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Monday, July 20. 2015
I've learned that people have all sorts of ways to deal with this. My aunt suggested rolling my arch on a tomato soup can for 5 minutes every night before bed (haven't tried that yet). She claims her problems are gone, though she continues this ritual every night just to be sure.
Anyone here suffer from this non-debilitating, but downright bothersome ailment? Any ideas on how to treat it?
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Wearing 'older' shoes that don't provide good arch support can cause problems for me. Adding arch support pads may help, but it's probably time to buy a new pair of designated walking shoes.
The soup can foot-roll (I sub a tennis ball or other roller) can help stretch that mess out a bit, and massaging your calves can help as well but firm shoes w/good arch support is the way for me to fix it faster.
Dunno. I think it depends.
Sister-in-law has it and has had outpatient surgery to fix it. Docs told her the fix was not permanent and the problem would return.
Had it for a year. Like walking on thumbtacks.
Called an orthopedic pal who told me how to stretch out the tendon by leaning against a wall for 5 minutes three times/day
Gone in 2 weeks, never came back in the past 5 years.
Sounds like the can of soup solution. Though why tomato soup- or soup, dunno.
Just what she told me. So many people are familiar with the Campbell's Tomato can, it's almost like saying "aspirin" - a brand name that became commonplace.
I tried chicken noodle, but heard you can get salmonella from chicken. So maybe that's why we stick with tomato?
Had it for about a year, in both feet. The orthopedist I visited had this to say about it: it will start up, we don't know why, last about a year and go away, we don't know why. Orthotics were suggested; I went with stretching exercises per BD above. Still took months to resolve.
1. roll foot on can of soda (cold, like icing and rolling at same time)
several times a day..
2.Achilles stretch above
3. if needed, NSAID's
4. Don't use inserts or orthotics
5. Don't depend on internet for medical advice
My wife suffers from this.
We went to a place called "the Walking Store", they mapped her feet using a pressure pad, and she got orthotic inserts.
She also got little footie socks with elastic arch support the she wears in the evenings (and while sleeping when there's a flare up).
It's almost entirely gone. A bad day occasionally, but nothing like it used to be.
My son has it and it is treated by very firm plastic arched insoles made by Podiatrist. Few problems as long as he wears them. I have the opposite problem with a very high arch that causes my feet to roll way to the outside. Podiatrist wants to break the toe bones and put me into a boot for at least one month. I am resisting this drastic step because surgery is awful. Very few people have this problem and there is not much in the way of alternatives that I can find. It is getting significantly more painful and any one who has an idea or site (not WebMD) please but anything else. I am avoiding my lawn mowing chore knowing it will hurt like hell as soon as I am finished.
MY Better Two-Thirds has been afflicted with this problem. She rolls the soles of her feet over a baseball sized rubber ball each morning and wouldn't stick with that if she didn't believe it was helpful.
I had a bout of this recently, from playing barefoot on hard tile floors. In the past, I dealt with it by using decently-padded shoes, but they weren't helping this time. I also tried a wrap with a plastic insert for support. The plastic was painful and the wrap was too stretchy.
What did work was good old-fashioned white athletic tape, wrapped firmly around the arch of my foot (but not too tight for circulation). I doesn't really give, stays in place, works barefoot or in shoes. I even kept it on at the beach, walking on sand and in the water; it stayed firmly in place. As long as I was taped, the relief was pretty much instant and almost complete. After about a week, I stopped taping and haven't had any problem since.
Birkenstock sandals saved my life. I used to run half marathons. My feet got so bad I had to crawl to the bathroom in the morning.
Now I never go barefoot - never. Not even the beach.
I live in AZ, so it's easy enough for me to wear sandals most everywhere except work. For years I used Birk inserts in dress shoes and sneakers.
Good luck. It is a painful and difficult to cure condition.
Go to a good shop selling running shoes and get them to help finding the right insert.
This generally fixes it for me.
When I have gotten it it has hit after I was wearing shoes that were old.
Buying new shoes has made it go away for me.
Have had this problem for over 25 years. For a flare up I get the cortisone shots, otherwise it takes almost a year to heal and just not worth the pain anymore. Do not wear flexible sole shoes - no running shoes. I pretty much wear hiking shoes as my daily walking shoe - this has made a big difference. I have orthopedic inserts because my insurance covers the cost, but if I wear a good hiking shoe I can use the inserts for other "dress" shoes.
A firm sole, good arch support, and definitely no slip-ons or flip-flop type shoes!
The following is what I have done. I dealt with it for 1.5 years. I would not get cortisone shots.
1.Froze a bottle water and would roll my foot on it during morning coffee, lunch and again nite.
2. Put inserts that were designed to treat PF in my work shoes.
3. Bought a several pair of kuru brand shoes. This helped a lot when I could wear non work shoes
4. started taking a daily tart cherry supplement. Which is suppose to reduce inflammation .
I really started to see reduction in pain when I started with the tart cherry supplement.
Rolling the foot, stretching the muscles of the lower leg, NSAIDS, orthotics - all good things.
But what worked best for me were Tulis Heel Cups, when all of the above did nothing to arrest the brutal case of PF I developed.
I was out of commission for over a year - no golf, no squash, no nothin'. My GP, who's a former world class distance runner told me to get these heel cups and the pain began to abate. I wear these inserts in dress shoes and sports shoes.
He stressed the point that the recovery will take as long or longer than the time it took for the PF to develop. So be patient.
Kinesiology tape, aka K-T tape and Rock Tape by brand name.
http://www.rocktape.com/ and http://www.kttape.com/
Videos and instructions on the site.
Shoes must not flex in any direction. Red Wing has shoes that fit the description. Good arch support necessary. Ice packs on the foot from the toes to the heel. No flip flops.
Treatment depends on the cause of the PF.
1) Bad shoes -> get good shoes. I basically wear hiking boots as my everyday shoes now.
2) Tight calf/achilles -> Stretches for the lower leg. Simplest is to try leaning against a wall. For more intense stretching, you can buy a plastic rocker to put under your foot-- it's a VERY good stretch. Other people find relief using a splint or boot which holds the toes flexed up during sleep. (I couldn't stand it, but my mother found it magical.)
3) Heel spur -> Padding under the heel, from a soft shoe, heel cup, or soft orthotic. This is progressive damage, so take the pain seriously from the beginning. (Some doctors recommend surgery for severe cases, but the evidence is mixed.)
4) Tight ligaments, causing fallen arches -> Stretches for the arches, such as by rolling a baseball, can, etc. Arch supports (hard orthotics for more serious cases) in shoes, and arch braces or tape, can also help.
5) Stiff feet, due to either high arches or arthritis in the feet -> Not a lot of good choices here. Well padded shoes, anti-inflammatories, and therapeutic massage are about all you can do for the symptoms.
For severe outbreaks, you might need some intense anti-inflammatories to get you through the immediate problem-- it's very hard to give your feet significant rest, as you would with (say) a sore elbow.
I had PF bad for 2 years and prior to that on & off. I honestly have tried nearly all of the above remedies (none successful) and one more was recommended by the podiatrist but wasn't covered (deemed experimental) by insurance: called PRP which is an injection of PLATELET RICH PLASMA injected into the site of the inflammation. Never got it done due to cost and not covered. The PF went away by laying off running & hoops.
I had bouts of plantar fasciitis on and off for a few years. For me, I needed to stretch my hamstrings, calves, and foot - basically all the muscles running down the back of my leg. When I slacked of on stretching, it came back. I was playing soccer and running a lot back then.
I solved the problem by no longer exercising.
Stretching your calf is good but I found stretching the Achilles and the foot itself works wonders. Sit with your legs straight out in front of you and (honest) try to touch your shins with your toes....I know you can't do it but the point is to really stretch the ligaments along the bottom of your foot. Massage the foot nightly and in the morning. Several times a day with the stretch if you can.
I consider PF to be a lifelong condition that can be managed for most people. After three years (including learning exercises to stretch calves which I will do forever, physical therapy including ultrasound, cooking from a barstool instead of on my feet, a handicap sticker for my car, motorized carts at Target, etc.), I have found a set of helpful things to keep it under control. I mean REALLY under control. No more handicap stickers or motorized carts. I hardly think of it any more, and I walk and hike all over the place (like the Grand Canyon!) for extended periods. BUT if I slack off on the list below, I feel it coming back within minutes. And so, I have done/must do the following things, forever!:
First, find the right orthotic inserts. My first were Pinnacle Power Steps through www.heelspurs.com. They really helped a lot, but I needed more...
Then very expensive ($460) hard plastic inserts from a podiatrist. They were never very comfortable. In fact, I have lost track of them. So, before you go to a podiatrist, try:
Flexible inserts by Superfeet, about $50/pair. Widely available. Several "colors" for various conditions and comforts. Try before you buy. They finally did the trick quickly, and a pair is in almost all my shoes.
Massage (or have massaged) your feet deeply a lot!
No barefoot EVER! Even in the shower. Even for those nightime 15'-feet-away bathroom trips. Use Orthoheel sandals, $60.
Do not have surgery. No one I have ever talked to has been helped by it, and some have been harmed.
Do not fret about the cost of the inserts for multiple shoes. For convenience, it will come to that. Love them and walk on!
Be very patient! Once symptom are gone, keep doing the exercises and wear the inserts and NEVER EVER GO BAREFOOT!!!
* Good luck!
I don't know why my comment above included bold items. I did not submit them like that. But information still applies.
I find that putting my heel on a hot m/wave pad for a few min while I read in the morning, allows the heel to move freely. When really bad I repeat at night before bed time.
Remembering the calf and achilles stretching when all feels good is my problem. I started wearing sandals with the heel strap removed, and that seemed to work really well too. My tender part is where the top part of the shoe touches my tendon.
Mine started in heels, but moved to arches, which is where it shows up now, on occasion.
Have had it off and on for years, and have mostly beaten it. I have tried everything, but the only thing that worked for me long-term (vs. short term mediation) was a change in shoes. Consistently wearing about any dress shoes and many casual shoes made it worse.
The only shoes that have ever worked for me are the high end ASICs running shoes, like the gel cumulus series. It is not just the act of wearing running shoes - Nike's make it worse while ASICs solved it. Of course, I can wear such things all day because I work for myself. There may be dress shoes that work for you if you are in corporate-land but I can tell you the long-term solution for the problem came down to shoes.
As to short term mediation, most of the usual tricks work for me. Using a towel before I get out of bed in the morning to pull my toes (essentially stretching the Achilles is what reduces my heal pain, and my sports medicine guy agrees).
Wearing the boots at night also works, but I could never get good sleep at night with them. The cold boot worked pretty well, and the boot that essentially holds your foot in place so your Achilles gets stretched worked the best, but it is a real kluge to wear in bed.
Stretching the Achilles through the day helps as well.
Wear shoes all the time: including in the middle of the night for the trip down the hall to the lav.
Rolling your foot over a golf ball while sitting works wonders as do all the stretches mentioned above.
Lots of good advice already. I've had PF 25 yrs, took NSAIDs and cortisone shots, got ulcer. Had foot surgery, very bad idea. Didn't help, horrible scar tissue. Developed PTTD in tibia for both legs, bursitis around knees. Still have big problems but these helped:
1.Stretch foot, leg and ankles, ligaments and tendons. Everyday for rest of life. Likely some muscles are under/over developed due to foot problems. Go to PT for help.
2. Never go barefoot
3. Good shoes, change often, keep trying inserts till one works
4. Neural therapy injections are painful but help
5. Taping helps, esp for strenuous times
6. StepStretch- sold at Amazon - is excellent
7. Deep tissue massage by pro helps
8. Keep trying new things cause your feet/ankles change over time
Stretching is important to prevent injury, but when those tendons are inflamed, stretching does not provide much relief from the discomfort. After several years of ineffective treatments and stretching exercises for plantar fasciitis, I bought a Plantar Fasciitis Night Splint for about $50. I wore it for a week (at bedtime) and the problem went away.
Wow! Quite a response and thanks to everyone.
Usually, the LAST place I'd go for advice is the internet. But PF is not a particularly difficult problem, so I felt I'd get an idea of what other people are doing. I had not idea PF is so common.
Mine just popped up, out of the blue. Nothing "caused" it that I can think of. I have comfortable shoes, rarely go barefoot (except in the shower), I probably need to stretch my calves more, I have arch inserts for my workout and tennis sneakers, just got them for my work shoes.
So I figured I should see what else is out there. Rolling the foot, started that with a can of soup (I'll try balls, too, to see which works) and I'll use heat on it at night. I'll take a look at some of the other orthotic suggestions, too.
I wish I could get foot massages regularly. I love them, but that's pushing the limits budget-wise.
I'm not interested in surgery, at all, the drawbacks outweigh the potential benefits. Injections - possibly, if this goes on until Christmas.
I do have to have surgery in the fall for my bunion on my other foot. I had both feet operated on 23 years ago, but the right foot has gotten worse while the left has been fine as far as bunions go. Sadly, it's the left foot I've got the PF affliction with.
But thank you all for the great advice. I've never had PF this long. Usually it goes away, but I have a feeling I'm just aging. I can deal with it, as I said, it's just the first few steps that are nagging.
I have had 3 bouts of it. The last time it only lasted a day. I alternate using Biofreeze and Traumeel ointments.
Stretching through the full range of motion helps. Standing on a stair step on the toes while holding on to the railings, rise up on toes and then lower heels below the horizontal. 5-10 times depending upon strength.
Gradually work your way up to going barefoot as much as possible and wearing zero-drop (heeless) shoes that are wide enough to give your toes enough room to spread out. Consider Correct Toes too.
Buy a dog toy, one of the round ones with bumps. It will relieve some of the pain when you roll your foot on it.
My wife bought some "Sole" inserts for her shoes and this helps prevent the pain from comng back after walking.
All plantar fasciitis is not the same. What might work for one person may not for another person. Mine came on suddenly and very painfully but after a few weeks the pain was only present after sitting for awhile of in the morning when I first got up. As soon as the pain seemed "bearable" I choose to return to normal activity. Over a few months sometimes pain some times no pain. Eventually it stopped hurting. I was lucky I think.
In my humble opinion the doctors and the physical therapist are useless for this problem and will essentially try stuff and take your money until it goes away by itself.
Birkenstock sandals helped me, but what really seems to have eliminated it was an extremely painful and prolonged heel massage--the most sustained discomfort I can remember ever being in--but it worked. A friend did it for me, using a technique she claimed she had been taught for the purpose, something about breaking up adhesions. I was skeptical, but I can't deny the results. I had been in constant pain for years, but it cleared up within two weeks after that, and has not returned. I still wear the Birkenstocks religiously.
Plantar Fasciitis left me nearly crippled. It took me a week to recover from my weekly trip to the grocery store. Visiting a museum or park was out of the question. Saw a podiatrist in 2001 and he ordered custom orthotics for me. Save my feet, saved me. He said surgery won't fix the problem unless it includes orthotics---so just wear the orthotics and skip the surgery. There's no reason to hurt anymore. Best wishes.