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change in symptoms

Posted by Peter A on 3/07/04 at 20:29 (146393)

I have had relatively mild PF for about 18 mos. I' m not sure what caused it: we hike & backpack a lot, and I may have stressed the PF during our hikes the summer of '02. In the fall I noticed heel pain -- Like a bruise, as is typical -- and my GP diagnoed PF. I read about it and now know more about PF than he does, but he was essentially right to suggest that as long as it was not severe he didn't recommend going to a podiatrist.

The first year there was little change. I iced my foot, did some exercises, used limited NSAIDs, and put in otc supports in all my shoes. This helped a little -- I used to have arch supports all the time for my pronation, and I think neglecting to keep them in the shoes I wore most of the time contributed to the onset of PF. But I think some of my exercises hurt as much as helped (heel raises off the stairs), and I was often barefoot at home. The pain stayed about the same, and did not seem much affected by use. Last summer I was still backpacking & climbing, in one case up to a 14-mile roundtrip in one day, with minor and essentaiilly unchanged pain.

This fall it got much worse after getting into a pickup soccer game (I know, BIG mistake). Around that time I discovered this web page and started doing better exercises & many stretches, I now wear sandals at home with good arch suport, and purchased a night splint. This new regimen helped a great deal. I just took a week off from work and stayed mostly off the foot most of the time, which also helped. Now my foot feels really good in the morning when I take off the splint. Initially I am almost pain free, and can walk short distances comfortably. After walking some distance, however, I have a new pain that seems to run up the outside of my ankle. It's still not intense, but it seems to me there is more change with use than in the past. So basically, the pain is less to start with, but there is more INCREASE in pain from walking than before. In the evenings I can feel a knot where the PF attaches under the heel (it's not there in the morning), and pressure there and just outside and behind the knot produces quite a bit of pain. I am concerned this may be something new. We again have family trips planned this summer, and I would hate to have to cancel these, since I was able to do LONG hikes last summer (14 mi roundtrip in one case) without serious consequences.

Could the knot have been there all along, but I didn't notice it until I started massaging my foot more? Is it time to see a doctor? Thanks for any help.