Plantar Fasciitis

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Hi everyone ~

 

i won't go into my history/severe PF diagnosis, but will say that i've let the pain go on for several months before seeking treatment. followed advice of family doc/online forums (exercises, shoes, meds, etc) and am following up with a podiatrist next week...

 

i have a couple of questions that i'd like to ask other sufferers of PF, just to kind of have a little guidance:

 

1. if you've been off work, how long have you been off, and when do you expect to go back? did your doctor/podiatrist take you seriously when you spoke of the pain? i ask because i blew this pain off for months, and it's now to the point where i cannot walk more than a few moments before i can't stand it... family doc has allowed me time off work, but when i had been to ER with pain that doc said that "sitting around is the worst thing you can do for it". now don't get me wrong i'm still up and around and as active as i can be, but i'm not up to a full 8 hr shift (i work in the deli/bakery at a grocery store)... the pain is too much. but i don't want the podiatrist to treat me like i'm being ridiculous...

 

2. is your pain only in your heel/arch area? again, explaining why i ask: my pain started in the arch, but also in the top of my foot. the area from about the ankle, on a line to down between my 4th and 5th toes, hurts a great deal too. now the widest part of my foot, the base of the 5h metatarsal, hurts all the time as well. the pain spreads from my foot up into my ankle/calf area after walking awhile too.

 

3. this one might sound weird... but... well let me describe something and would someone tell me if it makes sense to them? in my heel, first in one foot (the one that hurts the most), but now in both feet (the right one is intensely painful, the left not as bad but same pain), i have a strange painful sensation when lifting my foot from the floor. when my foot is flat on the floor, if i move it, or lift the heel in particular, i get a very odd, painful sensation... imagine stepping in something very sticky, and your foot/shoe sticks to the floor. there's that feeling of being kind of stuck then it releases... now imagine feeling that inside your heel, with pain. am i making any sense at all to anyone? it's an awful, uncomfortable feeling...

 

well thanks everyone for letting me ask my questions on here... i look forward to hearing from someone soon...

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ya i know that weird feeling your talking about. i think it might actually be the tendon stretching/micro tearing. but yes its right then you lift up mostly after being on your feet for awhile. you said you work in a deli right? do yall have cement floors? bc i work in service at a car dealership and im always walking around on concrete for 8 hours and its killer. my FP started to kick in right when i started working here and ive recently taken a shorter work week and have noticed a significant difference. i think my pain is from the concrete and am trying to get a nice desk job where i can stay off my feet for most of the day. maybe ask your doctor about the concrete.
thanks for responding! i could make it about 4 hours into my shifts before i couldn't even lift my foot anymore. i was literally either limping badly or dragging the sore foot. yeah, we have concrete floors; in fact, i noticed the pain when i went back to work after being laid off for 5+ months, and everyone said "yes, it's the floor".
i hope that you get that "nice desk job" very soon! thanks again for your input!

Tadd Willc said:
ya i know that weird feeling your talking about. i think it might actually be the tendon stretching/micro tearing. but yes its right then you lift up mostly after being on your feet for awhile. you said you work in a deli right? do yall have cement floors? bc i work in service at a car dealership and im always walking around on concrete for 8 hours and its killer. my FP started to kick in right when i started working here and ive recently taken a shorter work week and have noticed a significant difference. i think my pain is from the concrete and am trying to get a nice desk job where i can stay off my feet for most of the day. maybe ask your doctor about the concrete.
Hi Amy!

So sorry you are in so much pain.

Can't answer for #3 weirdness and you should definetely ask for new foot x-rays for #2 and get it examined by a MD or a Pod. It could be a complication due to a long lasting severe PF such as a stress fracture of the small bones there or overuse of some tendons due to intensive stretching (difficult to really assess online and not a doctor here).

As for #1, I hope you can benefit from my mistakes. My PF went really bad last fall due to an overinjury and my employer permitted me to work from home. And believe me, it was real severe : I was swollen up to the ball of foot. I've made the mistake to roll inside my house with an office chair so I basically stopped walking. It was a bad decision : I though I'd rest for a month and i've ended up being homebound for a year now and here's why.

Legs and feet are a use-it-or-loose-it thing and that happens in the matter of a few weeks. Here are the consequences of total rest on my recovery as I perceived and expericed them.

- Weak legs muscles means less ankle motion control and that puts more strain to your fascia, adding to your current challenges (as this was not enough). Shin and calf muscles are also linked to your arches and heels. Tension or stiffness building there will be felt in your fascia.

- Your fascia and achilles will shorten with complete rest, putting more tension on your fascia, making walking without relapsing even more challenging.

- Your fascia, muscles, and tendons will weaken with rest. Weak means fragile. Fragile means more relapses for insignificant incidents.

- Not walking enough promotes bad circulation, which in turn slows down healing.

So with all that, I managed to reduce 75 % of my pain in about 6 months, but I'm facing a challenge I don't wish to anyone : getting out of a wheelchair with the 25 % remaining which is real hard to kick because of the above. See my profile for more details.

So, what to do? I'm not saying you should'nt rest more : your pain is a valid signal and it should be taken into account. The trick is to move as much as you can... beneath your pain threshold. Keep active in a way that doesn't make the pain worse. It can be done!

Again, here is what I've learned :

- Reduce activity in order to stop the pain from ever increasing, but do not give up walking alltogether. Use all possible alternative to retain as much normality there is from life : cut on waiting lines by cybershopping; have soemeone grocery shop for you, use a stool in your kitchen. If you take time off from work, use your feet to function in your home, not a wheelchair. You don't have to be a great deal on your legs every day, but that little bit is super important.

- Consider alternatives to reduce the stress on your fascia as you stand or walk: add arch support to your shoes and learn low-dye taping and re-tape everyday. A last resort is to ask your Md for CAM walking boots (with a rocker sole). That's pretty extreme, but if that keeps you from giving up on being on your feet, then ask about it.

- While you rest, keep your legs active with gentle, painless mobilizations or aquatic exercises. Learn chair yoga.

- See a physiotherapist. They are trained to advise you on how to keep functionnal under your pain limits and teach you exercises increase function and treat the cause. They alos have a great understanding of pain and limitations in my experience.

Hope this helps. Good luck!
The problem you're talking about between the 4th and 5th toes is called Morton's neuroma. I have dealt with that problem as well as the plantar fasciitis for 4 years now. I am at my wit's end. I have tried night splints, ice, stretching, orthotics, injections, casting, walking boots, radiofrequency ablation in May, which has made things worse. I have seen orthopedic surgeons, podiatrists, chiropractors and just today an arthritis specialist...STILL NO ANSWER to my chronic (excruciating) pain. My feet hurt all the time, wake me up at night and they are getting worse as time goes on. I have gone to part time at my job because of the pain and I have even signed up for disability. I'm sorry about your feet, I don't think anyone really understands unless they've gone through it.
Went to podiatrist today... it's not a Morton's. my son has a Morton's neuroma; we were told there's nothing that can be done. WRONG! there IS surgery for it. :)
Here's what i found out, in a nutshell: The fascia is painful from the heel to the toes; complete involvement of the fascia with tearing and stretching. The "weird pain" i am feeling is tearing of the fascia with every step that i take (good call, Willc!) that can be healed with time, rest, exercises, and orthotics.
i have been advised to take at least a few weeks off of work, with the stipulation that i NOT "do more at home than i would at work"... in other words, rest means REST. yes, i am to stay active as much as possible and i am doing that; i exercise and i do the stretches for PF, i keep my feet/legs in motion even when "resting".
the orthotics will arrive in about 2 weeks, and we will go from there with treatment. i was able to avoid night splints and cortisone injections at this point (YAY!), and the general foot pain will be addressed once i get the orthotics and healing begins.
dr. is going to review x-rays taken by ER last month, and will address the findings at next appt when orthotics arrive.
i was also given a new med but i can't remember the name of it right now (haha). it's an NSAID that should help considerably more than the ibuprofen alone that i've been taking.
here's to some relief, and soon!

Joni Burton said:
The problem you're talking about between the 4th and 5th toes is called Morton's neuroma. I have dealt with that problem as well as the plantar fasciitis for 4 years now. I am at my wit's end. I have tried night splints, ice, stretching, orthotics, injections, casting, walking boots, radiofrequency ablation in May, which has made things worse. I have seen orthopedic surgeons, podiatrists, chiropractors and just today an arthritis specialist...STILL NO ANSWER to my chronic (excruciating) pain. My feet hurt all the time, wake me up at night and they are getting worse as time goes on. I have gone to part time at my job because of the pain and I have even signed up for disability. I'm sorry about your feet, I don't think anyone really understands unless they've gone through it.
Sounds painful as hell, ich!

Thanks for updating. Keep posting, it's interesting to see how everyone evolves from their own starting point and with the solutions they apply. Hope all the good care you're under will start to help you soon.

I have several foot issues (bunions, hammertoe, pronation, and neuroma) and it is hard to find a shoe that I can walk in all day. Well, finally I did! I have Orthofeet's grey and red pair and they look and feel terrific and have great arch support. Will definitely look in to purchasing another pair.

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