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Different symptoms?

Posted by Curt B. on 12/23/03 at 08:28 (140651)


I developed pain in both feet and have had it for over a year now. I believe I did it winter backpacking in boots withput sufficient support. I have been to a foot doctor who prescribed custom orthotics which I have been wearing for over a couple months and haven't helped. The thing that puzzles my doctor is my symptoms aren't classic PF. My feet feel better when I wake up in the morning or I sit for awhile. I can walk barefoot and my feet will ache after awhile but actually don't feel any worse than when I wear orthotics. In fact the orthotics seem to aggravate the achiness. I don't have any severe sharp pain just a constant severe ache when I'm standing or walking that's in my heel and through the arch area. When I suggested shots, my doctor said he wouldn't know where to give the shot because of my symptoms. He is sending me for a bone scan to rule out stress fractures but he doesn't think it is that either as he can squeeze my heels and I have no pain. Has anyone else had symptoms like this? Thanks.

Re: Different symptoms?

AndrueC on 12/23/03 at 10:20 (140662)

It doesn't sound too much different from what I have had for the past couple of years. I don't walk barefoot much now but it never caused me any problems. My feet are still sensitive to footwear but like you they are sensitive to pressure. As long as tender areas aren't pummelled my feet feel mine mostly.

Recently the inside of my ankles have begun to complain occasionally but even that is in response to use rather than 'first step' pain.

Re: Different symptoms?

BrianJ on 12/23/03 at 11:33 (140667)

Curt --

Yes, your symptoms are similar to mine. I have had bilateral PF for about 6 years. The things that have helped (not cured) me are taping, ice after activities, and hot water soaks to relieve aching and stiffness. Soft orthotics with a deep heel cup have also helped.

Re: Different symptoms?

LARA on 12/23/03 at 13:04 (140674)

Your symptoms also sound similar to mine which was misdiagnosed (and mis-treated) with PF for 3 years before someone recognized the symptoms as Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome. From my experience, most doctors are not familiar with TTS and it can look similar to PF. My experience is that doctors that have significant experience in sports injuries are more likely to recognize it, but that is overly general.

If nothing else has helped (except rest, which works wonders for TTS if you can live a sedentary life) I'd suggest trying compression socks. They are about $20.00. In some areas of the country you can find them in drug stores, in other areas in medical supply stores. They are the same socks that people with varicose veins wear. I'd get the moderate knee highs to start with. Actually, the milds would be worth starting with too but I'm afraid you'll get something that is similar, but doesn't have the compression of the 'milds'. Compression socks help some TTS sufferers (they were the difference between a sedentary life and an relative normal life, without the tennis, for me. My podiatrist says they help a lot of her TTS patients), are relatively inexpensive, and non-invasive.

Good luck.

Re: Different symptoms?

R C on 12/24/03 at 15:56 (140765)

My symptoms were not similar, but I can confirm that the symptons did change drastically during the four years in which my foot was affected. I think I understand well why this was the case. In the beginning I had an acute injury which affected not just the plantar fascia, but (as I understand) one or two of the other muscular structures that attach to the bottom of the heel. During this time I had fairly 'standard' PF symptoms. After 4 weeks in a cast and several months of taping, all I had was a 'sour' feeling in one spot of the heel, which would occur only if I walked or stood for a long period of time. Now, after another 4 weeks of crutches, I have absolutely no pain. The only thing not normal with my foot, is that the structures that have healed are very tight and stiff. I do get an uncomfortable tightness sensation if I walk or stand without tape. Soaking, massage, and stretches are gradually improving that too. I think I am on a path toward total recovery.

Re: Different symptoms?

Curt B. on 12/29/03 at 11:53 (140851)

Thanks for the responses. After checking into TTS more I would like to ask a question. If I press the tip of my thumb into a spot on the inside of my ankle about an inch below the medial malleolus and in line with the front of my heel I get pain. If I push hard enough I can feel the pain radiate throughout the base of my foot. I get this with both feet. Is this a sign of TTS or am I just pushing on a nerve or something?

Re: Different symptoms?

wendyn on 12/29/03 at 13:27 (140856)

It sounds like you are describing Tinnel's sign (a classic sign of TTS). If you tap on the area, it feels like electric shocks running down into your foot, and sometimes up into your leg. Feels a lot like banging your elbow.

Re: Different symptoms?

Curt B. on 12/29/03 at 14:05 (140857)

Yes, I read about the Tinnel's sign. I can tap on that spot and don't really get much pain or tingling. Only when I push on it it's a very localized spot and it hurt's as in tender. When I push harder I feel more pain in the spot but also then sensation across the bottom of my foot. The harder and longer I push on this spot the more pain I can feel in my heel. That's why I wasn't sure this is Tinnel's sign or I'm just isolating a nerve.