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Exercise Question

Posted by Lana on 10/21/04 at 07:54 (161879)

I have PF for over six month. About a month ago, after reading this board I switched from doing step aerobics to stationary bike and elliptical crosstrainer. I also stopped walking outside for exericise. For some reason, my heel hurts much more after bike and elliptical. How is this possible? I can not swim, I don't have access to water aerobics. I take Actonel for severe osteopenia and my doctor tells me to do regular exercise to prevent further bone loss. I don't know what to do, can you please advise? I am getting really depressed about this.

Re: Exercise Question

SteveG on 10/21/04 at 12:40 (161898)

Lana - there are two parts to your question. To prevent further bone loss, I would recommend weight lifting. When my PF was quite sever, I started a weight lifting program and I was able to trim up; and building up my muscles helped me feel I was making some progress and helped with the depression you mention.
The bike/trainer question is tougher. I would not use the trainer, since it can make you come up on the balls of your feet (watch people use the trainer some time and you will see what I mean). People, including one of the pods here, mentioned using a specific type of shoe with a shank. Do a search on 'bikes' and 'biking' and see what you get.

Re: oh, and on the bike

SteveG on 10/21/04 at 12:47 (161899)

make sure you keep the resistance low. When I use the bike I never go above a 2 and I pedal fast. This gets my heart up to 120-125, which is within my target range. So see if the resistance level is part of the problem. You can also experiment with the position of your feet on the pedals - keep them farther back

Re: Exercise Question

Jill H. on 10/21/04 at 21:14 (161942)

I can certainly relate - I have had PF for over 9 months and used to be a daily exerciser. For several months anything I did hurt my foot including swimming and bike riding. Just tonight I tried the exercise bike - not real fast and I pushed my foot back farther on the pedal. I also put it on manual so I can take it easy. I don't know how this will be tomorrow but tonight it hurts some but not worse than yesterday. I hope you can find relief and hang in there - you are not alone.

Re: Exercise Question and More

Lana on 10/22/04 at 09:17 (161967)

Julie and Steve,

Thank you so much for you replies. I will experiment with a bike a little bit more. I was doing it on level 3-4 resistance and maybe this caused increase in a level of pain. I also saw a new podiatrist this morning. After he performed a computer study of my gait, he told me that my problem comes from incorrect biomechanics of my feet. He was actually surprised I don't have problem with my other foot. He put me on Celebrex for a couple of weeks to decrease an inflammation of the plantar fascia, and he also gave a me night splint. I doubt that I will be able to use it when I sleep because I have insomnia. But I will definately wear it in the evening for a couple of hours. He is also going to order customer orthotics for me. Currently I am using over the counter BioSole orthotics in my sneakers but I have nothing for my dress shoes. The orthotics he showed me are very thin so they can fit in any shoes.Does all this sound like a right treatment plan?

I like this podiatrist much more than my old one. My old podiatrist just prescribed diclofenac but I could not take it because it irritated my stomach. I insisted that he send me for physical therapy which I don't think is helping me too much. The new podiatrist looked like he knew much more about PF.

Sorry for my less than perfect English, it is my second language. I appreciate your help very much, I learned a lot from this board.

Re: oh, and on the bike

john h on 10/22/04 at 10:06 (161971)

Steve you sissy. Level II???? You must get your heart rate up to 80?

Re: oh, and on the bike

SteveG on 10/22/04 at 10:19 (161973)

Ah, but I pedal so hard my legs become a blur

Re: Exercise Question

john h on 10/22/04 at 10:20 (161974)

Steve: I do some stationary bike riding. We have some really nice high tech bikes at our club. I find that if I keep my seat low enough and use the plastic foot holders on the bike it is very easy to keep your feet flat and put no tension on your fascia. One must also get the foot well into the stirrup and not pedal with your toes. If you are riding on a real bike and go up a hill I do not care what kind of shoes you have on you are probably going to place tension on the fasica. I rode a bike every day for two years in Vietnam and really hated to give it up when I came home. Our stationary bikes at the club are in front of a bank 24 large flatscreen digital TV's with each bike having it's own volume and control for your headphones

Re: Exercise Question

JADO H on 10/22/04 at 16:56 (162000)

Hi!!! Step Aerobics is definitely extreme on the feet. I use to love it more than anything and finally I decided I had to give it up. I have tried it over the last few months a couple of times and have used only the basic step with no risers and have tried not to put too much bounce into it. It helps but it is not as much fun. I have found kickboxing to not be too intense on my feet - that is if I dont do to too much bouncing.
I teach aerobics for a hobby and it is very difficult to not be able to do everything I would like. But since I teach the class I am able to create a routine that doesn't hurt me as much. Kicking is great for the legs and butt and since they are primarily in the air I am not putting excess strain on my feet. Obviously, there is still a lot of movement in the class but I try to keep everything simple (walking, step touch, taps, grapevines, etc.) If I push it with Jumping Jacks - I can hardly walk the next day.

Anyway - back to your question - I do a lot of eliptical also and have found that it is best to keep it on a low level of strain. Also, I definitely keep an eye on my feet - I try to keep my heels planted on the
platforms - reducing pronation. If you ride a bike - keep the intensity low on it also - lots of pedaling but little effort.

If you have the opportunity to try a pilates class - try it. Most of the work is a mat style workout while laying on your back. I teach a class and I find it to be a wonderful workout. Becareful though if they do lunges, squats, warrior poses, etc - they seem to hurt the feet.

Weight lifting is by far one of the best ways to really keep the metabolism up and the bones and muscles strong. If you are not familar with weight lifting, I suggest asking a personal trainer to help you at first. Also, I have found that I need to be extra careful when doing leg workouts - I keep the weight low and do more repetitions. The Leg press and glute press seem to aggravate my heels the most if I am not careful. I try to do a lot of leg workouts myself with ankle weights - it seems to work the best and not hurt the feet at all.

Well, that is my long winded note for the afternoon. Goodluck.


Re: Exercise Question

Rick G on 10/24/04 at 09:18 (162055)

I also have had PF now for about 6 months. I used to do quite a bit of hiking. Around February of this year, I noticed that my feet started to 'generally hurt' after about 6 or 7 miles. At first it was in the ball of my foot and over the next few months moved to my heels. A doctors visit confirmed PF. I have found that stretching exercises done for about 5 minutes 3 times per day helps quite a bit. Unfortunately after performing actions such as mowing the lawn, walking even short distances, and standing for periods of time, I still found my heels quite painful.

Yesterday I went to Dick's Sporting Goods to look for different shoes. I managed to get an employee in the footware department who seemed knowledgeable. He recommended Nike Trail Shoes ($70). I tried them on and they seemed to offer better arch support then anything I have tried up until now. While I was in Dick's, I also went over and looked at their selection of inserts. I selected one from the 'SOF Sole Fit System'. It is catagorized as 'Performance 3/4 motion control' and in it's documentation is states 'Insoles effective in reducing overpronation, Plantar Faciitis & bone spurs'.

I've been using these for about 24 hours now. This morning when I got up my heels were sore but after doing my stretching exercises and putting on this 'foot system' I find that I can comfortably walk. I did about 2 miles this morning ... that would have killed my feet a few days ago. I was perfectly okay! Keep in mind that in my bare feet my heels are still quite painful, but using these inserts the pain is incredibly reduced. I am hoping to be able to hike again.

In this message thread, there was also a mention of bicycling. I do a lot of trail riding. There are 1000's of miles of abandoned railroad beds that have been converted into biking/hiking trails in the U.S. For the most part they are level (no hills). So far this year I have completed a little over 3700 of riding on these. No foot pain what so ever! They are scenic, quiet, and are a great way to stay in shape without pounding your feet. The key factor is that there are virtually no hills.