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Scuba Diving and PF

Posted by Anne H. on 1/19/04 at 17:47 (142390)

I've struggled with bilateral PF for 2 years. I've tried all the conservative therapies (NSAID's, physical therapy, massage, ice, rest, orthotics, night splints, stretching and taping). Some give intermittent relief.

The only time I've had 100% relief (like my feet were normal again) is on scuba diving trips. The effects usually last about 1 week, and then symptoms flare again. Are there any divers out there with PF who have noticed the same thing??

After reading the article ‘Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy' in the Jan/Feb 2003 issue of DAN (Divers Alert Network) I'm thinking there may be a connection between partial pressures and oxygenation of the injured fascia. Hyperbaric chambers (which simulate diving conditions) are used for tissue injury, inflammation, burns, necrotizing fasciitis and countless other maladies aside from decompression sickness.

If anybody has experienced the same phenomenon, or knows if there is a connection to healing tissue under pressure please respond. Any insight would be most helpful!

Anne H.

Re: Scuba Diving and PF

Pauline on 1/19/04 at 18:31 (142396)

What a great post. I hope other will respond so we can gather more information on the phenomenon you've experienced. It certainly is interesting.

Re: Scuba Diving and PF

Julie on 1/20/04 at 03:10 (142422)

Anne, that's absolutely fascinating. It certainly sounds as if there is a connection - in which case, scuba diving will obviously be the sport of choice for PF sufferers. I hope the doctors will have something to contribute to this discussion from their knowledge of hyperbaric chamber treatment of the conditions you mention.

About your PF - I have become somewhat suspicious about 'stretching', because too much stretching, too aggressive stretching, has been counterproductive for so many people here. So whenever I see the word 'stretching' I reach for my keyboard! What stretching are you doing, and how much are you doing? I know from your post that you're athletic, and it could be that you're trying too hard, doing too much. Let me know and I'll try to help.

Re: Scuba Diving and PF

Anne H. on 1/20/04 at 11:55 (142451)

Hi Julie: Thanks for posting! I've put inquiries out to physicians at DAN (Divers Alert Network), Docs on this site, and an RN that runs our local hyperbaric chamber. Additionally, I'll be diving with a group of physicians attending a dive medical conference next month. So hopefully I'll have some answers that support my theory soon! I will let you and Pauline know what I find.

Re: stretching. I stretch 3 times per day for 5 minutes on an old towel--3 layers when folded. If I experience increased pain I reduce to 2 layers. I've been careful not to put too much tension on my night splint--Hopefully I'm not over doing it?

Like everyone afflicted with this horrible condition, I just want to be well again!! Unfortunately, last year I learned the hard way that pushing too hard is not the solution.

Thanks, Julie. I look forward to your reply. Oh, 1 more thing ... The publication date on the DAN article is Jan/Feb 2004. Sorry about the typo in my original post.


Re: Old towel?

Julie on 1/20/04 at 16:20 (142471)

Anne, what exactly are you doing with this old towel? :)