PF 6 months in, thousands of dollars spent

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I have now been suffering with PF 6 months and have tried the following:

exercises

cycling

stretching

night boot

taping

creams

heat

ice

meloxicam

prednisone

physical therapy

different shoes

no bare feet

graston therapy

two different doctors

pain is getting worse not better. What to try next?  Terrified of cortisone shots and surgery. Has completely staying off foot for extended time (using boot or cast) worked for anyone?  I am tempted to try that at this point. 

 

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9 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi - I have suffered several bouts of PF and like you tried many different remedies and treatments. I think for me it was only complete rest i.e. sitting or lying around for a few days that made it go away.

    I appreciate that for many this is often not an easy option but reckon it is the only thing that really works.

    There is a device 'The Freedom off-loading leg brace' that may help. This is an aluminium leg brace that you strap around the lower thigh and rest your knee on a small padded platform. The brace extends to the ground and so you walk around with your leg and foot at an angle behind you but not putting any weight on the foot. There is one for sale in the US on Ebay at the moment and it could be worth a try if you cannot give the foot complete rest.

    Would be interested to know if anyone else has tried this.

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  • Posted

    Hi Nancy

    Sorry to read of your pain and frustration. I've had two bouts of PF. The first lasted about 18 months, and the second less than a year. There's not much you can do about it. I have read of more athletic types who just walked/ran through the pain. I think the best is to warm up, do stretching exercises, and then ice. The problem with too much resting is physical deterioration due to lack of exercise. I don't know why the second bout was much shorter than the first, but I had by then installed some thick mats in my room, and was wearing comfy flip-flops (I don't like wearing shoes indoors). Use as much cushioning as possible, and I think for the pain as much distraction as possible. The brain can't put its full attention on too many things at once, so the more absorbed you are in one thing, the less the brain will notice the pain. And keep stretching those calves - don't let them get tight. It seems though, that the only thing that really works is time. Six months isn't long for PF (although I know it doesn't feel that way!) so don't give up just yet. Sorry I can't offer a great solutionsad

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  • Posted

    Nancy it seems you have tried everything. My GP told me nothing really works but after 18 months it will be gone. I was shocked that he said this but, as he said approx 18 months on the pain had gone! I was overjoyed. However, the past month I have noticed the familiar signs and it is back in my left foot. Painkillers, stretching exercises and silicone foot support is all I can suggest. Time is really, the only answer. Good luck.
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  • Posted

    I think that the posts here show just how differently PF can flare up, be treated, and hopefully go away, and how very differently it can affect people.

    I can only speak from personal experience during PF episodes and while doing all the usual stretching, ice packs, gels, etc, don't know if these helped or if was was just complete rest that did the job.

    I wouldn't advocate months of complete rest as this could lead to other complications but for me after three to seven days rest I could walk around with little pain. I am fortunate in having had PF in one foot only and really sympathise if you have it in both feet. PF seems basically to be tears in the tendon under the foot, and although no medic, cannot believe that exercising it can help. My logic is that a strained/sprained ankle or wrist is a tear in the ligament, and playing football or tennis is not going to help it, only rest and other treatments will do.

    On the other hand, and not wishing to appear contradictory, my earliest symptoms of PF were a lot of pain on first getting up and walking but with walking around it had gone by lunchtime. This would happen for a few days and then gradually completely go away, however this was quite different from later PF which would last longer and be far more painful.

    Hope I haven't confused the issue and that you find relief sooner rather than later.

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    • Posted

      Hi David, I can't fault your logic, but I have been told by health professionals that sprains, and also tendonitis in the achilles tendon, benefit by exercise. Not too much - one needs to be sensible - but the older advice of plenty of rest has been replaced by doing as much normal exercise as possible. For the plantar tendon, I think rest is important, however. It is my understanding that the calves need to be stretched rather than the tendon under the foot. Having tight calves will pull on the tendons, so the looser they are the better. I was also given one of those spiky plastic balls to run my foot over, and I think that eased things as well. Once free of the fasciitis, it's important to keep those calves loose to prevent further bouts. A podiatrist once told me that if everyone were to keep stretching their calves he'd have far fewer patients!

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  • Posted

    Quite agree about calf stretching. I have been doing this religiously every day for well over a year together with ball rolling which is maybe why I have been PF free for quite a while.

    Had tendonities and that did benefit from gentle exercising but to be honest when I have had a bad PF flare up I cannot even walk let alone exercise. I'm not a wimp and have quite a high pain threshold but exercise would have been totaly out of the question for the first few days and rest did seem to speed the healing process up for me at any rate.

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    • Posted

      Oh yes - I know about too painful to even walk! Unfortunately, I'm not as religious as you, but need to get more so - exercising every day, not just now and then when I think about it! Also for me, I know that losing a few kilos (or thirty!) will make a huge difference. My general failing in life is that I'm more of a theorist than a practician!sad

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  • Posted

    I am a retired physician and plantar fasciitis patient.  Here's my story.  My plantar fasciitis began around February 2016.  After about four months, it completely resolved. 

    Here's what I think.  Plantar fasciitis is inflammation in the area of the attachment of the plantar fascia to the heel bone.  This begins from trauma and/or some minimal tearing of the plantar fascia (just a few fibers) that results, naturally, in inflammation which is the body's way of healing any tissue injury.  Inflammation hurts until it heals and resolves.  

    So what's so difficult about curing P.F.?  Well we walk on it!!!  Let's say we take 5000 steps a day.  Imagine inflammation of your elbow, (i.e. tennis elbow).  Imagine taking your sore "tennis elbow" and wacking it against the wall, 5000 times a day.  Think it would heal quickly?  I don't either.

    So my cure for plantar fasciitis is cushion, cushion and cushion!!!  That's right - cushion your heel!!!  Here's what I did.  First, I wore the plantar fasciitis "relief bridge" gel-heel innersole in my shoes - that I got at Walgreen's for about $11.  (I plan to use them indefinitely in my shoes.)  Then I wear a pair (usually) of nice thickish sox.  On my heel I wore fasciitis therapy wrap padded supports that I got on the internet for about $13.  (I don't wear them any more.)  So when I had my PF, under my heels I had 3 cushion layers.  I wore this about 24 hours a day - except when in the shower or swimming.  And after about 4 months, the PF was totally gone. 

    That's what I think.  I hope this helps you and the many other sufferers of plantar fasciitis.  doknabox

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    • Posted

      Thank you so much for this. I'm hoping not to suffer PF again, but if I ever do I will definitely follow your solution. Cheerssmile

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