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  1. #1
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    Unhappy Plantar Fasciitis & Foot Woes

    I'm a little discouraged. I have severe trouble with my feet - specifically my left foot. I was diagnosed with plantar fasciitis about 5 years ago. At that time, I went through the injections and the cast, then ended up having the surgery. All was fine until about 5 weeks ago. The pain came back - this time worse than before. Some days I can hardly walk at all the pain is so bad.

    I went back to the same podiatrist who started the injections again. I'm up to my third now. I've been in and out of the cast and been in (and quickly out because it hurt too much) the night time only cast. Each injection lasts about 2 days but I lose the first day because of the pain at the injection site (on the inside part of the center of my foot).

    I'm up to almost $300 out of pocket that insurance doesn't cover already and that's with 4 visits. I know probably only one more injection will be allowed and the cast is really not doing much either. The doctor keeps talking surgery again but we leave for WDW on November 26. There's no way I can get the time from work, have the surgery and be completely healed by then. The alternative, of course, is being completely miserable at WDW with all of the walking. The doctor said he'd write a script for a wheelchair but I just refuse to use one at WDW. I'm relatively healthy, young and just feel that there are a lot of people other than me who actually do need a wheelchair. I just wouldn't feel right.

    I'm thinking switch doctors but I don't want to end up starting all over again with a new doc who wants to do injections, cast, etc.

    Anyone else have plantar fasciitis or similar problems? If so, did your doctor have any other treatment options that may have worked better for you? I guess I'm starting to hit panic mode seeing the countdown to vacation. My feet hurt bad enough when they aren't giving me trouble with all of the walking at WDW. I'm just at a loss for what to do and, more importantly, what to do quickly.

    Thanks guys!
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  3. #2
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    A few years ago I had plantar fasciitis in my left foot, and some other pain in my right foot. That drove me crazy - both feet hurting at the same time. (The right foot seems to be my sciatica nerve, but I had a few cortisone shots before I realized it wasn't the suspected neuritis. Now I just stretch it regularly.)

    As far as the plantar fasciitis, it was cured by my podiatrist giving me special arch support pads that wrap around my feet. She suspected that lack of support in my shoes was the problem, and it worked. I also regularly do special stretches on both legs/feet. (I tried those special boots you wear at night to stretch them, but I couldn't stand them after a few days.) Occasionally the fasciitis acts up a little for a day, but it tends to go away with just the stretching exercises.

    Have you asked your podiatrist about arch support, or had them check your shoes?
    Gina a.k.a. cheshirecollector
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  4. #3
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    I completely understand your frustration! I have had both feet "done". I went to podatrist first and had a couple of shots, then I went to an orthopedic doctor who specializes in feet. He went with the podatrist diagonisis and kept going...once I finally convinced him to do surgery my foot was a mess, torn ligament, ruptured tendon...My left foot has never really recovered...

    I don't have contant pain, but much walking and you can forget it....this last WDW trip I had Disney crocs and my feet actually didn't hurt the whole time...

    So, my recommendation is to get a 2nd opinion and if you need, get the wheel chair...there is no need to be miserable...my parents had ECV's our last trip...however, they are not completely disabled just cannot walk long distances, occasionally I would switch places a ride a few minutes...I don't think it is any thinkg to be embaressed by!

    I hope you feel better!

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  5. #4
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    I have had problems with it too. My doctor never pushed surgery...she had me do streching exercises that helped a LOT. The only catch was doing them REGULARLY...If I didn't follow through it got bad again. I've been doing a LOT better and I was able to avoid surgery.

    It never hurts to try another doctor. They all have different methods.

    Oh yes...and arch supports in my shoes helped TREMENDOUSLY too. Fortunately for me it was primarily in my right foot. My left would just get sore because of the extra awkward dependancy I put on it.
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  6. #5
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    Please do not think I have lost my mind...
    Have you considered accupuncture?

    I was having problems with my feet and went to my Rheumatologist thinking it was arthritis. My doctor determined it was plantar fasciitis. He did not want to do the injections in my foot because he said something about fluid "pooling" in your feet anyway... if you inject cortisone it will not spread through the foot the way they would like it to.

    He sent me to an accupuncturist. I was extremely freaked out.... They work on opposite parts of the body... so imagine my surprise when he wanted to put needles in my head. I did it, and almost immediatly I had relief. He had me walk while the needles were still in my head... no pain. It took 3 treatments, but I have had no problems in 2 years.
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  7. #6
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    I'm so sorry you have to go through this. I was diagnosed with ankle tendonitis in both feet just prior to going to WDW on our honeymoon in 2000. My poor new dh had to push me around in a wheel chair when we went to AK. That park just about killed me. When I got back I could barely stand up, and they also diagnosed me with Plantar Faciitis. My doctor recommended the Good Feet arch supports, and I haven't had many issues since then. About a year ago I got diagnosed with arthritis in my toes. I'm 34 years old with the feet and ankles of a 60 year old. I know your pain. I haven't had surgery yet, but who knows what's going to happen when I get older.

    Get the wheel chair so that you can enjoy your trip. Yes, it can be frustrating, but what's going to be more frustrating, sitting in a wheel chair at WDW, or sitting at home?
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  8. #7
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    I was also going to recommend the Good Feet arch supports - I've never tried them but have heard good things. I have had problems with Plantar Fasciitis in the past but my doctor refused to do anything in the way of treatment and the medications that he would have tried weren't covered by my insurance so I ended up popping Ibuprofen constantly. Eventually, it did clear up without medical intervention. Exercise - stretching the tendons - does help as well but like the previous poster said - you have to keep up with them regularly.
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  9. #8
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    I am sorry to hear about the pain you are in. I went through it a few years ago and I know how much it hurts. I was working as a substitute teacher at that time and I was on my feet all day long. It got so bad I could hardly walk.
    My doctor told me that people who stand on hard surfaces all day long are prone to this kind of problem. After a few months of shots and exercises I finally had the surgery. I have been pain free since then.
    My doctor also suggested buying a good shoe with an arch support.
    I wish you the best of luck and don't worry about using a wheelchair. If you are in pain, then use it. Don't suffer on your vacation.
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  10. #9
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    Please do not think I have lost my mind...
    Have you considered accupuncture?
    Oops, I almost forgot. I see a chiropractor regularly too. My feet are one of the things she adjusts. However, this was going on for years before the plantar fasciitis, so I don't know whether or not it would have been worse without the adjustments.
    Gina a.k.a. cheshirecollector
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  11. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by cheshirecollector View Post
    Oops, I almost forgot. I see a chiropractor regularly too. My feet are one of the things she adjusts. However, this was going on for years before the plantar fasciitis, so I don't know whether or not it would have been worse without the adjustments.
    My brother has always gone to chiropractors for adjustments. One day, after an adjustment, he was losing feeling in his arms. We brought him to the emergency room afer a couple of days of more numbness and increased pain and found that he had a bulging disc that was cutting off the spinal fluid to his brain... he had to have emergency surgery.
    Now, chiropractors scare me to death. We will never know for sure if that caused the problem or if the problem was there and was made worse that day. Every doctor has a different oppinion.

    When you have your feet adjusted, does it feel better, or hurt more?
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  12. #11
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    I too go to a chiropractor with all the issues I have had, my arches fall very easily. The chiropractor will pop them back into place.

    It really hurts when he pops them, but I can really tell a difference afterwards. My chiropractor uses and actuator and does not literally pop me...he uses a small tool to "pop" me back. I have done both types of chiropractor and feel like this type is more beneficial to me.
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  13. #12
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    Has your Dr talked about a new procedure that uses some kind of shock wave therapy for plantar fascitis? I almost got to the point for this new procedure, but I went to physical therapy for a while and faithfully do my exercises and I have very few problems.

    I would ask about the new therapy...no cutting involved. Maybe a couple of days of taking it easy, but a much shorter recovery time. You could probably look it up on the web.

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  14. #13
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    My brother has always gone to chiropractors for adjustments. One day, after an adjustment, he was losing feeling in his arms. We brought him to the emergency room afer a couple of days of more numbness and increased pain and found that he had a bulging disc that was cutting off the spinal fluid to his brain... he had to have emergency surgery.
    Now, chiropractors scare me to death. We will never know for sure if that caused the problem or if the problem was there and was made worse that day. Every doctor has a different oppinion.

    When you have your feet adjusted, does it feel better, or hurt more?
    Chiropractic adjustments aren't supposed to hurt. If you feel pain, numbness, or anything different after or during an adjustment, it's something that needs to be mentioned to the chiropractor right away, as you would with any type of medical procedure or medicine. Like those warnings on medication: If you experience side effects, tell your doctor immediately. Feeling something different isn't always a bad thing, but the chiropractor needs to know so they can do something if it is a problem. Losing feeling in your arms is a sign of a problem; adjustments are supposed to improve circulation, so lack of feeling means something is wrong.

    I have a lot of my body adjusted (neck, back, feet, hands). I either feel better after an adjustment, or sort of "worn out" or "drained" if I was out of alignment a lot. It only hurts if I already have sore muscles; the muscles just hurt a little more sometimes because they have to be moved during the adjustment.
    Gina a.k.a. cheshirecollector
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  15. #14
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    Thanks for the replies everyone. It's interesting to see how many other people have plantar fasciitis. Bad that so many people have to experience it, but good to know there are others who understand how debilitating it can be. I know people who don't understand and it's very frustrating trying to tell them it's not just a "foot ache" that a pill can take care of.

    I do the stretching as much as I can, especially after sitting for a while. It is hard at work though when I sit for an hour, then the boss calls me to a meeting, to go make a copy, etc. - can't always stretch out before getting up. I take Tramadol for something else and when it gets unbearable, I take it for my foot. Not great to self medicate I know, but sometimes you just gotta do what you gotta do...you know?

    I have considered accupuncture but it's just too cost-prohibitive right now. A friend who knows a practitioner told me it's about $75 a session and could take many sessions to straighten out. My insurance won't cover any of that.

    I'm definitely going to check into the Good Feet supports. I've heard of them, but had no first hand recommendations before now. The shock wave therapy sounds interesting too. I go to the podiatrist Wednesday and will definitely mention this as well.

    Thanks again for the answers and support! As far as our upcoming trip, I guess the best way to look at it is "a bad day at Disney beats a good day at work!"
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  16. #15
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    I too have plantar fasciitis
    Here is the list of things I have tried/done
    cortisone shots ( you can only have so many in a lifetime in one area)
    una boots
    night splints
    physical therapy
    ultra sound
    massage
    anti inflammatory medication
    taping my feet (binding)
    I had the shock wave therapy someone else mentioned. I live near Boston and the Doctor who "invented it" works out of Mass General.

    I was able to get tufts to cover me even though it was "experimental" because I had tried every other remedy known.

    It worked for about a year then it came back

    I stretch my feet and ice them also.

    One thing that has helped a lot is having my foot taped. I can sort of do it my self now.
    You tape your foot from the arch around your heel ( to me it looks like the breast cancer ribbon)
    The reason most people have plantar fasciitis is because of flat feet/fallen arches.

    Instead of paying the price of Good feet arches try going to Eastern mountain sports and getting the arch supports there. They cost about 30.00 and are about the same as the good feet ones but cheaper. My podiatrist told me to try those.
    Good luck and don't hesitate to use the wheel chair if you need it.
    My feet still hurt but I don't want surgery yet.
    Another great stretch is standing on a step and letting your heel "fall" off the step.
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  17. #16
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    in my experience, therapy is the way to go here- whether professionally with a physical therapist or at home with the stretching you're doing. long courses of anti-inflammatories like motrin, if your stomach can handle it, are better off than just pain relievers like tylenol or tramadol.

    one trick a podiatrist friend taught me was to freeze a bottle of water, then put it on the floor and roll your foot back and forth over it. it stretches and ices your foot at the same time- pretty cool! (no pun intended!)
    Last edited by wedway fan; 09-09-2007 at 10:03 PM. Reason: spelling
    john

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  18. #17
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    I was a victim of this as well! 4 years ago I went through ridiculous pain, had the weekly injections, got some show inserts and then had to wear that crazy Frankenstein cast to wear at night. After about 7 months I was all normal, and knock on wood, never had problems since.

    I say you need another opinion!
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  19. #18
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    About a year ago I started having pain in both my heals. Initially I though I had stepped on a stone or something and bruised my heals. My right heal got better, but the left one did not. I finally went to the doctor and he said I had plantar fasciitis and arthritis in my toes. I take Aleve for it and do try to do the stretches, but I finally heard about crocs. Since I am planing on spending 10 days at WDW in December, I thought I would give them a try. I bought the disney crocs and boy do they make my feet feel better. We just got wood floors put in and it is VERY difficult to walk on them or up and down the stairs without having pain, so now before I go downstairs I put on my crocs and they make a huge difference. Crocs have a special shoe just for PF called Relief, I believe, and I am probably going to try them to see if they are even better. I like the idea of freezing bottled water and using that on your feet. Anyway, I hope you feel better soon and I'm with everyone else, use the wheelchair if you need to and spare your feet. I know nothing is going to stop me from having a great WDW vacation, even if I have to use a wheelchair occassionally. Like you, I would rather not have to, but sometimes you gotta do what ya gotta do. I wish you all the best and please let us hear how your trip went. I'll be leaving December 8th and hope to hear how you did before I go. Take care.
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  20. #19
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    I work at a physical therapy facility (administrative side, not in the therapy side), but I see a lot of people with this diagnosis. We work hand in hand with sports medicine doctor's in the same building as us. Usually when they send people to us with your diagnosis, it is for therapy, but more often for custom orthotics, or shoe inserts.

    I actually work with insurance, so I can give you some insight on how it might be covered. If you want to look into custom orthotics you will need a prescription from a doctor and you can go to a facility that makes them. They will fit your foot exactly right to alleviate the pain. We do make them in our office. It would be considered Durable Medical Equipment to your insurance and would be covered under those benefits. I see mostly 80%coverage of DME on most insurance plans. Orthotics like that can range in price a lot depending on if you go to an in or out of network facility that provides this service.

    Also, therapy might be an option for you. You might be able to have an initial evaluation and an order of home exercises would be less expensive than an round of physical therapy. If you doctor wants to try physical therapy, you can often times go to an office setting type facility. Your benefits can drastically vary for PT, and it can add up, so make sure you know what your limitations are and what your insurance will pay, but most insurance plans do cover at least some PT.

    Hope this is helpful. I am not a PT, only work in a PT facility, but I at least have some knowledge I can pass on.
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  21. #20
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    Default What are the best sneakers??

    Well, I had my appointment this morning where I was told to wear the cast 2 more weeks and I got another injection (yuck!). The good thing (I guess) is that I've reached my max for the injections so no more of them...for now anyway.

    I was in NYC over the weekend for a tester of what extended walking will do for me. It hurt, but not as bad as in the past. My BIG test will be in a couple weeks when we head to the Bloomsburg Fair. Anyone familiar with this fair in central PA knows exactly how many miles you walk in a day there. That should give me some indication on how well I will hold up at WDW.

    I do need to buy new sneakers for WDW and figure I will break them in at the fair. Anyone have suggestions on what sneakers are the best for those of us with bad feet? I've been wearing New Balance for years and they are OK. I guess I'm wondering if there is something better on the market. I did buy some Skechers - the ones kind of like the Crocs but cut more narrow - my feet are only like 2 1/2 inches wide and they are very comfortable, especially with arch supports inserted. Anyone tried Skechers sneakers? I'm prepared to spend the money for a good pair - there are just so many on the market, DH's head will explode if I take hours to pick a pair of sneakers .
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