Plantar Fasciitis

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chronic PF, bilateral heel spurs, some things that help me

Hi all, I'm looking for a chronic heel pain support board, and thought I'd share what has worked to some degree for me. I have bilateral heel spurs that are acutely involved with my achilles tendons as well as instep. After the typical rounds of podiatrist treatments- steroid shots, orthotics, stretches, ice, antiinflammatories- I was in more pain a year out than I started, so I went looking for alternative therapies. I'm now working with a great acucpuncturist who is using a combination of electroacupuncture, cold laser therapy, and heat and massage with an essential oil mix every week- in 6 sessions my pain is down about 75% and by adding the lifestyle changes and daily therapies he is recommending, I can actually function and work without any medications. I am not pain free but most days it's in the 3-4 range, not the 7-8 I was consistently experiencing with the podiatrist's approach. I do a midday light massage with a menthol based balm, and set heels and calves on heating pad on low for 15 min. In evening I soak feet in epsom salts. I'm tkaing a good multivitamin as well as extra calcium and magnesium. Shoes on always of course, but I wear crocs in house and good sneakers with Spenco insoles, not the expensive and painful "custom" inserts I had.
Biggest issue for me was lifestyle adjustments- I work fulltime with small children, am high energy, did social ballroom dancing, and kept a fanatically clean house- I've had to learn to relax, pace myself, and most importantly ask for help. We gave up dance :-(  and no more treadmill for exercise- using stationary bike and dvd of seated aerobic routines, and we recently bought a canoe to replace our dance fun.
I have found that if I slow down, think through each activity, consider alternatives, and am consistent with the therapies, I've regained most of my quality of life. I am not always patient with it and I still grieve the loss of dancing, marathon shopping trips, and  going barefoot, but I am happy to be maintaining the condition without harmful longterm drugs, and I'm still on my feet, just moving slower these days :-) Hoping to talk to other people in the same boat!

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