Plantar Fasciitis

Support Group & Health Community

Hiya,

 

I was originally diagnosed with PF 15 years ago and have treid about 15 different treatments but none help and currently my PF is the worse it has ever been. I am constantly limping and the pain in my right foot is excruciating (I have it in both feet). I often feel like no one really understands what this is like and that I am putting it on! Below are the various things I have tried:

1. Othotice (custom made by a podiatrist) - expensive

2. Gel pads

3. Heel Cushions

4. Over the counter Orthotics

5. Reflexology

6. Aromatherapy

7. Reiki

8. Gels / Deep Heat Rubs

9. NSAIDs

10. Injections of cortisone (twice through the sole of my foot - ouch! and once through the side of my ankle)

11. The strongest pain relief my chemist would sell me

12. Physiotherapy (who also taped my right foot)

 

I am running out of ideas and am at my wits end as to what my options are. Would an operation help? Is there an operation for PF?

 

Any advice?

 

Peter

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Hi Peter,

 

I too am going on to my 5th year of pf but now my knees are starting to get really bad as well, but i am about 30lbs overweight and the orthopedic consultant and the physio put it down to alot of it my weight. Are you overweight is this the main thing I am starting to think that way however, when i first was diagnosed i was the perfect weight and running and walking too much probably, I just would love to know when is the daily pain going to go away. So I completely understand your fustration

Hi Peter,

I totally understand what you are going through and unless someone has experienced the same pain, they have no idea what we go through.

I too have tried all of the above remedies except Reiki ( didnt think of that one ) and I know how expensive it can all be.

One day I was in a clothing / footwear shop called Rivers ( dont know where you reside, but it is located Australia wide ).  I saw a pair of casual sandals people call "crocs".  I thought they looked quite ugly but I tried them on anyway.  Well, to my relief and for the first time in 5 years, I did not feel my heel spurs.  I could actually walk around painfree.  For $3.00 a pair, I purchased 4 pairs.  I keep one pair for inside the house and one for outside.  I wear them everywhere and because everyone wears them, it doesnt matter how they look.  Only thing is, you can't wear them to formal outings or work.  I also keep a pair in the car to swap over when I finish work.  At least these $3 casual shoes give me relief for most of the day...from the minute I wake ( as you would know being the worst time is when you get out of bed ) to the minute I go to bed.

Hope that helps.  I also lost weight and dont feel the pain as much as I used to.

Good Luck. http://www.rivers.com.au   is the website.

Deirdre / Connie,

 

Thank you so much for your replies. I have a pair of croc but sadly they are in Spain (I go there to visit my parents). I would be unable to wear them for work as I wear a suit (I am a College Lecturer). I also could do with losing some weight however my PF has been a problem no matter what my weight has been in the last 15 years. For the last 3 days I have been trying to get an appointment with my GP (with no luck!), it seems in the UK if you work and do not sound like you are dying then you go to the bottom of the queue and my complaint does not tick the box marked important/urgent! Whilst typing this I am sat at my work desk with a padded heel cushion in my shoes and the othotics and gel pads are in my breifcase (too painful at the moment to even put themin. Each night I resort to getting a bag of frozen veg and resting my feet on them for 20 mins (helps make them nice and cold and give 5 mins respite). I would love to be able to exercise (I find swimming very boring going up and down the pool!) and love football but am resigned to sitting on the sidelines waiting for a good day. My age does not help (47) and my teenage years playing lots of team sports (rugby and football etc) and playing with injuries has not helped me now. I just get really cross that when I try and get help from the medical system I am ignored and fobbed off or unable to get an appointment.

 

Peter

Hi peter,

 

I too work in a university and a few of the lecturers wear crocs in summer, you can buy them all over the place, however, I never found them that good for walking as I need my Orthotics without them i am in agony. I dont know if you have them, however my ones cost €400 but without them, I would nearly be a cripple.  As you say you work, I have to pay in ireland for he doctor anyhow, so maybe if you went private you could be sorted out quicker it would be worth it i would say

 

dee

 

Peter Williams said:

Deirdre / Connie,

 

Thank you so much for your replies. I have a pair of croc but sadly they are in Spain (I go there to visit my parents). I would be unable to wear them for work as I wear a suit (I am a College Lecturer). I also could do with losing some weight however my PF has been a problem no matter what my weight has been in the last 15 years. For the last 3 days I have been trying to get an appointment with my GP (with no luck!), it seems in the UK if you work and do not sound like you are dying then you go to the bottom of the queue and my complaint does not tick the box marked important/urgent! Whilst typing this I am sat at my work desk with a padded heel cushion in my shoes and the othotics and gel pads are in my breifcase (too painful at the moment to even put themin. Each night I resort to getting a bag of frozen veg and resting my feet on them for 20 mins (helps make them nice and cold and give 5 mins respite). I would love to be able to exercise (I find swimming very boring going up and down the pool!) and love football but am resigned to sitting on the sidelines waiting for a good day. My age does not help (47) and my teenage years playing lots of team sports (rugby and football etc) and playing with injuries has not helped me now. I just get really cross that when I try and get help from the medical system I am ignored and fobbed off or unable to get an appointment.

 

Peter

Peter,

 

I fully understand your frustration with the UK medical system, having returned to the NHS after many years working abroad. They either don't understand PF (I was diagnosed 6 months ago) or it doesn't tick their boxes for serious treatment. But, we have a right to full remedial attention and if you're not getting it then write to your regional medical council and demand treatment. You are fully entitled to a cure from this debilitating condition which will affect your work and social life and lead to severe depression if not treated correctly.

 

To cut a long story short, none of the regular NHS treatments have helped me and I am avoiding invasive surgery solutions such as cortisone injections (short term boost) or open heel plantar release, which not everybody is finding helpful. My one help came from a programme of physio treatments comprising cold laser therapy, ultra-sound followed by magneto-therapy. Ten days of this treatment in a private clinic brought me back on my feet and I am due a second series later this month designed to cure the condition for good. I've read so many painful stories from contributors to this site that I'm aware that the non-invasive cure I'm following could help a lot of people out there. When I'm fully sure of my recovery, I'll share the good news.

 

Meantime, there are normal physio treatments which can help you and you must insist on being offered these by your GP or report him to the medical council if he "fobs you off"!!

 

David



Deirdre Hegarty said:

Hi peter,

 

I too work in a university and a few of the lecturers wear crocs in summer, you can buy them all over the place, however, I never found them that good for walking as I need my Orthotics without them i am in agony. I dont know if you have them, however my ones cost €400 but without them, I would nearly be a cripple.  As you say you work, I have to pay in ireland for he doctor anyhow, so maybe if you went private you could be sorted out quicker it would be worth it i would say

 

dee

 

Peter Williams said:

Deirdre / Connie,

 

Thank you so much for your replies. I have a pair of croc but sadly they are in Spain (I go there to visit my parents). I would be unable to wear them for work as I wear a suit (I am a College Lecturer). I also could do with losing some weight however my PF has been a problem no matter what my weight has been in the last 15 years. For the last 3 days I have been trying to get an appointment with my GP (with no luck!), it seems in the UK if you work and do not sound like you are dying then you go to the bottom of the queue and my complaint does not tick the box marked important/urgent! Whilst typing this I am sat at my work desk with a padded heel cushion in my shoes and the othotics and gel pads are in my breifcase (too painful at the moment to even put themin. Each night I resort to getting a bag of frozen veg and resting my feet on them for 20 mins (helps make them nice and cold and give 5 mins respite). I would love to be able to exercise (I find swimming very boring going up and down the pool!) and love football but am resigned to sitting on the sidelines waiting for a good day. My age does not help (47) and my teenage years playing lots of team sports (rugby and football etc) and playing with injuries has not helped me now. I just get really cross that when I try and get help from the medical system I am ignored and fobbed off or unable to get an appointment.

 

Peter

I have had a similar history.  Diagnosed in 1996 and struggling ever since, up until 1 year ago March 1, 2010.  I too have it in both feet but suffered the most in my right.  I also had burning pain on the side of my heel caused by nerve pinching.  I have also tried most of the treatments you list including the shots, and you are right, they hurt!  One year ago, I finally had PF surgery in my right foot.  They thinned my plantar fascia, removed scar tissue from around a nerve, and sawed off some bone spurs.  I was on crutches for 2 months with zero weight on the foot, and then in a boot for an additional 2 months, physical therapy afterward.  I also take prescription Cymbalta to deal with the pain.  It is an anti-depressant which is also used for nerve pain.  It works better for me than anti-inflamatories.  Lyrica is also an option for people with PF.  It's a simililar and also used by people with PF.  Lastly, throw away the orthotics your doctor gave you if they are the "rigid" type.  Are they hard?  Throw them out.  They are worthless and they will probably make you worse.  I actually use an over-the-counter kind called Phase 4 "walk-fit" brand orthotics.  They are about 20 dollars.  Trust me, I have tried every gel cup, pad, cushion, orthotic, insert, and then some.  This brand I currently use is the one that feels the best for me.  I wear them in my tennis shoes every day.  They take several weeks to get used to so work up to them, don't try to wear them all day all at once.  My brand of tennis shoe is New Balance 1123.  They are made specifically for people with our problem.  Don't wear dress shoes, flip flops, sandals, and don't go barefoot ever.  I wear these tennis shoes from the time I get out of bed until I sleep at night.  I also replace them every 4 months.  After a year of doing all this, I am finally pain free.  Good luck to you, I know what a struggle it is to get relief.

Haley,

 

I am interested in the bit you say about throwing out the orthotics? without them I am in agony, but interested to know does the surgery you had have a specific name or just as you said.  many thanks
Haley said:

I have had a similar history.  Diagnosed in 1996 and struggling ever since, up until 1 year ago March 1, 2010.  I too have it in both feet but suffered the most in my right.  I also had burning pain on the side of my heel caused by nerve pinching.  I have also tried most of the treatments you list including the shots, and you are right, they hurt!  One year ago, I finally had PF surgery in my right foot.  They thinned my plantar fascia, removed scar tissue from around a nerve, and sawed off some bone spurs.  I was on crutches for 2 months with zero weight on the foot, and then in a boot for an additional 2 months, physical therapy afterward.  I also take prescription Cymbalta to deal with the pain.  It is an anti-depressant which is also used for nerve pain.  It works better for me than anti-inflamatories.  Lyrica is also an option for people with PF.  It's a simililar and also used by people with PF.  Lastly, throw away the orthotics your doctor gave you if they are the "rigid" type.  Are they hard?  Throw them out.  They are worthless and they will probably make you worse.  I actually use an over-the-counter kind called Phase 4 "walk-fit" brand orthotics.  They are about 20 dollars.  Trust me, I have tried every gel cup, pad, cushion, orthotic, insert, and then some.  This brand I currently use is the one that feels the best for me.  I wear them in my tennis shoes every day.  They take several weeks to get used to so work up to them, don't try to wear them all day all at once.  My brand of tennis shoe is New Balance 1123.  They are made specifically for people with our problem.  Don't wear dress shoes, flip flops, sandals, and don't go barefoot ever.  I wear these tennis shoes from the time I get out of bed until I sleep at night.  I also replace them every 4 months.  After a year of doing all this, I am finally pain free.  Good luck to you, I know what a struggle it is to get relief.

Hayley,

 

Thanks for your reply and execellent comments/suggetsions. In my collection of orthotics/shoe inserts I have:

 

1. Custom made ones (via a Podiatrist) at a cost of £300 x2!

2. Shop brought rigid ones

3. Gel pad type given to me by a physiotherapist

4. Heel Pads

5. Soft foamy things (6 sets!)

6. Recently purchased less rigid ones (my heels are so painful at present that I have been unable to even try them out!

 

I have a doctors appt tomorrow (18.3) and have printed loads of additional info from the web and noted your comments - I wonder if the meds you suggest are available over here (UK) or if the GP will prescribe me them. Also have made contact with a private practice in Birmingham (I live in Bournemouth) and am going to see if I can get TOPAZ treatment via the NHS here (this private doctor said it should be possible). I have without a doubt reached that point of think - 'just operate and fix it please!'. I am armed with pages of research, suggestions and just hope the GP I see is sympathetic and helpful (which is not usually the case and previously when seeing GPs I have left the surgery feeling like they thought I was only in there to 'score meds'!). Interstingly I do have one piece of footwear that seems to help - a pair of leather sandals type things that I brought from a market in Asia years ago (I do not know why these help but I tend to wear these all the time when at home, like slippers).

 

About to look into the suggestion of the New Balance Trainers and see how much they are over here.

 

I want to be able to walk to work(I only live 10 mins from my work)

I want to be able to play football - not just in goal!

I want to not feel like a fraud

 

Cross your finger that I have a favourable outcome

 

Regards

 

Peter

Hi Peter,

 


Sorry only replying now, as you last posted it was paddies day and had a few days off.

Never heard of Topaz so dying to hear what the doc said to you. please keep me posted

 

thanks

 

Peter Williams said:

Hayley,

 

Thanks for your reply and execellent comments/suggetsions. In my collection of orthotics/shoe inserts I have:

 

1. Custom made ones (via a Podiatrist) at a cost of £300 x2!

2. Shop brought rigid ones

3. Gel pad type given to me by a physiotherapist

4. Heel Pads

5. Soft foamy things (6 sets!)

6. Recently purchased less rigid ones (my heels are so painful at present that I have been unable to even try them out!

 

I have a doctors appt tomorrow (18.3) and have printed loads of additional info from the web and noted your comments - I wonder if the meds you suggest are available over here (UK) or if the GP will prescribe me them. Also have made contact with a private practice in Birmingham (I live in Bournemouth) and am going to see if I can get TOPAZ treatment via the NHS here (this private doctor said it should be possible). I have without a doubt reached that point of think - 'just operate and fix it please!'. I am armed with pages of research, suggestions and just hope the GP I see is sympathetic and helpful (which is not usually the case and previously when seeing GPs I have left the surgery feeling like they thought I was only in there to 'score meds'!). Interstingly I do have one piece of footwear that seems to help - a pair of leather sandals type things that I brought from a market in Asia years ago (I do not know why these help but I tend to wear these all the time when at home, like slippers).

 

About to look into the suggestion of the New Balance Trainers and see how much they are over here.

 

I want to be able to walk to work(I only live 10 mins from my work)

I want to be able to play football - not just in goal!

I want to not feel like a fraud

 

Cross your finger that I have a favourable outcome

 

Regards

 

Peter

Update,

 

Went to see GP (eventually got an appointment) and got a prescription for Cymbalta (however stopped taking them after 2 doses as they just made me feel sick and nauseous - wish I did not have to pay for my prescriptions!) but also got a referral letter to the othapedic specialist at my local hospital and appt made for 23rd May! Waited 15 years for this so what is 7 more weeks lol. Going to see them armed with the plethora of research I have and press for a long term solution. My collection of gel pads, shoe inserts has decreased by 1 set (threw the hard inserts away) and grown by 4 (2 x gel pads and 2x spongy things) and have also started Plantar Taping (saw a Youtube clip on how to do it and the zinc oxide tape is only £1.49 a 8m roll in Superdrug) DIY healthcare will be my continued way forward until May 23rd. The pain is no less as today I walked up the shopping precinct and by the time I got to the end my limp had returned etc. Oh and got another pair of Crocs!

ok peter,

 

thanks for that, keep me posted, well I am going swimming straight from work, if i have to loose the weight I have to be serious about it, and continue all the physio stretches icing etc, but please let me know what happens, I am seeing in 2 weeks the top guy here for plantar fasciitis and will post back here,

but what about the topaz? thats what i was dying to hear about or do you have to wait till you see the orthopedic guy

 

thanks

best of luck

All of the above is of great interest to me as I have had pf for about 18 months and I am no better than hobbling around work with the aid of ibruprofen.  I also have tried everything but surgery.  My podiatrist wants me to have an MRI scan to make sure 100% it is pf, in case it is compartment syndrome, cs an only be detected by a pressure test.

 

Tonight I have just ordered a footlog to give that a go, but I am really interested in topaz surgery as from my symptoms it is probably pf.  Please keep me posted about experiences from this and the chances of getting this on the nhs, rather than plantar release surgery.

 

Cheers

Nigel

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