Re: Newbie

Posted by Dayna on 2/24/99
First thing most important, sturdy shoes with good arch supports. If you can't find shoes with good supports (I have trouble 'cause they're always too far forward), get shoes where you can replace the insert with another, or where you can put the arch support over what's already in the shoe. I have Ecco and SAS, both worked well for me. Try OTC supports, some people here swear by Birkenstock blue inserts, if that helps some but not all, you might consider custom orthotics. Get your shoes at a reputable shoe store which is used to helping people with PF, have them measure both feet and go with their recommendation. The shoes might not be the most stylish but that's the price you pay for reduced pain, and besides, you're in Italy, it's not like you'll ever see these people again so who cares.

Second thing, go to a medical supply place and buy a canechair. It is a cane with two extra legs and a seat, the legs retract and the seat folds flat against the cane, mine is aluminum and plastic and cost $40. Use that when you go anywhere where you will walk, stand, walk, stand such as museums, churches or just standing in queues. That alone saved me much pain during my trip to the UK last year since I could sit instead of stand, and many people asked me where I had gotten mine, so I was envied rather than pitied. I attached it to the loop on my backpack so I didn't have to carry it all the time but when I needed it there it was, and I didn't have to worry about setting it down somewhere and forgetting it.

Third thing, never go barefoot, don't stand up without good shoes and/or the inserts, slip the inserts in your slippies even. Do this at least for a while, you must get healed and then you can test your limits, better to go overboard with the care at first.

Fourth thing, stretch your feet in the a.m. before you get out of bed, crunch your toes under then flex them like on tippietoes, then point your whole foot, then try to pull your toes back to touch the front of your leg which will stretch your calf and foot. Do these several sets, slowly and deliberately, this will wake up the muscles and tendons without the stress of weight so they will stretch rather than tear when you stand up, in your shoes of course.

Fifth thing, don't get talked into cortizone shots, or at most one, it is not a cure. Some people here have had significant relief but for most it is temporary, and more than three shots at most is dangerous as it can cause other problems.

Six, ice. I put cubes in a baggie and take out my aggression on them, wrap it in a towel and snuggle my heel into it like a beanbag, others here use bags of frozen peas, same principle. It really makes a difference.

Seven, listen to your feet. If you hurt really badly, can you swap activities with another day, be flexible in your schedule, there's no point in being so miserable you can't enjoy something just so you don't miss it, because trust me you will miss it.

Finally, read the board, try these things starting now, keep us informed as to your progress, we do care. I don't personally believe there is a cure, but there are people who have gone into what I call remission, and just like with cancer, if you've been in remission for five years you're considered 'cured'. Faith manages.

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