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plantar fascitis for 5 MONTHS! Please help!

Posted by Melita on 3/12/05 at 00:24 (170995)

I have had plantar fascitis for 5 months now and I've tried just about everything I can. Ive tried taping, seeing a podiatrist several times, massaging,icing the injured area, taking tissue salts and MSM (Methylsulfonylmethane) for internal healing, eating pineapple for the natural enzyme in it to reduce inflamation, and I already wear orthodics.....I'm lost for what else to do.

Is MSM of any benefit or am I wasting my time and money?
Is massaging to stimulate blood flow to the area of any benefit?

I am a school teacher where I do a lot of standing on my feet. I'm 23 years old, 58kg and 168cm tall. This injury is really starting to affect my job, my social life, as I fear going out as might further injure the foot or make the pain worse. It also interferes with my sports gym training and my modelling work. I just want to resume my old life again as 5 months of this injury has been getting me down. I feel like an old lady!!!

Please help.
Melita

Re: plantar fascitis for 5 MONTHS! Please help!

Julie on 3/12/05 at 02:45 (170998)

I'm not a doctor, but as you probably have realised, your work, which demands that you be on your feet much of the day, isn't helping. It's a common problem for teachers.

What you haven't mentioned is your shoes. What shoes are you wearing? You need a good quality shoe that supports your feet and cushions them. Many people have been helped by Birkenstocks. The floor surface you work on is also a factor.

Suzanne, who has been posting here for several years, is a teacher too, and I'm sure she will see your post and share some of the helpful 'tricks' she has developed to help her get off her feet in the classroom. The more you can increase your sitting down time, and decrease your weight-on-your-feet time, the better chance you'll have of healing.
.

Re: plantar fascitis for 5 MONTHS! Please help!

ray on 3/12/05 at 11:06 (171011)

physical therphy

Re: not a dr. but a fellow teacher...

Suzanne D. on 3/12/05 at 13:44 (171036)

Melita, I understand your pain! I am a first-grade teacher, and I know how hard it is to do your job with foot pain. I hope it encourages you to know that I am virtually healed from my PF (other than still being very cautious about my footwear) and that I never had to stop teaching while in pain.

I really did not feel significant improvement until approximately 9 months after my onset of PF, so even though 5 months seems so long to you, do not give up. The first 3 months, I did not improve at all. I had seen my family dr. who diagnosed me with PF and told me some stretching exercises to do. I probably injured myself more by doing those because I did not understand the proper way to perform them. I also asked him what shoes to wear, and he said the Keds I was wearing were perfect. (They did not help me.)

After finding this site, I saw a podiatrist and bought Birkenstocks the next week. I also wore different over-the-counter inserts - first the Birk blue 3/4 ones, then SuperFeet in SAS shoes. Alternating between the Birks and the inserts, learning to stretch the right way, and taping made the difference for me.

Here are the things that helped me in the classroom. I hope something I write might help you:

*I sat on a high stool which I could easily carry all over the room. That way I felt more involved with my students than I would have been by sitting at my desk.

*I often had the students come to me rather than going to them. That was a hard change to make, but I still got the job done that way.

*I utilized the students to help run errands and save me extra walking. They loved doing that, and it helped rest my feet.

*When I stood near their desks, I would place my forefeet on the metal bar at the bottom of the desk legs. That raised my forefeet about an inch and worked to stretch my calves and relieve pain.

*When we moved to a new building with concrete floors, I bought a large carpet which covers about 2/3 of my room with the thickest pad available. That helped a great deal and still is good for my feet.

Good luck to you!
Suzanne :)

Re: Thankyou to all for your advice.

Melita on 3/12/05 at 16:43 (171046)

Thanku for all of your nice and helpful comments. Ive never before suffered with PF in my entire life, and it now seems to consume my life....at least the last 5 mths of it. I will try some stretching and resting at work more (I just hate feeling so lazy sitting down all of the time, it's just not me as I'm use to being active). I really miss my normal training program.

Just a few questions for you all:
1. How did you all get the condition in the first place? Was it sport?
2. Did you feel an initial tear feeling in the foot when it happened as I did?
3.Is your condition in both feet? Mine is only in the left inner foot near the heel.
4. My initial symptoms were when I got up first thing in the morning I had pain in the foot with extreme difficulty with walking on it (baring weight)and easing throughout the day. But in the past few months, say two, the symptoms have taken a swap, where I get up in the morning fine, but over the course of the day the pain develops. Why do you think the change? Is it a sign of improvement? I find it really weird and was almost fooled into thinking I had a different condition develop!
5. Is it common to have the condition in only one foot? My other one is perfect!

At the moment I can walk around bare foot with it not hurting too much. I now longer feel any uncomfortable ripping feeling. It just gets a dull ache in it over the duration of the day and some pain when pressure is applied.

If you could answer the above questions that would be greatly appreciated. Many thanks again.
Melita.

Re: Thankyou to all for your advice.

Kathy G on 3/13/05 at 10:11 (171094)

Melita,

I'm sorry that you have PF. It's a common problem among school teachers and I know how frustrated you must be. Suzanne gave you some good advice but one thing I would also suggest is that you read The Heel Pain Book, if you haven't already. And also click on Foot Yoga for some very effective exercises for PF.

I can't answer all of your questions. I have PF in both feet but it is much worse in my right than my left. The doctors would be able to tell you if it's more common to see it bilaterally or unilaterally. My own PF was never bad in the morning. It always gets worse as the day goes on. As for what caused my PF, I guess it was the fact that I was on my feet all the time in my job, although it was only part time. I think many posters are unable to pinpoint a specific cause for their PF although some runners get it from overuse. Shoe type can play a role in it, too. You'll see reference to the causes in Scott's book.

Keep in mind that the majority of people with PF do get relief and although they may always have to wear orthotics and 'listen' to their feet, they go on to lead a normal, active life.

I wish you the best!

Re: plantar fascitis for 5 MONTHS! Please help!

Sheri Ten Broek on 3/14/05 at 15:55 (171188)

Hi Melita,

If you haven't found relief yet, I would see a chiropractor. By adjusting the ankle, foot and even the lower back, it changes the mechanics of where the stress is on the foot and a lot of times relieves it fast. Call a chiropractor in your area and give it a try.