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Post ESWT and stretching

Posted by Lynn F. on 10/04/04 at 14:25 (160962)

After 8 months of undergoing conservative treatments for PF (cortisone injections, taping, anti-inflammatory meds, custom orthotics - that are quite rigid and uncomfortable!) I opted to have ESWT. It's been 3 days and I am still in considerable pain (7.5 on a scale of 1-10). I've been doing stretching exercises I was given and using heat, but I am starting to wonder if these type of exercises help or hurt? I was reading where weight bearing exercises could cause further damage.

I am considering buying The Foot Trainer to do my stretches. If anyone has used this, please let me know if it helps. Thanks!

Re: Post ESWT and stretching

SteveG on 10/04/04 at 15:36 (160967)

I have used the foot trainer. However, it is designed to strengthen the muscles in the foot, not to provide stretching. I would recommend using a nightsplint for gentle stretching. I have used the Strassburg sock, and I have found that it works quite well

Re: Post ESWT and stretching

Dr. Z on 10/04/04 at 16:14 (160968)

Hi Lynn,
It is possible that the stretching is hurting you. The personal footrainer is an excellent method for post ESWT re-hab

Re: Post ESWT and stretching

Tina H on 10/04/04 at 19:40 (160974)

Lynn- I found that I could not tolerate stretches I did pre ESWT after except wearing the night splint. For some reason, it seemed to make the pain worse. I waited until 4 weeks post, and asked for a referral to a physical therapist. I'm still going, and I think it's better having a professional oversee the stretching aspect but make sure it's someone with experience treating pf. At least this has been helpful for me and if you haven't already tried it, it might help.

Re: Post ESWT and stretching

Lynn F. on 10/04/04 at 20:40 (160980)

Sounds like I may be stretching too soon. I will try The Foot Trainer and a night splint. I GREATLY appreciate your quick responses and all the excellent advice. Thanks!

Re: Post ESWT and stretching

Lori S. on 10/08/04 at 00:50 (161130)

I am 8 days post ESTW, and I can stretch some. But not the way I did before. I am just taking it easy and not pushing it. If I stretch too much, I am in more pain. My doc gave me a list of 3 stretchs to do at least twice a day. They also told me to stay off my feet as much as possible the first couple weeks. No stressful activities such as running, jumping, aerobics (duh), but also to avoid heavy housework aka vacumning. My pain level the first 4 days was good. It seems each day, my pains increased a little, but so far only a couple really bad days.

The better I feel.. the more I do,, the worse I feel the next day. LOL... but overall, I am in a lot less pain than I was before. Try to take it easy as you can, I think we tend to overdo. I waited a long time to get this done. I am really babying my feet. I do however, wonder how people go back to work after this, I cant be on my feet much yet without a LOT of pain.

Heat helps my pain sometimes. But I also sleep with a pillow elevating my feet at night. And the doc gave me a prescription for when its really bad.

Hope you are feeling better,

Re: Post ESWT and stretching

Lynn F. on 10/08/04 at 13:26 (161162)

Thanks Lori. I replied to your other post before reading this. I am doing just as as you are (babying my feet). I feel for people who have to go back to work. I am fortunate in that regard. I couldn't imagine it right now. I was using heating pad for awhile but find warm compresses work better. My podiatrist advised against pain meds (he is so fired!!) so I got something from my medical dr. I'll have to try the pillow, sounds like a good idea!

Have a good day.

Re: Post ESWT and stretching

Elizabeth Y. on 10/11/04 at 12:04 (161285)


Greetings....I am 10 days out of ESWT treatment and have found a wonderful exercize for when the pain shoots up both legs and into my hip sockets. My husband and I were grocery shopping yesterday and the weight bearing pain got to be excruciating (similar to pre-ESWT pain). I went on to the car while he checked out, took off my shoes and and elevated both feet. (Only one foot is afflicted and was treated with ESWT-- but both legs hurt due to compensation.)

When elevating did not relieve the dull, throbbing pain in muscles and bottom of the heel (felt like a blow torch had been on it), I placed my bare afflicted foot on the windshield glass for the cooling effect. It felt wonderful and I pressed the entire foot against the glass at a slanted angle and held the press for 15 seconds (the stretch was tight and painful, but when I released after 15 seconds, the relief in the hip sockets and leg muscles was immediate. So I continued to repeat the exercize four times. Pain reduction was 95%!) It was wonderful and immediate.

Now when the neighbors see me on the passenger side of our Nissan pressing my bare foot against the glass daily, the only discomfort will be trying to explain this therapy! Ha! The good days still alternate with the bad, giving us hope the bad will be fewer and further between eventually. Otherwise, I think we would all throw in the towel. Gotta have that hope we will improve....as any improvement is truly appreciated by chronic pf patients!!! I also purchased two new pairs of athletic shoes seven days after treatment and they help significantly. Can't beat Asics for arch support, comfort and a lightweight shoe !

Hang in there, bucaroos! We're gonna beat this LIFE ALTERING disorder...I am tired of my life being ON HOLD and have started a vitamin/diet regime to expedite/assist the healing effort!

Re: Post ESWT and stretching

Lori S. on 10/13/04 at 01:51 (161386)

Hope you are doing well......

Re: Post ESWT and stretching

Lori S. on 10/13/04 at 01:56 (161387)


LOL, its funny you brought this up, because just about the same thing happened with me one day. It is funny how we come up with different ways to help with the pain. I am on the eve of 2 weeks post ESTW, yesterday was the worst day ever, i could barely walk, and did crawl. I SOO much wanted to put ice on my feet, but I didnt. The pain is different than before tho, so im keeping a positive mind that it has to be because of healing.
Several days ago, I noticed how the veins on the bottom of my feet are very apparent, which is another positive thing, the ESTW must be doing what its supposed to.
I am looking forward to being able to walk around the block again. I miss that, as well as being without pain everyday. SO for now, we just wait, rest, stretch and hope for the best.
Hope your days wonderful!

Re: Post ESWT and stretching

Elizabeth Y. on 10/13/04 at 11:56 (161418)

Greetings Lori:

I find that I look at the average Joe and Joanna walking through a parking lot (while I am seated as my hubby grabs groceries) and think, 'You lucky folks don't even begin to appreciate such a simple movement as painfree mobiliity.' This experience has instilled in me an appreciation for the young and old who suffer chronic pain. Trying to figure out now what to do with this appreciation once I enjoy improvement.

Yesterday was a bad day on foot (8.5 pain factor all day) but today rising pain was at ~5 and walking pain down to about 4....go figure! I have associated it with wearing loose-fitting WARM socks and my night splint. Also started vitamin regime two days ago that my primary care physician prescribed. And I am elevating foot three times a day. Who knows what will finally work, but I am game to consider anyone's 'kiss a toad' solution IF IT WORKED. That is the bottom line. Who cares how it works but THAT it works! Here's to walking around the block again soon...hope your days improve steadily--even if it is slowly. We'll take anything that reflects improvement, won't we?


Re: Post ESWT and stretching

Tiger1 on 10/13/04 at 12:15 (161421)

I have just had my first ESWT treatment, and am much worse than before the treatment. You have given me hope in saying that you did not feel too good after your treatments. The burning in both my feet has returned with a vengence, and i was reluctant to have any further treatments until I read your message. Thanks. Tiger

Re: Post ESWT and stretching

Lynn F. on 10/13/04 at 17:57 (161448)

Hi Elizabeth,
When I first read your post, for a minute I thought I wrote it!! I am 10 days post ESTW and had the same thing happen while grocery shopping with my husband the other night (except for the feet on the windsheild part. Great idea!! If only I had thought of that! I suffered thru the shopping vowing not to do it again till I'm ready!

Thanks for the tip! :o)


Re: Post ESWT and stretching

jeannie m on 10/13/04 at 21:15 (161457)

I am 3 and a half weeks posr eswt and still in terrible pain. I work on my feet and i am so jealous of everyone elses feet. I know it's still early but i am so depressed. I noticed what looks like veins or bruises on the sides of my feet as well. I am trying to slowly break in the orthodics but that kills also. It is still comforting to know there are others suffering with me. I am trying to stay positive but it is just SO overwhelming. I have been at my job for 21 years and cannot imagine having to quit now. I am sorry to write in such a depressing way .

Re: Post ESWT and stretching

Lynn F. on 10/13/04 at 22:23 (161464)

Jeannie - I am so sorry that you are suffering as you are. Is there any way that you could take a leave of absence from your job, or even take on less strenuous responsibilities for awhile to avoid doing further damage to your foot? I would hope after 21 yrs of service, your employer would be willing to make some concessions for you!

I am only 10 days post ESTW (some days in considerable pain for which I feel depressed!) but I am not working and have no right to complain. I really feel for you and I do hope you can work things out to your benefit. I realize jobs are not easy to come by these days but you really MUST put your own well being first.

Hang in there! I hope you start feeling some relief real soon.


Re: Post ESWT and stretching

Dorothy on 10/13/04 at 23:14 (161471)

jeannie m: You do not have to apologize to anyone here. Probably everyone here has been, or is now, in the same 'depressing way' that you are feeling. My heart goes out to you - and all I can say is keep your chin up and try to stay in touch with your hopeful side. And write here whenever you need or want to because it seems to be a helpful thing to do. Best wishes -

Re: Post ESWT and stretching

Lori S. on 10/13/04 at 23:59 (161473)


I do hope you find some relief soon. I was in horrendous pain prior to my ESTW. My doc mentioned being able to soft cast your feet after ESTW, maybe you could ask about that. I was having soft casts put on before ESTW,,, trying to deal with the pain until I had it done. It helped alot. Maybe its an option......
hoping you feel better,

Re: Post ESWT and stretching

Elizabeth Y. on 10/14/04 at 11:38 (161497)


If those orthotics hurt, dump 'em for awhile!l!! Your body tells you what works and what doesn't. Listen to it. They may be of value once your feet heal from the ESWT treatments.

You truly need to give your feet a break. TALK TO YOUR EMPLOYER IMMEDIATELY. Honestly, if your pain is anything like mine, I don't know how you can do anything else. That Baxter's nerve screams out every time I push the limits of mobility. It is maddening and I can do nothing but get my weight off it. But I have noticed SIGNIFICANT improvement the more I elevate and let the ESWT magic do its thing. Can you imagine having heart bvpass surgery and running a 10K immediately thereafter? Why should you feet be any different?

Don't be afraid to advocate for yourself! Trust that others want to help you get well....and your employer will be your biggest ally after 21 years of service. Please let us know how it goes...


Re: Post ESWT and stretching

jeannie m on 10/14/04 at 15:48 (161514)

Elizabeth, Lynn, Dorothy Lori Benlee and Dr. z. , Thank you so much for your support and comments. I am actually going to take 3 weeks off from work beginning Sunday and i will start with that. I am fortunate enough to have a working husband and know i should count my blessings. I feel thankful for you people and this website. I will keep you posted. Jeannie m

Re: Post ESWT and stretching

Elizabeth Y. on 10/15/04 at 11:26 (161582)

GOOD FOR YOU, JEANNIE! Now--this advice is worth what you paid for it...but don't try to do too much around the house over the next three weeks just because you are home. Rest that foot and let the ESWT treatment work for you.

Once you feel like you can tolerate some weight bearing activity, I have just found (on Lifetime Network) Denise Austin's 'Low Impact Workout' 1/2 hour segment. It runs at 7:00 AM here...mostly yoga and Pilates.

However, amazingly, not a lot of pressure on PF, wonderful stretching of the feet and does it ever increase CIRCULATION. I believe that is the name of the game! It also assists me shed what I call the PFP's---plantar fasciitis pounds--that I added as a result of chronic PAIN and dramatic decreases in my desire to maintain an activity level.

Best of luck...and please keep us apprised of your progress. There will be some progress over three weeks, I'd venture, if you are good to that foot! We need each other's input to stay sane here. Enjoy your down time!