formerly Diane's Addled Ramblings... the ramblings are still addled, just like before, and the URL is still the same...
it's just the title at the top of the page that's new

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Damned Fascists...

Today's post is to ask for advice from anyone who might have a clue... 'cause I got nothin'...

I've developed this rather painful condition I've dubbed 'Mussolini Heel'. It's actually known as plantar fasciitis and it Hurts. Like. Hell.

Now, I've suffered from chronic joint pain for several years and though it can get pretty bad at times, I mostly just ignore it. It is what it is... it'll be there forever and I've learned to manage it. It's sort of like when Ryan's been talking for 3 hours straight... I just tune it out and it doesn't even bother me anymore.

But this heel pain is different.

Sometimes it actually brings tears to my eyes. I'm walking like I'm 92. I feel it even when I'm sitting and the pain has taken to radiating up my shin, so that I can't find a comfortable position.

What's that you asked? What does my doc say? Well... ummm... I haven't been yet. I know what it is. I've read everything there is about it and it seems there is little that can be done for it. Plus, I hate doctors. With a passion. Well, OK, I don't hate doctors per se (some doctors are lovely... Maithri)... I just hate going to the doctor. I blame it on Dr. Cook, my pediatrician... 400lbs of toothpick-chewing, gravelly-voiced fear personified. Anyway, I pretty much only go if I feel like I'm dying and I'm reasonably sure I'm not going to die from Mussolini Heel.

But I was wondering if anyone else out there has dealt with this annoying condition and has any advice to offer up regarding alleviating the pain...? I've tried the inserts for my shoes... no change. I looked at the thingy that will keep my foot in the right position when I sleep, but before I spend $30 on it, I wanted to know if anyone else has tried it. Anti-inflammatories (though I hate taking any sort of pills and will avoid it at all costs)? Massage? Anything? Anything at all?

27 comments:

Lisa said...

there seem to be so many people with this condition of late- its amazing.
the spiritual side of me tells me it shas something to do with the change in earth energies but i wont go there right now......lol............
i have heard that massage, although painful, does give some releif but that often one massage is not enough, you will need a series of foot massages.
we have an over the counter medication her called neurofen plus which combines ibprofen and codiene - this is said to give great relief as it is an anti inflammatory as well- do you have anything like that over there ?
also, just a thought, stop wearing any new shoes you may have bought- sometimes a new pari fo shoes can be enough to agrivate it.

its all i have my love- hot salt water will help too
Lisa xx

Annie K said...

Take 2 martinis and call me in the morning.

mo.stoneskin said...

I'm afraid I don't have anything helpful to offer, though I hope it clears up for you.

I've read that Mussolini's biggest mistake was to enter WW2. If you could only find a war to stick your heel in...

Michelle said...

How about some PT??? Learn how to stretch it properly and perhaps get an xray? I know you do not like doctors but dear Diane I want you to be able to walk and run with me someday!!!!

Please take care of it girlie!!!

Michelle said...

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/plantar-fasciitis/DS00508/DSECTION=treatments%2Dand%2Ddrugs

Just some thoughts!!!

A Woman Of No Importance said...

Diane, Mussolini's heel sounds just the right name for this condition - very painful!

I know you will have looked at this already http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plantar_fasciitis

A friend of mine swears by heel splints to help her ensuing heel spurs - not sure whether that is part of your condition already...

This kind of pain pervades your whole being, so support to deal with all it brings is imperative, or else it will affect everything we do... I am thinking of you, you poor baby. xox

We are all cracking under the strain, non - Give us 3 shillings and sixpence and I'll have us both put down! x

Terri said...

Acupuncture.

Candace Jean July 16 said...

Had it for 2 years about 8 years ago and I finally got cured. Get a good podiatrist - no other doctor. Probably some orthotics for your shoes. Dansko shoes worked great for me, as well as good supportive tennis shoes. Had one series of ultrasound with iontophoresis treatments and lots of stretching, ice massage after walking, etc. I wore my shoes with orthotics ALWAYS - even when getting out of bed in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom. DON'T GO BAREFOOT EVER!! There are night splints available if it gets real bad. I'll think of some other tips, but since I've been taking good care of them I haven't had a bit of trouble. Email me if you want.

blueviolet said...

OMG!!!! Diane, my hubby has the very same problem! I'm not kidding. He just had it checked out last week after years and years of pain. He walks like he's 97 too. Anyhow, they said it's bone spurs. He's going to go twice a week for physical therapy to work on some stretching exercises. I guess the spurs are pushing on the tendon and that's the pain he feels.

He is also wearing this ginormous boot thing to bed at night and it stretches it. He can only wear it a little while at a time right now because it hurts BUT his foot actually does feel better already from using it.

They also prescribed him an anti-inflammatory medication and they told him to wear a particular brand of heel insert in his shoes. They sell it at Target but were out so I'm not sure what the brand is yet.

Good luck! If it's what my guy has, I know it hurts.

Mama Wheaton said...

i had this for a little while and the therapist had me rolling my foot on a tennis ball or baseball, applying as much pressure as I could tolerate. It worked after about 3 weeks.No pain since.

hautepocket said...

That sounds like a huge pain in the butt...er, heel. GO TO THE DOCTOR.

blognut said...

I was going to say the same thing as Mama Wheaton. My husband gets this and that's what they tell him to do to stretch it out. The key is that you do it FIRST THING before you get up in the morning, and when you've been sitting for a long time. Keep a rolling pin or a tennis ball by your bed and do it before you ever walk on that heel. The other thing they tell him to do is to ice it with a bag of frozen corn or peas because it molds to the shape of your foot and works better than an ice pack.

Feel better - I hate it when you're hurting! xo

Red Cup Mom said...

Could you make an appt to see a Podiatrist instead??? Even pay to see one? Sounds really painful... I am sorry to hear it. I hope it goes away and is not a regular fixture.

C Woods said...

I suffered from this, too. Go to a podiatrist. (Your PCP can refer you, if necessary ---but I had to complain to mine for months before I got the referral ---so be aggressive and explain how much the severe pain controls your life.)

Get custom-made orthotics. When I got my first pr, health coverage paid for them, but last year I needed new ones and I had to pay $300. My first ones were hard plastic and went from the back of my foot to the ball of my foot, but eventually they caused a spur at the ball of my foot. Now I wear softer ones that fill the whole shoe. But Foot Smart will make custom ones for you for $120 (which I found out after paying $300.)

Forget wearing sexy shoes. I now wear sneakers nearly all the time, but I have a few "dressier" shoes I can get away with if not wearing them for long. And, of course, try shoes on with orthotics. Meanwhile, until you get your orthotics, my Dr. told me to wear something with a little bit of a heel, maybe 1.5 inches. Once I had orthotics, I found that tie-up shoes held my arch best and, of course, could be tightened or loosened (to make room for the inserts.). You may need to buy wider shoes to accommodate orthotics.

Find a pair of shower shoes that have an arch support ---and wear them in the shower. Try not to go barefoot even walking only a few feet. If nothing else, an old pr of Crocs or cheap Croc clones will do for the shower.

Throw out soft shoes like slippers. They are comfortable, but useless.

It also helps if you can get a brace that holds your foot at a 90 degree angle from your leg at night. Some night splints cannot be worn when walking. I am of an age that I must get up during the night, so I made sure to buy one that I can walk in so I don't have to take it off and replace it in the middle of the night.

Your pain seems so severe ---I wouldn't accept just physical therapy, but it will help. One exercise you can do, is stand on a step (facing up) on the ball of your foot and try to lower your heel slightly below the level of the step. Hold it for a few seconds, then relax. Increase the time you hold it gradually. Roll your foot on a tennis ball ---keep one at your desk at work and do it for a few minutes before getting up, if you can.

Arch supports may help ---an elastic band you can place around your instep and under the arch.

I just checked and 3/4 or full-length orthotics are on sale for $99 at Foot Smart:
http://www.footsmart.com/SearchReturns.aspx?searchterm=orthotics

Blu said...

Sorry to read about your pain. Best of luck. I am shy of doctors too.

Henry the Dog's Mum said...

Looks like you got some really good advice already. Like you, I rarely go to the Doctors, but I'm quite happy to pop pills, I refuse to be in pain. I was going to suggest acupuncture. I'm quite 'pro' alternative medicines. I wouldn't be able to put up with it the way you're doing. I'd be a right wuss. You're brave xxx

Rachel Cotterill said...

People with far more experience than me have given you loads of tips already - the only thing I'd add is that, if you don't want to be taking loads of tablets, you can buy topical ibuprofen gel and apply it straight to your foot. Good luck, hope you get it fixed.

Lee said...

No suggestions. As much sympathy as you want, though.

Pauline said...

Been suffering for over a year with plantar fasciitis. It's like walking on a tennis ball full of nails. I've had two shots of cortisone and that has been the most effective. I do the stretching, roll the tennis ball, pick up marbles with my toes, and wear an insert made by Lynco (http://www.jimmytheshoedoctor.com/). I also invested in several pairs of Crocs RX from Footsmart - the heel is spongy and gives enormous relief when walking. I use them instead of bedroom slippers and have even walked for miles in them when I couldn't bear any other shoe on my foot. I tried the seeping boot but using it gave me terrific leg cramps so I stopped. No point adding insult to injury. I've been advised never to go barefoot outside because steeping on something hard may reactivate the condition though the podiatrist told me going barefoot on sand is ok. There are some VERY expensive shoes made with barefoot technology (http://www.swissmasaius.com/Default.aspx?lang=en-US). When I win the lottery I'll give them a try...

sherri said...

My sister has this condition and goes to a Podiatrist. SHe has had shots in her feet, and custom orthotics made and does stretching exercises each morning and takes anti-inflammatory
drugs when it acts up. There is also a surgery to correct it, but of course that would be a last resort.

Looks like you have been given some good advice from other sufferes.

*Big Al has foot problems, and oddly enough, when he started drinking MONAVEI, a drink made with tons of fruit including the acai berry, his foot pain stopped!

He thought maybe it was a coincidence, but he stopped drinking it, pain returned. STarted drinking it again, pain left.

It's about $30 per bottle though (about the size of a bottle of wine) but you only drink an ounce or two per day. He was drinking it for overall health and stomach problems and this was a surprising benefit for him.

I hope something works- I hate it when someone I love is in pain.

Prayers for you going up this morning!

Missy said...

My son has this and it is terrible, especially for a ten year-old. The only relief he gets is to stand on the edge of something, curb, hearth, etc., on his toes and lifts himself up and down, with the heel hanging over! Does that make sense? If he does this daily, it stretches out these muscles and he doesn't have the pain as often. We have tried insoles, etc. and nothing but this has helped. We keep crutches for the days that are really bad.
Hope you get relief soon! Prayers for you!

Sometimes Sophia said...

plantis facitis... seems like you've got plenty of advice, though. Senor had it, and his doctor gave him some rigid foam inserts for his shoes. He moved the inserts between shoes and even used them in his slippers. No fancy shoes... orthotics might help, too. Hope you feel better soon. And stay away from prunes ;)

hebba said...

Yeah, you need to get back to the doctor to see if it is indeed, plantar fasciitis, or if its a bony spur. And get to physical therapy. The stretching, exercises, are only ONE part of what a physical therapist does. Its hard to give any kind of advice as to what will work and what won't over the internet. You really need somebody to get their eyes and hands on that foot of yours! Good luck!

Heather said...

Wow.. you've gotten a lot of advice already!! Which is good, seeing as I know NOTHING about foot pain (except for the terrible, crippling cramps I get in mine when they're cold.)I hope you can get this managed pretty soon. I don't like doctors, either, but I definitely think this calls for a visit!

Mel said...

My mom's got that. I know under normal circumstances she's the last person you'd want to take advice from, but I'll find out from her what the doctor told her to do. I know she has to do exercises and wear very supportive shoes (not support shoes, just supportive. She buys Clarks.), but I don't know the details. Probably because I blocked out what she was saying. She tried to tell me that was what was wrong with me when I hurt my Achilles tendon, and after listening to her for a week about it, I finally had to say "Just because you have it, doesn't mean that I'm going to get the same thing! I pulled my Achilles Tendon!" And before you ask, yes, I really did say it like that. For once.

LMN said...

Oh darn it! I am so sorry to hear about the foot pain. That sounds horrible. First, go to the doctor. Ick, I know, but just do it. You never know - maybe he/she will give great advice. Second, the Danskos that I have seem to be working very well - the bone pain near my toes is almost alleviated, and I just got these last week - but they are pretty awesome. I don't know about heel pain, but the lady saleswoman said that these shoes are known to help alleviate foot AND join pain. Worth a try, i guess. Hope you figure it out! P.S. Pineapple and guava I think are natural anti-inflammatories.

Pam said...

I had it once after helping a friend move house and going up and down stairs carrying stuff that was just too heavy for me - my feet gave out and not my back. The podiatrist told me to stretch my feet before walking in the morning (the worst time for me, I walked like an old lady) and those exercises with the tennis ball, and standing on your toes on something ie a step, with your heel lower, up and down, as others have mentioned. No inserts, just comfortable shoes. I found lots of vitamin C helped for some reason. Good luck.