Home The Book Dr Articles Products Message Boards Journal Articles Search Our Surveys Surgery ESWT Dr Messages Find Good Drs video

I Need More Help

Posted by Carlos N. on 6/29/04 at 20:15 (154180)

I've been posting here for several months now and I truly appreciate everyone's feedback.

In mid April I got new custom made orthotics; in June I wrapped up approximately 10 sessions each of acupuncture and physical therapy. Everything has helped me very much and has dropped my pain from a 7-8 to 2-3 (scale from 1 to 10). However, I keep feeling lot's of burning in my feet and shins. Today I had a major setback as I couldn't get out of bed because my legs felt so heavy and sore. Frankly I sleep on average five hours per day and don't get too much rest, either. I'm really stupefied because I've been doing really great with my stretching, weight lifting, conditioning, nutrition & vitamins, and icing. The orthotics have corrected my overpronation, too. I know setbacks are normal, but today I was bowled over with fatigue.

After 12 years of PF, should I consider the following?
ESWT - Can I really improve after so many years of chronic PF?
Neurontin - Will it work for my burning feet and shins?

Any suggestions? Please!
Thanks everyone!

Re: I Need More Help

John from MN on 6/29/04 at 20:25 (154181)

Carlos N.

I would not recommend ESWT, I had several treatments on each foot with no help. I think they should outlaw release surgery.

After I had all the treatments the only thing that worked for me was Transverse Friction Massage. Painful treatment but it works. The burning feeling you have is the taring of your fascia. Do not try any hoaky tricks like night splints, casts they will not help you in the long run. Acupunture is not a long term solution either. You might feel beter in the short term but I do not see any long term fix to your scarred up fascia. I would recommend talking with 'goose' and 'Place' about how their treatment is going with Dr. Sandell. He cured my PF in just over 2 months after 5 years of PF. I was one of his worst patients.

good Luch

Re: I Need More Help

Rick B on 6/29/04 at 21:54 (154188)

Carlos, there are some postings that you can search on at this forum recommending the book, 'Healing Back Pain' by Dr. John E. Sarno, M.D. I have read his books and have eliminated 20 years of back pain and one year of arch pain. The author states that most chronic pain is psychosomatic.

I also have had the burning feet. It was caused by mucsle tension as a result of stress. Basically, the theory ( and I belive it is true) is that the subconscious mind creates a distraction from emotional pain by creating physical pain. It could simply change your life by reading this book. You will also find positive information doing some web searches.

You mentioned your recent setback. Did something happen in your life? I found that when I looked back at every episode of pain, something upsetting did occurr in my life.

Try this: Soak your feet and ankles in cold water, quickly switch to hot (not too hot), then repeat the process a few times and end with hot water. Your burning pain may disappear for a few minutes. The process dialates your blood vessels and eliminates the vascular constriction.

Also, you may be crossing your legs as you sleep (tension). This will restrict blood flow and give you the leg symptons you described. I know, I did this for about a month before I figured it out.

I check into this forum from time to time. My advice is difficult for most people to accept, but there is really not much harm in reading a book.

Good luck, let me know if you want more information.

Re: I Need More Help

Carlos N. on 6/29/04 at 22:11 (154192)


I have read Dr. Sarno's book about 3 weeks ago and it made a lot of sense to me. I did feel a tremendous reduction in pain as I let go of the stress and anxiety in my life. So the concept was easy for me to swallow. However, I am still feeling some discomfort and the setback has left me thinking that it's a bit more than just psychosomatic. There are some recent changes in my life but I'm dealing quite well with the transition.

Rick, thanks for your feedback. I'll continue exploring the psychosomatic theory. I'll try the water--hot then cold.

Re: I Need More Help

elyse b on 6/30/04 at 06:18 (154203)

I took Neurontin in 2001 for 3 years for neuropathic facial pain. It is the mildest of the anticonvulsant drugs now used to treat a variety of things, i.e.,chronic pain, bipolar disorder. I do have to say it helped me tremendously when I was in the throes of my facial pain. It definitely has its side effects, ataxia, weight gain, a little bit of dizziness etc. You have to build up your dosage on it. I was very happy when I was able to get off of it but am thinking once again of trying it but it does take a while to get in your system. Remember build up dosage slowly and never come off cold turkey as it can cause a seizure.

Re: I Need More Help

Dorothy on 6/30/04 at 09:49 (154209)

Carlos ~

Yesterday you wrote about an overwhelming sense of fatigue. Is there any difference in that today?? Better? Worse? Same?

What you described - lots of burning in feet and shins; legs felt heavy and sore; overwhelming fatigue - can have origins in varied places, from over-exercise to a virus to a disease process. Have you explored all possibilities so that you can accurately and definitively be sure that it is PF and only PF that you are dealing with??

Re: I Need More Help

john h on 6/30/04 at 10:25 (154215)

Carlos we can read Dr. Sarno's words and on the surface it may make perfect sense to us. The problem is to get your subconcious to accept his thesis.

Re: I Need More Help

Dorothy on 6/30/04 at 10:32 (154217)

Butting in, I am -

And if our subconscious is 'resisting' ideas and concepts, then perhaps that lends credence to the likelihood that we are 'defending' in many other ways - such as at a musculoskeletal level - which leads to physical problems. Just a thought on the subject -

Re: I Need More Help

Carlos N. on 6/30/04 at 11:01 (154222)


Today I am better than yesterday. I am still a bit fatigued but was able to make it to work. So far I have not been able to find anything else that may contribute to my lethargy. As far back as I can remember my feet have been the culprit.

Re: I Need More Help

john h on 6/30/04 at 11:08 (154225)

John from MN: I had 4 ESWT treatments on each foot with two different machines and they did not cure me. I would still highly recommend one try ESWT because they do cure some people and we never know who it will work for and who it will not. Because it did not work for some of us does not mean we should eliminate it as a treatment else we would eliminate every treatment available. I would not recommend surgery but the fact is surgery has worked for many many people. Certainly one might try treatments such as Dr. Sandells first or the very simple treatments that cure 90% of the estimated 3-6 million new PF patients each year I have concluded no one treatment works for all and what works for some of us is totally useless to others..

Re: I Need More Help

Pauline on 6/30/04 at 11:09 (154226)

Depression can cause symptoms of fatigue and so can anxiety and reactions to medications. If you've not had a physical check up you may want to consider one. Your fatigue could resolve by something as simple as stopping or switching your pain medication. I'd advise you check it out.

Re: I Need More Help

john h on 6/30/04 at 11:15 (154230)

Ups and downs are a way of life with PF Carlos and it can really mess with your mind. You get to thinking you are on the way to a cure and then for no reason the pain returns. This can depress you and lead to poor sleep and a feeling of fatigue. Try to focus on knowing you have always rebounded before and you will rebound again even if you are not cured. Some people have been cured with ESWT. If you can afford it then try it. What is it worth to be cured of PF? You will always wonder if ESWT may have been just the treatment that may have worked. With your aching and heavy legs I would seek a second diagnosis as these are not necessarily the symptoms of PF. Fatigue and poor sleep can go hand and hand with long term PF.

Re: I Need More Help

Elyse B on 6/30/04 at 11:58 (154242)

I second that emotion, my head is spinning and I am on a roller coaster of emotions, trying this and that and going everywhere. I have now decided to settle down and see what happens with teh doctor I found here in NYC.

Re: I Need More Help

Rick B on 6/30/04 at 22:21 (154301)

Good to hear you read the book. I would encourage you to follow Dr. Sarno's advice. There are 3 principles:
1) You must submit fully to the fact that this is all psychosomatic.

2) You must live your life as though there is absolutely nothing wrong with you.

3) You must search you inner fears and repressed anger that are the root of your problems.

I have read too many comments from people who believe that part of their pain is psychosomatic, and part is something else. You mentioned a reduction in stress. This is a great start. However, it is the things that are still bothering you that you are not aware of that cause the remaining pain. Don't let that subconscious mind full you. I am a perfect stranger on the internet and I understand this is hard to swallow. Trust me for a month or so, focus entirely on this matter. This does not work unless you buy into it 100 percent (your are so close). There are a lot of intelligent, knowledgeable and helpful people on this forum. Unfortunately, I believe most of them will never get better because there subconscious minds have such strong control. Unfortunately, you will need to ignore just about any medical advice you have received in the last 10 years.

Again, good luck.

Re: I Need More Help

john h on 7/01/04 at 10:46 (154319)

Hey Rick: What do you do if your wife/husband or boss or both are the source of your stress? I expect to receive the DVD videos of Dr. Sarno's lectures this week. I also got his CD's for his books on eBay (4 CD's). There were only 2 bidders. Yes, my subconscious probably has more control than I would like. I cannot be hypnotized and tend to believe in what I 'see' so I will be a poor candidate going in. I hope his lectures are convincing. Dr.Andrew Weil has the gift of convincing people. In any event I will be a little more informed but still have this problem of having happy thoughts will make my feet feel better. If he could draw me an electrical schematic or some mathmatical formula as to why this works I would more likely accept this. It seems like his thesis is much like religion in that there are just some things you have to accept on 'faith'. Not all people are capable of doing this.

Re: I Need More Help

Rick B on 7/01/04 at 22:48 (154359)

1) In my opinion, it is the stress that you are not aware of that is the concern. Your subconscious mind is great at keeping you distracted. As I have suggested, you can search your memory bank of each time you had an episode of more severe pain. You may start putting together a connection.

2) I first found out about Dr. Sarno's books watching Larry King Live. He was interviewing Dr. Weil who stated on the show that most back pain could be eliminated by reading and taking Dr. Sarno's advice.

3) There is really no need to accept this on blind faith. I my self, am a very skeptical person who does not believe in religion. I read the book very slowly and for the first time in my life, simply opened my eyes to the overwhelming evidence around me. It is there for you to, just look real hard. Study the personalities and situations of others with any form of chronic pain. It is amazing what you may witness.

I have always been known as the person that sneezes (very hard)and always believed it was alergies. Actually, it turns out that if I sneeze, there is always something within the last few seconds that has mildly upset me. I didn't figure this out for a year after reading these books.

My mother-in-law had the 24 hour flu in February. She attributed it to a frozen pizza she had the night before (she never gets sick). She was quite ill and stayed in bed all day. The next day she was perfectly fine and talked to us about all the normal things ( we talk daily). Hmm, not one word was spoken that the day she was sick was the two year anniversery of my father-in-law's death. I cannot tell you how many things like this I have noticed, it is everywhere.

Belive me, initially it took a couple of weeks before I would reach over and touch my toes. I was scared to death that my back would go out again.

Anyway, good lick, I will be on vacation. I will check back to see if anyone has interesting posts.

Re: I Need More Help

John from MN on 7/02/04 at 16:54 (154412)

John h,

If Dr. Sandells treatment did not work, then I know at that point he would recommend more invasive treatments. The fact that more HMO's are dropping ESWT as a covered procedure shows that it is not as effective as the companies are telling us.

I wish ESWT would have worked for me, I would have been cured 2 years ago. Knowing what I know now I personally think all the other treatments are a waste of time.

Good luck to you John h, I hope you find the answers you are looking for so you can get better soon and back to a normal life.

Re: I Need More Help

Pauline on 7/02/04 at 22:13 (154429)

Are you saying there is now less insurance coverage for ESWT than before?
Could you explain? Do you know who is providing coverage?

Re: I Need More Help

Pauline on 7/02/04 at 22:17 (154430)

John h. has really tried a lot of treatments and products. I wish he could be treated by Dr. Sandells. He would certainly make a good test case for this treatment.