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What is wrong here?

Posted by Misty S on 11/06/03 at 18:24 (136589)

Hi, I recently went to a specialist with foot problems. I have had a burning sensation in my forefoot for about five years or so, which is always agrivated by constant pressure on my feet. If I use a stairclimber, eliptical machine, or stationary bike, within five minutes my feet are burning and I have to stop and take my shoe off. At first I thought it was a neuroma (Morton's)but it just did not seem to fit. The burning would start at any point in my foot, not just between the second and third toes. I also have planters fac. and the doctor gave me a night splint to wear. I CANNOT wear it for more than a few minutes before my feet start to tingle and burn. So, I went back to my doc and he is sending me for a nerve test. He seems to think it might be TTS instead of a neuroma. Could heel pain also be a factor in TTS? I am in management and am on my feet all day and am a runner. Running usually doesn't bother me, if I buy my shoes two sizes bigger so my feet aren't feeling 'squeezed in'. Any help on advice on how to relieve the pressure off my forefoot while wearing the night splint? Could I really have TTS? Any help would really do great!

Re: What is wrong here?

SteveG on 11/06/03 at 18:59 (136594)

Misty - it sounds like it could be TTS. It is hard to get the chronology straight from your message. How long have you had PF? Where you diagnosed with it before TTS. If you have PF, you should NOT be using the stairclimber and eliptical trainer. Anything that causes you to come up on the balls of your feet is not a good idea. It could be that the exercises you mentioned are aggrievating the problem. The distal part of the fasica (behind the toes) could also be strained and causing part of the problem. Biking is usually thought to be OK.

To get to your other question: what kind of night spint are you using? Is it the Nice and Stretch advertised on this site??

Re: What is wrong here?

Misty S on 11/06/03 at 19:37 (136596)

Sorry about the mix up, this is all new to me. I have had knee surgery and I can tell you anything about the knee you want to know. The foot, however, is a mystery! I have had the numbness and burning pain in my forefoot for about five years now. The PF had only been around for about three months. I work on my feet all day and exercise so I might be overdoing it. However, I have stayed away from the machines and just do some walking. The pain from the burning got so bad I could not take it anymore. I the PF developed afterwards. I did gain a few pounds so maybe the extra weight has something to do with it. All I know is that it really doesn't feel all that great and it really hurts to get out of bed in the morning. I do pronate quite a bit, but my feet are not flat. I have two different problems going on here and I am just trying to figure out it one caused the other. Would PF be localized to just one area of the heel? It seems that most of my pain comes from a half dollar sized area on the medial aspect of my heel. If I press the area with my thumb, it is really sore and painful. I was wondering about heel spurs, maybe it could be that?

Re: What is wrong here?

RickB on 11/06/03 at 21:22 (136599)

Misty, I suggested a different approach to people on this forum months ago. I received very negative replies. I really had no intention of ever responding again. However, I am so convinced I can help people, I thought I would give it another chance. Your feet pain is close to what I suffered.

I too have had the similar burning in my feet and a mild case of PF. I also had a back back for 20 years and a constant tension headache for a year. What I found out after reading the books at the link below, the pain was caused by my repressed anger hidden in my unconscience mind. Basically, your mind creates physical pain to distract it from emotional issues that it does not want to deal with. Yes, I know this sound crazy. In fact, I knew about these books for a year before I actually purchased them. I saw Dr. Weil endorse them on Larry King Live and decide to give them a chance since nothing else worked.

They have changed my life. My back pain and tension headache is gone. My feet are much better. I am working hard to deal with my repressed anger from a very abusive mother. What you are likely suffering in your feet is nothing more than constant muscle tension that is constricting your blood vessels. It is no surprise that taking off your shoes lets the blood flow a litte easier. Chronic pain is tough to get rid of because most people are looking for a physical fix for something that is emotionally related. I would encourage you to do a web search on people who have read and benefited form these books. They are very inexpensive, buy the 'Healing Back Pain' first. I found it a little easier to follow if you are new to the subject. The book also refers to most other chronic pain since it is really all caused by the same thing. Read the book slowly and really think about your real personality, the one others may not really see. Good luck, I hope you and some of the other readers take this advice.

Re: What is wrong here?

RickB on 11/06/03 at 21:44 (136601)

Sorry, here is the link, these are books by Dr. Sarno, ' Healing Back Pain' and 'The Mindbody Prescription:


Re: What is wrong here?

Carole C in NOLA on 11/06/03 at 21:47 (136602)

Misty, I don't know anything about TTS, nor do I know anything about the pain in your forefoot. I do know that PF can be localized to just one area of one heel, particularly during the first two or three months. When I first got PF, it felt like a small razor blade was in the back part of the bottom of one heel. But after a few weeks, other parts of that foot and the other foot began hurting too.

Heel spurs are formed due to plantar fasciitis, and technically they don't cause pain; plantar fasciitis (PF) does. But a lot of people (even me) say heel spurs is the source of our trouble when really we mean PF is.

Probably the best thing would be to try to get this diagnosed properly by a doctor or podiatrist. It does sound like you might have more than one thing going on here. The pain in the half dollar sized area of your heel sounds like it could be PF.

Carole C

Re: What is wrong here?

Larry.N on 11/06/03 at 22:10 (136606)

So I guess you are angry when you wear heels and happy when you wear running shoes? Maybe you should quit your job and become like Forrest Gump and run all day. That will deal with your repressed anger and make you stop wearing dress shoes. One or the other should work. Too many red lights on the way to work can make your pf flare up as well

Re: What is wrong here?

RickB on 11/07/03 at 12:07 (136693)

This is exactly the confrontation I got several months ago when I tried to help people. All I can do is recommend that people really give this book a chance. Like I said, I was aware of this book for a year (thought it was a big joke too), but read it and changed my life. The books are very inexpensive and there is no risk or harm involved.

I suffered 20 years with a bad back and a year with feet problems and a tension headache. I was as upset as you are now. Again, at least try a web search and see what others say.

My best hope is that one of the regulars at this forum will read the book, eliminate their pain and share their experiencewith others. I believe others would give it a try too.

Re: What is wrong here?

Aly on 11/07/03 at 15:41 (136729)

Hi Rick,

I think a lot of us have had to fend off the attitudes of people around us who think we've all dreamed this PF thing up or are exaggerating our pain - so many are sensitive to the implication that 'it's in our heads'.

Nonetheless I'm actually very interested in the mind-body healing connection, and hope to take a look at The Mindbody Prescription - so I'm glad you wrote about it. :)


Re: What is wrong here?

RickB on 11/07/03 at 17:47 (136747)

Boy you made my day, I have rally been frustrated that people will not at least read about an alternate solution to their pain. I am so happy you are open minded about this. You will enjoy the book, it is very interesting and easy to read. It is nothing but common sense. Both books are similar, the 'Healing Back Pain' is about 9 years older if I recall. It is not as complete, but I think it does a better job of getting across the concept. You may have made one of the best decisions of your life, and certainly are not taking any risks. Good luck!

Re: What is wrong here?

Julie on 11/08/03 at 02:04 (136781)

Hi Rick

I understand your frustration. It's hard, when you believe you know something that will help people and you want to share it, to have it belittled and thrown back in your face.

I've been involved with complementary therapies and therapists nearly all my adult life. I know that body and mind are a unity, and that what affects one will always affect the other. And as you know I teach yoga, which is first and last a healing practice for the integration of body, mind, emotions and spirit. So I am sympathetic to what you say. Of course long-held, repressed, painful emotions can affect what goes on in our bodies and contribute to illness.

I want to offer these next reflections as an insight, not a criticism. I think you may have got the negative response that so disappointed you because you put it as though repressed emotions are the sole, or at least the prime, cause of physical problems. (You may not even believe this, but when one extrapolates one's personal experience into a generalisation, that's how it tends to come across.) While this may be true in some individual cases of PF, it is very unlikely to be the case in all, or most, cases. There are other factors at work. I think this is true of all illnesses, all conditions.

People are inclined to get angry when told that their physical pain is due to their repressed emotions and therefore 'all in their mind'. This is partly because they resist accepting advice that would require them to delve deeply into their subconscious minds (I think this is understandable) but it's also partly because they may feel they are being told that their pain is their own 'fault'. It is also partly because they suspect it is not true - and it isn't. There is always a combination of factors involved (getting run over by a runaway truck might be an exception!) To say that 'your mind creates physical pain to distract it from emotional issues that it does not want to deal with' may be true, but it is only part of the story.

When I had breast cancer ten years ago, some well-meaning people (complementary therapists, I regret to say) counselled me to 'look into what I had done to cause my illness'. (I later wrote a book in which a chapter is called 'Please Don't Blame the Victim'). I knew, of course, that I had to look into myself, and I did that - but I also knew that breast cancer is a multifactorial illness, and that the prime contributory causes are almost certainly environmental - factors over which we have little no control. I have worked with cancer patients for some years now, and know several who have suffered greatly from the victim-blaming mind-set.

I'm not comparing cancer to PF, but my guess is that most people with heel pain would find it difficult to accept that its cause is emotional. Of course there may well be an emotional component - but like every component of illness, it's one amongst many. Attempting to persuade them that their repressed emotions are THE cause is unlikely to go down very well. That may why you got the response that you did. I'm sorry you got it, because what you say IS important - it probably just needs to be toned down a bit.

Don't worry about Larry N's response. He is clearly a one-visit stirrer.

Re: What is wrong here?

BevN. on 11/08/03 at 08:05 (136788)

Hi Aly,
You were talking about attitudes, and we had to get over our fear of 'how would people think' if we went to using a w/c or an Amigo in the stores. I was afraid they would think I was exaggerating my pain to get attention, so I never went anywhere. It took me months of solitide before I would finally go out again and finally use the Amigo to shop and say 'to heck what people think'.
Are you still having your boyfriend doing wheelies in your wheelchair with you ? Or are you doing better that you do not need the w/c so much anymore? Now with the snow falling it is going to be more difficult for us around here in Michigan , NY have snow as yet? I did get a cute little Amigo on E-Bay last week,but now it is too cold (and snow) to go out for a 'walk'. Bev

Re: What is wrong here?

RickB on 11/08/03 at 15:29 (136834)

I appreciate your opinion, you seem open minded and well educated. The subconscious mind is very powerful and elusive. I do not think most people are aware of it. You are certainly correct that illnesses like cancer have many causes, but I am becomming more convinced as I observe people in my life, that the mind has a powerful role. Poeple should never carry any guilt that this is their fault. It is not. In fact, it is usually a sign of a difficult early childhood and the residual emotions they still carry.

If you are interested, read the book, 'Listening to Ourselves' by Dwight Nichols. He goes into a lot of detail on the subject of our emotions. Again, it is very inexpensive and may improve your life. Good luck.

Re: What is wrong here?

Julie on 11/08/03 at 16:03 (136838)

Well hey, Rick, thanks for the compliments! Yes, I am moderately well-educated, and try to be more or less open-minded - about some things. In case I wasn't entirely clear, I am altogether open to what you've been saying.

Seriously - I've read and thought and written a great deal about these matters. I entirely agree that mind and emotions are powerful, and most people haven't a clue about their effects on body (or vice versa, for that matter). We all hold painful past experiences in our subconscious mind; it's only when we access them, acknowledge them, and release them that the energy trapped in them can be released. This is a hugely important factor in healing. And that's exactly why I wrote to you as I did, I hope helpfully: to try and get you to see that with some modification of your approach, which seems a tiny bit evangelical at present, you might find people more receptive and less resistant to what you're saying, and you would be able to be more helpful to them - which is what you want.

Re: What is wrong here?

RickB on 11/09/03 at 11:14 (136861)

Well received. Thanks for the input. I hope others read your comments.

Re: What is wrong here?

Julie on 11/10/03 at 01:50 (136915)

Thanks, Rick - I'm pleased no offense was taken.

Cheers, J.

Re: What is wrong here?

Aly on 11/10/03 at 09:05 (136941)

hi Bev,

I'm so glad you've done what you need to for your feet, and are worrying less about what people think. I've always been really self-conscious, and using a wheelchair was really difficult for me. But I can honestly say that having to use the w/c is one of the few good things that I've gotten from this whole PF thing, believe it or not - I'm so much less self-conscious now. I am still using the wheelchair for all outings other than work. Just yesterday, Greg was pushing me around at the mall, and I was marveling to myself how little I cared if anyone was looking at me, compared to my first few times. I even had some woman loudly ask 'What's wrong with You?' in a crowded CVS line, and instead of being embarrassed for me, I realized SHE was the one people were looking at, thinking she was obnoxious. Previously, having that kind of attention drawn to me would have been mortifying. But I just couldn't be bothered caring anymore. It's taken several months of regular wheelchair use to get there though!

On a side note to that, it was kind of funny - Greg's leg muscles were *Really Sore* from overdoing a workout the day before, and here he was, hobbling around & barely able to walk properly, pushing ME around in the wheelchair. I'm sure we made for an odd sight!

Take care, I hope the snow doesn't keep you in the house for too long!!


PS Yes, he still tortures me with wheelies! And he's a really bad w/c driver! We're always bumping items off shelves etc. I guess I can't complain, as he's doing all the work!!

Re: What is wrong here?

Sher A on 11/10/03 at 13:52 (136964)

I don't rule out anything as far as PF is concerned and have a very open mind. I came across a very interesting site that even attributes it and other problems to geopathic stress. I know this sounds very far out, but since I rearranged the furniture in my room, my PF has gotten worse. I did this last spring. Just for laughs I am going to put the furniture back to where it was and see if that helps. What the heck.. nothing else has. Have a look at this website, it's quite a curious site: