks for your kind & supportive words. You are soooo right.....that 'overstretching' of the fascia did me in for a bit of a setback.....& I should've known better than tosquat like that, as I was cautious of that all summer while playing in my flower bed, as then, I knelt as you had suggested. I guess my feet felt too good on that painting day & I didn't think about how I was squatting. I feel somewhat less 'painy' today - so as you said, this setback won't last forever - nor as long as they used to 2 years ago when I was at 'peak worst!' -- nor is it as painful as what the pain used to be 2 years ago. I often wonder (do any of you?) if in 2 more years, this pf thing will be a thing of the past... We can HOPE!

Re: things that caused setbacks

Ellen J. on 10/28/03 at 10:52 (135855)

Hi Rachael,
I'm glad the setback seems to be a smaller one and hopefully it will clear up quickly. I've done the same thing--forgotten about my feet to the extent that I did the wrong thing. I guess that's a sign of improvement, however, if you feel good enough to forget! I have also thought the same thing about how long this will last. My latest thought is that if it took me two years to start feeling better, it will take two more to get back to being completely normal. I'm willing to wait if that is the prize at the end of two more years! I hope so.
Ellen J.

Re: things that caused setbacks

marie on 10/28/03 at 19:39 (135897)

It's always nice to have the cat trained to get your beer before they curl up in your lap for a nap. If not they're a bit cranky when you have to wake them up to fetch your beer.