I have some news for those of you that suffer planter fasciitis and heel,pad atrophy.
I went to see a well respected Orthopaedic Surgeon in Bristol this week called Dr Winson. I had been diagnosed 1 1/2 yrs ago as having both PF and HPA and suffered this for 2 1/2 years total.
I mistakenly believed that the plantar fasciitis had been relieved in that time leaving me only with HPA. At only 55 yrs old I had become very depressed having read there is no cure for this condition.
I am not overweight.
I was expecting the Dr to say the only thing is to have fat pad grafting which is considered very risky and to be avoided if at all possible.
Imagine my joy when he told me that that whilst I do have a bit of of HPA and some osteo arthritis the majority of my pain is actually plantar fasciitis and metatarsalgia and not HPA!
I mentioned that I have been on forums where other people my age and even younger are complaining of HPA and PF. He agreed when I suggested that maybe some of these people may be confusing the symptoms. He said that st my age (and given my weight) it would be very unusual indeed for someone like me to have a serious degree of HPA. I had become depressed thinking that it had affected my soles too but he said that that was the metatarsalgia
I understand that a lot of people have other complex problems that might lead to HPA but want to let those people know that they may be confusing the two.
It's worth considering as you could be lucky like me and there may well be hope for you.
I complained that my expensive custom insoles made the pain worse and my new insoles were much comfiest. My podiatrist had warned my feet wouldn't get better unless I wore only them so I was in a dilemma. He recommended that I threw away the custom ones and went with what felt right to my feet.
I'm so relieved!
He was surprised at the fact my calves weren't too tight and I told him it was because every morning and night whilst cleaning my teeth with an electric toothbrush I drop my heels over the stairs to stretch those muscles.
He has put me in touch with a good physio to give me a regime of exercises to follow. I will restart rolling my arches over a frozen bottle of water. He also said it's important to stretch the small muscles of my feet. He said that a good way to do that is to pick up something like a towel with my toes.
Next week I am seeing the physio and will report anything that I learn from her. Oh, another thing I have found useful re PF is before getting out of bed I stretch my feet for a few minutes. Then when I get up I lean on the bed head and slowly put the weight down before starting to walk.
He said that, as I have had it for so long, it is chronic and if the exercises don't work he will consider the use of Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy. I gather that this is quite a new non invasive therapy for the 5% of PF sufferers who don't respond to exercise, stretching etc.
Crikey, that was a bit long winded but hope that it helps.