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Rolfing Versus ESWT

Posted by ColleenM on 4/29/04 at 09:39 (149759)

After many years of living with PF (shots, taping, night splits, icing, resting, streching) I am trying to decide my next move. Both Rolfing and Shock Wave are not covered by my insurance and both will run me about $1200 each. My pod is suggesting the ESWT, have not yet discussed Rolfing. Not afraid the the pain they talk about because I am in pain already, I can take it if it works.

Let me know if the pluses and minuses of both if any one has any experience with both procedures. I don't see any references to Rolfing on these pages. Have I overlooked them?

Of course if one doesn't work I will try the other.

I know none of this stuff is 100% guaranteed (why not!?) but want to make an educated guess. Some info: I am a 35 year old former runner, 5'3'' 135 lbs, fairly active - with in reason (biking, weight training, stationary cardio machines), pain in both feet, but worse on the right. The pain has increased triple fold lately due to excessive time on my feet.

any info will be greatly appreciated (I posted a similar message on the other board but discoverd this 'Ask the Foot Doctor' page and figured I might have better luck here)


Re: Rolfing Versus ESWT

Pauline on 4/29/04 at 12:18 (149773)

I had experience with Rolfing and I will never have it again. My experience was bad, really bad. I had intense pain from it all over my body because I had full body Rolfing.

I feel this treatment caused more problems than it helped because I feel my muscles and tissue were being torn. Unless one experiences Rolfing I don't think you have any idea the amount of pain that it causes especially if you have any type of inflammation.

I don't know if you want to try it for one session to see if you can stand the pain but it's probably the only way you'll know what I'm talking about.

I've not had ESWT. My P.F. finally went away on its own after 3 1/2 years. Not a short time, but it's gone Yea. I'm on guard daily for set backs and just keep doing all the conservative things that have been suggested here.

Unfortunately no treatment comes with any guarantee, not even surgery and for all the people here who have had ESWT we honestly haven't seen a lot of reports of cures either. Personally I think the door on this is still ajar on how much relief you will actually achieve.

The best that you can do is study this board carefully and then try to spend your money wisely on the treatment that you think will work. It's a trial an error condition. Most of us have spent thousands between treatments,various shoes, and orthotics only to be dissappointed.

If you decide on ESWT make certain that the center you use offers additional treatment for free. The one time protocol doesn't seem to work very well in my opinion so you don't want to be paying for additional ones if you don't have to.

P.F. is a very frustrating condition because 'time and rest' seems to be the best healer which unfortunately many people really can't afford.

Re: Rolfing Versus ESWT

RACHAEL T. on 4/29/04 at 13:26 (149779)

Pauline - I am wondering (since I, too have had PF for 3+ yrs...& feel 'closer to being normal/almost!) -- I am wondering what finally made your PF leave.....I have had umpteen cort. inj. the first year of PF; I had ESWT once the second year - I had 4 different prescript. orthotics (from 1 dr. who I trusted) - & didn't get well....now, I am wearing SDO's & I feel alot better - but I still always don't have the right feel in my feet....what did you do & how much activity do you do? I think that is still my prob...I DO alot....but I also try to rest alot....let me know your secrets if you have any. I feel 'so close' & yet not 'there' yet....did you feel like that for a while too?

Re: Rolfing Versus ESWT

Pauline on 4/29/04 at 15:43 (149787)

If I had any secrets, I'd give them away for free so that everyone experiencing P.F could end up pain free or perhaps never experience it in the first place.

I really don't know what made mine go away. I used and still use a cream called Jade Cream. My P.F. seemed to turn the corner when I began using this cream.

Dr. Chris Reynolds, a medical doctor from Australia posted about his cream on this website back maybe a year or year and a half ago.

I wasn't in his trial because I came back from vacation too late so I just ordered the stuff from him directly. It's good for a lot of things.
Heck I'd tried everything else why not his cream. I made a few calls to first of all make sure he was a real doctor and then when I got the cream made another contact to check out the ingredients for safey. I'm probably the only one that did.

He and the product check out ok so I began using it. I still keep it in the house and take it when I travel. I use it when I get that tingle of stress reminding me that I had P.F.

I personally think the injections did damage to the tissue in my feet that will never be repaired. They do feel different, but pain free.

I also found out that stress seems to flair up my feet. Not to the point of a full blown case of P.F. but just enough to remind me that I had it so be careful.

I take extra B12 Vit because I think it's good for nerves, I've follow a diabetic diet even though I do not have diabetes to cut out sugar and to be honest it made me feel better although I don't know if it affected my P.F. I just feel better without sugar.

I still do gentle massages, stretching, and icing after activity.

If I'm walking it's always in my N.B. running shoes and I tape my feet on those days. I try to stick to running shoes unless I have some dresser activity then I'll switch to a good shoe or low heel depending on what I'm wearing.

That's it.

Re: Rolfing Versus ESWT

Monte on 4/29/04 at 16:12 (149789)


I have had PF in both feet for 3 years now. My pain runs up the fascia band on the inside of the arches almost to the big toe. Not all the way up, but right in the middle of the foot. I can feel it get tight. My pain is there and in the heels too. I also get lateral pains....but they are not the killers...like the arch pain.

I still get RFL treatments in hope of getting the heels to a comfortable point to make day-to-day life better. The arches are difficult to treat....but Dr Cozzarelli may try next time.

My quesion to you is....Did you expereince any of these symptoms? and for how long.

Any information is greatly appreciated


Re: Rolfing Versus ESWT

Pauline on 4/29/04 at 18:30 (149794)

The pain you are experiencing sounds similar to mine accept that I never experienced any heel pain. My pain was spread up that tendon and throughout the arch where it stayed. If I flexed my foot that tendon stuck out about 1/2 inch it seemed.

My xrays never showed a spur and all my ultrasound showed was extra thicking of the Plantar Fascia. The physician and physical therapist could push all over my heel, but no pain. It never bothered me, but a feather touching my arch I think could have made me jump off the table.

Anything touching my arch caused big time pain. I think that's why Rolfing sent me through the roof besides all the works that was done over my entire body. It felt like the woman actually separated the muscles and tendons in my legs and feet with her hands as she Rolfed them.

She would come down the back of my leg on my tendon then split at the ankle around the bone and under the foot. By the time she reached my foot I had tears in my eyes and asked her to stop. I had four sessions before I decided the pain was not worth the cure and when all was said and done and I look back I think she actually injured me.

The word makes my muscles tense up.

If I remember correctly you've had several sessions of ESWT too. I really don't know what to tell you.

If you haven't added extra Vit.B12 to your diet do so. I personally think the nerves by now are not communicating well for lack of a better way of describing it that I think B.12 is needed, but please remember I'm not a doctor so check with your medical doctor prior to taking any supplememt.

I think he will approve the addition of B12.

You might also go back to the contrast baths hot and cold water. Again just to try and break into the nerve cycle and begin taping on a daily basis if you do not do this already.

Use Scott's method but you may have to play with the cross bands to see how many you can use for support without causing extra pressure on that tendon. I found I could use only 3. I also used cheap tape. I purchased it at Target 3 rolls to a pack. It stuck well for me and was easy to remove. Never pulled on my skin.

I don't know if your wearing orthotics, but if so perhaps they are causing too much pressure under your arch. This was always a problem for me.
Try making your own support to use with taping. I ended up using a Dr.Scholls blue running shoe liner covered it with one of those soft white cheap shoe inserts and then I had a shoemaker fashion a very thin 1/8' wedge made from solid cork that I put under the heel with all the other stuff on top. This gave me the most comfort.

If you haven't tried the Dr. Kipers orthotics they may be worth a try because you get all your money back and they are gel filled. Some people like them.

I've also mentioned I'm off sugar and use a diabetic diet. I don't know if that helped my P.F. but I didn't need the sugar and if your blood sugar is running high who knows you may benefit from cutting out the sugar.

I trust Dr. Manoli. He's a great Orthopedic Surgeon M.d. with major credentials. You can always drop him a note, include the results of any tests you've had, x-rays etc and tell him what treatments you've already tried. I've found most physicians will reply even from the most premier
institutions like Mayo, and John Hopkins. The more information you can supply the better.

You've certainly been through a lot, but I'm not certain where all the RFL
treatment will eventually leave you. I'd feel more comfortable if a neruosurgeon gave you his opinion about this treatment.

Just my opinion and I don't mean to discourage you with the RFL that your getting. That's your decision and you do what you think is best for you.

I wish I had the magic bullet to cure P.F. I'd send it to everyone via my personal email address.

Re: Rolfing Versus ESWT

Pauline on 4/29/04 at 18:43 (149795)

I forgot to mention Night Splints. I actually wore out one pair and had to purchase another. I used two every night. Difficult to sleep in at first and hot in the summer, but I did it and I do think they help in the long run.

Problem is you probably will need to make them loose until you can stand the full angle of the splint. Mine were the old fashion molded plastic type typically give out in hospitals. Nothing fancy and you cannot wash the liner. I trimmed the liner to make it easier to fit under the sheets and not stick when you try to turn over.

Actually sleeping with two was better then one because it didn't hurt when you accidently kicked your ankles with the splint.

When we traveled they came too. I can't imagine what the airport personnel thought when they saw rolls of white tape and hard looking braces along with all sorts of other foot supplies. My foot supplies became a family joke. Sometimes they even traveled first class.

Re: Rolfing Versus ESWT

Peter A on 4/30/04 at 10:39 (149827)

From what little I know, I do not think Rolfing sounds like a good choice for you. I know someone who was screwed up for YEARS -- she could barely walk, had to stand up all day at work, could nit sit in a car to drive -- as a result of Rolfing. This is not a good outcome from somone who already has PF. There may be people who are helped by it, but I am certain that not all people who do Rolfing are careful enough about who they do it to. I say stay away from it.

Re: Rolfing Versus ESWT

Monte on 4/30/04 at 10:40 (149829)

Pauline...Thanks for the information. The arch pains can be brutal....and very sensative to the touch. Mine have gotten better over the course of the 3 years...but not pain free yet. How long did your PF last?

I do wear orthotics and they don't hurt. Not sure of they help any..but they don't make me sore or uncomfortable. I would rather be without them...maybe one day.

The RFL DOES help. When you have pain in many areas, it is more difficult to hit them all and feel comfort. But I work in clusters to try to creat zones of comfort on each heel.

I have night splints...I should start using them again and trying the contrast baths and maybe more rest


feel free to email me at (email removed)

Re: Rolfing Versus ESWT

Pauline on 4/30/04 at 16:51 (149846)

If you don't get an email from me don't take it personal. I don't backboard with anyone from this site. Just my policy although there are many people that I wouldn't mind speaking to off this site.

As some one found out a while back even private conversations are up for publication when people begin to take sides and posts become nasty.

I'm sure you'll understand.

Re: Rolfing Versus ESWT

Ed Davis, DPM on 4/30/04 at 19:29 (149859)

I had experienced rolfing. It was introduced by Ida Rolf who felt that it is possbile to 'reshape' fascial planes of the body via very vigourous massage.Some find rolfing to be quite painful. Given what I know of each, my bias, at least when it comes to PF is to ESWT.