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PF, so elusive

Posted by Sher A on 11/29/03 at 17:36 (138996)

Alright.. this PF is the strangest affliction I have ever had. I don't understand it at all, and the reason is that twice now it has just.. stopped. At the beginning of last month I woke up one morning to find myself totally pain free. Then agony until today. Today I awoke to find myself totally pain free once again. Is this how PF behaves? To be so utterly disabling, then abruptly vanish? Or maybe it's because I read a previous thread and it subliminaly made me think I was lighter and 4 inches off the ground. I don't know what to make of it. I have a nasty cold and it's like PF is behaving like a hiding virus or something. Has this happened to anybody? I'm almost afraid to go to sleep tonight and want to savor this for ever how long it lasts.

Re: PF, so elusive

Dorothy on 11/29/03 at 17:47 (138998)

Sher ~ Yes, it happens. It is a mystery as to why. One can get into superstitious thinking about it, as in 'I was wearing these shoes....I did this move...I didn't do that move...I carried this heavy object...'.
I think this characteristic has to do with the CAUSE of one's PF, which I think varies amongst people who have it. If the cause were extremely consistent, it would be less likely that we would see it among the thin and fit and athletic as well as among the obese, unfit and unathletic, the young and the old. I think the consistent feature is the inflammation of the fascia and resulting pain and related pain (Achilles tendonitis), but the causes are varied - and one person may have more than one cause in the one body. Consequently, I think that elusive and sporadic nature that you are describing means that the cause is one of the causes that would yield that result - such as back problems, for one example.
Sign me: Not a doctor, not an expert, but a consummate thinker.

Re: But there is often a clearly identifiable cause

Julie on 11/30/03 at 03:22 (139030)

I mean one's biomechanics, the way that one walks. Excessive pronation is the usual biomechanical fault in PF, and it is rectifiable.

The way to determine whether one's biomechanics are faulty is to get a full examination and evaluation from a knowledgeable, skilled podiatrist. This includes tests of various kinds, and it must include observing (and possibly video-ing) you walking on a treadmill. If there is excessive pronation or some other biomechanical imbalance, this will reveal it. The next important step, amongst other conservative treatments, will in all likelihood be well casted, well made orthotics. Many podiatrists make their own, but there are also pedorthists (like Richard) who specialise in making orthotics.

Of course there are other causative factors, and PF is often the cumulative outcome of several (see the heel pain book). A good podiatrist will be able to help identify them, too.

There is a great deal of shared knowledge and valuable support here at heelspurs, for which many have had cause to be grateful over the years. And the heel pain book is a mine of information with which to educate oneself. But all this should be seen as an adjunct to, not a substitute for, the professional expertise and hands-on help of a good foot doctor, who can diagnose the cause of a person's case of PF and put in train a comprehensive treatment package geared to it.

I speak from my own experience: I was lucky with my podiatrist, who was one of the good ones. I hope this won't unleash a torrent of complaints about the less-good ones that we all know practice out there, and of reasons to stay away from them. There are good ones and they can be found. Part of taking responsibility for one's foot health and general health is to look until we find one.