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I finally shook my pf - my sixth marathon may be w/in reach

Posted by Mark S on 7/18/04 at 20:07 (155787)

Here's my background...

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Overtrained for a marathon last fall, got pf, and didn't take it seriously at first. Continued to abuse it for another three months.

The doctor wasn't much help. Luckily it was soon winter and it was a god excuse to stay in anyway. Then I found this site and got the living you-know-what scared out of me (potential chronic condition, etc.)

So I stopped running from December thru March. I started back up gradually - with a half mile every few days increasing by 10% each week.

This AM I passed the spot where the pain started on that fateful run last September. Here I sit with absolutely no pain.

Of course I'm still paranoid and the minute I feel something I'll make adjustments. But I'm starting to think I did things right - and it's paid off.

Among the things I did:

* Strassberg sock
* Arch insert
* Naproxin at night
* Ice when symptoms were present or after a longer run.
* Regular gym participation - lots of weight training along with bike and crosstrainer. My pet theory is that weight bearing exercise (upper body - away from the feet) encourages both muscle regeneration and healing of PF.

In fact, as I read the posts on this site, it seems to me that the more sedentary the pf sufferer, the less likely it is for the pf to go away - and more likely to start in the first place. I think this is no coincidence.

Just something to think about.

Re: I finally shook my pf - my sixth marathon may be w/in reach

Pauline on 7/18/04 at 20:26 (155789)

Mark,
Glad you're healthy again. I find your post interesting especially since we've had several others comment about weight bearing exercises.

Question do you still continue to use orthotics or like John MN have you put them aside?

Re: I finally shook my pf - my sixth marathon may be w/in reach

Marty in SLC on 7/18/04 at 20:29 (155791)

great to hear .... hmmmm some of the post latly are realy making wonder?? 'more sedentary the pf sufferer, the less likely it is for the pf to go away' what to do, what to do?

Re: I finally shook my pf - my sixth marathon may be w/in reach

Janice N on 7/19/04 at 10:43 (155823)

Let me explain about how my problems came about. I was a nurse up to 14 yrs ago. I never sat down except to chart. I had a neuroma and a heel spur then. I had the neuroma removed. Did pretty well for yrs. The last few had tingling and pins and needles sensation.
My health problems startd in 1990. I tired everything and some experimental meds. Went through months without hardly being able to be up and about. Had surgery in 1990 on both hands for carpal tunnel, left shoulder for rotator cuff repair. Afew yrs later had sinus surger and a breast operation. Later my gallbladder removed. All this on top of two chronic illnesses that involved major chrnic pain all in my joints. During most of this time I had very little foot pain through the yrs. I had one injecion for the heel spur. The first fw yrs I walked as much as I could still. As my illnesses got worse couldnt walk harldy any distance without having to be in bed a long time. 1/12 yrs ago I moved as I have said before. Just down the hall. But these floors are concrete in my building with the floor covering not soft all all. I got my fet in a heck of a shape. I should have seen a dr then. But having been under the care of drs for yrs and so much illness I didnt want to see another. I tried ice and foot exercises and Celebrex. It just never calmed down. I havne't slept well in all this time. But I am awake with chronic pain anyways. Tried everything. But this added foot pain sent me over the edge all most. So I did see a podiatrist and had one foot injected. Then had ESWT done 12 wks ago tomorrow. I now go to the pool twice a wk for water exercises. Oh what I left out is last yr I was on my feet a whole lot more trying to be more active in my building. I was hea of the resident council for 160 persons who live here. Strictly vounteer work. Did most of it from my bed and chair and on the phone. But some things I was on my already flaired up feet. I have a weight problem. Which has been addressed by me since developed Diabetes this yr. I think in the beginning when you have acute inflamation you have to be off your feet in order to heal them. But when it becomes chronic it doesnt seem to matter if you just do nothing and stay off them. In fact alking feels better at times. But like everytime in moderation is the key. You just have to see what works best for you. There are lots of things I would like to try but money stands between me and it. When you are in the kind of pain we are with our feet you would do almost anything to get relief. Short of surgical intervention which I have really come to question since reading here and I am glad.
As much as I did rest and was off my feet things just didnt get any better at all. But then I let the situation get too bad. And I have multiple foot problems now. I didnt have all this foot pain when I was on them all those yrs. Now it is a nightmare.
Because added to the other pain I have I sometimes want to scream in the street. The pool helps with the stiffness a whole lot and keeps me moving more now.
Excessive rest isnt the answer for most illnesses. But sometimes the body doesnt hear that. You get up and your body knocks you back down. So you have to find a healthy balance with rest and exercise.

Re: I finally shook my pf - my sixth marathon may be w/in reach

Marty from SLC on 7/19/04 at 11:03 (155825)

Oh wow Janice you have really had a bad time of it. I so sorry.

Re: I finally shook my pf - my sixth marathon may be w/in reach

Jill H on 7/19/04 at 21:10 (155892)

I want to respond about your comment about being sedentary - I have had PF for 6 months. Before PF I was so committed to exercise - my greatest accomplishment was walking a marathon. Since Jan. 17 when I got PF while jogging I have not been able to do any form of aerobic exercise. I did try the bike and swimming but both made my foot feel worst. I want to exercise so bad but am so scared about a setback. About 3 months ago I was feeling better that I walked about 4 blocks at a faster pace than a snail. 24 hours later I was right back to where I was. So here it is 6 months and I am doing somewhat better but am sooo scared to make it worse. Any suggestions?

Re: I finally shook my pf - my sixth marathon may be w/in reach

Mark S on 7/19/04 at 21:49 (155894)

Jill - you have it way worse than me. But if I was in your shoes, I'd completely switch over to whatever exercise is available that won't hurt my foot. That's why I took up weight training with a vengence. (see below) Of course, that doesn't mean that would work but my experience has been that I heal faster in general when I'm in my best shape.

Anyway here's more of what I did (with some repetition from the last post):

* Used otc arch supports at all times. STill do.

* Wore a strassberg sock every third night or so.

* Popped 2 naproxins at night and, in the begining, 1 at breakfast and another after lunch. Gradually cut back out of respect for my liver/kidneys. Take it now only if I think i feel a twinge.

* Iced during the day and at night. Used a frozed Deerpark half liter bottle that I rolled my foot on while sitting at work. Massaged it when icing.

* Zero running for 3 months (that was tough). DOc said 2 weeks off would suffice. He wasn't as smart as he fancied himself.

* Still walked to work (1 mile each way) every day (NYC commute). Used rockport fake wingtip shoes - not real ones(!)

* At the gym: weights weights weights. Mostly upper body (bench press, curls, pullups, etc.) and limited lower body - leg curls and extensions NO squats or calf raises!). The side benefit is that I can now bench 120% of my body weight and do 9 unassisted pull ups - Not bad for a 40 year old. Oh, I'm in good shape for the beach too. I was reading somewhere that resistance training releases human growth hormone and that's why weight trainers who pay attention to their legs too get bigger overall. Maybe it was a crock but if not, maybe it had unintended benefits for other healing.

* Cut the junk out of my diet. I was worried that no running = get fat fast. No regular soda, no Hostess fruit pies, no fries, etc. Don't know if this helped the pf - but it didn't hurt. Had lots of fish, lean red meat, chicken, vegatables, fruit, and other super-healthy stuff.

Now, I'm sure I didn't have pf like some of the other people know it. Everyone is built differently. But I have a philosophy that this body I live in must last me for the duration. Maintaining and respecting it is way more important than changing the oil in my car, vaccuuming the livingroom, and watching reality TV. I've lived this to a greater or lesser degree for the last 15 years or so so maybe I'm less at risk for pf-type injuries or can bounce back quicker.

I can't recommend that way of life more.

Anyway, I had enough PF to know how much it sucks. I wish everyone to best of luck in their own battles. And if I end up helping at least one person I'll be real happy. I'll lurk for a while more and I may troll (in a nice way) from time to time too.

Re: I finally shook my pf - my sixth marathon may be w/in reach

Mark S on 7/19/04 at 22:00 (155897)

Hey Marty - too bad you're not 'KEN in SLC' - I'd dole out advice for a price. Except Ken would know the answer - probably.

As an aside: I still kept up my skiing while on PF and that included a tour of Alta, Snowbird, Brighton, and Solitude.

You'll note that a standard ski boot keeps your foot in the same position as a night brace.

Re: I finally shook my pf - my sixth marathon may be w/in reach

Jill H. on 7/24/04 at 20:34 (156217)

Mark S.
Starting tomorrow I'm getting back into weights. I think I have finally hit bottom being somewhat depressed about not exercising that I'm going to at least do something. I think I'll start the bike but only for 5 min. to start - I know just doing something will make me feel better. Thanks for the encouragment!