A bit of background
I'm in my early thirties. Before PF, I was a very active person, walking 3 miles a day, training on the elliptical, weight lifting and mountaineering/LD hicking.My PF started in August '09 from wearing rigid sandals on hard surfaces without my podiatric inserts (high arches/pronator here).
A bad movement with my left foot in september 09 over-injured the already tender fascia, making the condition unmanagable. It all went downhill till, in December 09, I couldn't walk any longer, foot hurting 24/7, sensitive to the lightest touch and swollen all over the sole. Physiotherapist gave up and sent me to my PCP, who was sort of clueless. Started working from home and my legs got very weak, resulting in a cascade of secondary problems. It was so bad I had to use a wheelchair 90% of my day.
Went from a specialist to another (rheumatologist, physiatrist, ortho surgeon...) and faced the usual «in your head» talk. Still managed to get a few useful bits of info on my way.
In march 2010, an MRI confirmed an unusually severe case of sub-chronic PF in my left foot, but no apparent tear (surprise!), no tumor. RX negative for heel spurs, scintigraphy negative for stress fracture or arthritis, no nerve damage.
I'm currently trying to keep moving as much as I can while staying under my pain threshold and Icing religiously immediately after. I started with as low as 6 steps a day in January... this can be done! This seems to work best for me along with proper inserts, taping, and a strenghtening/stretching leg and foot routine.
Update, May '10 :
Been relapsing from hitting accidentally my foot on the side. Major setback after the greatest progress ever yet.
Update, June '10:
Been relapsing over and over from hitting my foot here and there. Ups and downs, no consitent progess, low step count. Started exercising in the pool to gain strenght and fitness.
Update August '10
Slow but noticable progress thanks to aquatherapy. Getting new custom inserts done since my feet changed dramatically from extreme prolonged rest. Inflammation and pain is localizing. Aiming at restoring function gradually. (Fingers crossed, touching wood, praying, etc.!)
Things that seem to work with persistent use until now :
Icing after activity (+++)
Increasing walking distances very gradually and only when pain free (+++)
Careful non weight bearing stretching in bed before the first step
Non-weight bearing and aquatic leg and foot exercises to safely increase strenght
Regular self-massage (lower legs and feet)
CAM walking boots with a rocker sole (the only way for me to bear weight during the worst stages)
Taking extra care of my mental health
...and LOTS of information and persistence!
Get helped by good professionnals, ressearch, observe, note, do your homework. I believe we have to play an active role in getting better. :-)