Thursday, October 25, 2012

Heel Pain Update

Well I managed to get in to the specialist *today* rather than next week! He did x-rays of my feet and said the only issue aside from plantar fasciitis is bone spurs on my heels, which are a result of the plantar fasciitis. On the x-rays, the heels spurs look like thorns on the bottom of my heel bones, pointing towards my toes. Ouch! That and the inflammation on the plantar fascia cause the pain I've been experiencing for months.

So, he wants me to continue the stretches and icing I've been doing, put my Superfeet insoles into my Brooks shoes, and take steroids for a week to help the healing begin. He did offer me steroid SHOTS in my heels instead, but just the thought of that sent shivers up my spine so I declined for now. I start the steroids tomorrow; they're supposed to make me irritable and make me feel an adrenaline rush that makes me want to get things done. Ought to be interesting. I gained weight last time I was on steroids...

He also gave me a referral for physical therapy including an assessment and possible ASTYM treatment. That will have to wait until I get back from my trip; they need to process the referral.

I am very relieved and have new hope for relief of this pain. It's been draining and frustrating and I am ready to be rid of it.

I'm packing tonight for our trip and looking forward to a little down time over the weekend. I'll be eating the same way I ate on my last trip: little cooler full of yogurt, veggies, cheese sticks, shakes, and protein bars. My other meals at the hotelbreakfast buffet and restaurants will stay low carb too. I pretty much expect to maintain on my trip and just hope the steroids don't mess with me too much.


Anonymous said...

I'm glad to hear your doctor visit went well! Cortisone shots are not that bad if you need to go that route; it only hurts for a moment.

Remember that weight gain is NOT inevitable when taking oral corticosteroids, despite what some may say. If you continue to control your calories as you have been you should at least be able to maintain while taking them.

Have a great trip!


Heather's House said...

I've been suffering with PF for well over a year now. I've tried all the exercises, physiotherapy, ice, $700 orthotics and massage. Nothing has worked. I too have the heel spurs along with PF. I have it in my left foot. About 15 years ago, I had it in my right. I had 3 injections of Cortisone. It worked after the 3rd one. I don't want to go that route this time. I had Shockwave Therapy today. The first of five treatments. I'm hoping that this is what finally helps.

Good luck to you. I totally understand how frustrating it can be to suffer foot pain. It makes life miserable.

MargieAnne said...

I'm glad you have some experience of taking steroids for pain. I do hope you get the relief you need.

The very idea of steroids sacares me but I do know that they can be very helpful and sometimes the only solution.


Mir Writes said...

Girl, ya should have gone for the shots. The pain is brief. Systemic steroids will make you gain (temporarily), but if the problem is in the feet, why get it in your whole system?

I had the shots. Great relief. Of course, you don't want to rely on shots (they will thin out the pads of the feet, which thin out with age anyway and that sucks).

Oh, well, hope you feel foot-fine soon. Keep doing those stretches and icing and stuff. I had to use boots and sneakers and orthotics for 2 years until my fasciitis cleared up well enough for normal shoes again, even heels on occasion. I don't even want to remember the horror of first putting weight on my feet in the AM when it was its height of inflammation. Oh man. Awful.

Anonymous said...

just curious, what model Brooks shoes are you wearing?

I ask because I'm also dealing with plantar fasciitis right now and also wear brooks running shoes.

When the new Brooks GTS Adrenaline 12's came out, I purchased them since my 11's were getting worn out. Traditionally, you should be able to go up a model number with no significant changes to the shoe. Within 2 months, I got PF. So I followed all the usual advice and kept wearing my 12's around everywhere.

I noticed that the longer I wore the 12's, the more inflamed my feet felt at the end of the day compared to if I wore a different pair of supportive shoes. I switched back to wearing the 11's (which felt infinitely better right away, the 12's had changed the shoe structure somewhat so they felt sort of pinchy from the beginning even though they were the same size) and right away my PF began to improve. It's still there a bit, but it's definitely getting better wearing the model 11's (older year model) than the newer 12's.

So anyway, I guess moral of the story is: I blindly trusted Brooks to help my feet, but it appears there can be significant variation from shoe to shoe that effects ME differently. It sucks, because I wanted to just trust the 12's as being as good a shoe as the 11's. They both SEEMED supportive, but there's clearly something about the 12's that was making my feet worse.

Do you have another pair of supportive shoes to test out? I first noticed my issue when I wore my Dansko's and felt a lot better than when I was wearing my sneakers (the 12's).


p.s. sorry for the epic comment length, when I have PF, I get a bit obsessive about it, and I have nothing but sympathy for you.

Another Deb said...

My chiropractor told me that back in the day, if people thought they had a heel spur, they might actually take a hammer to their foot to "knock" it off. I also read about a cider-vinegar-in-your-shoe treatment. Stinky, I guess, but would it help?? I dunno. It's just kind of fun to me to look at what people used to do to find relief. It wasn't always shots and therapy... It's also a little comforting to me that this is nothing new.

Lyn said...


Thanks for that info! I have never had a pair of Brooks before, but these are Brooks Ariel. I also have a pair of New Balance shoes I alternate with. The things that feel best on my feet are actually Oofos sandals but it is too cold for them now! I hope your pf continues to get better. It sure is awful.

timothy said...

at least you have an answer and you can research ways to help holistically too! enjoy your trip and keep up th good work!

Taryl said...

New balance is a very good off the shelf bran, especially if you have your own orthotic inserts. I'd have probably opted for the pills, as having a needle in my foot sounds incredibly awful, but the side effects may be lower with direct administering of steroids than wide spectrum/oral dosing. Let us know how it goes.