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Plantar Fasciitis, anyone?

crazy4carrots Member Posts: 624

I've had PF on and off for several years, and prescription orthotics usually cleared it up.  But it's gotten steadily worse since I started Femara almost 3 years ago and orthotics (which I've been wearing religiously since last September) have done nothing to take the pain away.

Have any of you with PF found anything that relieves the pain?  I love walking and using the treadmill, but I'm reduced to using the bicycle and trying to figure out good weight-bearing exercises to counter-act osteopenia  (yikes, it goes on and on, doesn't it?).


  • voraciousreader
    voraciousreader Member Posts: 3,696

    Wow...I feel your pain.  How frustrating!  Even with the orthotics you can't find any comfort.  First off, have you spoken to your oncologist?  If the pain is getting that much worse, why not ask if you can switch to another AI or Tamoxifen?  That said.  Shoes.  Do you ALWAYS wear your orthotics?  That might be the problem as well.  It wasn't until recently that I found out that there were TWO TYPES of orthotics.  I went to some fancy schmancy shoe store on Lexington Avenue in Manhattan, that I had read about, and was told there were specific orthotics for exercise and ones for shoes.  Go figure.  My foot doctor NEVER told me there was a difference:

    Once you nail that issue down...on to shoes.  There are many orthotic shoes that cater to PF.  The brands that I wear are Mephisto, Waldlaufer, Wolky, Kumfs (Ziera), and my absolute favorite...Durea.  It took me 3 years to change all of the shoes in my closet.  But it was worth it.  I no longer have foot pain.  Most of the shoes are pricy.  But I do well at Nordstrom's Rack and Sierra Trading Post.  Occasionally I have to shell out the big bucks.  You have to really go through all the shoes in your closet and examine them carefully.  A single pair can be causing your inflammation.  Once you figure out which shoes are giving you a problem, TRASH THEM.  I had shoes in my closet that I LOVED looking at and HATED wearing because within a few hours of wearing them, I'd be in pain for several days.  It had gotten to a point that I just had to look at certain shoes and I was in pain! 

    Good luck!

  • sewingnut
    sewingnut Member Posts: 475

    I work for a podiatrist.  We get a lot of people that come in after a few years wearing their orthotics with hurting feet.  Usually the orthotics need only minor adjustments to help with the pain. Dr also advises people to buy new shoes if the athletic shoes you wear are more than a year old. What ever you do please be wary of those new "shape up" shoes. We have seen more people since those came out. Hope that helps alittle. 

  • crazy4carrots
    crazy4carrots Member Posts: 624

    Thanks for the good advice!  I had a feeling my orthotics needed to be replaced.  I've been wearing shoes by Ecco and Rieker, but will try the Mephisto brand.  Not sure if my favourite shoe store sells the other brands mentioned, but I'll write down the names and check them out.

    Strangely enough, when I fell a couple of months ago (on a patch of ice) and injured my hipbone, the pain in my feet went away!  When my hip pain finally went away, the foot pain returned!  Guess the old brain can only deal with one pain at a timeWink.

  • peggy_j
    peggy_j Member Posts: 89

    I know someone (w/o BC) who had PF and said this Step Stretch tool helped a lot. I don't even have PF and thought the stretch felt good.

    (BTW, I've read that our brain tends to focus on the largest source of pain, so you're probably right. ;)

  • 2hands4me
    2hands4me Member Posts: 39

    I ended up wearing a foot brace at night for over a year after my second round of PF. It works because it holds your foot in the flexed position so the tendon doesn't re-stretch every morning and cause the microscopic tears. My feet have no cushion on the bottom, and any shoe causes my foot bones to scrunch together. I now wear Crocs almost 100% of the time and have minimal discomfort and no return of PF. it works for me!

  • ktn
    ktn Member Posts: 10

    Hi! I am suffering through my second round of PF too. The first time was before BC and I have the inserts. It seems worse now because I'm on Arimidex. The stretch tool has great reviews so may try that! I'm also wondering where 2handsforme  got her foot brace?? There are some on the site listed above but the reviews are fair. Thanks!

  • mpoppinscf
    mpoppinscf Member Posts: 1

    I know someone who never had until she took tamoxifen. Night brace is helping some.

  • cp418
    cp418 Member Posts: 359

    I did the round with cortisone injections for PF.  I've found that a shoe with 'good' arch support really helps for walking.  Teva has some excellent walking shoes and I like the Nike Air Max sneaker (when I feel peppy and attempt to jog a little!). Surprised

    Best Teva prices are Sierra Trading Post site and compare to finds on EBAY.  Read reviews for best descriptions.

  • alirena
    alirena Member Posts: 4

    I've had PF for years.  The best things for me have been stretching *several* times a you see the runners do (lean forward with hands on the wall or tree, one foot forward, the other back), not reclining  (toes pointing away from body makes my PF worse), and pushing the front part of my feet back against the coffee table while watching TV so my toes are pointing back toward my body.  I also wear good athletic shoes with SOLE orthodics.  Doing all these things have kept me from having to wear the night braces.  All that said, my feet are stiffer and hurt/cramp more since on Tamoxifen.

  • BocaCiegaBabe
    BocaCiegaBabe Member Posts: 12

    I have wondered if Arimidex contributed to my developing PF. I was a runner for decades, and have walked 5 miles a day every day since quitting running. Never did I have any foot problems. 6 months after being on Arimidex I began to get it, and being hooked on exercise, continued my 5 miles/day until it became evident it was just getting worse and worse. I've got the same joint pain/stiffness so many people complain of and I am suspicious PF is just part of that syndrome.

    I tried laying off, but after 8 weeks of no walking, still no improvement. I had switched away from my Nike Air Max as they are expensive and the soles wear to the point you get air leaks. Well, I went back to them anyway as they have always worked as far as no foot pain.

    I NEVER go without a shoe on that foot, and that includes getting up at night to use the bathroom.

    I got some Dr. Scholls inserts for my Nikes and began to use a treadmill, slowly building up time. Now I'm back to walking outside, the full 5 miles and one of the things that I think has REALLY helped, is wearing FitFlops when I'm not out walking. The sole is built up just so for plenty of support, and is very cushioning. I'm giving them lots of credit as although I was beginning to get better, they sped up the process.

    I tried that night brace and couldn't sleep with it by the way. I'm a stomach sleeper and there was no way to do that with it on. So I was getting little sleep, getting progressively grumpy, and my foot still hurt. Time to quit! :)

    So give FitFlops a try if you can find a store that sells them. I knew as soon as I tried them on in the shop that they were going to be a real help. They can be ordered online, but I find their sizing a bit unusual, so it's best to try them before buying. I take a full size smaller than my normal shoe size.

  • apple
    apple Member Posts: 1,466

    o my gosh.. it is the worst pain ever.  I was a diver and at age 50 or so was coaching and diving and developed the worst case.  What really gets rid of it is full dosing of nsaids and ice ice ice.  I bought bags of frozen peas just for resting my foot it.. i actually would wrap the foot and the peas with a towel.. and read a book or practice.  stretching the foot upwards (stretching the calf) for a while in the AM helps too.

    it's best to aggressively  get the inflammation down.   a doctor can tell if it is something worse... a heel spur

  • ruthbru
    ruthbru Member Posts: 47,144

    I had a case of plantar fasciitis a couple years ago....youch! Here are some things that helped me (most, or all, have already been talked about here) but here goes:

    1. ice and elevate....the frozen peas are great!

    2. wear good supported shoes at all times, even when just hanging around the house is very important (this was the tip my PA friend gave me) going barefoot Frown

    3. For my exercise shoes, I went to Walmart and stood on one of those Dr, Sholls "Which level on insert do you need?' machines by the front door and bought the level the machine told me to get (price of about $50). They work great for tennis shoes and thick shoes....but for flats I bought some thinner inserts that would work in other shoes too. I never wear any shoes (except sandals) without inserts.  For sandals, I have bought some good (expensive) Merrill and Bjorn brands that have good padding and support built in.

    4., don't wear the same shoes every day, switch them up. Also as soon as you feel the support going, get rid of the shoe (same goes for the inserts).

    5. I kept exercising even though it hurt like heck. Everything I read about it seemed to say that it would hurt either way, that exercise wouldn't make it worse, and that what really 'cures' it is just time, time, time. I think it was about a year before my foot felt normal. I still do the inserts but don't have to run around the house fully shod anymore, and can even get away with an occasional wearing of flip flops (or thongs, as they were called in my day).

  • painterly
    painterly Member Posts: 266

    I got PF from treatment.....half way through rads I awoke in a stiff fetal position and had trouble unbending my legs, a very unusual se, it seems. After a few weeks of physio it improved. I was also recommended inserts which I bought.

    However a few months ago, a friend recommended the book "Pain Free" by Pete Egoscue, that I was able to find in the library and which I am currently reading and doing the recommended exercises. 

    A few notable comments mentioned were "that inserts for PF only temporarily silences the pain by shifting the pain to another location. But even after it moves the problem starts at square one and quietly builds." I wasn't too keen on reading that comment after buying inserts. The other comment that caught my eye was that going barefoot is actually good for us.

    The book has many exercises which I am doing and I am not wearing my inserts any more as they were giving me extreme hip pain and I am wearing flat shoes...It will be interesting to see how I feel in 3 months from now...but so far so good.

  • ppeople
    ppeople Member Posts: 13

    Hi, i had plantar fac for a long time.

    What finally helped me was doing yoga downward facing dogs morning and night, eventually loosened up.

    Good luck

  • christina1961
    christina1961 Member Posts: 450

    Powerstep insoles took care of my PC several years ago- before that I wore prescription orthotics, but have never had another pair made. I think the powersteps are about $30.. 

  • omaz
    omaz Member Posts: 4,218
    Thanks christina - I am going to try them!  did you use the full length or the shorter ones?
  • socallisa
    socallisa Member Posts: 10,184

    I have had it too many times...I use a brace til it passes and I yes wear it to bed..only of those big black velco ones for sprained ankles...but it works for me...

    I have to start wearing to bed the minute I feel the least litlle twinge of it..I also smear Voltaren Gel over the area...I did buy one of those little night braces at the drug store, the ones from Dr. Scholls or something, it works a little but not like the big hefty ones

  • jk629
    jk629 Member Posts: 1

    Thanks for the discussion, it was really very helpful to me.! :)

  • lrwells50
    lrwells50 Member Posts: 74

    FYI, my PF is due to being overweight and being born with flat feet, but I wear Powerstep insoles as well, and in my case, anything cushiony is a no-no. My feet feel better on a hard sole. I like Dansko, Sanitas, Finn Comfort, Alegria, Jambu, some Mephistos and Eccos, but have to wear orthotics with the last two.

  • reflect
    reflect Member Posts: 280

    I had PF a few years ago (before bc) and a switch to Dansco clogs completely eliminated the problem.

  • pokemom1959
    pokemom1959 Member Posts: 67

    When mine gets really bad and nothing seems to help, a cortisone injection does the trick. Before I resort to that, I take a full water bottle and freeze it - then put it on the ground and roll your arch around on it - back and forth putting some weight on it. Then I just let my foot rest on the frozen water bottle until it starts to thaw out. Easy to refreeze and reuse. That helps a lot most of the time. Good luck - I know how painful it can be

  • impix
    impix Member Posts: 1

    Hello in the same context i would like to add some thing for Plantar Fasciitis who are suffering bad moment for feet pain not to worry about i got the same problem of it but by best slippers for plantar fasciitis now i am better try to appear with it

  • jkl2017
    jkl2017 Member Posts: 279

    Just noticed the recent activity on this thread & wanted to add the best advice I've gotten for PF: never go barefoot! In the house I wear OOFOS recovery shoes. They're affordable & available on Amazon in several styles & colors, for both men & women. I don't wear them outside (not enough support) but they have made a tremendous difference in my foot pain since I started wearing them. (And everyone I know who has tried them loves them!)