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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov. 11, 2001
    Location
    Pennsylvania,Zone ll
    Posts
    2,159

    Default Plantar Faciitis

    This might not be the right forum for this as I do not feel it quite qualifies as a "disability".....it is more like a painful inconvenience!! I have had heel and foot pain for the last eight years. The last time I galloped a race horse was excrutiating.

    Now unfortunately at times mere walking is difficult....not all the time....but say I ride in the morning and put my horse away...come home for lunch with DH ....when I get up from the table I am suddenly a cripple!!! I have to hang onto the table and the counter to get around!!!! I should not quite say "suddenly"....so it hurt a little all morning, but it was doable. But later in the day....whew!!

    I have gotten great advice, thrown away all my old shoes...bought new Ariat square toed paddock boots and put an orthodic in that gives me arch support and heel cushion. I put an orthotic in my tall boots and will try them for the first time this weekend. I plan to buy new sneakers later.'''

    The best relief I find is from stretching....sitting on the loo and pulling my feet back and pressing my heel down as far as I can works wonders. I use an ice pack ....just put my feet on it...while having breakfast. I would love to hear others' experiences with this affliction. Any advice will be greatly appreciated. When I googled it, I got websites that sell boots to wear when sleeping. Anyone tried them???
    "Over the Hill?? What Hill, Where?? I don't remember any hill!!!" Favorite Tee Shirt



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul. 12, 2009
    Location
    Heart of the Midwest
    Posts
    586

    Default

    Had it for two years and it was excruciating. Saw a physical therapist who gave me a set of exercises for stretching and strengthening that were really, really helpful. Didn't get out of bed until I had done quite a few each morning. Icing also helps, heat was not good! Finally, it went away after I stopped jumping for a year (not my choice). Apparently I have very loose ankles, which make for a great heel but now I have to be carefull to not let them drop too low. I bought Tempurpedic slippers which have a really good arch support AND the slipper which I wore at night. Not too romatic.
    pace, path, balance, impulsion and ??

    Don't panic! Ralph Leroy Hill



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul. 24, 2004
    Posts
    2,620

    Default

    Unfortunately I can feel your pain . I've had it for about a year now and it isn't fun to say the least . I'm not riding now (both my horses are pasture pets) but I really think riding would help - keeping the heels down and stretching out that way really helps so i try to do the same movement w/ my feet throughout the day - lots of heels down! I basically can't walk when I get out of bed in the morning - I have to hobble around until I get my feet stretched out but it still hurts like hell. If I sit too long and then try to move, it takes me awhile to work out of it. My doctor gave me one of those boots to try - but sleeping in it wasn't going to work - the boot is HUGE! I know they sell similiar ones at Target - just much smaller but serve the same purpose - they keep the foot from relaxing and your toes dropping down. I'm thinking of trying one of those. I did buy new shoes that are helping (New Balance brand that are recommened for plantar faciitis) - be careful of buying sneakers as you need something that doesn't flex much at all - I have been told that the heel area needs to be stiff (my NB shoes only flex right in the toe area and it's not much). My doctor also recommended using a frozen water bottle and rolling it under the arches of my feet throughout the day - that does help.

    And what works the best for me?? Absorbine Veterinary Liniment Gel . Yes I was desperate and picked up the 3-oz bottle at my tack shop a few weeks ago - using that actually helps a ton . I know they make a people version of it (I haven't compared the ingredients) but I'll keep using the horse one for now .

    "When a horse greets you with a nicker & regards you with a large & liquid eye, the question of where you want to be & what you want to do has been answered." CANTER New England



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar. 21, 2009
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    460

    Default

    Fellow PF sufferer here! It's been an active pain in my.....
    foot for the last 7 months. It is caused by tightening of the Achilles tendon, running down the back of the calf.

    My doctor put me on the following regime:

    750 mg ibuprofen twice a day
    Ice, on for 15, off for 15, on for 15
    Runners stretch, leaning forward with support, stretch the leg behind, letting the heel all the way down. As often as possible.
    Stay off it as much as possible while in active inflammation.
    Wear the PF boot every night in bed, till fully healed.

    My experience:
    Hurt like hell when I didn't stay off of it. Ice was my friend, and I liked the old-fashioned ice bags best. Initially, the runners stretch hurt too much, now it's really helpful.

    I hate the PF boot, but it has helped so much. I got mine locally, but the ones online that have the hard casing down the back, with foam on the inside and 3 straps, works very well. PITA to wear, but it has made all the difference.

    Currently, I wear the boot, do the stretches, have cut out ibuprofen almost entirely. Rest and ice when it gets pissy.

    As far as shoes, I was wearing Reebok walking shoes and having pain. Adding gel cups helped a lot. I did buy some new shoes. The Reebok gal pointed me to running shoes, as they have great arch support, but the bottoms have more flex than walking shoes.

    This is just my experience, everyone is different. I do not recommend following the advice of someone on the internet. A doctor can confirm if it's PF or a bone spur. Just covering my donkey!
    When people show you who they truly are, believe them. Maya Angelou



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov. 26, 2001
    Location
    Nashville, TN USA
    Posts
    1,159

    Default pain

    Get yourself some custom insoles made. Forget those flimsy Dr Scholls. I've been where you are and can now walk again. Dr. Scholls does make 1 insole that is worth trying if you can find it. It is the adjustable arch pain relief insole. I bought out the store supply after I tried the first pair. Cannot walk without them or the custom in.



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov. 10, 2005
    Location
    Va
    Posts
    3,534

    Default

    I was having so much problem with one of my feet that I actually got it injected. Let me tell you that hurt like hell. My doctor also gave me one of those huge boots and while it was difficult to sleep in, it did help alot. I also did the iced bottle to roll on the bottom of foot. Another thing my doctor told me was to not walk barefoot.



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan. 20, 2012
    Location
    Aldie, VA
    Posts
    327

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by JustTrails View Post
    Fellow PF sufferer here! It's been an active pain in my.....
    foot for the last 7 months. It is caused by tightening of the Achilles tendon, running down the back of the calf. . . .
    Plantar faciitis is the swelling of the plantar fascia. It runs along the under and outside of your foot and connects the heel bone to the toes and creates the arch of the foot.

    *It can occur for a number of reasons. Best to see a doctor to find out the cause.*

    Plantar faciitis occurs when you tear or rip the plantar fascia. When your foot is relaxed, ie., you are sitting, the fascia relaxes and starts the healing process. When you stand up, you stretch and re-injure it. That's why there's so much pain every time you stand up after sitting or laying down for a while.

    I ripped mine about 6 years ago when I started riding again. I had not ridden in 20 years. As soon as I got on the horse, I automatically went, "toes in, heels down and out". Big mistake since I had not done that since the 80s. It ripped in both feet and the pain was unbearable.

    I no longer have it and I will tell you guys what I did to fix that cause of plantar faciitis

    1. Get a GOOD brace and sleep with it at night ALWAYS. The brace will keep the plantar fascia extended so that it can heal with some "give". I can't find my splint right now, because I not longer need it, but this one works:

    http://www.imakproducts.com/product....0320&q=plantar

    2. If you roll your foot to the outside in the stirrup or ride "pressing down with your little toe" to get your feet pointing forwards -- STOP IT! Really! Your feet will point forward if you flatten your thighs and rotate your hips, not your ankles and feet. I rolled my feet like MAD and that is part of the problem that I had. Get some wedges for your stirrups:

    http://www.freedomrider.com/Stirrup-...aper-Grip.html

    Place the tall part on the outside of the stirrup to help you stop rolling. I credit my trainer who told me to buy these as soon as she saw me rolling my feet. They work!

    3. Stretch the plantar fascia every day. Use the stairs, gently! RIDE! Ride and then ride some more.

    It took almost 2 years, but I am TOTALLY pain free. I keep the split, just in case, and I no longer use the wedges. I use MDC stirrups and love them.

    And, frankly, I could give a rat's bottom if my toes point outwards slightly. I still need to work on rotating my hips a little more.

    JMO, YMMV

    Eileen
    Last edited by Mad Mare; Feb. 9, 2012 at 01:19 AM. Reason: * Amending my post for inaccuracy and posting without adequate research *whaps self*
    Mad Mare™ Studio
    Custom Swarovski®, Czech glass and gemstone browbands in Circlet, Diadem and Tiara styles. Matching stock pins, bracelets and belts.
    http://MadMare.com



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr. 3, 2006
    Location
    Spooner, WI
    Posts
    2,196

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Mad Mare View Post
    No, it is not. I have no idea why your doctor told you that unless you don't actually have plantar faciitis.

    Eileen
    Erm...yes it can. The tightness in your calf and Achilles strains the PF.

    I used a Kinesiologist/Chiro and then stetching. No problem for several years. Part of my issue was after my job loss (where I walked several miles a day on concrete) I no longer wore my supportive shoes. Sandals, slippers and snow packs with a riding boot now and then. Not good after a lifetime of walking in supportive footwear.



  9. #9
    Join Date
    May. 11, 2011
    Location
    Pacific NW
    Posts
    260

    Default

    this is timely.
    I think I might have PF, but not sure since I havent seen a doctor about it. When I wake up and take my first steps I can barely walk, but its the bridges of my feet more than the heels, even though those are sore too. It feels like pin pricks almost and I cant bend my foot. if I were to kneel and sit on my feet I think I would die they almost go numb. They get better throughout the day, but I still feel it. They feel the best when im riding and when im resting in my running shoes (which have orthodics). Im still running and doing everything normal but each step feels like im going to die. But like I said, my heels dont hurt as much like all the websites are saying it should, does this sound like PF?



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan. 20, 2012
    Location
    Aldie, VA
    Posts
    327

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by sunridge1 View Post
    Erm...yes it can. The tightness in your calf and Achilles strains the PF.. . .
    Huh, researched. I will amend what I posted. . . what you and the other poster are indicating can be a cause, but obviously not the only one

    My apologies. I was led to understand that the achilles tendon was not involved.

    Eileen
    Mad Mare™ Studio
    Custom Swarovski®, Czech glass and gemstone browbands in Circlet, Diadem and Tiara styles. Matching stock pins, bracelets and belts.
    http://MadMare.com



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan. 20, 2012
    Location
    Aldie, VA
    Posts
    327

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by DressageOverFences View Post
    this is timely.
    I think I might have PF, but not sure since I havent seen a doctor about it. When I wake up and take my first steps I can barely walk, but its the bridges of my feet more than the heels, even though those are sore too. It feels like pin pricks almost and I cant bend my foot. if I were to kneel and sit on my feet I think I would die they almost go numb. They get better throughout the day, but I still feel it. They feel the best when im riding and when im resting in my running shoes (which have orthodics). Im still running and doing everything normal but each step feels like im going to die. But like I said, my heels dont hurt as much like all the websites are saying it should, does this sound like PF?
    It sounds like it, but it could be a few things: achilles tendonitis, or a bone spur, or a combination of achilles tendonitis and plantar faciitis. Best to visit a doctor and see.

    Eileen
    Mad Mare™ Studio
    Custom Swarovski®, Czech glass and gemstone browbands in Circlet, Diadem and Tiara styles. Matching stock pins, bracelets and belts.
    http://MadMare.com



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan. 20, 2012
    Location
    Aldie, VA
    Posts
    327

    Default

    Thinking . . .

    The split I used came halfway up my leg. Wish I could find it. Was not bulky at all and was "okay" to sleep with.

    Because it ran halfway up my leg, it also kept the calf muscle extended. I think that would help those who have PF from achilles and calf problems.

    Just a thought,
    Eileen

    PS
    If I find the darn thing, I'll post the make and stuff.
    Mad Mare™ Studio
    Custom Swarovski®, Czech glass and gemstone browbands in Circlet, Diadem and Tiara styles. Matching stock pins, bracelets and belts.
    http://MadMare.com



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jul. 21, 2009
    Posts
    328

    Default

    My mum had PF. Tried magic inserts, painkillers, the lot. The only thing that worked (and still works, because she is now running at full steam again) were these stretches. She happened to overhear the original radio broadcast, Googled the article up and relief was very quick to follow.

    This was a very stoic woman who would be reduced to tears whenever she had to get up and walk around. Now she's powering around the garden - and went on a mountain hiking holiday recently - like a red-headed gazelle.
    http://www.abc.net.au/health/minutes...01/1907953.htm



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Sep. 2, 2005
    Location
    Upstate NY
    Posts
    11,732

    Default

    Glad I saw this thread. I have an appointment tomorrow with my doctor and my horrible foot pain in the morning and any time I sit for a while is one of the things I want to discuss.

    Question for you people who have experienced this - is there any way around sleeping in the brace?
    I can not sleep with socks on, I am guessing my feet will totally freak out (they get claustrophobic if the sheets/blankets are tight too) if I try to sleep with a brace on.



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Sep. 21, 2009
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    228

    Default

    I just dealt with this, and my feet are WONDERFUL after a few changes. I use the Dr. Scholls arch support insoles in shoes that need it. I don't walk around barefoot - have clogs in the house and just avoid being barefoot much. I sleep in the boots - got them from my chiropractor - they are orange and tan and just around the ankles with a strap to the toe - can't remember the brand name. I also saw my acupuncturist, and after two treatments, I'm SO much better! That was the turning point. Luckily he'd ridden horses, so discussed not pinching in with my knees (I try not to do that anyway!), and had me stand barefoot, feet shoulder width apart, and flex my arches - sort of press the pad behind the big toe down to lift the arch. I started at 5 daily, up to 20 daily. The two treatments stopped the pain, and all the other stuff is to prevent it from coming back. When you start wearing the boots, you realize how much your toes want to curl up at night! But I'm pain free now and I hope, knock on wood, the steps I'm taking keep it from coming back!



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jul. 17, 2009
    Location
    south eastern US
    Posts
    2,519

    Default I cured myself after years of excrutiating pain

    I suffered for YEARS with this painful condition and finally went to the doctor about it when it became difficult to ride without pain. On the advice of my doctor I used the orthotics, changed all my shoes to low heeled wide toed shoes etc. I took steriods, both orally and injected into my heel. I even had surgery and physical therapy. The one thing I found that finally helped (had to figure this out on my own)...is before I get up in the morning while my knees are relaxed I stretch my feet up as far as I can and spread my toes out as much as I can, then while still pulling feet up and spreading my toes I straighten my knees out...this stretches the tendons across the bottom of the foot and the achiles tendon. I repeat 15- 20 times every day. After doing that for a few weeks I was completely pain free and no longer needed to take the steroid, and pain drugs.
    "My biggest fear is that when I die my husband is going to try to sell all my horses and tack for what I told him they cost."



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Oct. 14, 2010
    Posts
    2,336

    Default

    I had PF several years ago as a result of a tour in the shipyards. Steel decks are not kind. By the end of our 6-month yard period I could barely walk on my left foot. Ship set me up with DPM or ortho (can't remember) but I could never get in. I finally slipped some $3 inserts in my steel toes and voila! they worked like magic. New boots helped too.

    Last year I had the PF flare up again as a result of limping to compensate for my messed up right ankle (another long story). Turns out I had more than just PF going on in that foot; I also had trigger points in the sole of my foot. It felt a lot like PF. It was like I was literally walking on marbles. Heat, e-stim, ultrasound and massage helped. I also had trigger point injections once (hurt like a b!tch) which did break up the knots. I also did a lot of stretching. I was going to PT anyway, so for a month or so they worked on both feet, then the PF foot as needed. Getting my Achilles tendons stretched out helped alot.

    I have a little home ultrasound unit and it helps a lot. I got it originally for a knee strain & has been $60 well spent.



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Mar. 14, 2010
    Location
    Earlysville, Virginia
    Posts
    3,244

    Default

    I havent read the other responses, so apologies if someone already suggested this...

    My mom was having the same problem. One of my best friends is a doctor and suggested rolling frozen juice cans on the bottom of her feet a few times a day. Made a HUGE difference. Worth a try!
    Charlie Brown (1994 bay TB X gelding)
    White Star (2004 grey TB gelding)

    Mystical Moment, 1977-2010.



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Sep. 7, 2009
    Location
    Lexington, KY
    Posts
    16,791

    Default

    Had it too. Exercise helped. But it turns out, it was one of the first symptoms of Lyme Disease for me. Lyme Disease is under control, no more symptoms.
    "We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals." ~Immanuel Kant



  20. #20
    Join Date
    Nov. 18, 2004
    Location
    Catonsville, MD
    Posts
    6,887

    Default

    Hi peeps, have had PF on and off since 2001. It's currently managed for me w/ stretching and wearing good custom orthotics most of the time. I had 3 cortisone injections in my left heel this past summer, and I'm finally playing tennis again.

    One thing no one is mentioning is weight gain. For me, if I get down about 20 lbs. from where I am now, PF symptoms pretty much disappear.

    I recommend increasing, as much as you can, non-impact exercise. Bicycling can be a great help here.

    The sleep boot is pretty helpful, although I've stopped wearing mine lately. Should get back to it.

    Don't stop riding! Your doctor will in many cases try to hassle you about it, and I always blew him off on that one. Said it wasn't negotiable. But between the cortisone, stretching before getting out of bed, non-impact exercise, proper shoes, and cortisone shots, I'm back to far fewer restrictions on my activity from foot pain.
    I tolerate all kinds of animal idiosyncrasies.
    I've found that I don't tolerate people idiosyncrasies as well. - Casey09




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