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Old 06-23-10, 09:39 AM  
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ebianco's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: USA
Unhappy Plantar Faciitis - Please help (sorry long)

Hi to my beloved VF forum,

Can you please please help me. I have had plantar faciitis for about three months (was officially diagnosed about 1.5 months ago from the podiatrist) and up until the last couple of days, the pain has been diminishing and some days doesn't hurt at all.

I am a jogger and love step aerobics and high intensity workouts but I have not been doing those at all. I have been biking outside and doing strength videos (all low intensity), and it doesn't seem to hurt my foot, but could even that exercise be hurting me? I also usually walk to the metro (subway) station from my house (about 0.8 miles each way) but have stopped doing that too.

I got $397 custom orthotics from the doctor but they hurt to wear. The dr told me to wear them gradually (I have, got them last week) but now they just hurt all the time when I wear them. I have been wearing comfy shoes (primiarly Privos) at work which is better than sneakers (still trying to look semi professional) but not the flats or low heels that I usually wear, but now even the Privos hurt my feet.

I tried the cheaper insoles from the drug store, a gel insert for the heel and a memory foam for the whole foot, neither have really helped (in fact the heel insert actually hurt it more).

I froze a bottle and have been icing my foot every day when I sit at my desk, I also use a prickly ball to massage my foot, and at home I use Yoga Toes in bed. They feel great but I don't know how much they're helping the PF. I also do calf stretches with the towel while I am at work. These seem to make my foot feel good at the time, but not really help the pain go away. I bought the Strassburg sock and have tried using it (for maybe a 30 minute stretch each) but it gives me shooting pains! There's no way I can sleep in this unless I am not using it properly?

The doctor did x-rays 6 weeks ago and determined I do not have any heel spurs (the PF is in the left foot) but now I am worried maybe I have developed one. Can one develop after three months of PF? I have not been ignoring the pain, I think I have been doing what I can to walk around it.

During my doctor appointment six weeks ago I did get a cortisone injection but I didn't really feel it helped that much in particular.

I have a doctor appointment tomorrow with the same podiatrist, I am hoping he will repeat an x-ray on me to check for a heel spur that may have developed in the past 6 weeks and I am so worried I might have that problem. I'm so upset because I'm scared, will I ever be able to jog again? Will the PF ever GO AWAY? If you any advice to give me, or anything to try that I haven't already, please let me know. Thank you so much for any help you can provide.

"Feel strong and beautiful. Be a Tonique woman." -Sylwia
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Old 06-23-10, 09:47 AM  
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Join Date: Dec 2001

I think calf stretching is important -- I find down dog is superb for the calves. I was diagnosed with heel spurs in both feet. I did lower impact for about 1 yr -- actually I lost weight in that time frame. My feet are much much better now. I have occasional heel pain when I get up in the morning... probably only lasted about 5 sec. So there's hope.

Here's one thread on PF:

You might find more if you do a search
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Old 06-23-10, 09:50 AM  
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Chicago Suburbs in Illinois
I've had PF a few different times in my life so I understand your pain and your frustration. The only thing that has truly helped have been the orthotics. I don't love them but they shouldn't be hurting you. If they're hurting you, you should go back to your doctor so he can adjust them. What I've done to get rid of the PF is to wear the orthotics until the condition goes away and I did limit my high impact activity. Eventually the PF went away. THe dr. recommends I always wear the orthotics but I don't. I would continue with the icing, stretching, etc. but definately see your doctor about the orthotics hurting you because they are probably your ticket to feeling better. Good luck to you!
Sherri in Illinois
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Old 06-23-10, 10:00 AM  
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Ohio
Another (cheap) thing to try is an arch support bandage - I found mine for less than $10 at Walgreens. Hanes also sells arch support socks. Might not help, but worth trying for the price.

I only wear my orthotics when I work out. I am back to doing step and everything else, thankfully, but it was a long six months.

I consider myself cured from my bout of PF, but I still do not go around barefoot and must wear New Balance shoes whenever I can (I find they have good arch support).

Good luck.
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Old 06-23-10, 10:09 AM  
sophie kat
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Pennsylvania
oh emily, i'm sorry you're going through this. i have felt your pain. i've had PF in both feet, luckily not at the same time. at least you don't have a heel spur.

it sounds like you're doing everything you can to help the pain. it's going to take time to heal. in both my case it took MONTHS for the pain and inflammation to go away. my left foot took over 4 months to heal. i didn't get any inserts or different shoes. what i did was stretching and more stretching. seriously. i never iced as much as i should have, so it's good that you're icing your foot. i stretched my foot many times a day, and every time i did, the pain gradually diminished.

here are a few links i found very helpful in diagnosing and treating my PF. article explains PF symptoms, causes, and treatment stretches are absolutely essential do at least twice a day


ETA: my PF has been gone for a while, and i have no problems with being barefoot almost all the time. i even workout barefoot now. i still stretch my calves regularly.

here's another really good stretch for PF.
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Old 06-23-10, 10:10 AM  
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: TX
I had it really bad and got it when I was doing high impact workouts when I was around 200lbs. This started in 2007. I tried everything and nothing really helped except for a gadget called iSqueeze from Brookstone that would massage my feet. Also I had to buy Crocs and wear them or New Balance shoes. Then I got pregnant in 2008 and became quite sedentary and it diminished quite a bit. I bought some Shape Ups from Sketchers around xmas last year and now I am around 99% pain free and can do high intensity workouts with no issues. (for the first time in 3 years I can workout again!!!)

I hope it gets better for you but I would suggest not doing any more high impact stuff I did low impact and did all my weight work seated when I had it really bad.
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Old 06-23-10, 10:14 AM  
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: TX
oh and yeah stretching is good. Also, don't walk around barefoot! I am still so paranoid about it even though I can now but I don't
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Old 06-23-10, 10:45 AM  
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: MI
I have had PF also since last August, I went to a sports medicine doctor and he said stretching, stretching and more stretching. Also, he said if it didn't improve that I should get a "boot" to wear at night to keep my foot straight. I didn't want something that big to wear at night so I slept in a light running shoe and that did help alot, also I found an insole to wear designed for plantar faciitis at Meijer (grocery store) for $9.95 and it does too.

Runner's World has alot of good exercises and I've been doing them and they have loosened my foot so I am able to run again, I hope the link below works.,00.html

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Old 06-23-10, 11:01 AM  
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Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Minnesota
My experience -

I wore custom orthotics in New Balance tennis shoes (the kind my podiatrist recommended) EVERY SINGLE DAY FOR EVERY MINUTE OF THE DAY (except when sleeping and showering) for at least three months (I can't remember exactly how long it was). Yes, I wore tennis shoes with dresses, dress pants, etc. I had no choice. It completely sucked and was embarrassing but it had to be done.

I did no impact exercise at all during those three months. I rode bike outside for cardio and did weight training - doing as little as possible standing - and also did yoga (mostly floorwork but I did start doing some standing floorwork in bare feet toward the end of my healing period).

I wore a "boot" at night - every night. Yes, it was uncomfortable and hot and itchy and ocasionally caused pains, but again, it had to be done. It wasn't horrible, just pretty annoying.

I stretched my foot per the podiatrist's instructions several times a day religiously.

I iced my foot at least 3x/day religiously.

Yeah, it was no fun, but my PF very rarely bothers me anymore. I still wear orthotics when I work out or walk long distances (and I try to never walk a lot as walking will aggravate my PF more than anything), and I generally wear "good" shoes like Danskos, Birkenstocks, etc., but I can now wear flip flops, high heels, etc. as long as I don't wear those types of shoes every day. I often go barefoot.

Your orthotics shouldn't hurt, nor should whatever you wear at night. I'd talk to your podiatrist again and be persistent.

Good luck! It WILL go away; you just need patience.
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Old 06-23-10, 11:32 AM  
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Southeastern PA
Stretch , stretch, stretch your calves, and then stretch them some more. Avoid high impact until the pain is gone. Ice is good (I used to freeze a can of Slim Fast, then roll my foot on it).

Unfortunately, PF is often VERY slow to go away, but it can definitely heal.

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foot pain, orthotics, plantar fasciitis

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