Is Plantar Fasciitis and Lower Back Pain linked?

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Hi,

I'm in my late twenties and I used to work out everyday in old sneakers.  My heels then started hurting.  As soon as this occured I started to get lower back pain.  3 yrs later, I still have pain in my heels (PF) and lower back pain.  They took an xray a couple years ago and said nothing is wrong with my foot and I am not overweight yet I have to deal with these chronic issues sad

I went to the physical therapist and the exercises only seemed to make things worse.  I went to a podiatrist clinic place to get custom orthotics and they had me step in a foam box.  The orthotics I recieved were way too thick and did not fit in my shoes despite them trimming them 2 or 3 times. I would have to wear a custom shoe with velcro straps.

Just not sure what to do??  I have high arches and overpronate so I wear a new balance stability shoe.  My heels hurt so bad if I have to stand for too long and Ive also dealt with calf soreness and shin splints as well as the lower back pain.  Any helpful advice  really appreciated.  

Should I get plaster cast orthotiics and I also see something about Footmaxx?  Just not sure where to turn. 

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11 Replies

  • Posted

    Try different anatomic shaped footed shoes until you find a pair that are comfortable. Make sure they have arch support. I found berkinstock better than orthotics from podiatrist. Others have found other designers work as well. Good luck.
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  • Posted

    Try different anatomic shaped footed shoes until you find a pair that are comfortable. Make sure they have arch support. I found berkinstock better than orthotics from podiatrist. Others have found other designers work as well. Good luck.
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  • Posted

    Sorry for your difficulties. Read my posts for my advice.  doknabox
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  • Posted

    Hi,   bin all the above and a) go get some Sketchers Go Walk shoes & flip flops which will cushion your foot to heal it from the inflammation.   Get 2 of those sleeves which go round champagne bottles and freeze them then sit for as long as possible with them over your feet doign some serious icing, to also heal the inflammation.   It will start to et better almost immediately. Then decide if you need help (or not) with the pronation after it has healed. Doubt you will unless very marked. Do your shoes wear on one side? If so, then you MAY need orthotic but i;d try and do without as in my experience they seem to put everything else out a bit!
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  • Posted

    I'm sure you can decide yourself what advice you wish to take. I think we need to try many different tactics. I tried Sparkle1's advice which worked temporarily for me. In the end though I was found to have more serious foot deformity for which I needed surgery. I also have back pain which I am hoping once I have recovered will disappear. Just recovering from my second foot op but following the first op I wore foot bed shoes like Berkinstock and found tremendous support and relief. I know others have found scetchers good but they caused me problems with lack of support to my arches. I tried fit flops same problem. Just for your info. Good luck
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  • Posted

    Hi,

    While I'm sure the right shoes and support are certainly key, if you're still suffering from pain, you might want to ask your doctor if EPAT (ESWT or Shockwave Therapy) could work for you to help alleviate the pain.

    It's clinically proven, non-invasive and there's no downtime. Treatment is usually 3-5 times once per week.

    Good luck!

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    • Posted

      You say it's "clinically proven."  I searched the internet and found the following in a very comprehensive article on PF in the journal Podiatry Today.  It said: " For some time now, experts have advocated extracorporeal shockwave therapy (ESWT), both low- and high-energy, with and without ultrasound guidance. Generally, reported results for the use of ESWT have been favorable but they do vary. Speed and colleagues reported that at three months, only 37 percent of active ESWT patients improved while 24 percent of sham patients had improved.  In a randomized double-blind placebo controlled study, Buchbinder and colleagues demonstrated no difference between shockwave and a placebo in the treatment of plantar fasciitis."  So it may or may not work.  I would think that cushioning your heel is a lot less expensive and worked for me in 4 months.  Check out my other posts under the name "doknabox."
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  • Posted

    Hi docnabox,

    Thanks so much for your note.  So glad cushioning worked for you and you felt better after 4 months.  I, too, am a big believer in the right shoes--big fan of FitFlops, Vionic, Oofos and others.

    That being said, as a doctor, I'm sure you know that all patients are different as are their conditions and pain tolerance.  There's no magic bean and what works for one doesn't always work for all.

    In my experience, for those who need to get better faster and are done suffering from pain, EPAT/ESWT is a great non-invasive alternative to ask a podiatrist about.

    As for the article you mentioned, that is certainly a good one, however, there are many others from scientific journals that can also be found online that support this technology's success in treating pain. A series of EPAT/ESWT articles can be found on the National Institute of Health-National Library of Medicine (PubMed).

    Happy to chat live, if you'd like to discuss further.

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    • Posted

      ebh2403 - I found one article online from the NIH and it said "the reduction of heel pain in the extracorporeal shock wave therapy group (69.2%) compared with the placebo therapy group (34.5%)"  So let's assume that is a correct result.  That means you have about a 35% chance of benefit from EPAT/ESWT.  So the question remains - is that 35% chance of improvement worth the cost?  Jerry F., Captain of the "Pirates' Lair" website (pirateslair dot net), reported on his website that his ESWT treatment cost him $1800 (but that was 4 1/2 years ago).  So is it worth $1800 for a 35% chance of improvement?  That is the question.   Oh, and ebh2403, I didn't see where you are a PF patient.  What exactly is your interest in this subject?  So I still say "cushion, cushion, cushion" your heel.  It cured me in 4 to 5 months and it cost me about $25.  See my posts under doknabox.
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    • Posted

      Not a PF patient but have had EPAT on both my shoulder and lower back/hip--same idea, it treats musculosketal pain. I've had great relief! And my beloved had it for PF so know from his experience.

      As for costs, here in the States, 3-5 treatments range from about $450-$750 for a series (up to each doctor). Again, only takes 5-10 minutes per treatment. Patient is feeling better in 3-5 weeks.

      As for your experience, I guess 4-5 months is great if you have the luxury of that kind of healing time.  Each patient is different--what pain they want to tolerate and for how long.

      Not trying to tell anyone focusing on cushioning is wrong. Of course, that's extremely important.  Just making sure that people know there are some other really great options out there to check out that might help them get better and faster.

      And, as for my interest? Actually, same as yours.  To connect with others and offer both support and help.  

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