Second bout of plantar fasciitis.

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Just thought I would share my experiences as only people suffering can appreciate the despair of this condition. I started with it 30 years ago after working on hard floors whilst wearing poor quality boots and also had been doing a lot of calf raises as I tried to get fit. My right foot went first then my left started hurting one day as I walked on bobbled tiles in the swimming baths. I suffered terribly for three years until it had just about gone, after changing my job so I was not standing any where as much.

Then I made the biggest mistake of my life as I took up the offer to have surgery thinking this would put an end to it once and for all. After three weeks in plaster I was in a different sort of pain now with the top of my foot hurting as well and also had inflammation on the plantar as opposed to sharp pain under my heel. Over the years it gradually improved to a point where I did not even think about it , then Bang! It returned without warning 6 months ago and, so I am back at the beginning again, with a monumental mountain in front of me again as it seems no improvement in treatment has been forthcoming.

The side of my feet, (underneath) are also now affected and standing in the same position after just a few minutes is close to distressing.

Hopefully my extreme experiences can help others evaluate the recovery time they might be looking at without taking drastic action as I did all those years ago.

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13 Replies

  • Posted

    I've had it for 25 years and believe once you've got it it stays with you. That being said there has been times when I don't think about it. Other times when I can't walk from the livingroom to the kitchen.
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  • Posted

    Yes I think that with whatever tinkering, surgical included, it will always lie there waiting for an opportunity to flare, often as you say for no apparent reason.

    It is now nine months since my last episode and was a humdinger! It started as pf then spread to the back of my heel which swelled up and was acutely painful to the touch, then to the top of my foot on the arch which felt as though I had been whacked with a hammer. 

    I was off my feet for two weeks and limping with a painful stiffness in my foot for months after and even know still often have that pain.

    I hope I have held it off by now always wearing shoes with shock absorbing soles and good heel/arch supports, also doing daily caly stretch exercises.  I think that wearing soft soled shoes  like Converse which are not at all supportive, and then putting weight on the ball of the foot climbing stairs, kerbs, etc, stretches the tendon and reopens those little tears that give the pain.

    But honestly don't really know - I used to jog a lot but now really worried this could lead to a flare-up - oh well, life must go on!

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  • Posted

    Cushion, cushion, cushion!!!

    I think 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 recommendation 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 a 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.  Over that "heel wrap" I wear some heavy athletic sox which also contribute a little extra cushioning.  So under my heels I have 4 cushion layers and after a few months, I'm 99% cured of my P.F.  That's what I'm doing and I hope that this helps you and the many other sufferers of plantar fasciitis.  doknabox

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    • Posted

      Sounds cool. But what happens when you live in a hot country like me and you hv to wear open shoes. Any suggestions for summer???
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    • Posted

      Crocs are best  but may be a tad warm otherwise Birkenstocks give good heel and arch support, but make sure they are a good snug fit, and the straps are quite tight.
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    • Posted

      Thankyou David i have taken your advice and been checking out the Birkenstock shoes and i am defo going to order a pair and try them out. They have some great reviews on amazon. Have you tried them yourself...
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    • Posted

      Hello David,

      Ive now bought a pair of Birkenstock, and wow are they comfy.

      Ive had them on since the minute i bought them, and they really hold your foot in place you cant walk wrong with them on.

      Very pleased with my purchase and would recommend to other people. they are quite pricey but you get what you pay for.

      thankyou again for your good advise.

      by the way forgot to mention the most important thing my feet are not hurting when i walk in these shoes.

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  • Posted

    It doesn't matter what shoes you wear.  Just CUSHION, CUSHION, CUSHION your heel.  Today I realized that my PF isn't there anymore.  No pain.  No tenderness.  This after about 4 months.  To be cautious I'll continue using the "plantar relief bridge" insoles in my shoes that I got at Walgreens.  Read my other posts.  donabox
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  • Posted

    Hi Joycepost - glad you found the Birks good. Don't know what type you bought but I found the model with two broad straps and a heel strap the best, maybe it was Milano but not sure.

    I have read most posts and posted a few times and there are a bewildering array of recommendations and treatments. I am in no way a medic but must conclude that pf is actually a very individual condition. The physiology of the foot may be slightly different, high arches, flat feet, weight, how we walk, etc, could all affect things. Also how bad the pf flare up is can be different. Only occasionally do I get a throbbing, tearing pain that I can put up with and usually goes away after a day or two. When I get a real flare up I am barely able to walk, can’t put any weight on my foot without excruciating pain, and have to rest for four or five days.

    I think because pf is different for us,the medics don’t really know how our individual circumstances can mean treatment and prevention methods may also have to be different. If we break an arm it is reset, put in a cast and several weeks later back to normal but the level of pf cannot I believe be accurately diagnosed and therefore the treatment is somewhat random.

    Take for example Skechers Go Walk shoes which many find can give superb cushioning and relief, but for me after wearing them for five days solid I think gave me a bad flare up of pf. I have been doing calf stretches every day, wearing only cushioned supportive shoes and, touch wood, have been free for over nine months from serious pf, but who knows if these things contributed anything. Footwear can play a part especially if you have very high arches like mine which need good arch support, whereas someone with flat feet may find arch supports give more strain.

    Sorry if all this sounds a bit negative but I just mean to say that I don’t think there are any REAL pf specialists. Also I think that things like acupuncture or cortisone injections may give temporary pain relief with the result that you then put more strain on the foot and worsen the tendon tears which after a few days makes things really worse. I know it is difficult with work and family commitments but keeping weight off the foot and rest are the only things that will really shorten a serious pf episode.

    Has anyone tried gait analysis? I know there is a lot of scepticism about running shoe shops who do this using tread mill videos and ‘wet foot’ analysis which defines in categories the arch height. It is seen more as a selling gimmick but if done professionally may be able to pinpoint muscle activation e.g. calf muscle which could affect pf.

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    • Posted

      Hi David,

      well my Birkenstock, well short lived sad. I went to see a new exellent Ortopedic doctor the other day for a new bit of advice and to see if he can help me any more.

      I had on my Birkenstock shoes and told him how comfy they were etc.

      He checked my feet, mapped them, scanned them, gave me Acupunture seca.

      Then he told me I cannot wear the Birkenstock shoes anymore that they are no good for my condition and will make it worse.....OMG i was devastated I just bought those shoes for 70 euros.

      He said im really sorry and they are brilliant shoes for a normal person but not for you.sad sad

      So I have now got to have new insoles made from some special material and some real proper full in orthopedic shoes.

      He recons he will kill the pain in a month and i will be FP free for a long while as long as I do exactly what he tells me.

      So will see. At the moment i am using 2 coca cola frozen cans 2 times a day rolling under my feet and stretching the two biggest toes back with my leg at a 100 degree angle I receive my insoles today and am going back to see him on Tuesday.

      So lets see how it goes this time.....

      Watch this space for the latest.....................

      p.s. I am still woring my Birkenstock while at work cos i am sitting down all day smile

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    • Posted

      Hi joycepost

      Sorry the Birks didn't work out. They are ok for me and many others but the lack of cushioning may not be for everyone.

      I know that cusioning is very important and have this in most shoes but like Birks sandals when the weather is warm.

      I had a thought the other day that my pf flareups may be due to carelessly treading on the angle of a step rather than on the step itself, something I found myself doing and which gave the tendon a nasty, fortunately so far not developing more.

      I live in a 4 storey house with 36 steps to my bedroom at the top. It is 16 steps down and two up to the bathroom/toilet so bad pf days are a major challenge!

      Hope all goes well with you and look forward to hearing how it pans out.

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