Help with Plantar Fasciitis

<p>So I have joined the ranks of those battling plantar fasciitis. On a scale of 1-10 ranking the effect on my day to day life I would say it is about a 4. Hurts like crazy first thing in the morning and if I wear the right shoes it is pretty much negligible the rest of the day as long as I keep moving. Hurts if I sit down and then start up again...just the standard list of issues.</p>

<p>I have started to do a bit of a 'funky' walk to accommodate the expectation of pain and now the opposite hip is starting make itself known in unpleasant ways.</p>

<p>So far I have tried </p>

<ol>
<li>cold laser therapy with manual manipulation - some short term improvement.</li>
<li>Cross fiber release with a tennis ball on the calf muscle - again some short term improvement</li>
<li>Ibuprofen in prescription level dosages - little effect</li>
<li>Night splint (HATE IT) with noticeable improvement for the first few steps in the morning but then pretty much the same throughout the day.</li>
<li>Icing with a frozen water bottle - give short term relief.</li>
</ol>

<p>My sister has had the same issues and recently went for the cortisone injection. It took a week for the final effect but she says the pain is gone. (also said she'd rather have toothpicks shoved under her nails than endure another shot in the heel).</p>

<p>I've hesitated to go the cortisone route. Much of the feedback from therapists has been that it is a short term solution but needs to be repeated in shorter and shorter intervals with the effects becoming less and less.</p>

<p>Any suggestions...ideas...warnings...or even magical rituals?</p>

<p>Are you seeing a podiatrist? My husband has dealt with plantar fasciitis for years, being a Marine he couldn't just take time off so he had to learn to deal with it on the go. The only thing that really worked for him was orthotics for his boots, z-coil sneakers* and occasionally using his night splint. There are several different kinds of night splints and it took a few tries before he found one he could sleep in.</p>

<p>*z-coil, Z-CoiL®</a> Pain Relief Footwear®</p>

<p>I wish you the best of luck.</p>

<p>Have you gone to physical therapy? There are some basic stretches that when done on a regular basis can really improve things; one involves standing on a stair and letting your heels hang down to stretch the tendon. Also yoga & pilates can help.</p>

<p>Orthotics? Have you tried different brands of shoes? I've found that Merrell & Dansko work well for me.</p>

<p>Are you overweight? That can aggravate things.</p>

<p>Be really careful about your gait. I've had a long term back problem that probably contributed to my plantar fasciitis, but when that started up it affected my opposite knee. Which in turn aggravated my back.</p>

<p>You didn't mention custom orthotics. Have you already done that?</p>

<p>Sorry for your woes. It really sucks.</p>

<p>I have these things for foot health, and like them very much:</p>

<p>Amazon.com:</a> Yamuna Body Rolling Foot Saver Kit: Sports & Outdoors</p>

<p>Several reviewers mention that they helped with plantar fascitis. I don't have it, so no personal experience here. But maybe they're worth a try?</p>

<p>I used to suffer excrutiating pain in my arches with certain shoes. Then, I tried a pair of SuperFeet insoles at a local running store. At least for my feet, these things completely eliminated the pain. They feel like a million bucks. The arch support is much farther back than typically found in shoes. Some people love 'em. Others hate 'em</p>

<p>Running stores usually have demo pairs precut to fit all size shoes. You might try a pair for a few minutes and see if it helps.</p>

<p><a href="http://www.superfeet.com/%5B/url%5D"&gt;http://www.superfeet.com/&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/p>

<p>My son has a form of juvenile arthritis that first manifests itself as plantar fasciitis. He is on some pretty heavy duty meds for his arthritis and that has partly taken care of his heel pain. However, the two things that helped immensely prior to the meds, and that he still continues to help with the pain are stretching and orthotics for his shoes. A good physical therapist can give you stretching exercises to do daily that, at least for my son, really helped with the pain, especially in the morning. He also has orthotics for his shoes that definitely help alleviate pain in his heels. He does not wear flip flops, as they definitely make the pain worse. He is really good about his stretching, and gets up a little early to try to get in 20 min. when he first gets up. He does another 20 min. at nite and has found that it is a huge help. </p>

<p>Sorry you are going thru this- hopefully some of the tips here might help!</p>

<p>SOFT-FOOTBED Birkenstocks!!!!! I have custom orthotics, but honestly, my soft-footbed birkenstocks are WAY better, and make all the difference. I also bought some special stick-on metatarsal supports for a pair of Keens and a pair of running shoes, but the soft-footbed birkenstocks (not Birkis or Betulas or any other variation....and certainly not the regular footbed ones) I have to say that my foot problems are neuromas, not PF, but these shoes are targeted for both issues, so try them!</p>

<p>I originally got it from worn tennis shoes. Went to the podiatrist and he gave me a cookie to wear which helped but did nothing for the morning pain. We talked about getting custom orthotics but it would take three weeks for an appointment and then another three weeks to have them made so I made my own for about $15. Those worked quite well to replace the temporary cookie - they made walking more comfortable but they didn't get rid of the problem.</p>

<p>I was also doing regular calf-stretches.</p>

<p>I read an article about a night splint that had cured someone's PF in a very short period of time. The article was in the rec.running newsgroup. I went to Home Depot and a few other places to get materials to build one and tried it out and it got rid of 95% of the problem after one night.</p>

<p>So what worked for me was:</p>

<ul>
<li>Night splint (to prevent reinjury)</li>
<li>Heavy duty cushioning and arch support to prevent damage during the day</li>
<li>Stretching to help prevent damage</li>
</ul>

<p>This was back in the 1990s. I'd say that the PF returns every couple of years but I can kill it with a few days of stretching or by wearing the night splint for one night. I also wear the aftermarket insoles for working out. I used to always wear them (even in regular street shoes), but I don't need to do that anymore after losing 50 pounds.</p>

<p>These are the insoles that I use. They are pricey but worth the pain prevention in the heal and knee.</p>

<p>New</a> Balance Ultra Arch Insole | Men's - Light Blue/Black - FREE SHIPPING at OnlineShoes.com</p>

<p>idad recommends Superfeet which I believe are comparable.</p>

<p>Ouch- had it a long time ago. Physician. It took forever.</p>

<p>Wow..thank you all for the quick responses.</p>

<p>Yes, I have orthotics and have been in using them in certain shoes for several years... before the problem began. I did break a toe in October which was painful and changed my gait for several months. I wonder if this was the precipitating factor for the PF. I also use the Superfeet in my athletic shoes, and gel insoles and heel cups.</p>

<p>At this point it is not debilitating but I am concerned about a cascading effect...knees...hips...back. I have been active all my life with a sustained gym/workout routine since I was 19 - I'm 52 now. I've never been a runner so I don't think it's an overuse issue in that fashion.</p>

<p>I'm going back to a physical therapist who is magical in identifying non-obvious problem spots which may be contributing to the symptoms. There are a few spots on the calve muscle of the affected side which are very painful when massaged. (kind of feels like I'm being touched with a blow torch)</p>

<p>My precipitating factor was a broken middle toe- the one that the cut tendon from swimming lessons in the lake at age 6 was never repaired (broken glass). A distance runner in great shape had it, a lady I knew...all of us either physicians or spouse of one so we didn't lack for medical info. Wish there were easy, quick cures.</p>

<p>I pronate on my right foot so i use a Superfeet on one foot and Pinnacle Maxx on my pronating side. Pinnacle</a> Maxx | Powerstep</p>

<p>A frozen water bottle can't conform to the shape of your foot. My podiatrist's advice: a bag of frozen peas (sounds odd, but it's common,) with elevation. Agree, finding shoes with the right support for your particular foot is key. In my case, switching to a same style of shoes I like, but with a stronger, rubbery sole helped.</p>

<p>Again, wow...you have all mentioned a number of products I have never heard of. Being of an engineering type mind/nature...I've started a spreadsheet with all the info and URL's and will follow-up on each one. I feel more hopeful than I did an hour ago!</p>

<p>Good supportive shoes. And do not cook or work in the kitchen barefoot. Wear those good shoes (I wore good athletic shoes) whenever you are on your feet working in the house. It made a huge difference. I also inserted support products into all of my shoes during that time.</p>

<p>Yes - NEVER go barefoot! (But, do try the soft-footbed birkenstocks...;)</p>

<p>The first rule of plantad fasciitis is NEVER go barefoot--not even to the bathroom at night!</p>

<p>That said, my plantar fascitis (as well as other tendon related ailments) has cleared up since I began taking medication for hypo thyroid.</p>

<p>One other thing that you could try is stretching the calf gently and slowly before getting out of bed in the morning.</p>

<p>When DH had a really bad case he used to keep an old belt hung over the bedpost. Before getting up in the AM he looped it over his foot and gently stretched the foot and leg by using it to pull his foot towards him while he straightened his leg. It helped make those first steps less painful. We alway did wonder what the cleaning lady thought, though. He also used inserts in his shoes, but not custom.</p>