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PAIN PAIN PAIN tired of it.

Posted by Michael on 3/31/04 at 18:13 (148208)

I have posted here before I want to hear about your pain you are experiecing. My pain has been going on now for 16 months and still 24/7. I have been getting very deppressed of late because of how long this pain has lasted. I changed my doctor group in my insurance plan because the doctors I have been seeing have done nothing for me. With PF is it possible for the pain to be 24/7 and the pain become very intense at times like most of the time. How bad is your pain and is it 24/7?? Should I try Oxcicotin?? I take vicodin now but it's like a roller coaster ride in and out of pain. Even with vicodin I am still mostly in pain. Thanks, Michael

Re: PAIN PAIN PAIN tired of it.

Suzanne D. on 3/31/04 at 19:31 (148217)

Michael, I am sorry for your continued pain. It really gets to you when you find no relief. I understand that.

In June of 2001, I began having very bad pain in my left heel and arch. I went to my family doctor the next week, and he diagnosed plantar fasciitis and gave me a paper explaining what it is and some exercises to do. He advised to also ice my foot and to wear tie-up shoes. He said not to expect it to get better 'any time soon' and said if I wanted at a later time to get a cortisone shot, I could, but that they were quite painful.

I literally limped through the summer, and the pain was intense at all times, waking me every night as well. I did what he said and also didn't walk anywhere I didn't have to walk, but when school started in August - I'm a teacher - I realized by the end of the first week that I wasn't going to make it without some additional help. By that time, my right foot hurt almost as badly as my left.

That's when I found this board - that Friday night of the first week of school - and read and read and read. I went to the nearest Birkenstock store an hour away the next day (never heard of them before) and bought a pair of Arizonas. I also got my family dr. to give me a referral to a podiatrist. I saw him within a couple of weeks. He x-rayed, taped, and prescribed steroids for a week and then Naproxin for inflammation. I also taped my feet according to the method described in The Heel Pain Book on this site for several months.

You may not be interested in all this rambling (sorry!), but I will say that at some point in the next 3 months after seeing the podiatrist, I remember realizing how nice it was that I didn't wake up with pain any more! I still had plenty of pain during the day, but that was the first relief. Then, very gradually, the pain subsided little by little, although at times it came back with full force. I remember sitting in a meeting sometime that fall and realizing that I had actually been able to forget my feet for a few minutes. That was the biggest relief of all! I'm sure you can relate to that feeling of never being able to get your feet off your mind. It really is discouraging and gets to you!

By 9 months after the onset, I was significantly better but still had continual pain, although the intensity of it was much less. Then it seemed I was at about that same point for several more months. Sometimes it would seem that what I had gained was lost, but then the 'back-sets' would seem to be shorter in duration.

Now, almost three years after the beginning of PF, I can say, thankfully, that I don't have much pain. I have stiffness, and I stretch carefully and often using the yoga stretches described so well for us by Julie. I don't take a step barefooted, and I wear nothing but Birkenstocks with modified footbeds or soft footbed Arizona Birkenstocks, or sometimes SAS shoes with Superfeet inserts, although I am finding myself wearing them less in favor of the Birks. Last summer, however, I went through a period in which the SAS shoes and inserts felt the best, and I didn't wear the Birks as often.

I am very careful with my feet and always will be. I really feel that if I stopped being cautious, I would be back in the same shape again. But as long as I continue supporting my feet properly and stretching regularly, I feel I will be alright. I have improved to this point despite my school being consolidated and moving to a new, large building with concrete floors. I did buy a good carpet and thick pad for my classroom, and I know that helps. It was expensive, but I don't think I'd be doing as well without it.

I write all this to give you hope, Michael. Others have improved quicker than I did, but no two people are alike, and this seems to be a very individulized malady.

I try to keep people's posts straight in my mind, but I am sorry that I cannot remember your history. What are you presently doing for your feet? I was glad to read that you are changing doctors. Without improvement, I think that sounds like a very good idea.

I wish you the best, Michael, and I hope that you will find a better way to help yourself through the new doctors you see. I cannot advise you in terms of pain medication, but I do know that several posters have found relief through going to a pain management doctor or clinic. From what I have read, they have found that the doctors there took their pain seriously and are helping them to have a better quality of life through medication suited to their needs.

Take care,
Suzanne :)

Re: PAIN PAIN PAIN tired of it.

Steve G on 3/31/04 at 19:35 (148218)

Michael - when my PF was at its worse it was pretty much 24/7. Have you seen more than one pod and are they in agreement that PF is the diagnosis?
The level of pain you seem to be in would make me wonder about the diagnosis. Questions that come up are: What treatments have you tried - splints, orthodics, ESWT? and have you considered an anti-depressant? My people in chronic pain benefit from one of the older anti-depressant drugs e.g., doxepin. You should discuss this possibility with your doctor.

Re: PAIN PAIN PAIN tired of it.

VickiJ on 3/31/04 at 19:58 (148222)

Michael,I'm so sorry you are experiencing such acute PF. I have had pf in both feet, one at a time. With the first foot I had pain only when trying to stand or walk. With the second foot I have experienced 24/7 pain, that is, even when sitting or lying down, but not to the intensity you are describing.

Have you tried icing your foot/feet? I have found that icing followed by gentle heat, then massage with the 'thumping' type of massager (I got mine at Target for less than 1/2 the cost of the one sold in Brookstone with the exact same features) gave me temporary but much needed relief.

One of the hardest parts of this journey through pf is the hunt for a good doctor. I gave up and started looking outside of the insurance plan until I found someone willing to problem solve with me--but, in the interest of complete disclosure, the cost was great and I went into to profound debt (had to change work because of feet, etc.)
The depression is definitly something to address, with a doctor. But I will suggest something that helped me immensely when my depression got really bad. It's going to sound silly, but I had my sister rent all my favorite comedies and I stopped watching the news or anything else remotely depressing--in other words--laughter therapy. It too, was temporary, but for me, in the middle of the night, or the middle of the day when I thought I was going to go crazy. Thelaughter helped me believe there would soon be light at the end of the tunnel.

Hang in there. Don't give up looking for the doctor who will be a good partner in your healing.

Re: PAIN PAIN PAIN tired of it.

RACHAEL T. on 3/31/04 at 21:44 (148225)

Hi Michael - I 'feel' for you truly! For a long, long time - I had extreme pain & it was 24/7. As many have already written, I 'experimented' w/ diff. shoes & inserts....& like others, I love my Birks, but must change from time to time - I wear Brooks Ariel Sneakers w/ Dr. Kiper's SDOs - I have made a big improvement over the past 3 years, yes, 3 years! ugh! I know that is what you are thinking. Now, though, I can shop some, walk w/o pain most of the time, ride my bike ALOT, ride my horse regularly, & live a more normal life than I had done the previous 3 years. I hope this gives you hope & a brighter outlook. But, I continue to be cautious - I wear my inserts, I wear gooooood shoes always (Birks, Finns, etc.), I stretch (yoga style), I have massages done to my feet, I also also take 10mg amniotryptoline nightly....& now, I rarely take any anti-inflammatories. I write that - cause in years past, I used to EAT the anti-inflamm. pills & they still didn't touch my pain alot of days. So, hang in there & I do wish for you better foot days ahead!
And, Steve - write & catch me up on how you are doing! I hope well. Yes, I am back in the North (to those of you who know me) & since the temps are cold, damp, & rainy -- I am wishfully remembering Florida!! (-;

Re: PAIN PAIN PAIN tired of it.

Robert J on 3/31/04 at 21:45 (148226)

I want to congratulate the last three responses to this description of acute distress. They were soulful and helpful. This injury can be frightening and terribly isolating, as we all know. The three of you attempted to alleviate that isolation and I hope it helped.

Re: PAIN PAIN PAIN tired of it. Mike it's Bud here

Bud P on 4/01/04 at 23:08 (148281)

Michael,
It sounds like since we last talked you have not gotten any better. Sorry to hear. I'm almost six months post op and the 24/7constant heel pain is gone completely. I consider the EPF surgery a success. I'm so glad I had it done and wish I would have done it sooner. I still have some arch pain or soreness.It may even be arthritis but it comes and goes.

As for your question about Oxycontin. I'm not so sure it will help your foot. As you know I have been on it for a long time and it never seemed to help the PF. It is great for other chronic pain conditions. I will say there is a pain med called Actiq. It is used for breakthrough pain. It worked very well for the PF. As a matter of fact it was the only pain med that worked for me on the PF. The problem is it can't be prescribed unless you are on pain management and take a certain amount of opoids. Give me a call or drop me a line. I hope you get relief soon.
Bud

Re: PAIN PAIN PAIN tired of it.

Buck T. on 4/02/04 at 19:53 (148327)

Hi Michael: I've been battling severe pf in both feet so I can tell you about my pain. It is not 24/7 like yours and vicodin does control it. I can tell you are depressed and vicodin will contribute to that. I am getting better, but won't talk about my case history because this is about you.
Why don't you give the board doctors a short, but accurate case history? Tell them symptoms, what current doctors say and ask for advice.
Posting on the board is good. You can't handle this alone. You need to share this problem with us, your pastor, your family, your friends and your family doctor as well as specialists.
I'd be happy to talk with you here or over the phone anytime. Let me know. Be thinking about you,

Buck

Re: PAIN PAIN PAIN tired of it.

Michael on 4/03/04 at 12:16 (148357)

Hello Buck please leave your phone number at my email address it is (email removed) and I will call you. Thanks, Michael

Re: PAIN PAIN PAIN tired of it.

Will B on 4/05/04 at 19:14 (148444)

Nice to so many nice people to help a person out that is in pain. So many that have never experirmced this just don't know how serious it can be. I would rater have has broken legs are a broken arm that would heal properly. PF can be a real disability and when you think about that fact that if you are in pain, and can't walk properly, or sleep properly it can affect everything in your life. It can be a real disability of mind and body. But _ with help here you are on your way to getting better with great support, and eventually you will get the pain under control. Keep us updated and I wish you the best in funding the right doctor and treatment!

Re: PAIN PAIN PAIN tired of it.

Michael on 4/05/04 at 19:27 (148448)

Will have you experienced or experiencing PF now?? If so please explain your pain in detail I would like to compare your experience to mine. Thanks, Michael

Re: PAIN PAIN PAIN tired of it.

Will B on 4/05/04 at 20:24 (148454)

I had sudden onset of typical PF in the right foot about 3 1/2 years ago. It was absolutely a 10 on a scale of 1-10. Tears in eyes, and stunned that a human body coudl have that much pain. I was carried oaway from a flag football game. I had to take 2 weeks away from work. In that time went to a doctor and Pdd. and found out about PF. Got night splints, NSAIDS, and a routine. Had to move to another dept. at work soon as I could not stand pain. 6 months later I had it in both feet. But with good PT (Physical Therapy) I got some relief. I had pain in the morning wich got better as the day went on. Very typical PF, but still could not sleep some nights. Over two years the pain changed to the insertional point to the entire heel and more of a dull pain all the time about a 6 on a scale of 1-10. Better when I slept though. No pain in the moring but got alot worse as the day went on. Saw 3 differnt podiatrists in thos 3 years and got standar modalities of heat, stretching, ice, rest down, and it did help, but as the type of foot pain changed, the techniques I used did not work as well. Had 4 shots of Cortisone on those
years which never helped. Finally I just had ESWT about 3 1/2 months ago and ... I dont really feel any difference yet, but I am very hopefull still because I understand how ESWT works, and it can in some cases take 12-22 weeks to get any tangible benefit. I will go for a second treatment though just to be sure, especially 'because' I have felt nothing. I think this_ that I have/had severe Achillies tendonitis and possibly some other things that 'led' to my PF, so after I more or less got that original PF umder control (somewhat) - the original cause of the PF remained to a certain degree - which is what I am dealing with now

Please uderstand that if you do some things (many of which the doctor will recommend) that 'some' of your pain will dissapate over time. I really believe that. Massage your feet 3 times a day with some lotion. Start off with some mild calf and leg stretches. Drink plenty of liquids (water). Use heat in the morning on your feet to get that blood going and ICE at might after you have been in your feet. Massage them (heels too) before you put on your shoes. I wear tennis shoes with no socks especially for the house. I never go bare foot. Use foot powder. Use full lenght shoe inserts that have some arch support (take the inserts out of the shoe you have before doing this). When im on the PC I use a tennis ball and roll it inder my feet also - that helps some. Change socks often. Ude downy fabric softener on our wash with your socks. You would be suprised how great soft socks feel on bad feet. I also stretch at least 3 times a day.I find turning off the news and radio helps alot. After a while if you really pay attention to your feet - the pain level will go down some. The rest is up to a good doctor!

This is my basic protocol, and my 3 year experience (whittled down to two paragrahs). I could write a book on how it changed my life.

Regards-
Will

Re: PAIN PAIN PAIN tired of it.

Will B on 4/05/04 at 20:29 (148455)

Also Michael, print out some of the 'terms' that you see here in these forums. I have a list of nearly all injuries that a foot can incur, and some possible causes of them. Also read everything you can that the podiatrists say. They are lifesavers and offer some fabulous advice. They are truely professionals to be admired.

Re: PAIN PAIN PAIN tired of it.

Buck T. on 4/06/04 at 10:29 (148472)

Hi Michael: Haven't forgotton you. A friend has been in hospital in another town and I've been running back and forth. When things settle, will contact your e-mail. Take care,

Buck

Re: PAIN PAIN PAIN tired of it.

John on 4/11/04 at 19:40 (148709)

Michael, you need a good physical therapist who knows how to perform transverse friction massage on the fascia. That, combined with the therapist stretching your legs and muscles, you should be walking again in a couple of weeks. You need to break down all the adhesions in your fascia and bring it back to normal. I have had PF for 5 years, seen over 11 doctors, and done all the standard band aid fixes including Shock Wave Therphay twice. Do not waste your time with standard physicians and Podiatrist, most of them do not know what they are doing. Good luck.

Re: PAIN PAIN PAIN tired of it.

Dr. Z on 4/11/04 at 21:21 (148722)

I agree
If there are tight muscles and tendonits secondary to plantar fasciitis they must be addressed. Proper extremity evaluation is very important when addressing chrnoic plantar fasciitis. Proper work up for any treatment including massage, shockwave, is the first step in getting your life back. Physical Therapists, podiatrists,orthopic doctors must all work together because this pf can have multiple causes and need multiple treatments