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Is there TEMPORARY relief out there for PF

Posted by ART on 7/05/04 at 03:28 (154514)

Hi, I posted this same message to the foot surgery section by mistake. I guess it should have been posted here in hopes that a DR might be able to see it and help me:

Hi all, just found this site and I'm pretty excited about it. I'm up against the wall on something and I'm really hoping someone out there has a solution. Here's my problem. I have PF in my right foot. However, I'm 54 and have been training pretty hard for my first and only attempt to climb Mt Whitney at the end of August (approx 15,000 feet and 22 miles round trip. Today I climbed a local So Calif. mountain (only 1,500 feet) I went up from the east side and down the west side. I then turned around and climbed up from the west side and back down the east side. It took me 3 1/2 hrs to do what amounted to an 8 mile hike. Today's hike totally paled in comparison to what lies ahead with Mt. Whitney yet after it was over, I was limping so badly I could barely step on the gas pedal. Within 2 hours of getting home, I couldn't put any weight down on my foot. Right now it's 12 hours later and I'm still hopping from room to room.

I'm soooo committed to making this Mt. Whitney hike. Not to mention others are flying in from out of state to meet up with me. I don't want to cancel this climb before I even begin. Now I plan to get treatment from a Podiatrist real soon, however, what I need from any of you out there is a glimmer of hope. Hope that there is something TEMPORARY like a cortisone shot or anything that could help ease the pain long enough for me to be able to make the August climb. I'm pretty desperate right now and worried that my Mid-Life Crisis is going to come and go before I even had a chance to act on it. -Thanks-

Re: Is there TEMPORARY relief out there for PF

JimB on 7/08/04 at 01:01 (154833)


I am not a doctor, but since none has answered, I'll take a stab.

I climbed Mt. Whitney last August and am 57. In October 2003, I got PF in my right foot and still have it. I made a series of mistakes early on in my treatment. I think you may have a chance to climb Whitney if you have at least 6 weeks to the climb and you take your treatment *very* seriously. But I would say it is far more important to get your PF cured *now* instead of trying to make the climb. The mountain will be there next year. If you try to do too much too soon on your foot, you will end potentially making this a multi-year problem. There are lots of people on this board with 2-4 year or greater PF problems. Plantar Fasciitis is nothing to fool around with.

I would suggest that you find a good Dr. (Podiatrist, Ortho, Sports Medicine)immediately and follow the Dr's advice. There is good info here, but you don't have time to waste and sift thru it all.

Here is what I would do in the absence of a Dr's guidance based upon my own experience and readings:

1. Get off you feet now. I mean completely off. Take time off work. Use crutches if you have to for several days. You may be in an acute stage due to the recent hike so you may want to ice, 10 min at a time with a hour in between. Maybe take 2 aleve 2x/day. At the end of a few days you want to switch to heat. I use the ice/heat gel packs.

2. Get shoes with good support, like Birkenstocks or a good motion control running shoe and add Superfeet to the running shoes.

3. Don't let you feet EVER touch the ground without your shoes on. Even when you get up in the evening to go to the bathroom, have them by your bedside and put them on.

4. After 3-7 days of complete rest, tape your foot every day first thing in the morning. I use the Low-Dye taping and it works for me. There are other tapings that work too and several are on this site. Keep you walking to an absolute minimum for another 1-2 weeks.

5. Don't stretch for 2-3 weeks. Stretching now will most likely reinjure your PF.

6 After 3 weeks you are into a phase where you can begin easy stretching, strengthening, and exercise. If it were me, I would have a good Physical Therapist guide me here. One that can do massage therapy. When you do stretch, be very gentle and only do non-weight bearing streching exercises. You might like to try the Foot Trainer(http://www.foottrainer.com/plantar).

7. You are going to lose a lot of conditioning. Your best hope is to swim and maybe use an exercise bike, but only if it doesn't hurt the foot in order to maintain some strength and cardio fitness. If you are very fit, you may be able to make the climb even with taking 2-3 weeks off to let you foot heal.

Hope this helps.

Re: Is there TEMPORARY relief out there for PF

Pauline on 7/08/04 at 07:50 (154839)

What a great post. You've been to the mountain. Who could provide better information than a person who's been there? Doctor or not you've provide the poster with a wealth of good information. Someday I hope you'll tell us about your climb on the social board.