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Dr. Hive: Heel Spur help?

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Heal spurs are not the source of pain--they are visible on some x-rays when you have prolonged plantar fasciitis.


Plantar fasciitis has been my bane for the past 10 years. I 'solved' the problem on my left foot 6 years ago when I mis-stepped and TORE my fascia in half!--worst pain of my life plus I could not bear weight on that foot for 10 months while it healed (crutches and wheelchair for nearly one year!!!!)


My right foot has been troubling me off and on--since then. I've recently gone back to 'normal'...after over one year of near-constant pain when walking.


I have the custom orthotics from the Podiatrist and they have helped. I've done physical therapy--not so much help.


The basic routine is : ice, stretching, and ibuprofen and CROCS.


Fill up a 2-3 liter soda bottle with water and freeze. Several times a day place it on the ground and roll it around with your sore foot--this is GREAT! I do it while reading a book or watching TV.


Stretch your calf muscle BEFORE you get up--especially first thing in the morning or if you have been sitting for long periods. A tight calf muscle is to blame for this malady! Rotate your foot in small circles using your ankle... press DOWN with your heal and up with your toes.


I take 600mg when it gets bad... the anti-inflammatory properties really help. Omega 3 and 6 supplements (good quality ones like Omega Brite and Nordic Naturals) also help with inflammation.

Crocs: NEVER go barefoot--period--even if you are just walking from your bed to the potty at night. Cushion your heals. Any Crocs will do--but they have special ones just for foot problems like this-- you can find them on their website (http://www.crocs.com)--and they often have the overstock colors at a great discount.


When my pain has gotten extreme, I've gone to the Podiatrist and begged for a steriod shot in the foot... This shot HURTS--and sometimes you can get the Dr to give you a nerve block shot in the foot (near ankle) first... You should have near immediate relief. Sometimes the relief lasts months and sometimes it only lasts a few hours...but when the pain is bad enough to bring tears the pain of the shot is worth the risk of it not helping.

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When I first experienced plantar fascitis (knew what it was by asking about my heel pain on these boards), I gave myself one month to try to fix it myself with the exercises and stretches and heel lift and advil. My right foot was completely better by the end of the month, but my left foot continued to get worse.


I finally went to a podiatrist and his taping regimen along with a night splint finally fixed my foot. I have custom orthotics in my shoes and I have to wear them almost all the time that I'm awake, but I don't have to use the night splint anymore.

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