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Burning again . . .

Posted by Teacher in pain on 8/29/04 at 09:41 (158908)

I'm new to this list. After reading about foot pain I self-diagnosed my problem as TTS. I had the pain a few years ago when I was teaching at a university, but now that I've had to go back to work full time, the pain has started again. A few years ago when it started, I went to a podiatrist who injected cortisone, then an orthopaedic surgeon who tested for rheumatoid arthritis -negative and suggested orthodics-didn't get them, and my family doctor who prescribed something for depression which I was never able to take.
I'm on B vitamin supplement now, but the pain is getting worse every day. I'll try a neurosurgeon next week-as soon as my insurance kicks in. Thanks so much for all the comments and websites, and any other advice would be greatly appreciated. I have hope now for some kind of relief.
Teacher in pain

Re: Burning again . . .

Linda V. on 8/29/04 at 10:37 (158909)

i like vit b...check yours and see how much thiamine it contains..the more the better i am told. thiamine is on of the things doctors prescribe to soothe nerve activity (and hopefully prevent seizures) when they are de-toxing patients. soothes the nerve endings i am told. so it makes sense that it might also serve to soothe nerve endings in feet. my b-complex contains 100 mg thiamine. good luck...

Re: Burning again . . .

Dr. Z on 8/29/04 at 15:37 (158927)


There is some very helpful postings n for TTS on this site. Use the search engine . IF need you any help let DR. Z know Great idea to go to the neuro doctor

Re: Burning again . . .

john h on 8/30/04 at 09:08 (158955)

Teacher in pain I would tend to try an Orthopedic Foot & Ankle Surgeon preferable with a Fellowship. If your first Orthopedic Surgeon was not a foot and ankle specialist he is going to know a lot less about PF. There appears to be a whole lot of conventional PF treatments you have not tried and I would be supprised if a Neurosurgeon would even be aware of them. Typically PF pain is going to continue to get worse until you find one of the many things available that might start you on the road to recovery. Just a few thoughts our of hundreds that come to mind. Have you tried:
1. Wearing Birk Airizona Sandals (they have a built in orthotic)
2. Tried taping
3. Ice serveral times a day
4. Massage therapy with someone who knows and understands PF
5. Anti inflamatories
6. Learn about ESWT a non invasive procedure for PF
7. Read Scott's book which is on this website and details PF and its treatment.
8 PF will depress you and cause anxiety over the long haul.
9. Stay connected with this site as there are hundreds with hundreds of stories to tell from which you might benefit.

Re: Burning again . . .

Julie on 8/30/04 at 10:04 (158962)

Are you sure that you have TTS? You say you self-diagnosed, but did you have tests, and was that diagnosis confirmed by any of the practitioners you saw?

Why did you not pursue the idea of orthotics? Almost any foot ailment, including TTS, can be caused by faulty biomechanics which could be addressed by orthotics. It really sounds from what you say as though you have never been seen by anyone who has taken the time and trouble to determine exactly what your problem is, and what is causing it. I would suggest that you seek out another podiatrist: they tend (obviously) to know more about feet than other specialists.

I'd be careful re the neurosurgeon. Surgeons do surgery, and surgery is the very last resort for your problem - whatever it is. There are many conservative treatments for TTS, is that is what you have. If you read the heel pain book, and past posts here, you will have a better idea of how to approach it. Use the search facility to find posts by Lara, Marie and Wendy, three long-time TTS sufferers who have given a lot of information here. You will also find, at the top of the TTS board, Wendy's FAQ, which is very useful, and another website specifically for TTS sufferers.

But do be sure that TTS is what you've got. It seems to be an elusive animal and from what I've read over the years here, it can take a good deal of time and patience and testing to arrive at a firm diagnosis.

Re: Burning again . . .

Linda V. on 8/30/04 at 10:09 (158964)

agree there are other things to be tried before seeing a neuroSURGEON. remember, anyone with SURGEON attached to his name does not make money unless using SURGICAL instruments. definately not a first option....especially without a firm diagnosis by a qualified POD...and even a second opinion to confirm it isn't a bad idea...

Re: Burning again . . .

john h on 8/30/04 at 18:26 (159006)

Actually I have had many surgeons say they did not want to operate on my back. It is very possible a Foot and Ankle Surgeon may be more qualified to diagnose certain conditions of the ankles and feet than a POD as his/her training goes beyone the feet and ankle. This is not to diminish POD's but their training is very specific to the feet whereas an MD foot and ankle surgeon's training goes all the way up the spine and all bone releated problems. I see them both when in doubt. If I have a broken ankle I would prefer an orthopedic foot an ankle surgeon. POD's may see more PF than MD's and in many cases more informed on treating the problem, When someone starts cutting above my ankle it will be and has been an Orthopedic physician.My wife recently had a Orthopedid Foot and Ankle Surgeon refer her to a POD for removal of some growth from the bottom of her foot.

Re: Burning again . . .

Kathy G on 8/31/04 at 16:25 (159048)

Oh, teaching with PF is not fun as some of our other posting teachers will attest!

John's post is excellent and full of good advice. First you need a definitive diagnosis because it may not be TTS. Then you can go from there. As for the surgeon necessarily suggesting surgery, my finding has been like John's. Years back, I saw a couple of surgeons for a back problem and neither one of them would operate on me, which turned out to be a very good thing. And my POD absolutely says I'm a poor candidate for surgery. Hopefully, this neurosurgeon will suggest other options and if he doesn't, I'm sure you'll get a second opinion.

Keep us posted and I hope you find some relief soon.

Re: Burning again . . .

Suzanne D. on 9/01/04 at 17:49 (159112)

I am a teacher (first grade) also and understand your pain and frustration. I hope it helps to know that after three years I am almost back to normal. I have stiffness in my feet in the morning and after sitting for extended time, but I no longer have pain. I still stretch (the Yoga - click on the link here - exercises that Julie posted) and wear Birkenstocks or SAS shoes with Superfeet inserts all the time. I fear that wearing 'regular' shoes would soon have me back to where I started, and I certainly do not want to risk that.

The things that helped me in the classroom were these:

*When I was in pain, I tried to sit whenever possible. My style was to be up and with the children, but I adapted and took a tall stool around with me, perching on it as much as I could.

*I relied on the students to help save me steps. They enjoyed helping, and it was surprising how many times I could sit and let them walk when I really thought about it.

*I bought carpet which covers 3/4 of my classroom - the area where I spend the most time. We moved to a new, larger, concrete and tile-floored building about 1 1/2 years into my PF. I had made progress and really dreaded the move. But the carpet (which I paid for myself) along with the very thick pad I bought to go under it has helped tremendously.

*I paid careful attention to the chairs I was sitting in. I am tall, and I found I spent a great deal of time sitting in very low chairs with my feet and legs wrapped around in all kinds of bad positions under the chair. I now sit only in chairs that are the right height to keep my legs in a sraight position and my feet flat on the floor. I had not thought about this before foot problems, but I know it is important.

I also taped during the worst pain, and I feel that helped, too.

Best wishes to you! I hope you soon find improvement.
Suzanne :)

Re: Burning again . . .

Pauline on 9/01/04 at 19:24 (159117)

A really great post with wonderful ideas especially for the teachers who come to this site, but things that all of us can use too.

Re: Burning again . . .

Suzanne D. on 9/01/04 at 20:59 (159119)

Thank you, Pauline!

Suzanne :)