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Plantar Fasciitis
Old 12-15-2011, 05:02 PM   #1
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Plantar Fasciitis

Back in July all the hill walking we were doing started giving me heel pain. After planning this 7 month holiday for several years I wasn't about to stop and managed with pain killers and I bought some heel inserts. I self-diagnosed plantar fasciitis from looking on the web, and I also looked at a couple of threads here on the subject - thanks to those members for sharing their experiences.

After returning mid October I had hoped to fix the problem myself, but couldn't quite get through it so I decided to seek medical help and got a recommendation from a friend.

I had an interesting visit to the foot doctor today and he was great. He gave me a diagram of a foot showing the muscles while he did an ultrasound. He did the heel of the good foot first and you can clearly see the muscle that runs across the bottom of the heel (the plantar). He measured the depth of the muscle - 4.3mm. He then did the same on the painful heel, and the depth was 6.1mm, clearly showing that it is inflamed by 50%.


The good news is that everything else looks really healthy and the treatment is some different, more aggressive, shoe inserts for my foot shape, that I can buy from a sports store, a series of exercises to do every day (slightly different to those that I have been doing), plus 2 weeks of anti-inflammatory drugs that I can buy at the pharmacy, more than double the dose I had been taking and for much longer. Hopefully it will all work and he will give me the go-ahead to start playing tennis again after my follow-up appointment on January 12th. (I stopped playing 4 weeks ago, and I usually play twice a week)


More good news is that the cycling and other classes we do at the gym is was approved.
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Old 12-15-2011, 05:09 PM   #2
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Good luck with the recovery. Sounds like your're doing all the right things. It took me monthis to be pain free with my bout of PF. I continue to do exercises 4-5 days a week as a preventative measure.
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Old 12-15-2011, 05:10 PM   #3
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had this in both feet for two years. Went through physical therapy, electrolisis, and anti inflamatory (mobic) regimen. Only thing that helped me were custom made orthotics. They are made from a mold of your foot and are much better than the one's you buy at a drug store. Also, they are fiberglass and don't wear out. Would highly recomend those vs the drug store models. I play golf four or five times a week and walk every round. Totally pain free...but god forbid if I forget them one day...ouch.

Careful on the mobic...not great on kidneys or liver, can't remember which.

Good luck.
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Old 12-15-2011, 05:13 PM   #4
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Good luck with the recovery. Sounds like your're doing all the right things. It took me monthis to be pain free with my bout of PF. I continue to do exercises 4-5 days a week as a preventative measure.
Thanks.

Along with the exercises I do for my back, and the ones I do for my shoulders, these are just more to add to the list. At this rate I'm going to have so many exercises to do every day I won't have time to enjoy my retirement.

Oh well, the alternatives are much worse.
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Old 12-15-2011, 05:16 PM   #5
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I had PF in both feet plus a badly inflamed knee from dancing. My doc told me to take all the weight off the joints for 6 months - wheelchair or crutches. Absolutely no dancing allowed.

Instead, I took MSM - which is an OTC anti-inflammatory that you can buy at any drugstore.

Within 3 days the pain was gone and I was able to tap dance again about a week later. Now, whenever I get twinges of heel pain, I take the MSM and it goes away immediately. That stuff is a miracle drug to me.

Nui
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Old 12-15-2011, 05:22 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by RockyMtn View Post
had this in both feet for two years. Went through physical therapy, electrolisis, and anti inflamatory (mobic) regimen. Only thing that helped me were custom made orthotics. They are made from a mold of your foot and are much better than the one's you buy at a drug store. Also, they are fiberglass and don't wear out. Would highly recomend those vs the drug store models. I play golf four or five times a week and walk every round. Totally pain free...but god forbid if I forget them one day...ouch.

Careful on the mobic...not great on kidneys or liver, can't remember which.

Good luck.
Good info, and I'm pleased to hear that you are back to full activity - gives me hope. I expected to get the custom made orthotics, but he looked at the drug store ones I was using and said they were close but he gave me the details of some I could get at a sports store that should work in his opinion, and at a fraction of the cost. I hope he's right.

The drugs he recommended for now are NSAID's, to be taken day and night for 2 weeks. NSAID's can be hard on the stomach.
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Old 12-15-2011, 05:28 PM   #7
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I had PF in both feet plus a badly inflamed knee from dancing. My doc told me to take all the weight off the joints for 6 months - wheelchair or crutches. Absolutely no dancing allowed.

Instead, I took MSM - which is an OTC anti-inflammatory that you can buy at any drugstore.

Within 3 days the pain was gone and I was able to tap dance again about a week later. Now, whenever I get twinges of heel pain, I take the MSM and it goes away immediately. That stuff is a miracle drug to me.

Nui
Pleased you managed to find such a simple solution. I had to Google MSM as I hadn't heard of it before. I know several people who swear by glucosamine and chondroitin and MSM appears to have similar affects. I'm going to try the exercise options for now (plus a couple of weeks of NSAIDs) but will bear it in mind.

Quote:
MSM is sold as a dietary supplement and marketed with a variety of claims, often in combination with glucosamine and/or chondroitin for helping to treat or prevent osteoarthritis. According to one review, "The benefits claimed [for MSM] far exceed the number of scientific studies. It is hard to build a strong case for its use other than for treating arthritis problems."[7] The biochemical effects of supplemental methylsulfonylmethane are poorly understood. Some researchers have suggested that MSM has anti-inflammatory effects
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Old 12-15-2011, 05:33 PM   #8
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North Yorkshire will beat you down.....it's grim up North and hard on the feet!
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Old 12-15-2011, 05:39 PM   #9
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North Yorkshire will beat you down.....it's grim up North and hard on the feet!


The damage was done in those first 2 or 3 months. If we'd had the crappy weather we expected we wouldn't have been out walking day after day after day, but every time we got up and the forecast was good, we went hiking. April was the driest for decades and at times we said that we had to rest next day even if the weather was good, something I never expected to be saying in England.
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Old 12-15-2011, 05:44 PM   #10
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I discovered MSM quite by accident. I was given some cream to use on some moles (apparently it gets rid of them) and rubbed some on my knee. The pain lessened immediately.

The thing with these miracle herbals is that they do work on some people - and I believe it's because of each person's environmental history. I think that, on an evolutionary level, we weren't meant to travel far from our roots. I was raised in a town that was surrounded by smelters and the atmosphere was loaded with sulfur. I moved away, but I believe that my body still carries a need for it's embryonic environment: and since MSM is nothing but sulfur, it works for me.

There's no science behind this theory - I just know that the minute I cross into the area where I was born (Northern Ontario), I feel more at home - even though I've lived elsewhere for longer than I ever lived there.

I realize I'm not making much sense. Sorry
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Old 12-15-2011, 08:28 PM   #11
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I discovered MSM quite by accident. I was given some cream to use on some moles (apparently it gets rid of them) and rubbed some on my knee. The pain lessened immediately.

The thing with these miracle herbals is that they do work on some people - and I believe it's because of each person's environmental history. I think that, on an evolutionary level, we weren't meant to travel far from our roots. I was raised in a town that was surrounded by smelters and the atmosphere was loaded with sulfur. I moved away, but I believe that my body still carries a need for it's embryonic environment: and since MSM is nothing but sulfur, it works for me.

There's no science behind this theory - I just know that the minute I cross into the area where I was born (Northern Ontario), I feel more at home - even though I've lived elsewhere for longer than I ever lived there.

I realize I'm not making much sense. Sorry
Nuiloa, I had a Health Physics professor who believed we all need some low-dose of radiation to keep us healthy. His idea was that humans evolved with some low level of background radiation, so trying to take away all radiation could be "bad" for us. At first I thought he was joking, but he said not. So, your theory makes as much sense to me as my professor's. YMMV
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Old 12-15-2011, 08:51 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by RockyMtn View Post
had this in both feet for two years. Went through physical therapy, electrolisis, and anti inflamatory (mobic) regimen. Only thing that helped me were custom made orthotics. They are made from a mold of your foot and are much better than the one's you buy at a drug store. Also, they are fiberglass and don't wear out. Would highly recomend those vs the drug store models. I play golf four or five times a week and walk every round. Totally pain free...but god forbid if I forget them one day...ouch.

Careful on the mobic...not great on kidneys or liver, can't remember which.

Good luck.
Ditto for me to everything above, with the exception that I wouldnt say I am pain-free today....but it is tolerable. I struggled with it for 2 years and tried just about everything - except they also wanted to do a cortisone injection. I have enough of those to know the one place I was never going to have one was in my heel

I finally broke down and had custom orthotics made. They have been a godsend. Most people I have talked to say the same thing. Who would have thought.....
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Old 12-15-2011, 10:01 PM   #13
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I have had plantar fascitis a few times in my life. What really works is the brace thingy you wear to bed at night. It is adjustable, and keeps your foot in a gentle stretch while you sleep. Helps start the day out right, no ultra stiff feet until you walk around awhile........ Just Google plantar fascitis brace and poke around........
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Old 12-15-2011, 10:12 PM   #14
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I have had plantar fascitis a few times in my life. What really works is the brace thingy you wear to bed at night. It is adjustable, and keeps your foot in a gentle stretch while you sleep. Helps start the day out right, no ultra stiff feet until you walk around awhile........ Just Google plantar fascitis brace and poke around........
Thanks, I'll look into it. Mornings are the worst as you know, that first few steps.... ouch!
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Old 12-15-2011, 10:54 PM   #15
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I'm sorry you're having problems Alan.

I had the same thing in my left foot a few years ago. I tried the braces, but for me they didn't help much. So my podiatrist injected my heel with goo (sorry, can't remember what it was). No problems since.
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Old 12-16-2011, 05:48 AM   #16
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I used to have pain in the ball of my foot - mainly during running and hiking. I got custom orthotics, and now have no pain at all. I don't recall ever having PF, but I can see how orthotics can help by realigning your foot properly.
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Old 12-16-2011, 07:00 AM   #17
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..........had an interesting visit to the foot doctor today and he was great. He gave me a diagram of a foot showing the muscles while he did an ultrasound. He did the heel of the good foot first and you can clearly see the muscle that runs across the bottom of the heel (the plantar). He measured the depth of the muscle - 4.3mm. He then did the same on the painful heel, and the depth was 6.1mm, clearly showing that it is inflamed by 50%...........

.......news is that everything else looks really healthy and the treatment is some different, more aggressive, shoe inserts for my foot shape, that I can buy from a sports store, a series of exercises to do every day (slightly different to those that I have been doing), plus 2 weeks of anti-inflammatory drugs ...........
It is actually not a muscle but the Plantar Fascia which is a relatively inflexible fibrous band - apologize for the picky nature of the response, but muscle suggests that it could be exercised/stretched.

I developed bilateral plantar fasciitis a few years ago and the orthotics really did the trick, but it took time. I suspect that the boots I wore in winter, had little to no arch support and probably an increase in body weight pushed me over the edge.

I did some stretching exercises, but I suspect that it is really an overuse/strain injury and support and rest would normally do the trick.
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Old 12-16-2011, 02:11 PM   #18
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Thanks for the continued support and suggestions. Cato, I appreciate the correct definition of the plantar fascia, I should not have been so general in my description.

The new inserts are also giving me lots of support and I can immediately feel an improvement.

I left a belt on the bedside table overnight and as suggested by the Doc did a 2 minute stretch of the foot to flex that fibrous band when I woke up, and it was remarkable. Zero pain when I stepped out of bed for the first time in many months.

I'm already feeling confident of being able to get better sooner rather than later.
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Old 12-16-2011, 02:45 PM   #19
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I discovered MSM quite by accident. I was given some cream to use on some moles (apparently it gets rid of them) and rubbed some on my knee. The pain lessened immediately.

The thing with these miracle herbals is that they do work on some people - and I believe it's because of each person's environmental history. I think that, on an evolutionary level, we weren't meant to travel far from our roots. I was raised in a town that was surrounded by smelters and the atmosphere was loaded with sulfur. I moved away, but I believe that my body still carries a need for it's embryonic environment: and since MSM is nothing but sulfur, it works for me.

There's no science behind this theory - I just know that the minute I cross into the area where I was born (Northern Ontario), I feel more at home - even though I've lived elsewhere for longer than I ever lived there.

I realize I'm not making much sense. Sorry
That is a fascinating theory, Nui. Thank you for sharing it. This probably means I should be feeding my DH some red clay from his hometown!
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Old 12-16-2011, 02:46 PM   #20
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I had a bad case of PF a few years ago, got it from slipping while reffing a rugby match. One of the things that helped me was learning how to tape your foot. The doctor would have me tape the foot and leave it taped. Taking every third night off. It was good, but I also had the additional stress of reffing and playing rugby while I tried to get it to heal. If you are planning on playing tennis, I would definitely ask the doc to show you how to tape your foot.
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