Bottom of my feet hurting for 3 years now and its not PF.

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I have had horrible pain in the bottom of both feet for over 3 years now. I used to walk 6 miles a day every day until the bottom of my feet started hurting. The pain started in my heel and then spred to my arches and now my ankles hurt as well. 

I was diagnosed as having plantar fasciitis and tried all of the typical treatments (ice, rolling over the water bottle, night splint, ibprophen as well as other meds, stretching, custom orthotics, etc). I got and x-ray, everything was fine there. Got an MRI and it showed a deltoid ligament sprain but it still does not explain the horrible pain on the bottom of both feet. Both feet started hurting at the same time and deltoild sprains are very uncommon. 

I believe that it may have started out as PF but has turned into something much more serious. I have seen many doctors, podiatrists, did physical therapy with zero results. I did not have the classic presentation for PF either. My foot hurt more as the day went on rather than in the morning. I am now and have consistantly been at the point where I cannot stand for more than 5 minutes. This has ruined my life. I now dream of cutting my feet off when I sleep. 

I avoided cortisone injections because they are more of a band aid than a solution and I will not do surgery. Anyone else have this or have any answers? I can barely hold down a job because I cannot stand up and I had to drop out of school because of this. The pain gets worse the longer I stand even in my shoes with custom orthotics and I never go barefoot ever!

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14 Replies

  • Posted

    To start i do have heel spurs. I'm only 2 weeks into the cortisone shots and all the physical therapy you mentioned and my feet still go numb from pain. No matter the shoes it still hurts to stand and walk. This is causing ankles, knees and hips to lock up and hurt. No diagnosis yet.
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  • Posted

    Hi Sarahannr, 

    I wish I did have some answers. I suppose having the injctions are a possibly non surgical solution, they are a band aid , but an option and you might get relief enough to work. See previous postings where others have benefitted from them. 

    I think a big  part of the difficulty of this condition is not being able to work . Having a reduced income is a real worry, and trying to sell yourself for a different type of job, less standing, is hard when you can't see an end to the pain. 

    Please continue to to let us know how you are doing. You are not alone and if you find you have a better day doing something else, no matter how small pass it on, it might help someone else as well. 

     Take care

     

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  • Posted

    Hi, With pF there is indeed pain in the morning and then it subsides untill you start to walk and then it becomes unbearable as though you have trodden on a nail just in front of the heel and then the length of the foot. The pain often extends to the ankle and up the calf because they are the same tendons/ legiments so when one part is strained it puts strain on the rest. like me you may also have gout as the two are often liked so get your uric acid levels checked. I found thick gel heel pads helped a lot and were only a couple of pounds a pair so brought 6 pairs so i have them in all my shoes. I also take Indometacin whih is for sprains, gout legiment/tendon pain arthritis and period pain and so is very suited to me as I have all of the coditions other than period pain whick would worry me if I had that being male. I also have steroid injections for my Knee and they work well for a couple of months if they are injected into the right part of the joint, you know if the doctor has got it right because it hurts like hell as he squirts it in but then it is imediate relief for a couple of months. I continue to do the stretching exercises and hope to come off the painkillers soon after going skiing but one 25mg tablet a day has been keeping the pain away, I was on 3 a day.

    I know what the pain is like and it is hell if you are active or even just on your feet for some time so I hope something here helps.

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  • Posted

    Hey everyone, 

    Thank you so much for taking the time to reply!

    @oras740508 I completely get what you said about having pain in your ankles and knees. I have issues with my knees as well but its not too bad in that area at the moment. I hope that you can get a diagnosis soon! Also, I have realised after seeing so many doctors that many will give a diagnosis that is wrong so keep an open mind when you do get one!

    @tre26560 I don't want to make my condition worse and so I have avoided the injections because they can cause ruptured fascia as well as fat pad atrophy. The financial aspect of it is definitely the hardest part. I have never had parents or many friends to rely on so it has been difficult. Luckily I am interviewing for a job this week where I would get to sit. Its not a job that I love but I am thankful to have something. I will definitely let you all know if anything works! I did find a great physical therapist but he was unable to help me personally because it is just too late. If I had found him earlier on when my problem had just started I feel that I might have been able to recover. 

    @christophe77444 Thanks for the advice! I have actually already been checked for gout and they found nothing there. I was also checked for several other things as well (vitamin d, vitamin b, rheumatoid arthritis, etc) with no real answers. I am glad that you have found a few things that have worked for you! It is a good indicator that your problem could possibly be completely healed at some point. I feel a bit past that at the moment but I am always searching for answers. I am trying curamin (herbal pain relief) to reduce the pain but I won't know if it works for a few weeks. I will keep you updated! Thank you so much for sharing what worked for you. 

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  • Posted

    Hello, I have so much compassion for you; I have been through a lot/ everything you have mentioned! I wish I had not given up many years ago in my search for an answer for my foot pain; I too started with plantar fasciitis /it healed / it returned a few x. Then it did not leave. It got worse, knee pain etc. I got to the point I stopped going to all drs, and physios and chiros, and acupuncture, sport med drs etc and researched how to heal myself.  I used ice, elevation, herbal remedies (Dr. Christophers bone, flesh , cartilege cream; a famous recipe sold all over the world by different people), physio, orthotics, excercises, rest, custom made boots with a hole cut out of the heel and built in orthotic etc.  I healed to where I can walk 100 steps, one city block. I use wheelchair service at airports, museums etc and have a job where I can partially sit.  My left heel is very tender to the touch.  It has been like this for 15 years. Lucky for me I can use a bicycle!!!!! So wheels are my friend!  I have returned to some drs and am under investigation for CRPS and fasciosis (degeneration of the fascia).  I write this for 2 reasons; is there anyone else out there with this long a history and did u ever find an answer? Also to sarahnnr, keep searching; do not listen to the physio who said it is too late.  Keep searching. Every person's body is different; keep searching till you find the right treatment for yourself.

    Only other clue of my problem; I have serious low back pain, and I think there is some nerve problems from my low back to my heels.  I send you and everyone on this post healing wishes! Best, Heidi

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  • Posted

    I have similar pain, mine is in the heel and the arch also at times on the top of my feet. Both feet hurt, ache, throb with pain and at times sharp shooting pains through them. I see an endocrinologist/rheumatoid specialist tomorrow I am hoping he can give me some answers from looking at my labs. My tosh (thyroid) level is low, I have read online that your thyroid can affect your feet as well. Google this and see what you think, I have spent countless hours on line looking for an answer myself. When all you can do is sit, why not Google lol
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    • Posted

      I hope you have some answers. Yes, at least the Internet stops us going completely mad with boredom. 

      I have been doing  online quizzes and even free open university courses with Future Learn, just to distract me. It also has meant that when I do go out and see friends I have something to talk about as  having PF can be very isolating. 

      Good luck with your appointment. 

       

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  • Posted

    Watch out, all this googling is very addictive you find you just cann't leave it alone and the morning is gone before you know it. Wife is getting quite upset and threatening to take a hammer to my PC.

    PF pain still only faint so able to walk for an hour and Ski with no problem and still on one painkiller a day maily for my knee.

    Going skiing again next week so will stop the painkillers when I get back and see if any of the pains return. getting old is a painful buisness the sprits willing but the body's not.

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  • Posted

    Last week my lower back started to hurt, just a mild pain but since my feet have been bothering me I thought maybe there's a possibility it's coming from my back. So I went to a med center they did an X-ray, today at my appointment with the specialist he was a little dumbfounded of what could be bothering my feet. I had taken with me a cd with my X-ray on it, he looked at it and said he seen something so he was going to request the results. When I got home I called the ready med and asked if they had received the results yet...at this point my back no longer hurting. They informed me that I have degenerative disc disease, they told what numbers they are and unfortunately the only one that stuck in my head was L5 which I guess is a disc that affect the sciatica nerve. So it's possible and probable that this is what's killing my feet. Just a thought, maybe you too could have an issue with your back and not know as well. I have had no symptoms of a back problem except for those couple of days. Our bodies are definetly odd, one thing can hurt and it end up not being that at all. Last year I had two cervical discs removed in my neck, I had went to the dr because loss of feeling and strength in my right hand/arm. They fixed the neck ...fixed the hand.
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    • Posted

      Hi Racnel,

      You have to remember that all our nerves travel down the spinal chord to get to the brain so the spine can protect them from inury but if there is a problem with the spine then you get pressure on a nerve and it feels as though the pain is in the leg, foot arm or whatever so if you have any probl;ems with youb it can cause pain elsewhere. My son has been complaining of terrible pain in his lower arm and a numbness and painkillers were no working so he was referred for tests to his nerves with minor electric shocks and they agreed he had a trapped nerve in his elbow but said it would possibly go with time so not worth operating and fortunatly since the tests it has been getting better so it appears the shocks in the test helped to free the nerve. The body is indeed a mystry to us but hopefully not so to the right doctor, the brain is even more of a mystry and not sure anyone really understands that.

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  • Posted

    Hey everyone, 

    I noticed that back pain seems to be a problem that has been brought up a few times and I can say that I also have issues with my spine. I have what is called spondylolisthesis at L4 and L5. I don't know whether or not this is the cause of my issue but I don't think that it is because it is a problem that I have had long before the supposed PF. 

    @heidicananda I have also went through many periods where I give up for a while and then go in search of an answer again later when I can't deal with the pain anymore. I am sorry that you are also dealing with this kind of pain. One thing that I have realised throughout my research is that it is important to make sure that you are not deficient in vitamins and minerals. I know personally that I am low on vitamin D. I am not so sure that raising it now would heal my feet but I have read other threads where people had reversed their issues by supplementing with vitamins. I try to be as natural as I can with vitamins. Instead of supplementing I will usually google foods that are high in what I need to ensure optimal results. I wish you the best of luck in healing!

    @rachel80431 I am sorry to hear that you are also having this sort of pain. The tops of my feet often hurt as well and I am quite the googler myself! Thank you for the thyroid info, I will have to check it out! I usually tell people to look at their vitamin levels but if you know about your thyroid then I assume that you have probably already had them checked. 

    @christophe77444 I am so glad that you are able to go skiing. It would be a dream for me to be able to do that! Hopefully your pain will stay away.

     

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    • Posted

      I think that was mentioned as well, I pick up a copy of the results tomorrow, I'll post them when I get them....take a look and see. Maybe no use or help to you, but it may be helpful. I have found with the pain in my feet, I'm looking everywhere for any hint of what it may be. Some of the stories I have seen on line of people hurting for years, I absolutely cannot imagine how they do it.
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  • Posted

    hi sara. i hate to talk about me.but in doing so i guess we may learn something from others issues.  i have not been diagnosed with pf but i did self diagnose as having pf.  reading things like on this site and trying things have helped me. i always walked barefoot in house and outside in summer while gardening.  NO MORE. just yesterday i got an old pair of shoes i never wore but knew they were comphy and by wearing them in house and not going barefoot my condition improved in one day. one of my feet had worse pain than the other but last night while going to sleep there was no pain and just some when i got up today.  you can imagine how thrilled i am.  to my point.   did you get engineered laminate floors 3 years ago?  i got it throughout home 2 years ago and that is exactly when i noticed pain starting.  we actually had a no shoe rule which has now been aborted.  the pain started right after these things. 1. new floors,  2 gardening a lot during 6 months of year. i know you said you never go barefoot so i ask how are your shoes?  im over weight and working on that.  I think im done with jogging bt just joined a brand new golds gym at the vancouver washington mall and can excersize on other things besides treadmill.  my pain was bad and i hope i will help it by wearing shoes in house, and losing weight.  i had put a water bottle in freezer but seriously the relief was so dramatic on the first day i wore shoes all day that i MAY not use it.  thats it for now.  there is always a chance my story may trigger a thought in you that will help.  good luck. 
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  • Posted

    I have had pain for three months and I was told it was plantar fasciitis, so I treated it like plantar fasciitis. Yesterday I saw my therapist and she said that I have heel spurs in both my feet, and the pain caused me to walk bad. This in turn made various pulls, sprains, spasms. My Achilles' tendons are also pretty damaged. The problem now goes from my toes (the ball of my right foot hurts so badly I can't move my thumb) to my lower back.

    My pain is too greater after standing for a while, or when I walk more than 500m. My therapist recommended heel spur insoles, which have a hole in the middle of the heel. Also ankle supports, soaking in cold icy salty water, stretching, and massaging from my toes to my hips (upwards).

    My grandmother had a similar story; she broke a toe when she was like 17 and didn't know; she had pain in her leg, back and arm for years. After looking for treatments in many countries, this therapist figured out that that little accident was the cause.

    Try to get more opinions, and consider that the problem might not be as obvious as it seems.

    Good luck!

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