Plantar Fasciopathy diagnosis

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Although I believed I had plantar fasciitis, I was diagnosed by a podiatrist as having plantar fasciopathy. I actually don't really care what it is called, but I would really like to find a remedy as this has been an issue for the past 18 months. I recall the first time I noticed it - in both feet - just after a day with all of the family here and I was on the go all day and just felt my feet were really aching at the end of it. I had recently started running on the treadmill at the gym which wasn't normally part of my normal workout but that may or may not be coincidental. I tried all of the recommended exercises, doing this diligently for several weeks and then I decided to try shockwave therapy as the exercises were not having much effect. My husband had recently had a course of this for a similar problem, although more to do with his achilles tendon and was really successful. Again, even after several treatments, no real improvement. I had tried all of the various insoles, shaped ones, soft ones, gel ones and then I visited a podiatrist who supplied me with custom made orthotics, after a couple of uncomfortable manipulations. The right foot is much improved but I still have a fairly severe issue with the left one. I have bought a night splint, watched YouTube and embarked on taping; tried a compression sock; even resorting to extreme stretching following 'miracle YouTube cures'. It's a difficult time with lockdown but the podiatrist very kindly put an additional soft layer over the orthotics and posted them back to me, and whilst the right one is really comfortable, the arch piece in the left one just aggravates the discomfort at the edge of my heel even worse. I have now bought a foot massager and trying this, along with the exercises still on a daily basis. I have also extensively used ice and long since given up on anti inflammatories which only serve to give me an upset stomach.I have an ultrasound appointment arranged via the GP to determine if this really is a plantar issue and weirdly, if I stretch my calf muscle before I even get up in the morning and roll my foot on a spiked ball, it isn't too bad, but as the day wears on, the pain increases. Walking is definitely a no go which is a shame as we have recently adopted a rescue dog and I was really looking forward to some nice summer walks. I tried again a couple of days ago and didn't get further than a few doors away and had to turn back. It seems to be worse now that I am not going to the gym 3 - 4 times a week. I was only doing spin classes and low impact but maybe that was of benefit, although I am cycling a few times a week currently. I guess what I really would like to know, is are the steroid injections of any use? I have had these in the past for shoulder issues and whilst I had temporary relief, for the most part, I did not find them of much use. I know the GP is suggesting that this might be the next step but I am pretty nervous of making things worse. I have probably read virtually every forum on this issue and the advice is very conflicting so not very helpful overall. I would really appreciate any input from someone who gets where i am coming from. TIA.

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  • Posted

    Hi, i totally understand how you feel. I was diagnosed with PF 8 yrs ago after having a baby and since then i have tried everything like you with no major relief and the consultants cannot seem to do anything and the MRI, xray don't show up any detail as they are not that high tech. So i know i have some degree of PF as i have pain in the arches of both feet stopping me from walking more than 5 mins or standing in a stationary position as the fascia runs from the heels to the toes,

    I did have steroid injections once back in 2012/13 and they seemed to help but only for 3 months and the pain came back. I was told not to keep having steroids as they weaken your immune system but can also rupture the Fascia. And to be honest i thought it is not worth having them done if they are only going to last 3 months and they are very painful when having a needle inserted into arches!

    What i would say, is try the steroid injections as you ave nothing to loose by just having them once. You may find that the pain settles and it may not come back at all? Or if the steroids lasted for more than a year then this maybe worth for you? But dont get your hopes up, i know lots of people who have had steroids and say they only last 3-6 months. So then you have to ask yourself, is it worth having them so regularly as they will cause damage long term.

    I have had to learn to manage the pain and adapt my life and its not easy, as i lost my job over it eventually. Its just a real shame that there is no major beneficial treatment for this condition.

    I hope you find something that works, good luck!

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  • Posted

    I wish I had something encouraging to say. I too have tried EVERYTHING. including several rounds of extremely painful steroid shots (I do not recommend this). Each successive shot was less effective. I had the surgery, which made it worse. I had the Tenex procedure to remove scar tissue....it just made more scar tissue. Had a PRP injection....didn't help. I have every implement made for the condition. Did PT multiple times. Things that help a bit for me: the K Tape, compression socks (ankle height) night splints, slant box, and Hoka shoes with arch support inserts. The pain in other areas of my feet that developed arthritis from this is helped by Diclofenac gel to some degree. I use this in between taping.

    I think my PF is a result of some other foot misalignment, likely falling arches. but the podiatrists I've seen aren't interested in finding the root cause. They just go down a checklist of treatments. I had to find a whole new career path after 25 yrs, as I can no longer stand 12 hrs a day on hospital floors. This condition is awful. I wish you better luck than I've had.

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  • Edited

    Jaycee, this is a copy of an earlier response I have given on plantar fasciitis: I am so sorry to hear about your suffering with this disease. I am a retired physician and plantar fasciitis patient. I got plantar fasciitis around February 2016. After about four months, it completely resolved.

    Here's what I think. Plantar fasciitis is inflammation of the attachment of the plantar fascia to the heel bone, and/or some minimal tearing of the plantar fascia - just a few fibers - that results, naturally, in inflammation . . . like a "pulled muscle." 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 the 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. Make sure your innersoles are soft and preferably made of gel. (I plan to use mine indefinitely in my shoes.) Then I wore 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. And I would suggest to you, have patience, not surgery.

    That's what I think. I hope this helps you and the many other sufferers of plantar fasciitis. Good Luck to you, doknabox/JerryR

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    • Edited

      Hi Jerry. Thank you for re-posting your advice. Indeed, I have already read it and taken much of it onboard. Definitely the cushioning aspect. My custom made orthotics actually caused me more pain in the affected foot (although felt quite comfortable in the healed one). On your recommendation I bought the gel-heel insert along with the gel innersoles. I found the therapy wrap supports were not comfortable but I wonder if they were the wrong ones? They sat in the arch of the foot and seemed to put more pressure on my heel. I haven't worn these 24-7 as being we are in lockdown I am able to get away with 'Fitflop' cushioned sandals some of the time - the most comfortable at the moment. I will persevere and perhaps wear my new very spongy trainers with the inserts for much of the day and as you say, have patience. I have often felt I have made progress, tried a (very) short walk and been back to square one. It's good to know that someone had success with this horrible condition, although I expect having suffered for 18 months it may not be a very quick fix.

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    • Posted

      The podiatrist I was seeing before lockdown diagnosed it as plantar fasciopathy . However due to the fact that I have been unable to return due to the lockdown to see if he is able to help further, I spoke to my GP who has arranged an ultrasound scan for two weeks time to determine a diagnosis. (she has also said following up with a steroid injection and I omitted to tell her that wasn't really on my agenda if I could avoid it). I'm not sure how much this will tell me but I guess it's worth a try. Meanwhile I have been following your advice of cushioning; still continuing with stretching exercises and for the past five days have not been on any of the dog walks that I am really missing. I take on board you say 4 months so I will persevere and see if the above combination works at all. Thank you.

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  • Posted

    Thank you so much for your replies. Not very optimistic and just as I thought - neither a fan of the injections. It's hard to believe that with such a widespread issue - virtually every other person I speak to either has this condition or knows someone who has - a reliable remedy hasn't been sourced yet. I guess it's a case of keep on with the stretching and hope for the best.

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  • Edited

    Hi Jaycee,I have fought with bad feet for over 5 years. I have probably tried pretty much everything that you have plus many more things. Spent thousands and thousands of dollars on foot care and shoes, plus what medical system would’ve put into it. Will say that in the last year I have been doing probably 50% better and even better the last three or four months. And what I attribute it to, is the shoes I’m wearing Hoka and the turmeric that I’m taking. I tried many diffrent shoe brand but found Hoka to be the best. I wear the model Bondi but everyone foot is different.

    Now the turmeric is a better brand from a health food store. In the last 3 months and i feel its has helped more. Higher concentration of turmeric, More expensive but I feel it’s worth it. I still have to be very careful not to kick,or jump or walk on uneven ground. But two years ago if I walked quarter of a mile I was in agony, now I can walk a couple miles without too much pain. Its so wonderful to go to the grocery store without dreading it,and being in agony by the time you get through. So hopefully this is some help. Hoka shoes aren’t real easy to come by if you look for him you’ll find them at your better shoe stores or some sporting good stores. God Bless

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    • Posted

      Thank you for the input. I have heard that turmeric has some amazing properties and yes, also that the higher concentration is better. As most other options have been exhausted I will give this a try. I have always had issues with joints and take a high concentrate of vitamin D with vitamin K and magnesium so I guess adding another supplement into the mix will be worth a try. I had not heard of Hoka shoes but will take a look. As you can imagine, I am at the point where I will try anything!

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    • Posted

      I should have mentioned I live in Alberta Canada

      and a couple store that carry them besides Hoka one one and I have ordered from them,are The Running Room and MEC . So if your in a different country find a running store,because a lot of runners wear them. I like going to a shoe stores where I can get them then wear them inside for awhile and if they don't work, I can take them back.In fact I wont deal with a place that won't let you try them out.Just to much Hassell and cost returning on line.And often i find the regular stores have better sales.I got 4 pair of Bondi 5 on sale from Running Room for $120 a pair and there normally $190 so Have 6 pair in total. I have 3 new pair sitting in boxes because the Bondi 5 was the best for me and they went to a Bondi 6 now and there a little different instep and don't work for me. And if you have any warrantee issues its much easier with a local store and I have had a few pair replaced.But again every person is different. I have a # of friends that have had foot problems and found them helpful. I had been to 3 podiatrists nerve doctor,shock wave,Acupuncture puncture,Physio a few times and many other routes. Good Luck look forward to hearing back.

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    • Posted

      We are still awaiting sports shops re-opening in the UK. I did have a quick look online and yes, there are a couple of stores not too far away from here who are stockists. I totally agree that it is best to try shoes on when you don't know what you are buying the first time.

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  • Edited

    I would also add high praise to Hoka shoes. I couldn't walk without them. The cushioning is like walking on pillows. I buy mine online directly from Hoka One One. The Bondi style have the most cushion. They are not attractive, to be sure. But when you live with this pain you start to care less about the look if it provides comfort.

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    • Edited

      I am definitely finding the more cushioning, the better. I currently walk around most of the time in Fit Flops and even have Fit Flop trainers, along with the usual high spec cushioned sports trainers. Like you, I am not really bothered about the style, I just want some semblance of normal life back so I am going to look at the website you mention for Hoka shoes. I will post on any progress on here because it's so helpful to hear other people's experiences and suggestions.

      Thank you.

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