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Is there such a thing as a success story for TTS or PF

Posted by Todd W. on 6/18/04 at 19:20 (153449)

I know that most people when they are healed will probably not come back here, but is there anyone out there that has one. What treatment did it for you? Conservative treatments did they work? I'm beginning to think that once you get a foot problem you are never 100% cured or 90 or 80...lol
Todd W.

Re: Is there such a thing as a success story for TTS or PF

Carole C in NOLA on 6/18/04 at 20:51 (153456)

I feel that I am completely healed from my PF, through conservative treatments. I should qualify that by saying that although I have no symptoms any more, I am still pretty careful. I wear good shoes at least 80% of the time, and if I feel a twinge of foot pain I 'back off'. But then wouldn't any of us? We know what a nightmare PF pain can be, so we probably have more respect for it than most people.

However, I haven't felt PF pain for a year or more, I suppose. Last Saturday Frank and I went to the zoo here in New Orleans, and it is quite large with exhibits very far apart. We walked in the hot sun on asphalt and concrete walkways quite briskly for three and a half hours. When we were done, I was very overheated and dehydrated, and my knees hurt a LOT from arthritis, but my feet were fine. However, I did wear my New Balance shoes, and I let my feet rest in Birkenstocks the next day just to be sure.

The animals in the zoo were the smart ones. Almost all of them were sleeping in the shade, because it was so hot!

Carole C

Re: Is there such a thing as a success story for TTS or PF

Todd W. on 6/18/04 at 20:55 (153458)

I am glad that you are pain free you are one of the lucky ones. Can you explain what helped you and what didn't?? Thanks

Re: P.S.

Carole C in NOLA on 6/18/04 at 20:57 (153459)

P.S. - - Todd, I forgot to mention that I posted a message nearly identical to yours in early 2002. I felt hopeless; it seemed my PF would never heal. I think I posted mine on the 'Ask the Foot Doctors' board on this site.

Dr. Z and some of the other doctors were very kind and reassuring, and told me that the vast majority of patients really DO heal completely. Those who hang around this message board do tend to have chronic foot pain, but they are not in the majority.

PF takes a long time to heal, so it's pretty easy to lose one's positive outlook. However, for many, even most of us it DOES heal, eventually. Don't give up.

Carole C

Re: Is there such a thing as a success story for TTS or PF

Carole C in NOLA on 6/18/04 at 21:06 (153461)

Some of the things that helped me were:

1. Custom orthotics (but I was lucky and got a good set the first time)

2. Rest. I rested with my feet up almost constantly. This was terribly hard to do but it seemed to be necessary for me.

3. Stretching. My C.Ped (who made my orthotics) explained a gentle, non-weightbearing stretch for me. Sit on a flat surface (like a bed), with your feet out in front of you and ankles separated by a foot and a half or two feet maybe. Point your toes towards you nose... that is, inwards and upwards. Hold for 10-30 seconds (start with 10, work up to 30). Do the same for the other foot. Do not do any stretching that hurts your PF at all. Afterwards, relax the foot by gently rotating your ankles.

4. Ice. Put your foot on a bag of frozen peas, which conform to the shape of your foot. Leave it on a few minutes until it starts hurting, then remove it to prevent frostbite. Wait a minute or two and repeat. Keep it up for 30 minutes. Do this any time that you 'overdo' and hurt your feet, and in the beginning when PF is severe, do it every night.

5. Reading the message board and trying different things.

6. Birkenstock sandals around the house

7. Always wearing something on my feet when I stand or take even one step. This means even in the shower... wear waterproof, well cushioned shower shoes and sit on a shower stool. I did both, since the shower stool didn't seem to prevent my feet from hurting by resting on the shower/tub porcelain .

Things that didn't happen to help me:

There were a million of these. Gel heel pads, arch supports, Nike Airs (avoid those!), and much more. I have thrown all of these things that didn't work away, and I had a big drawer that was full to the top with them.

Hope this helps!

Carole C

Re: try taping, too

Carole C in NOLA on 6/18/04 at 21:12 (153463)

Todd, I forgot to mention that a lot of people here are helped a great deal by taping, as is described in the heel pain book on this website. I bought some tape but never got around to trying it.

Anyway, that's another treatment that probably would be worth trying, especially if you do not have good custom orthotics.

Carole C

Re: Is there such a thing as a success story for TTS or PF

marie on 6/18/04 at 21:50 (153470)

Hi Todd,


I rode my bike today. It takes time and you have to commityourself to getting well! It's not something that is going to get better in a few weeks.

I'll never be the same but I can walk, ride my bike, hike a little and most importantly I can stand in line.

Re: P.S.

Dorothy on 6/18/04 at 23:12 (153474)

Carole - You know I think you are terrific and your posts and your attitude and your progress are wonderfully helpful and informative - BUT! - I want to take issue with one of your statements: 'Those who hang around this message board do tend to have chronic foot pain, but they are not in the majority.'
You are not the first, nor the only one, to make this or similar statements and I find myself usually reacting negatively to them (in my head). I think I react that way because first of all, those statements have a very dismissive aspect to them - of those who 'hand around this message board'; second, I don't think any of us should presume to know why anyone hangs around the message board; third, it is not really known who has or does not have chronic foot pain - and what IS 'chronic' REALLY since we are still debating all the various types and causes of PF, not to mention other disorders of foot/ankle; and last, as a scientist, you would be one who might be less likely to use a statement like 'not in the majority', when such figures and stats are in no way known here or anywhere. Any and all research on these feet/ankle disorders, treatments, outcomes and all is all over the place and is pretty sparse, relatively speaking. And where do all the people here fit in who are like you, Suzanne, Marie, for example, and who say they are so much better and can do most things they used to do - but with great care, attention to footwear, awareness of condition signals, and so on - is that 'chronic foot pain'?
Also, there are many people who appear here in great pain and distress, post a few times in that state, then don't post again - are we going to assume that they experienced a sudden 'cure' just because they don't post here anymore?? I think too that when we say things like 'those who hang around here have chronic foot problems; those who get better don't hang around here...' may chip away at hope and optimism a little bit - and anyway, as said, it presumes to know too much about who does and does not post here.
Well, I sincerely hope you take this in the spirit in which I mean it - because I have great respect and appreciation for you and your posts and do not want to hurt, offend or put you off in any way. I am just asking for a different kind of consideration of the circumstances here. I think if I have hurt or angered you by saying this, I have failed completely in my intention.

Re: P.S.

Kathy G on 6/21/04 at 10:05 (153592)


I think that full recovery, to the extent that you never have to think about your feet again, is unusual. I use my son, who got PF at twenty-eight, as an example. He is nearly six feet and weighs 140 on a good day. He has always had an exceptionally active, athletic life. He's a tennis pro whose hobbies include fishing, swimming and surfing, particulary winter surfing. When he first got PF two years ago, he didn't cut back on work, since he couldn't. He fished in areas where he could occasionally sit and he now has a kayak from which he fishes. I suspect the kayak is a combination of his always wanting one and also the fact that it cuts down on the standing when he fishes. Swimming didn't hurt his feet so that was a non-issue.

He has cut back considerably on his surfing but that may be due to time constraints more than anything else. He is the only person with whom I'm personally familiar who had PF and managed to maintain his prior lifestyle BUT he wears custom orthotics at work and Superfeet in his other shoes. He wears running shoes nearly all the time and he never lets them wear down like he used to in the old days. He says he still has 'twinges' of pain but that they're 'no big deal.' He does Julie's Yoga stretches daily. When the PF was acute, he iced between lessons. He has a tilt board at work and also a stretching gizmo that Scott sells but if I go to that board to see what it is, I'll lose this message. I'll check it out and post if in another message.

He is also one of the few people I know who went to the doctor within two weeks of exhibiting symptoms. Due to his dear old mother's experiences, he knew how important it was not to fool around. He also iced with peas between lessons and he did sit more than usual when he first got PF two years ago. He also took Vioxx for a period of time.

Carole, Julie, Suzanne, and numerous others who post have reached a point of total or nearly total recovery but I believe they are all still 'foot conscious' as Carole so aptly explained. They are the same as my son.

So if you mean 'full recovery' to the point of never having to think about your feet, I don't think that happens. I do think, however, that many on this board and my son have recovered to the point of being able to do what they used to do with just 'twinges' as long as they follow good foot care.

As for many of the rest of us, we can do way more than we could do when we started with PF and our rebound time from painful episodes is less than it once was. Some people recover faster than others for reasons that are far too complex for me to understand. I believe if anyone were able to figure out why some recover so much more quickly, that person would be a wealthy individual because they could help all the countless people who suffer for longer periods from PF. And Scott would be out of business!

PF is as individual as each of us who has it. We have to tweak our treatment regime to what works for each of us and sometimes that fine-tuning can take a long time. Certainly we all have learned that walking through the pain or sheer determination will not do anything but exacerbate the condition.

So, don't give up! You'll be better than you are now but how much better, in my opinion, is anyone's guess. Here's hoping that you'll soon be like those who have recovered to the point of being 'almost' like they were prior to PF! :)

Re: The "gizmo" I couldn't remember

Kathy G on 6/21/04 at 10:12 (153593)

It's the ProStretch, Todd. My husband had one he got some years ago when he was a tennis player and he gave it to my son. My son says that there are people at the club who use it before and after they play tennis. He says that, and his homemade tilt board, are very popular among the players at his club.

There are some members who have PF who play with the pain and continue to get worse, by the way. He says a woman recently had ESWT but I haven't asked him how she was doing in a while.

Once he was seen icing his feet between lessons, he said people were coming out of the woodwork, telling him that they had PF so it makes me think that tennis may be a factor in PF. But maybe it's the type of people who play tennis. We've gotten into that discussion on these boards in the past, and the consensus is that active people get PF so the players at his club probably participate in many more activities than tennis. Who knows?

Re: The "gizmo" I couldn't remember

john h on 6/21/04 at 10:23 (153596)

Kathy: As I recall we have several 'Pro Stretch' devices at our club.Before PF I used them. If they are the ones I am thinking of they are plastic and are built in a semi circle manner in which you place your foot and can rock it back and forth. this has to place some heavy tension on the fascia as you are bending the foot at a steep angle right in the middle in the semi circle. Any athletic endeavor such as tennis,racquet ball, basketball which requires rapid change in directions and sudden stops and starts places maximum tension on the fasica which would seem a big no no for those with PF. I have read in numerous articles that some to the more damaging injuries for the PF can occur in doing something like pushing a car where all the energey you muster is being transferred to the fascia. Same thing occurs with down lineman in football. They push off wiht all thier weight and force with the fasica taking much of the force. It is not unusal for them to completely tear the fasia from the heal..

Re: P.S.

Carole C in NOLA on 6/21/04 at 14:49 (153626)


I like your post! And I like what you said about me. I am indeed 'foot conscious', more than before PF. I do feel that I can do everything that I was able to do before PF without any problems or pain, and in fact I haven't been cutting back any in my life activities at all, compared with before PF. Something that I feel helped me to recover from PF is to always make a point of doing less than I think I can do, rather than more. Maybe that is why I don't feel any pain. For example, I probably could have gone to the zoo barefoot, but that would have been silly. Even if my PF could take it, I might have burned the bottoms of my feet on the asphalt. Besides; that is something that I would not have done before PF, so I don't feel a need to do it now.

I've walked further after PF than I could before I had foot problems, and that does feel so empowering. I do have a great respect for the potential agony of foot pain, so I worked into distance walking more gradually than I might have otherwise done.

(Warning to PF sufferers: Don't go barefoot, ever, while you are still in pain!)

I go barefoot a lot around the house these days, and even in the back yard or in the shower, but if my feet feel tired (or first thing in the morning), I wear my Birkenstocks so that I don't tempt fate. Besides, they give me a sort of cocoon like feeling of security that feels nice early in the morning. I don't mind being a little judicious and foot conscious! I can still do everything I want to do (other than cycling barefoot, which caused my PF to begin with), and to me that is so great.

Carole C

Re: The "gizmo" I couldn't remember

Todd W. on 6/21/04 at 16:23 (153637)

Thanks for the info Kathy G. I have begun using Night Splints and they seem to be working a little(only used them for 4 days) I guess I figured after a year this would be over, and it seems that nobody ever gets back to normal once they get a foot problem. Thanks for the help