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What now? Help for Chronic PF?

Posted by Mary De on 2/22/05 at 20:24 (169659)

Hello. I've posted to this board a few years before (2001) and now check back occasionally when researching a PF question. It's a very useful site, and once again I'm grateful to Scott and the many dedicated regulars who answer (I've read 'The Book' several times ;). I have one (very broad) question, and it seems the medical board is place to ask it, as I don't really need nice pats on the back, but could use some hard advice:

Is there any hope for healing chronic PF? Or do I just have to accept that this is how it is now, and adapt? Doctors, do you have any specific recommendations?

I have now had PF for a bit over four years. It has completely changed my life. I've tried many things (see below), but seem to continue deteriorating. I'm in pain most of the time, in varying degrees. I have trouble doing the non-desk parts of my work, or doing basic life chores (I live alone in very rural area). I've given up my daily walks (which I did for 20 years prior to injury). I'm becoming very depressed--it's hard to get out of bed in morning to begin another day of physical pain and disability. I've been patiently trying to heal myself for a very long time now, and have to conclude that my efforts have failed. Now what?

Background: Specific injury (walking hard & long in poor shoes on cement) late 2000. Diagnosed PF by pod March 2001, have worn custom hard orthotics most of time since then. Recently added silicone heel cups. Also tried Dr Kiper's silicone orthotics for past 7 months, but find they are very unstable and give me new pains. Do an hour of yoga (on the floor only, esp stretch legs/calves) -- attempt daily, but usually about 3-4x a week. Also do foot exercises in daily hot bath. Iced feet until Dr. Kiper advised against. Healing meditations; visualizations. Many herbs, supplements and vitamins on regular basis, occasional aspirin (ibuprophen makes ears ring). Daily use of homemade herbal oil on feet (arnica infusion w/ essential oils). (Tried Jade ointment trials a few years back.) I rest my feet as much as possible, have for couple years now--but wonder about balance of rest and atrophy/loss of function. Tape feet for any outdoor work (if I can do outdoor work). Careful about shoes. Also have done a lot of self-education. Didn't used to be fat, but am now (BMI 27.1 -- was 21.5 four years ago). Now beginning full-on menopause (age 48), doing herbal supplements, wondering about hormonal connections to PF and similar conditions. Also have tendonitis in hands/wrists, and osteoarthritis just about everywhere.

I'll keep doing what I'm doing, and work on 100% consistency (difficult with busy schedule and no help). But I'm out of things to try. Doctors, regulars, experienced PF'ers: any new ideas?

Oh yes, ESWT: I'm interested in this, of course, but it costs $5500 locally. I'm low income with no insurance = little to no medical care. Sounds like (from this site) ESWT results are iffy. I'd be devastated to put myself in debt for years, for surgery that didn't work.

Thanks!
Mary

Re: What now? Help for Chronic PF?

Dr. Z on 2/22/05 at 20:32 (169660)

Hi

E-mail Dr. Z at (email removed) I have a plan for you that I just started to use and has been very helpful to heel pain posters like you.

Re: What now? Help for Chronic PF?

Tina H on 2/23/05 at 06:54 (169685)

Hello Mary, So sorry about your troubles with pf, it all sounds so so familar. I have just a few thoughts-
Has your thyroid been checked lately? Also, are you wearing really good athletic shoes like brooks or new balance which you are changing regularly? ESWT isn't surgery and you should be able to find someone who can help you for considerably less, although it may be necessary to travel to the closest large city. Email Dr. Z and see what he suggests.
Good Luck! Tina

Re: What now? Help for Chronic PF?

Rob M on 2/23/05 at 08:33 (169691)

Dear Mary

$5500 for ESWT is rather expensive. You didn't say if that was for 1 foot, or both, but you should be able to find less expensive treatment.

Rob Mitchell
PainFree ESWT
1 866 444 3798

Re: What now? Help for Chronic PF?

Mary de on 2/24/05 at 15:49 (169812)

Thanks for helpful comments! I've just emailed Dr. Z to learn more of his Plan.

Last year, I found and called three ESWT providers in my area (Sonoma County, California/Bay Area). Only one returned the call, quoting $5500 (both feet). Way out of my range! Would be very interested to hear of a truly reasonable price. Again, I am uninsured, so it'sdifficult to even come up with $1000-2000 -- but if it meant I could function again...! but if I sold everything but my soul, and the ESWT didn't help...very bad !!!

thanks again!
Mary

Re: What now? Help for Chronic PF?

Rob M on 2/24/05 at 17:34 (169821)

Dear Mary

No need to sell your soul. If you can make the journey to Toronto, we charge $1050, and have treated many Americans in your situation.

Rob Mitchell
PainFree ESWT
1 866 444 3798

Re: Wow! Re: What now? Help for Chronic PF?

Mary De on 2/25/05 at 15:32 (169902)

Amazing what happens when you take exorbitant profit out of health care! I will look at your link, and then contact you to discuss. thanks for lead!

Mary