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Rest -- can it fix PF?

Posted by Kamal S. on 2/12/04 at 19:10 (144216)

I posted this message on Ask The Doctors page and got no response. Thought I'd try it here:

I have now had PF for two and a half years. Had ESWT with some success but no full resolution of pain. Everyone says rest helps. My question is this: if one could get off one's feet COMPLETELY for a month say, would that fully resolve the PF? Is this worth trying? If yes, should one be in some type of boot or something? I am thinking about all this after running out of ideas. Thanks for your help.

Re: Rest -- can it fix PF?

SteveG on 2/12/04 at 19:45 (144217)

Interestingly, this was just discussed on the ESWT board. The general consensus seems to be that a little bit of activity is good for you - keeps the muscles from atrophy, etc. I also don't recall many (if any) people that claim that were cured by being in a boot cast -

bbt.cgi?n=144084

Re: Rest -- can it fix PF?

Dorothy on 2/13/04 at 00:13 (144225)

This is just my humble opinion, and I am not a doctor. Personally, I don't think complete, absolute rest is good for any condition ever. We need to move, have our blood, etc. circulating, our muscles relaxing and contracting, resistance going on. The trick with these foot problems is to do that in non weight-bearing ways. There are lots of suggestions for how to do that, but discontinuing the repeated re-injuring of the foot/ankle structures until they can heal is the goal.

Re: Rest -- can it fix PF?

Rick R on 2/13/04 at 07:01 (144240)

Kamal,

I believe rest is the proverbial double edged sword for PF. It may let your inflammation subside, but simultaneously make you more vulnerable as muscles weaken and connective tissues shorten. My biggest problem has allways been my left heel. After surgery, which imposed a level of rest and relative inactivity, my right heel became worse than ever as I attempted to resume normal activity levels. I never before needed to take the kind of precautions on the right heel that I had for many years on the left( tape etc.). I may be off the mark here, but I do believe this was attributable to the rest.

Now, I am fighting a flare up that has been limiting since October. I allowed my work schedule to impose upon my exercise program. I had been back to running after surgery but couldn't wedge it in 14 - 16 hour work days. It took more that a year of down time to gradually degrade. I could feel it happening. I'm back to the no barefoot rule, taping up, wearing running shoes at work, and using Julie's yoga stretches in lieu of the more aggressive forms.

The balancing act between rest, stretching and exercise is the art to PF recovery in this layman's mind.

Best of Luck,

Rick

Re: Rest -- can it fix PF?

R C on 2/13/04 at 15:09 (144276)

Kamal,

Do a search here under 'Complete Rest'. I recently posted updates of my experience using exactly the approach you mention.

The short answer is this. I tried complete rest for 8 weeks (two groups of 4 weeks). My PF is in some sense completely resolved. There is no pain whatsoever. However, as expected, I have to be extremely careful about re-injury (I am still taping daily), and I have all sorts of exercises and stretches to do in order to regain strength and flexibility in the foot. The tissues along the arch are visibly and palpably tight.

A boot is not necessary. If you promise not to let the foot bear any weight, then that ought to be sufficient.

R C

Re: Rest -- can it fix PF?to Kamal

Bud on 2/13/04 at 20:01 (144286)

Kamal

Unfortunately I tried exactly what you said. I did nothing for a month except walk around house to bathroom etc. To some degree it worked,but after I started to get active again it returned to the same within a week. The only thing that has worked for me is surgery. I had EPF on Nov.10th and I am 95% better. After 2 1/2 yrs. I just started walking a couple miles a day and my foot feels great. I'll know in a couple more weeks if the surgery was a complete success.

Bud

Re: Rest -- can it fix PF?to Kamal

Kamal S. on 2/14/04 at 12:58 (144311)

Thanks to all that have responded. I will do a search on 'complete rest' to determine whether I should do this and also talk to my doctor. This site has been so helpful. Thanks to everyone again.

Re: Rest -- can it fix PF?

rsk on 2/14/04 at 21:03 (144322)

Kamal

I just posted the same thing on the ESWT board. Right now I have completed 2 weeks of the 6 weeks rest period. During this 2 weeks I did not move around much except for going to kitchen and bathroom. But it looks like some activity is required and as Dr Z suggested I ma gonna do some swimming and stationary biking but will stay off work for 3-4 more weeks. If after 3 or 4 months I dont see any improvement then I am going under the knife as I would have exhausted all the conservative treatments and am tired of living like this.I am just hoping that I could do away with the surgery. anyways lets see.

cheers..rsk

PS you might wanna read my post in the ESWT board under the topic '10 days after ESWT'

Re: Rest -- can it fix PF? To RSK

Bud on 2/14/04 at 21:33 (144323)

RSK,
I feel your pain. I can't recall what surgery you are considering. If it is EPF I say go for it. I like you tried everything.Nothing helped not as much as a little relief. Except ice,and it only lasted 20 minutes or so. I walked 3 miles yesterday and another 3 miles today. I'm going to take a break tomorrow and see how I feel. The waliking I'm doing is just that walking. Nothing extensive as a matter of fact I take my Labrador with me,so we're bothing getting excersise now. It will be 13 weeks since my EPF and I just can't believe how good I feel. I'll pray things go good for you with whatever treatment you are about to do,but if it doesn't work.Go for the EPF

Bud

Re: Rest -- can it fix PF?

anne on 2/14/04 at 22:59 (144329)

hi karmal,

i decided to try some complete rest recently, and i've just started walking again after 2 weeks on crutches. however, it almost feels like my heel is even more sensitive than it was before :(

Re: Rest -- can it fix PF?

rsk on 2/15/04 at 00:15 (144330)

Same here Anne. 2 weeks rest and no improvement yet bcoz of rest. but I did ESWT and amd waiting for the effects to kick in. Are you undergoing any treatment simultaneously.

cheers..rsk

Re: Rest -- can it fix PF? To RSK

rsk on 2/15/04 at 01:26 (144332)

Thanks for the kind words Bud. I have been reading you posts and I know that your EPF has very successful. I ma happy for u. Every time I read a unsuccessful post abt surgery it gets me down and then I read some successful posts like yours to convince myself that it will be ok. Anyways I am considering open release surgery coz I think that open release has lower risk of any unwanted damage to nerves and stuff. This is just my opinion I dont know how far it is true. I will keep the forum posted of my progress.

cheers...rsk

Re: Rest -- can it fix PF?to Kamal

john h on 2/16/04 at 10:46 (144392)

I certainly do not know the answer to whether complete rest will help or not. I have seen post go both ways. After most surgeries and injuries it is common to start rehab as soon as possible. Our feet, joints, etc are to be used and my gut feeling is that if you do not use them you will lose them. Many Doctors commonly recommend daily stretching to help cure PF and this is in direct conflict with the idea of resting the foot for an extended period. If you cast your foot your muscles will begin to atrophy and your achilles tendon could be adversely effected. There are other people who may disagree with my thoughts as they are from a non medical person. I would say be careful with just how much you rest the foot.

Re: Rest -- can it fix PF?

john h on 2/16/04 at 13:40 (144404)

Some people have cast on for 6-8 weeks in an attempt to rest the foot. I know of some people who have been in a wheelchair for many months with PF.

Re: Rest -- can it fix PF?to Kamal

Dorothy on 2/16/04 at 14:55 (144410)

It just seems like common sense that use of muscles, increasing blood circulation, removal of waste products from the system are all key for any level of good health or recovery. The trick is HOW to accomplish all that with troubled feet/ankles/legs/nerves. I suspect that one thing that we all agree on here is that non weight-bearing exercise (weight-bearing on the feet) is the first way to go, but elimination of exercise is not so good. Getting creative on how to keep moving without putting full weight on the feet leads people to the methods John H. mentions. I just think that our bodies are meant to move and even if we lose full movement in one or more parts, we must continue to move what is left. There are very challenging exercise routines for people in wheelchairs, for people who are 'bed-ridden' and require various adaptive methods, obviously...but the thing is to keep moving in one way or another - in my opinion. And before someone says, 'but what about pain?'....I know quite a lot about pain and how hard it is to move through pain. That's where 'gutsiness' comes in. Has anyone read 'Into the Void'?? This is the book about the two mountainclimbers in South America, Joe Simpson being one of them and the one who wrote the book about their experience...unbelievable, absolutely unbelievable gutsiness in the face of those famous 'overwhelming odds.' Sorry to go on about this, but I'm kind of 'preaching' to myself, too, as I face the same issues every day as others here and then a few of my very own unique sort.

Re: Rest -- can it fix PF?to Kamal

john h on 2/16/04 at 15:31 (144415)

Dorothy if you read that I bet you also read 'Into Thin Air' and 'Endurance'? I have watched my neighbor who retired about 20 years ago just sit in his driveway each day and not walk or do anything. He is now confined to his bed or a wheelchair and has been for several years ago. I tried my best to get him to take some walks or do something but he is now paying a terrible price for his inactivity. His poor wife waits on him hand and foot and is also paying a price. It is often very hard but one must continue to move as best you can.

Re: Rest -- can it fix PF?

anne on 2/17/04 at 03:40 (144450)

hi rsk
i've tried most of the conservative treatments, like orthotics (x2), ice, heat, ultrasound, TENS, streches, birks, nightsplint, taping, injection... I guess i thought i'd try 'complete rest' because i've never tried it before (and b/c i can right now cos i'm on uni holidays)... but like i mentioned in my last post, my heel seems to be even more sensitive now :( has the 2 weeks rest you tried changed anything?

Re: Rest -- can it fix PF?

R C on 2/17/04 at 08:02 (144457)

Anne,

I can certainly relate. I was horrified when my cast was removed after 4 weeks and my foot seemed to be worse. I wish my doctor had warned me about this. But then after two weeks of physical therapy the benefits of casting become fully apparent. I think that complete rest followed by therapy is worth considering when other conservative approaches have failed. Two weeks off might not be enough, however.

R C