At my wit's end

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I am a 28 year old active stay at home mom of two small children (ages 3 and 1 who depend on me for everything).

8 months ago I decided to get back in shape from having my 2nd child. I started jogging on our gravel road in unsupportive shoes. (I can't believe I did that) and when I got back to the house I had a slight twinge in my right heel but thought nothing of it since I have never been injured before. 3 months went by until I saw a chiropractor who specializes in plantar fasciitis. I saw him for 2 months. I was getting worse and the PF started coming on in my left foot so he recommended I start physical therapy.

At physical therapy we did the normal calf raise, stretches, bike etc. and we also used an ultrasound machine on my heels. After that, my condition worsened tremendously. Something about the vibrations in my heel, aggravated it so much, I quit going to physical therapy.

I was then referred to a podiatrist. We did cortisone injections (which gave me 24 hours of relief). Heel cups, customized orthotics, x ray (I swore I was walking on two broken or fractured feet). He then put me on a heavy duty steroid, which was the only relief I had had for several months. (I couldn't sleep worth a lick and it definitely messed with my emotions, but I didn't care, I was pain free!) once off the steroids the pain came back with a vengeance. I then went to my medical doctor.

My medical doctor did blood work on me (all came back normal except for low vitamin d levels) and she had me get an MRI done on my right foot. It showed thickening of the plantar fascia and bone marrow edema. We immobilized both feet (2 walking boots and crutches). I got so weak after that. My kids and I had to move in with my grandparents and I was crawling everywhere I wanted to go. I felt like my body was a prison.

I then went to a sports medicine clinic at a university a couple hours away and she confirmed it was plantar fasciitis. At that time I lost feeling in two of my toes on my left foot.

I am currently icing multiple times a day, using heat multiple times a day, rolling my calves out, rolling my feet out, receiving deep tissue massage 3 times a week. (We had to hire a nanny who is an athletic trainer, huge blessing.) I am wearing a night splint, taking ibuprofen multiple times per day. I am receiving cranio sacral therapy for pain, applying essential oils, taking herbs such as cats claw, camu camu and MSM + C powder, rolling my feet on a frozen water bottle, doing yoga, Pilates, stretches, I bought 4 pair of extremely expensive shoes. I am still in SO MUCH PAIN. I have been having breakdowns where I can't stop crying.

I am now not under anyone's care, I have hit a dead end on every physicians care that I have seen. This has been the most frustrating, debilitating thing I have ever experienced. I literally do not know where to go from here. 😭

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9 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi Kylie,

    You say you are taking pain killers so ask your doctor for Indometacin as that is for legiment tendon pain and I found it gave great relief. Keep doing the stretches as that is the long term cure but also thick gel heel pads are esential to keep you mobile and they are so cheap on line a couple of quid a pair. I thought I had broken my heel when it started but could not think how but the pain was that bad.

    Rolling the foot on frozen beer cans and hard balls can help ease the pain of a soak in hot water.

    I also use insoles that support the arch of the foot in my ski boots and that helpsa as you cannot have gel heel pads in ski boots. You can get insoles for ski boots that mould to the shape of your foot so your wieght is on the whole foot not just the heel and ball of the foot so you mak find that worth a try, most ski shops can fit you with them i think they heat them up and then you put them in a boot or shoe and put you foot in and it takes the shape of your foot and sets in that shape.

    Hope this helps I now only have a twinge in the morning which is nothing compared to what it was.

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    • Posted

      Thank you so much for your response. It makes me realize that I am not alone. This condition has played with my mind and it has been a constant struggle to still be the happy go lucky, active person I am used to being.

      What is the name of the thick gel heel pads? I want to make sure I get the right kind.

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  • Posted

    Hi Kylie, I am very sorry to hear about your suffering and the effect it has had on your life.

    I am in no way a medical person but have suffered a number of pf episodes over the years. I have also said in previous posts that there is no magic bullet relief, and that I think the medical profession do not really know how to deal effectively with pf.

    I believe there are differences in treatment which can 1. help relieve pf, and 2. help prevent it. Some of the stretching, rolling, etc, can make things worse, as the small tears in the tendon which give rise to the pain, can be made worse.

    Personally I have found that keeping the foot in a bowl of very cold water for about 30 minutes, then warming it can help. It is essential to keep weight off the foot as much as possible (I have spent many dreary hours in front of rubbish TV doing this). For me a double recommended dose of Naproxen helps, but other people found it has an unsettling effect.

    Working with massage can also make things worse as again it can stretch the tendon more and increase the tears, also be careful when raising the foot on a support, I was in a comfy chair with my leg over a stool and this had the effect of stretching the calf muscle and aggrevating things.

    Sorry if a lot of this sounds negative but rest is the main thing with anti-inflammatories, arnica gel I found useless, but Ibuprofen gel with the Naproxen helped.

    In your situation I know how difficult it must be to keep off your feet but it is the only way

    I sincerely hope you get some relief soon as so many of us know the agony and debilitation effect pf has.

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    • Posted

      Thank you so much for your response. The hard thing I have tried to overcome is talking with these doctors. It's like they are having trouble understanding the severity of the condition and also treating it. Feels like they are just taking a shot in the dark, at least it felt like that with me.

      I certainly didn't know what I was really dealing with until it became so intense and severe several months after the initial injury. I wish I would have known these things at the beginning.

      What I do know beyond a shadow of a doubt, the Lord works all things for good and I know He will do that for this situation.

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    • Posted

      Hi Kylie,

      I tried to send you a link but the site does not appear to like that so if she google gel heel pads you should get a load come up and I get the red and blue ones, the blue are for men and the red are smaller for women and here is the ones I get.

      Footful 1 Pair of Gel Heel Cups Heel Support Pads Cushions for Plantar Fasciitis Heel Pain---UK6.5-13 (New)

      Seller note: new

      From YAKO

      Estimated delivery date: 6 April 2016 - 26 April 2016

      Hope that does not get wiped and that they help youn as much as they have me. As David says any insole that tranfers your wieght onto the arch of the foot is good as it takes the pressure off the heel and I use these in my ski boots. Best of luck and hope one morning you wake up and find the pain is not there anymore. As I sit at the computer and when I watch TV I keep raising my toes towards my knee untill I feel the calf's hurting and I try and hold that for a minute and then release it and that appears to help keep the legiments stretched.

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  • Posted

    Kylie, you sound desperate -

    I have posted on this site before in an attempt to help others. I was able to get about 98% relief after 4 weeks of severe debilitating pain. Check my previous posts.

    Since you have done most of the conventional treatments, maybe try less conventional like accupuncture. You might be surprised.

    If you have access to a hot tub, put your heel/sole in front of the jet for 10-15 minutes.

    Get a good arch support that works for YOU. They are all different and you need to find the one that puts the support of your weight on your arch instead of your heel and metatarsals. Put your weight on the middle of your arch.

    Try the HTP arch and heel supports with the fascia bar. This constantly massages your heel and plantar fascia attachment and breaks up adhesions and scar tissue. i have two par of these and wear them in every pair of shoes. They are easy to transfer.

    LEARN how to tape your foot with LOW DYE taping. You can find a few variations on youtube. It is awkward to do on yourself initially but once you do it, you will be amazed. This off loads the stress onto the tape and allows you to function normally. First spray your foot with an adhesive and then put a layer of Cover-roll and apply the Leuko tape over it. You can leave the leuko tape on for a few days though you might need to put your foot in a palstic bag while in the shower and clean with a cloth separately.

    There is no single NSAID which is great for everyone. We all have different chemistry and you need to find the one that works for you. Indomethacin might be good but Ibuprofen might be as good or better. Try Celebrex as well. If you are into herbs, try stinging nettle which is a natural NSAID Cox 2 inhibitor. Find it on the internet.

    Get a pair of the night time stretch devices.

    Try a TENS unit for an hour twice a day. Put opposing pads on each side of the heel and the other two on the sole at the base of the heel and behind the heel. I am certain this accelerated my healing and certainly decreased the pain.

    Cushion, cushion, cushion your heel. wear thic socks and use foam if you need to.

    BTW, I am a retired physician, so I know a little more about he anatomy and physiology than most. I also know what worked for me.

    Do not give up - you can do this. 

     

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  • Posted

    Kylie,  I am so sorry to hear of your extreme difficulties.  I have had PF and have posted my thoughts several times on Patient.  Check out my posts and good luck to you.  doknabox
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  • Posted

    My first time on this site, am sitting on train home in tears, wondering how I am going to get from the train station to my car. Have been dealing with PF on left foot for a few years on and off without knowing what it was. Last six months have been seeing podiatrist, got new arch supports, tried laser light therapy, now seeing physio, and somehow it's getting worse. I dreamed last night of cutting my foot off. I'm terrified about being disabled forever.
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