plantar fascitis

  1. I have been diagnosed with plantar fascitis. I know that it is s inflammation of the connective tissue of the soles of the feet. My question: does anyone here have any suggestions on how to cope with the sx? My MD just said change shoes often, no hi heels (like I wear stilettos to work as a CNA) and no going barefoot. Second, is it common for this to be much worse on one side than the other? Rt siiiide, very mild- Lt side AAAGH!!!) If you know of any sites for information I would love to hear about it.


    Laura
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  2. 29 Comments

  3. by   KP RN
    My husband was a podiatrist. He would custom make orthotics which would help reduce strain. He would also do this elaborate taping job to the foot which could stay on for a couple days. Aspirin or the other non-steroidals would help too.
    One of the biggest ways to prevent this painful malady is to lose weight, if you're heavy.
    If you have heel spurs, surgery may be an option.
    Good luck!!
  4. by   emily_mom
    Someone had a thread about this not too long ago. It was something about being able to handle nursing w/ this. Maybe you could try a search.
  5. by   VivaLasViejas
    Oh, you poor thing, let me sympathize---I know the "agony of de feet" as well.....in fact, I'm just now getting my 2nd episode of plantar fasciitis under control, and it's been almost 6 months this time. I've had it once on each side now, and it's sooooooo painful, those first few steps out of bed each morning were sheer horror (that, and getting up after sitting for awhile). One of the best things I did for myself was wearing a brace at night that kept my foot in a flexed position. This prevents the foot from pointing downward, which in turn reduces pain by keeping the fascia stretched out. If you can tolerate Advil or Motrin, the NSAIDs help too, although I recommend you talk to your doctor about dosing since it takes fairly high amounts to control this kind of pain, and it may be weeks or months before the pain goes away entirely. I also concur with Karen in that you should make every effort to lose weight if you need to; obesity is the primary cause of this problem, and even modest weight loss will help (I was better after losing only 10#, and I'm VERY overweight).

    One more thing: always wear shoes with good support, and try extra cushioning in the area that hurts to relieve pressure. Good luck, and let us know how you're doing!
  6. by   RainbowSkye
    Here's a really helpful website. I've had plantar fasciitis for almost three years, and what's helped me the most is never ever going barefoot and wearing Birkenstocks.
    You will see that there are lots of treatments for this, and I think different things work for different people.
    Good luck. I know how painful this is.

    http://heelspurs.com/index.html
  7. by   kaycee
    I would ice my foot at night and you can roll the bottom of your foot over a soup can to stretch out the fascia. Motrin or Advil will help. The only thing that truely cured it was a pair of custom made orthodics prescribed by an ortho md or podiatrist. Haven't had a problem since then.
  8. by   plumrn
    I've had this before on one foot. Took a long time for it to heal. Air Nikes and Naprosyn were my best friends! The Naprosyn didn't work right away. If I took it before bed, it would have the inflammation down by morning and felt almost cured, until it wore off again. Luckily you can take Naprosyn every 12 hrs.
  9. by   LucieRN
    I had plantar fascitis and it got so painful i needed a cortisone injections in my heel...x2..It eventually resolved but you have to get very comfortable walking shoes that fit like heaven . You do have to buy new ones after 3 mos or so or until you notice you are uncomfortable walking again--and/or the shoes lose their shape..I had gotten inserts molded to my foot by a podiatrist but i chucked them.....Comfortable walking shoes that are not tight or binding were the best bet for me...Sometimes nsaids for pain and icing it can help,,, Good Luck!
  10. by   Anaclaire
    I can sympathize with you too!!!! I can remember actually being so unable to walk that I would CRAWL around the house!! Truly!! It is horribly painful and takes months to resolve.

    I found some good information on the internet too and along with a tip from one of my Mom's friends who suffered from it also, I was able to relieve myself from the pain. Here is what worked for me:

    1. Loose weight. On my 5'6" frame I had reached 190 lbs. When I found myself at 175-180 I realized the pain was gone. I believe during the time I was loosing weight (by diet control only because it hurt too much to walk for exercise) I was also implementing some other effective measures.

    2. Wear really good supportive shoes. I bought some New Balance in narrow width because my arches are on the high side. I wore them all day and only took them off to shower and sleep. The good support helps to keep the fascia from becoming overstretched which is the main reason for the problem. (I inadvertently overstretched mine by wearing "flat" shoes with no arch support.) If you want to wear something other than athletic shoes then the best recommendations I've seen are for shoes with a 1 inch heel, preferably lace up types.

    3. Rub the sole of your foot on an ice pack for 3-5 minutes before you go to sleep. This helps reduce the swelling and inflammation of the fascia.

    4. Stretch your feet before you step one foot out of bed in the morning. This one was a true lifesaver for me! When you wake up, flex your foot so your toes are pointing to your face and your legs are out straight on the bed. Hold this stretch for a full minute. After one minute of this, relax them for 30 seconds. Do this stretching and relaxing thing for 3 or 4 full repetitions BEFORE YOU STEP ON THE FLOOR. The reason this works is because it warms up and stretches the fascia so you won't re-injure it every morning. The phrase I remember from that web site said something to the effect of, "If you don't stretch before stepping on the foot in the morning you are simply re-injuring it and will be starting your healing process over from scratch each day." I found this to be incredibly true! I'd agree that ANY stretching exercises throughout the day would be beneficial as long as you don't overdo it.

    5. NSAIDs before bedtime and once in the daytime helped too. I'd take them for a few days when the pain was at it's worst.

    6. Try to rest your feet as much as you can reasonably do. Rest is a great way to heal many things and it applies to this too.

    7. I was considering orthotics but one day I was sharing my grief with my Mom who told me to call her friend Mildred who had the same problem and solved it. I called Mildred and she said her orthopedist and podiatrist each suggested she go to the store and buy "Dr. Shoel's(spelling?) Dyna-Step Insoles" and if those didn't work then they would suggest personalized orthotics as a next resort. She went to Walmart and bought some and noticed within one week that her pain was much better and nearly completely well within one month. I did the same thing. They cost about $12.00 and were a lifesaver for me. After a month I noticed an incredible difference too, but found I had to wear my athletic shoes with them in them for a good 6-8 months before I could wear any other shoes comfortably. I don't know what it is about the "Dyna-Steps" because I tried every other over-the-counter insole, heel cup, etc. I could find first!! The "Dyna-Steps" have a cut half-way down the center and I'm assuming that the cut allows for each person's foot to be "personalized" for their own needs. Needless to say, neither Mildred or I had to spend the $300-600 for professional orthotics, thank Goodness, but I KNOW if the "Dyna-Steps" hadn't worked I'd have been first in line for the professional ones!!

    Because of all this I did, I can happily say that I can wear any of my shoes now, but do so only on occasion because I'm more comfortable in my athletics and am afraid of re-injuring myself. I'd noticed that when I first got brave enough to wear my flats or high heels that I could only wear them for a few hours before my feet would begin to hurt again. I'd immediately take them off and wear my athletics with the Dyna-Steps for a few days and all would be well again. Today, I can wear athletic shoes without the Dyna-Steps but still find them the most comfortable.

    I sure hope you can glean something from all the wonderful people who share your pain and have posted to your question. We nurses truly are caring souls, aren't we?

    Wishing you a quick recovery!!

    Warmly,
    Anaclaire
    :kiss
    Last edit by Anaclaire on Jan 10, '03
  11. by   Anaclaire
    The website that Rainbow Skye mentioned above is the same one where I received the bulk of my information too! www.heelspurs.com!
  12. by   RN2B2005
    All of the websites above are great. My mother has bilateral plantar fasciitis, and has tried several different treatments. She has been evaluated for surgery but is self-employed and not able to afford the downtime required for surgery.

    What works best in her case is switching shoes during the day. It doesn't matter what she switches into--any pair will do. She wears one pair of low-heeled pumps all morning, then switches into a different pair of shoes--usually another, different pair of low-heeled pumps--for at least two hours before switching back to the original pair. The theory behind this is that even subtle differentiations in the contour of the foot bed helps keep the foot from being in the same position all day, which relieves pain. It seems to work. I think ideally you would go from your work shoes to another pair of shoes--like Birkenstocks, if they fit your foot--and then back again.

    Birkenstocks don't fit my mother's foot or her lifestyle, but she does wear Dansko Professional clogs and Modellista clogs on occasion. The Modellista clogs have Tempur-Pedic footbeds, that expensive conforming-foam stuff, and feel fabulous.

    My mother also has been fitted for orthotics, which unfortunately only seem to help some of the time. I also bought her a Homedics infrared heat plus massage doohickey for her feet, and some fuzzy vibrating (don't laugh) slippers, both of which relieve some of the pain some of the time. Plantar fasciitis is irritating that way.

    Finally, she takes Vicoprofen (ibuprofen + hydrocodone) and plain ibuprofen when she's in severe pain. Her plantar fasciitis is aggravated by several neurofibromas, diagnosed by MRI (my mother has neurofibromatosis), and sometimes only everything together will help her pain.

    Good luck.
  13. by   DIPLOMATICRN4HIRE
    I actually have meet more in the nursing or medical profession with this..... The majority that I know of have had a varied of treatments but most of the success stories were with the orthotics and anti inflams.
    I am so sorry you have this I have been fortunate not to have this but I have seen very strong people be reduced to tears in seconds. I do hope you get some relief soon
    Zoe
  14. by   passing thru
    Thanks for all the great tips. No one knows how bad it is til they have it !

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