Plantar Fasciitis

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I am a retired OBGYN MD and a plantar fasciitis patient.  I have had plantar fasciitis for about 2 months and have researched extensively on the subject.  I am not a podiatrist, and I am not a chiropractor.  I think most of the stuff you read on the internet is a bunch of untested crap.  I don't believe in the foot exercises, the arch supports, the calf exercises, the night boots, etc.  I have read on the internet (from so called "doctor" experts) that you should have firm arches . . .   and I have read that you should have no arches - "walk barefoot only."  I have read "apply ice," and  I have read "apply heat - ice is harmful."  Noone seems to have any idea about how to cure P.F. 

Here's what I think.  I feel plantar fasciitis is inflammation of the attachment of the plantar fascia to the heel bone, OR some minimal tearing of the plantar fascia - just a few fibers - that results, naturally, in inflammation . . .   like a "pulled muscle."  (You may know that a pulled muscle is simply the tearing of a few muscle fibers.)  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 wacked 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 the heel.  Here's what I am doing.  First, I have the plantar fasciitis "relief bridge" gel-heel innersole in my shoes - that I got at Walgreen's for about $11.  Then I wear 2 pairs of nice athletic type sox.  Between the 2 sox, I have plantar fasciitis therapy wrap padded supports that I got on the internet for about $13.  But also, I sewed  onto the the padded foot wraps, the back part of some thick arch cushions for a little more cushion.  So under my heels I have 5 cushion layers and after about a month, I'm 95% cured of P.F.  That's what I think, and I hope that this helps you and the many other sufferers of plantar fasciitis.

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  • Posted

    Hear hear! I've just about worked this out too and would add two things. A good calf massage really helps the pain as muscles in legs tense to accommodate the foot pain. Secondly, walking on uneven terrain with the support you have suggested also helps. Our feet naturally flex in all different ways as they were meant to and the shoes we wear and pavements we pound along don't do them any favours.

    One other thing is PF and flip flops is a very bad mix.

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  • Posted

    I agree, that is what plantar fasciitis is ; a slight tear of the fibres! You described it very clearly!  Yes, the cushioning, thank you for that! It is good you caught your PF early in the game, and found the correct solution; I will take your words to heart and add more cushioning to my life!! I think the complication comes for persons such as myself, where it has not been healed early and develops into something else! And you are so right that it is SO hard to rest the fascia and allow it the space to heal as we walk on it daily.  Thank you again for the well written piece and your cushioning solution.  Wishing you more healing!
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  • Posted

    Well this is probably the most interesting comment I have read on plantar fasciitis. I have had it for about three months, and it only seems to get worse day after day. I only wear my adidas training shoes with a gel heel pad, and I try to stay off my feet as much as possible. I do massages and stretching all the time. My therapist told me to soak in hot salty water, but it hurts a lot when I put my feet in. I feel like pressure from everywhere in my heel, as if I was standing on it; but then it gets better.

    I am definitely considering your advice. I will see my therapist for the first time today (I had a money problem that didn't let me go earlier) and I'll see what she says.

    Thank you for sharing your experience! I hope it helps me and many more people determine what is really happening there.

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    • Posted

      Let me know if cushioning helps big time.  Try 24 hours a day for a few weeks (except for showers.)
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    • Posted

      I actually find showers are kinda the most agonizing part of my day so I shower on my knees. I know I'm probably hurting my knees, but then again as I try not to stand any other time of the day, I think it evens out and my knees will not be hurt as much.

      I'll get all the things you said you wear, although it's a little difficult here in Costa Rica. I think I'll have to buy through the Internet.

      Thank you! I will post again in a few weeks to share the results.

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    • Posted

      Hi, I just ran across your post from a year ago. I can't find much online about people who have healed from PF. Did yours get better? If so how?

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  • Posted

    Do say what you think, guess americans are not known for mincing their words. Many have different stages of pf and some do not have pf at all it is gout or trapped nerve but I would agree that gel heel pads work for pf in the intial stages and stretching exercises may help and I certainly tryed them and indometacin seemed to kill the pain allowing me to walk and do the exercises. I do not believe in mind over matter or herbal cures but I would not rule them out i was willing to try anything to cure the pain. I brought my heelpads on the internet for £1.90 a pair and that was the thickest I could find so I got 6 pairs so as not to have to muck about changing them around. Just Google gel heel pads and they will all come up and usauly they come from China as most things do these days,
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  • Posted

    @doknabox Thank you for sharing this with us... I'm a service worker at the local hospital. Dr.A told me I had some inflammation in both feet about a month ago. Immediately he did cortisone injections and recommend jogging shoes and to go about my day as normal. Five minutes into wobbling out of his office I sat and cried from the excruciating pain I was in! I was given a week off my feet, but again no relief. The pain had gotten worst. Dr.B took x-rays and actually physically examined my feet. This is where I was informed about having not only Plantar Fasciitis but I also have heel spurs. Steroids were given but at the last dose, my body reacted by locking every joint, causing my knees and legs to swell horribly! Also recommend to stretch and ice roll through out the day. I found this to be more painful than soothing. Heat also becomes uncomfortable after a while. Next, name brand running shoes and arche supports. Though it alleviated the heel spurs pain ever so slightly, the PF is more agitated! Last, physical therapy twice time a week for six weeks for the PF. The PF is still here and has caused new leg and knee pains. I'm still in search of comfort and/or relief. I enjoy working and most of all walking! I walk everywhere! And to think that this condition can cause disability is detrimental at my age (few yrs over forty)! Not only for me, but for my family as well!
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    • Posted

      oras  I don't know much about heel spurs.  From my personal experience with heel pain, I recommend cushioning your heel.  It can't cause any harm.  And it worked for me.  Dok
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  • Posted

    Hello all,

    So it turns out I do not have plantar fasciitis!

    Well, I do. Here's the thing.

    It started three months ago. As a heel spur in both my feet. This led to the pain I was feeling, which wasn't so bad. But I did not treat it...

    So I started walking slightly different. This caused multiple sprains in my feet and up my ankles. Inflammation in my plantar fascia. Muscle spams in most of my muscles, from my toes to my lower back. My Achilles' tendons are out of order. I have pain now in my whole body. My legs and feet are swollen and in a lot of pain. I slept with my legs up last night, but no help.

    What I have to do is heal my heel Spurs and let everything else come back to normal. For this I need heel spur gel pads, which have a hole in the middle. Oral anti inflammatory for a few days. Ankle supports. Massages in my feet and legs every day with Arnica cream.

    My feet are taped right now, and up on a pile of cushions. My therapist said my feet are so bad it seems I've been walking wrong my whole life. (I did get my posture and walking corrected many times, every couple of years until last year)

    So here's my ultimate advice: don't trust anyone who asks you what you feel. A therapist or Doctor must tell you to take off your shoes and socks, touch everywhere and ask where it hurts.

    Because if you trust someone who says you have something else than you really have, you might spend three months just making the problem worse.

    My grandmother broke a toe when she was like 17 years old and she was dismissed as a pull. Now, after seeking treatment all around the world for her painful leg and back and arm, this same therapist was the one who discovered that that little break was what made her walk bad for so many years and caused so many problems.

    Anyway, thank you all for your support. I will do what I need to do and get out of here because this is not my forum. I need a mistreated heel spur forum. I hope you all get better smile

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    • Posted

      Hi Julia,

      I was diagnosed with PF and 6 months ago. My doctor showed me how to strap it, reccommended gel heel inserts etc. All of that really did  was made it worse. In the end I gave up and just put up with it. It eventually went away on its own, but I'm really careful and running and jarring it etc, as I dont want it back! So it seems that it does go away, eventually. Well, it did for me.

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    • Posted

      I'm glad to hear your PF went away. I have had it for almost a year and a half and was hoping it would just go away when I first got it but after a year it didn't, now I'm doing all I can to try and get rid of it.

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    • Posted

      So I guess (and hope) you're following my advice of "cushion, cushion, cushion the heel."

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    • Posted

      Lol, actually I have not 😔

      So the foot Dr acted like this wasn't very important and she adjusted my store bought inserts so I was giving that a try.

      But They started bothering my feet so I stopped wearing them And I'm just waiting for my custom orthotics to be here. You (I believe) didn't understand the importance of arch support. I have a very high arch and feel like I need that support otherwise the band of tissues is constantly being stretched with every step.

      However, that said thanks for the reminder I'm seriously going to look into padding . I'm hoping it will fit with my new orthotics.

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    • Posted

      I have been reading many of these posts with some interest. You are not going to hope this PF away. You need to do something proactive. I don't know if that is rest or to use many of the suggestions on this site. You need to find a way to take some of the pressure and constant trauma off of your Plantar Fascia. Arch supports do this by putting more weight bearing on the arch and removining it from the heel. Cushioning also takes some of the pressure off the heel and redistributes it over a wider area. Both should help and if you really do have high arches, you should find a way to do both. You should also consider taping with Low-Dye. I am not sure how your orthotics are customized but you may need to do even more with them as I had to do. You can add cushioning as you need to. Most shoes come with a removable insole and you can remove it, cushion under it, add to the arch support or replace it as you need.There are many options and I did everything I could, and I was 95% cured in 6 weeks and have been completely cured for more than a year. 

      I still use very good personally modified arch supports in all my shoes!

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    • Posted

      I'm definitely taking a proactive approach at this point. The custom orthotics were made by pressing my foot in foam, I will pick them up on Friday.

      Currently I try to ice my feet 2x a day. I do stretches 2x a day and see a PT at least once a week. My stretches are toe scrunches, rolling feet over tennis ball, calve stretches and hip exercises my PT recommend.

      I'm sure I can find it but since we are discussing this can you tell me what I need to buy to cushion my feet? Anything else?

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    • Posted

      Sounds like i was one of the lucky ones. The heel inserts gave me problems, all they did was seemed to make it hurt more. Hope it comes right for you.
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    • Posted

      The ice baths will numb your foot and make it feel better for a while but the cold temperatures consrtict the blood vessels and reduce blood flow. The Plantar fascia has a poor blood supply as is whch is part of the problem causing slow healing. After you ice ( I know it sounds counterintuitive ) you need to apply heat and continue to alternate hot/cold. The heat increases blood flow and blood supply and should accelerate healing.

      Any kind of foam should work for the cushioning - see what you might have around the house.

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