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Foot tendinitis or PF?

Posted by Verve on 11/23/04 at 01:13 (164587)

Hello all,

4 months ago I began having pain on the bottom of my arch and heel. I'm 39 and hike and run about 20 miles total a week. Like many of you, I still enjoyed these activities while in pain, until the pain became chronic.

3 weeks ago I saw my MD and frankly had trouble localizing and explaining my pain to him. It didn't hurt when he touched my foot and I wasn't displaying any symptoms at the time of my visit. The pain is fleeting...comes and goes. Without specific pain points to point to, my Dr. diagnosed me with foot tendinitis and prescribed rest, anti inflammatories, stretching, and ice.

3 weeks has gone by and there isn't any improvement.

I'm beginning to think that perhaps tendinitis isn't the correct diagnosis.

My symptoms are: pain on the front, inside of my heel when I put weight on the foot. Sometimes the pain exists, sometimes it doesn't. The inside of my arch feels a little tender too.

When I'm walking and I feel the pain in the heel, if I stretch my calf, the pain goes away completely for a while.

No pain in the morning when I wake up, though.

Do my symptoms sound familiar to you PF sufferers?

TIA

Verve

Re: Foot tendinitis or PF?

john h on 11/23/04 at 10:14 (164600)

Verve they sure do. Especially the pain on the inside front of the heel where the fascia attaches. This is the classic place for PF. Yes I had a hard time pointing to the exact pain spot when I first went to the Doctor and I could not press on a spot and say that it hurt. I had no first step pain. My pain was fleeting in the begining but because I did not decrease my activity my pain became chronic. Recognize your fascia is a tendon so your doctor may be right when he says you have tendonitis. Most of us think of the achilles tendon when the word tendonitis is used but it may just as well be tendoitis of the fascia. I think the universal advice for fascia problems is catch it early and stop activity that may aggrevate it until it is completely resolved. Swim or do something that does not involve straining the fascia. Your description sounds very much like PF and since you are addressing it immediately you have a 90% chance of a cure by following your Doctors conservative advice Many active people just do not stop their activity until it is to late. Good luck.

Re: Foot tendinitis or PF?

Carlos N. on 11/23/04 at 14:24 (164608)

Verve:

You're lucky by catching this early. My best advice is to read Scott's heelspurs site on stretching your calf muscles and other techniques to combat PF. Also, take a look at your shoes and consider using something with more shock absorbing material to protect your feet. A Powerstep orthotic may be the trick to help your arches. Lastly, if you still experience pain go and see a good podiatrist who understands PF and know how to treat it properly.

One other thing, since your so active I would recommend stretching before and after your hiking and running. Pay close attention to stretching your hamstrings, calves, and achilles tendon. If any of these are tuat, then you've found your problem.

-Carlos

Re: Foot tendinitis or PF?

Verve on 11/24/04 at 20:30 (164685)

Thanks for your input guys.

I'm going to redouble my efforts on gaining flexibility with the stretching. Hopefully I can knock this problem down before it develops into something ugly.

FYI, throughout this summer while I was logging a lot of miles I began getting lazy about stretching prior to my workouts. Just before I started noticing pain I noticed my calves were getting tighter and started burning on the uphills. That had never happened before and had I known that tight calves and legs were a precursor to PF I would have corrected it immediately.

Oh well, live and learn (and suffer in the interim) :o)

I wish everyone here the best...hope you all heal fast.

Verve

Re: Foot tendinitis or PF?

Julie on 11/25/04 at 02:37 (164696)

Verve, as a runner, I imagine you equate 'stretching the calf muscles' with the classic runner's stretch against a wall. Be careful with stretching now. You do need to lengthen your calf muscles, as it's likely that running without stretching has shortened them and thus contributed to your PF, but weight-bearing stretching is now too strong for you and could make matters worse. You are new to this website, but many have said over the years I have been here that weight-bearing stretching did not help them, but caused more damage.

Have a look at the yoga foot exercises (click on the word yoga) which are non-weightbearing, and strengthen as well as stretch.

And read the heel pain book for general information and treatment options.

Most importantly, see a podiatrist (foot specialist) for a full evaluation of your biomechanics, an accurate diagnosis of the cause(s) of your problem, and a sensible treatment plan that addresses the cause(s).
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