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Is there an end to plantar fasciitis?

Posted by jennifer w on 12/28/03 at 15:59 (140828)

I have been diagnosed by 3 podiatrists with plantar fasciitis, and only 1 recommended surgery. I have had this condition for a year, and my treatments have included: taping, icing, custom-made orthotics, cortisone injections, acupuncture, stretching and other various exercises for my heel, arch and calf. I have not had an MRI, but my doctor says that one is not needed. This condition is beginning to change my active life into a sedentary one. I feel I have exhausted all of my options. I'm not sure if I am at the point of surgery, and I could use some advice.
Jen Wallace

Re: Is there an end to plantar fasciitis?

RACHAEL T. on 12/28/03 at 16:14 (140830)

Jenn - yes, this PF does change one's life. I went from riding 10 head of horses daily to now riding only 3 times weekly on 1 horse!!! I used to dance LOTSSS - & have just begun to think I may again. I've had PF for 3 years in March, 2004 - it HAS changed my life. I feel badly for you & others who may be younger than I am with this injury; as I am a young 53...but PF has aged me! Fortunately, though, I've done everything there is to attempt to heal this - & slowly but surely, I have come a LOONG way in that step. I don't know if I shall ever dance in stilleto heels again - but I WILL dance in sneakers again & I have already! So, hang in there & don't hesitate to ask questions here & if I can be of any help - call my name!!! I can recall at 1 point over a year ago when I could hardly walk in my own home - now, I can do much much more! But, patience is needed in this recovery - & I also think my fam. phys. did more for me than any pod. I saw!

Re: Is there an end to plantar fasciitis?

Carole C in NOLA on 12/30/03 at 09:11 (140905)

I'm not a foot doctor, but a fellow PF sufferer. Still, I thought I'd answer your question:

Yes, Jennifer, there IS an end to PF, or at least there can be an end to it. Much of the burden for finding your way out of the PF nightmare seems to be up to the patient, though. Recovery is slow, and what helps one person may not help the next person. If you haven't read the heel pain book (webpage on this website, click on heel pain book) lately, I'd suggest reading and studying it.

One of the main problems I read about among those who aren't healing, is a stretching regimen that's too vigorous for them. Gentle stretching is vitally important, but it doesn't take much and too much can re-injure your feet slightly. I'd suggest Julie's Yoga stretches (click on Yoga).

Something else that sounds minor but can really hinder one's recovery is not wearing shoes in the shower or standing up barefoot from a tub bath.

For many of us, rest is very helpful. That can lead to a more sedentary lifestyle, so after your feet heal and you are pain free then you will need to work on regaining your physical capabilities again. It probably won't take long if you are cautious and don't re-injure yourself.

Two years ago I was in agonizing PF pain and so depressed about it that I thought my life was grinding to a miserable halt. This website was a lifeline for me and I kept trying ideas that I got here; if it didn't help, I'd discard it and try something else, until I finally found the combination of treatments that really WORKED for me. For me that was

1. rest
2. custom orthotics, made by my C.Ped
3. Birkenstocks (the Arizona model works best for most people)
4. never standing or taking a step without my custom orthotics, Birkenstocks, or shower shoes (in the shower)
5. gentle stretching
6. icing with a bag of frozen peas when I had overdone it
7. 'listening to my feet'; if it's painful, don't do it!

I also am lucky enough to have a desk job. For me, weight loss and gain does not seem to affect my PF much but it's important for some people. I don't lift heavy things any more without wearing my custom orthotics, and while healing I didn't lift anything even as heavy as a laundry basket.

By the way, Rachael, I haven't danced in stilleto heels either but I danced in pointy-toed dressy flats last September. It was the first time I had danced since the 70's! It was only one dance so my feet didn't hurt, but I was SO clumsy. LOL

Carole C

Re: Is there an end to plantar fasciitis?

Kathy L on 12/31/03 at 20:45 (141025)

Six months ago I was asking myself the same question, 'is there ever an end to PF?'. By pure accident I started something which led to my cure. I had unrelated, upper body surgery, and my surgeon put me on two weeks of several supplements. The end story, is I discovered the supplements helped me heal and my PF went away. One day I was telling my daughter how better my foot was, that I could stand tip toe on the one foot, she pointed out that I had just been taking the supplements for 2 weeks, and the light bulb went off.
In August, I started posting on this board about the supplements I was taking. I now credit a couple supplements to my cure… MSM, Vit. C, and Coenzyme Q-10. If you do a search on MSM and Coenzyme Q-10, you'll find my early posts. Today, I feel I'm completely cured.
My two cents are: you are what you eat. Your body can only heal itself naturally with proper nutrition. Stretching, icing, cortizone shots, night splints, rest… these all are supportive mechanisms… but if your body doesn't have the right nutrients… it won't heal. I'm no scientist, I'm not a doctor and I couldn't do blind testing of each supplement I took to pinpoint which one helped, but I think I can point to those above. I asked others to try these supplements, and now some others have posted results, and I was so excited to hear their stories. I'm glad it has helped some and may help others.