Foot Woes

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					Foot Woes.

         Ladysky61 11 posts since
Jan 13, 2010
I've had plantar fasciitis and heal spurs for the past 16 months. It started out in my left foot,
then got better, then was in both feet and now its only in my right foot. I've tried physical
therapy (first), stretching (still do), foot exercises, custom orthotics, corticosteroid injections,
laser treatments, and lately I've been using a night splint every night and ice my feet a few
times a week. I got into running a few years ago and before I got injured I was doing a few
miles a week and walking A LOT. I was advised to stop running and cut back on walking
which I did for almost a year but I just got so depressed and out of shape. I decided to
start running again in August (taking it very slow, only once or twice a week) and have now
worked up to doing 2 miles twice a week. (My new foot doctor doesn't see anything wrong
with me running as long as a stretch before, doing and after). Also, I get new running shoes
(at a running specialty store) every 6 months or so.

Anyway, the point is that my foot still hurts despite all this. What more can I do? Also I am
not sure if I should try to increase my mileage or not. I really don't want my foot problems
to get any worse. However I would really like to build up to doing long 4 or 5 miles runs and
maybe enter races. Also, I am overweight and currently losing weight. Do you think that
losing weight (and maintaining it) would help?

I'm only 21. I really like running and don't want to have to stop.

PS. I am a female if that makes a difference. I also swim and lift weights 3 times a week.
And I usually do trail running.

Tags: foot, plantar, fasciitis

         JamesJohnsonLMT 675 posts since
Aug 23, 2009 1. Re: Foot Woes. Jan 14, 2010 1:46 AM

Weight is definitely a contributing factor, but this will change as your exercise gradually
replaces fat with muscle. Working weight is a different matter and will actually help. Initially,
your unexercised muscles get tired and tight from the extra load. After they grow, this

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Foot Woes.

problem can subside. While your weight may stay the same (muscle weighs much more
than fat), you will look thinner and shapelier.

The heel of your foot is like a fulcrum or turnbuckle for the tremendous pressure transmitted
from the calf muscles to plantarflex the foot. I addition, two tendons wrap around the
outside of the heel (three around the inside) to control pronation of the foot and assist with
plantarflexion. Too much repetitive motion or (more importantly) excess tension in the active
muscles involved will increase pressure on all affected surfaces, leaving little or no time and
space for circulation and recovery. This will be true whether running or walking, although
running aggravates it more. Once the sensitivity is there, even walking alone could be a
problem if left unaddressed.

I just completed another post with some detail about why stretching may not help, but I'll boil
it down here:

In a nutshell, muscles are made of many fibers like strands in a rope. These fibers are like
a chain of many cells called sarcomeres, which contracting and releasing in unison produce
movement. When sarcomeres contract individually in response to overuse or damage, they
don't release anymore. They just produce 24/7 tightness in the muscle and pain.

This reflex is a protective mechanism designed to make you stop so you can heal, but it is
self-defeating because it limits circulation. Any attempt to stretch these rigid sarcomeres
simply stretches the normal cells in the fiber and the tight ones are unaffected. Think of a
rubber band with a knot in it. Stretching it just makes the knot tighter. The bigger the knot,
the more strain on the rest of the rubber band, which is not good.

Sure, you may get a shot of endorphins from the stretch to mask the pain for a while, but
these rogue cells will accumulate and proliferate until the whole muscle doesn't release

At this point, running, walking or stretching through it will no longer solve the problem -it will
only worsen it. You have to manually iron out all these spots to get the circulation they need

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Foot Woes.

to heal, or their unrelenting tension will cut off circulation and healing all the more. Worse,
you will begin to compensate with other muscles for the original pain.

All the medical interventions were to address the pain directly, but in addition to the
muscular problems I described, there is no doubt an underlying biomechanical explanation
for why so little mileage is adding up to so much pain. If your weight and health were fairly
normal, your gait or footstrike could be mechanically predisposed to this problem (see how
easily your compensation moved it from left to right). Everybody plantarflexes while running,
but there are many ways to do it, more or less forced by hip geometry and foot structure.

Femoral anteversion, or Morton's Foot (1st metatarsal behind great toe shorter than 2nd),
could come into play here. The latter is quite common and requires excess pronation, which
could explain your pain. A Morton's foot is considered a normal foot for most purposes,
until it is used a lot in sports, dancing, etc., when the ball of the foot is too far back to bear
enough weight during push-off. If you have this, put a small pad only under the ball of both
feet (you can get adhesive ones at the drug store and cut them to fit). This prosthetically
extends the metatarsal to compensate for its length during plantarflexion. Try walking with
these for a while to see if you get relief. Many do.

Morton's and the resulting pronation can eventually lead to a neuroma (pinched,
encapsulated and inflamed nerve) between the bunched metatarsals. Another factor is
inadequate shoe width (not available in all makes and models of shoe), but you should size
up for running anyway because feet expand during exercise. Don't expect the shoe rep to
take care of this because most people wear these for stylin' and don't want to look like they
have big feet. The rep needs to know you intend to run and what this means for your foot.

Meanwhile, the tense calf muscles you have been stretching may need more attention as
described above, or the pressure on your heel and plantar fascia will not go away.

         Ladysky61 11 posts since
Jan 13, 2010 2. Re: Foot Woes. Jan 14, 2010 6:36 AM

  in response to: JamesJohnsonLMT

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Foot Woes.

Thank you for your reply. I think I understood it, but it was a little confusing. First, I don't
think I have Morton's foot. My 2nd toe from the big first is smaller than the first toe from
the big one (on both feet). However, my podiatrist has said that the bones in my feet slant
to the outside of my feet (making my my feet wide), but she didn't think it was a problem.
Moreover, I am hesitate to put any extra cushioning or the like on my feet as I wear custom-
made orthotics. I have wide feet, but I have sneaker/running shoes that are very wide
and a size larger then what I normally wear (like what is recommended). I used to have
overpronation (falling arches) problems (which runs in my family), but after a year of doing
toe curling exercises and wear the orthotics, my arches got stronger and don't fall anymore!
(been told this by both the shoe people and my podiatrist. So I don't know if that's still a
contributing factor.

I guess I should clarify. I am currently 50-60lbs overweight, not just a small amount.
However, I've already lost 50lbs in the last few months since I start running again and
watching my diet, and haven't noticed an improvement in my feet, but I am hoping that
once I get closer to my "ideal weight" and maintain that I'll see an improvement (actually my
feet problems may have gotten worse). In fact I think this whole thing came about partially
because my weight has had major fluctuations in the last few years. But running helps me
lose weight, so I am really hesitate to stop (in fact I gained 50lbs when I stopped).

I don't know if you could call me "fit", but I am definitely working towards increasing my
endurance, but yeah its a little hard to do when increasing my mileage just a little bit
aggravates my foot problems.

Basically I don't know what to do anymore. Fortunately my foot pain isn't too bad, just

         JamesJohnsonLMT 675 posts since
Aug 23, 2009 3. Re: Foot Woes. Jan 16, 2010 2:30 AM

  in response to: Ladysky61
Your story is very inspiring. I think you should keep running a small amount but pick up
more aggressive cross-training to increase the aerobic benefits you are getting without
the damage. There are a lot of triathletes who stick to the 3-mile sprint races while getting
the swimming and biking in. Even now, you could probably qualify for Athena class and
compete, maybe win a trophy some day - without the damage.

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Foot Woes.

Pool running is good no-impact aerobics and resistance exercise all in one that would give
you easy access to further training as a swimmer. Biking gives you moderate aerobics and
good wind resistance if you can find a safe place to do it. You can already run, so go for it.

Meanwhile, there could be some effective athletic modifications for your orthotics that are as
unusual as your foot type. It will be a challenge, but I bet there is a solution!

Morton's is a difference in metatarsal length, not toe length. It forces the foot to shift weight
to the ball, which causes the bending out of the bones you describe. I have Morton's, but my
toes appear normal, too.

A picture here (cannot vouch for product, though):

         Ladysky61 11 posts since
Jan 13, 2010 4. Re: Foot Woes. Jan 15, 2010 8:17 AM

  in response to: JamesJohnsonLMT
Ahh thank you! Ok, upon closer inspection it does appear that I have at least slight Morton's
foot and would explain some other problem's I've have, light my tendency towards falling,
which I thought was just me being clumsy and my slightly curved spine. Anyway, I will look
into those foot pads. Also, I will continue to wear my night splints because I didn't do it last
night and this morning, it hurt so much! I got more injections a few days ago, but it doesn't
seem to have helped

I also like to do the elliptical machine at the Gym which I assume is better because its low-
impact. It's not the same as running outside, but it allows me to run for a long time which I
can't do (yet).

         Ladysky61 11 posts since
Jan 13, 2010 5. Re: Foot Woes. Jan 15, 2010 8:20 AM

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  in response to: JamesJohnsonLMT
Also, do you know of any websites that have information on Morton's foot that aren't trying to
sell you something? Is there another technical term for it?

         Haselsmasher 378 posts since
May 25, 2009 6. Re: Foot Woes. Jan 15, 2010 8:18 PM

  in response to: Ladysky61

I can really relate to what you're going through. I'm going through something quite similar.
I've been dealing with PF for over a year, and I haven't been running as I like for 3 years due
to some other injuries.

First, I would not do any more injections. I'm not a doctor, and your doctor has forgotten
more than I know, however 1) I've heard so many stories where they don't work long term
and 2) I believe PF can be rooted in so many things, that injections can be not very effective.

There are a couple of schools of thought (major topics) that are popular right now. (This
doesn't mean they're RIGHT, but they're very popular.)

* Running form. Have you looked into this at all? Most runners strike the ground with their
heel. Many people believe this is very bad for us, for lots of reasons I won't go into. There
are some running programs/forms that are popular now which advocate (their words) a more
natural style of running. The Pose Method, Chi Running and Evolution Running are a few.

* Running shoes. Many believe that our big padded shoes are HARMFUL to us. The
theory is that our feet were meant to move, they were meant to feel the ground and work like
other parts of our bodies. There are stories of people going to very thin soled shoes (the
extremists go barefoot) and having various foot, ankle and shin problems quite literally go
away. If you want an inspiring read check out Born To Run by Chris McDougall.

In my opinion Plantar Fasciitis is overcome by solving *2* problems:

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1. The Plantar Fascia itself must be healed. This is where the traditional icing, stretching,
etc. come in. Certainly, if the pain is to go away, the actual tissue must be healed.

2. The biomechanical issue that is causing the damage to the Plantar Fascia must be
healed. Sometimes this means the muscles in the feet must be strengthened. Sometimes
the issue can be all way up in Glute Max. If Glute Max isn't doing it's job, for example, it can
make the whole leg/chain unstable, and consequently create a very bad environment for the
foot. This portion of getting over it is very difficult - because what is needed fo rme may not
be what is needed for you.

I'm chronicling on my blog my very deliberate effort to get out of orthotics, motion control
shoes and adopt Pose in an effort to get over my PF. I don't know if I'll be successful - I
desperately hope so. I miss running so much. Quoting a friend who always says the same
thing before he does something where people are watching: "Never begin an action with
any statement more predictive than 'Watch this.'".


         Ladysky61 11 posts since
Jan 13, 2010 7. Re: Foot Woes. Jan 15, 2010 8:32 PM

  in response to: Haselsmasher
Thanks! However I still need to get over this plantar fasciitis first before we look at bio-
mechanical stuff. I just don't know what else to do. I have had pain in my heals (either foot
or both) for like 18 months now. It hasn't gone away. (didn't help that I didn't see a doctor
for it for 3 months). The only thing I can think to do is lose weight. But frankly, is that doesn't
work I'm considering surgery (it hasn't been suggested yet, but I think I will ask my podiatrist
about it).

         Ladysky61 11 posts since
Jan 13, 2010 8. Re: Foot Woes. Jan 15, 2010 8:35 PM

  in response to: Haselsmasher
Also, I weight lift 3 times a week, including leg exercises. I also curl my toes a lot to
strengthen the arch. Is that enough?

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         Haselsmasher 378 posts since
May 25, 2009 9. Re: Foot Woes. Jan 15, 2010 8:42 PM

  in response to: Ladysky61
I totally agree with you - I think the PF needs to calm down/heal before other things can be
done. I realize the things I laid out may not have been clear.

I worked with a podiatrist who I really like and he got me into flexible orthotics. The intent
was to provide arch support to provide an environment for the feet so the Plantar Fascia can
heal. He and I both thought I would be able to run *some* while this was healing, but after
almost a year, I concluded I could not run. So around the last week of Oct09 I decided to
stop running completely. It took about 8-10 weeks, but my feet felt normal.

This is when I transitioned to the next stage, which is where I am now, of slowly (I mean
slowly) getting my feet used to not wearing the orthotics, getting my feet used to moving,
and looking at running form.

Best of luck. PF is really a bummer.


         JamesJohnsonLMT 675 posts since
Aug 23, 2009 10. Re: Foot Woes. Jan 16, 2010 2:19 AM

  in response to: Ladysky61
You're in luck! Thanks to your post, I finally found a site with a complete history of Dr. Dudley
J. Morton, his impressive resume', the discovery of the condition now called Morton's Foot,
and a picture of the simple free solution that took Morton years to perfect, courtesy of Dr.
Burton S. Schuler, whose commercial website I link here:
mortons-toe/what-is-a-mortons-toe/ Ignore the commercial at the top if you wish, and
read the entire text if you can. It's breathtaking. Also described is a related condition called
"hypermobility of the 1st metatarsal," which I think results from the shortened metatarsal (my
opinion only).

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Important notes I made from that site are: A Morton's foot can look completely normal, it
results in pronation and fallen arches, it can cause pain throughout the body, it is inherited
and tends to span generations, and it wasn't named by Morton, but later by others familiar
with his work.

Dr. Schuler first plugs his book on the subject (gotta pay the hosting bills somehow), then
describes the problem, recalls the history, and shows the solution last. I'm sure he does this
because if he showed the solution at the top, no one would believe it could be so absurdly
simple. He needed to earn credibility first. His page is brilliant, despite a few typos.

Until now, the only site I have found with a "free" solution was the first I posted from Claire
Davies, which is admittedly crude. All the others I have found have either been structure/
symptom descriptive with no definitive solution or sales oriented, with many different
solutions that can't all be right. I just searched for my old posts and found only the first I ever
made on the subject, which had even less information.

The last I posted (can't find it) contained a link to an enterprising surgeon's site, but he was
actually selling the same pads Davies was describing in his book for free - the entire text
on the subject from the book is in the link (you just need some cushioning material and a
scissors to make your own). His solution is actually more modern than Dr. Morton's, because
it is based on the insoles that weren't present in the shoes of Morton's day. I made the
same pads for myself out of a cheap gel sole (I can make about 30 pads out of a single pair
for a few bucks).What I liked about the surgeon's site (which I can't find anymore) is the
video of Morton's-related pronation that shows the movement causing the problem, and the
picture of his product as proof somebody else with professional gravitas figured it out. To
the surgeon's credit, his pads were transparent and self-adhesive, but I've seen similar stuff
in drug stores and Walmart that could be cut to fit. It is also to his credit that he admitted
surgery was ineffective and unnecessary - the solution is too simple and accessible.

Having had many injuries related to the Morton's foot (PF, AT, shin splints, hip pain), I
can personally vouch for Davies' free solution since it saved my marathoning. After not
being able to finish a few marathons without walking several painful miles toward the end,
I stumbled onto this fix in his book, which I had bought years earlier but never read (the

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author his since passed away after revealing tons of trade secrets about pain in his only
book). After I made these tiny ball-of-foot pads for all my shoes a few years ago (I taped
mine in place), I since increased my mileage and ran a personal best in the marathon plus
a Boston Qualifier, using the exact same competition shoes before, during, and after. The
problems related to the short metatarsal are gone. Everything I needed to know to make the
pads is in that first link I posted for you.

Looking at old posts on the subject in, going back to 2005, I was struck by how
many people have been diagnosed with the common Morton's Foot (the only name for it
I've seen, named after the Doctor who first described it). I was also amazed by the number
of "professional" solutions offered (including injections) and the general lack of knowledge
about what a Morton's foot is. Many (doctors included) think it's a longer second toe, which
it never was. Even the description in the second link I posted, referring to the webbing
between the 1st and 2nd toes, is only a clue.

The only thing you need to make your foot a Morton's is the short 1st metatarsal, which can
easily be diagnosed by curling the toes downward to reveal the alignment of the metatarsal
heads (see Davies, Schuler). 1st one short=Morton's - simple as that. The fix is even
simpler, adding the pad under the 1st metatarsal to effectively lengthen it with respect to
running. When the brain feels the large ball of the foot contacting the ground first, it re-
orchestrates the firing order of leg and foot muscles to turn off pronation, which was nature's
way of giving the 1st metatarsal initial contact with the ground. Unfortunately pronation
collapses the arch and strains all the tendons and fascia involved, resulting in PF, knee
problems, etc. from the needless twisting. The fix does not restrict pronation, as other
"solutions" do, it simply makes it unnecessary.

People often approach pain backwards. Unfortunately professionals make more money from
that approach, and otherwise cave in to the symptom-oriented fears of the general public in
order to remain in business. People rarely have the patience to solve pain via root causes;
they want a quick fix, and they reward those who give it to them. The more high-tech the
better. The results are injections, ineffective cushioning, and needless surgery.

I think Davies' description of the simple problem and simpler solution is a lot more concise
than mine or anyone else's, but at least you have additional input from another professional
therapist who is also a fellow distance runner. If useful information on Morton's has been
hard to find, it is because only 1 in 5 have it and very few of those try to run with it. Running
requires more than a palliative solution, and most of what is offered and prescribed is for the

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sedentary population. There is also too much misinformation from too many people trying to
make a buck from your pain, when the solution has always been free. Few of us, it turns out,
have time to read a dry medical treatise on feet.

One last word: False solutions often yield the quickest results; real solutions can take time.
Retraining your footstrike with a pad is just the beginning. Healing the damage will take
months, and the gradual adjustment of your muscles will evolve as some relax and others
strengthen. You've already taken many important steps (no pun intended) to control your
pain. You now have a known, time tested, and inexpensive solution. Soon enough, your
years of patience and dedication to running will be rewarded.

To Jim: Thanks for joining the thread. Your compassion, insight, and personal writing style
are always welcome and informative. My stuff tends to be a bit -well, stuffy, but I owe that to
spending a few years as a technical writer. Cheers.

         Ladysky61 11 posts since
Jan 13, 2010 11. Re: Foot Woes. Jan 16, 2010 11:46 AM

  in response to: JamesJohnsonLMT
Thanks! How thick should the toe pad be? Just like towel thickness? What material did you
use? Did you just tape it to your feet? (that's what it looks like on the website.) I'll definitely
try this in addition to cutting back on running outside to 1 time a week (and do the elliptical or
swim instead).

         Haselsmasher 378 posts since
May 25, 2009 12. Re: Foot Woes. Jan 16, 2010 1:18 PM

  in response to: Ladysky61
I thought of something I'd forgotten about earlier.

If you have acute PF issues (i.e. in that mode of getting the tissue and pain calmed
down) another thing that has worked well for people is to tape the bottom of the foot. The
technique is called the Low-Dye taping technique. There is an illustration of it here:

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I purchased regular athletic tape and did it.

While it did help in getting my feet less painful, it did cause some Achilles pain. I read this
happens to about < 20% of the people who try it. So I wouldn't let my Achilles situation stop
you from trying it. In my case, after about 2-3 days, I noticed when I was going down steps
my Achilles would hurt. Within hours of taking off the tape the pain went away. So it caused
no long term issues. (As soon as I felt it I took it off.)

Maybe it's another thing to try in an effort to get the feet less painful.


         JamesJohnsonLMT 675 posts since
Aug 23, 2009 13. Re: Foot Woes. Jan 17, 2010 1:47 AM

  in response to: Ladysky61
The picture on Schuler's site was Dr. Morton's original cure. The picture on Davies' site
is the one I used, but I found MoleFoam to be a wimpy solution for running (it may have
proprioceptive feedback value for standing around, but not enough support for what we do).

I bought a pair of cheap flat gel soles and cut them into many small circles, which I secured
to the bottom of my insoles with postal tape. I centered them under the indentations the
balls of my feet had already made into the insoles, but a new set of shoes would be harder
to gauge. The thickness I would estimate at several millimeters, or less than 1/8 inch. This
is way thicker than what has been recommended, but I had to compensate for the severe
impact of running, and the fact that gel compresses somewhat anyway. It feels weird when I
start running, but the sensation disappears after a while.

Schuler's (Morton's) fix includes a pad under the entire great toe, but I would caution against
this for running, at least initially. A sudden extension of the great toe could severely tax the

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Flexor Hallucis Longus muscle (in the back of the calf along the fibula -yes it crosses sides)
during running. Might be OK for street shoes, though - perhaps even more stable.

If I were you, I'd check the shoe departments and drug stores for the transparent self-
adhesive gel pads, each of which you might be able to cut into two pieces. They cost more,
but at least you are doubling your money. I used tape and gel because it was more of an
experiment for me, and I knew it would be easier to move around until I found the ideal
position. It only lasts a few hundred miles, but the self-adhesive type would probably last as
long as the insole - maybe as long as the shoe.

         Ladysky61 11 posts since
Jan 13, 2010 14. Re: Foot Woes. Jan 24, 2010 2:30 PM

  in response to: JamesJohnsonLMT

I tried the "Morton's Solution" today. I just taped 2 waded up tissues (a few millimeters thick)
and taped them to each of my foot on the metatarsal part of my big toe. I think it's too soon
to tell, but it seemed to help or at least not make things worse. I walked a lot today and my
feet aren't hurting. So I am really hopeful.

Also, I bought some gauze and was going to tape that to my insoles, since I couldn't find
gel inserts. (I'll wait a few days to see if this works). I also got some athletic tape to better
secure my feet into the night splints, since my feet would manage to wriggle out of them in
the middle of the night. Also, just taking a few weeks off of running outside and swimming
3x a week instead. Its really cold outside so I figure this is a good time.

I hope all these measures help! I don't want to have to have surgery.

Thanks for the suggestions.

         BZEns 15 posts since
May 11, 2009 15. See a Sports Foot Doctor Jan 24, 2010 6:04 PM

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I've had the same issue for about three months now. I was doing everything...stretching,
icing, laying off running for a week or two, etc. The constant pain finally got to me and I
gave up, and went to a Podriatist who specializes in running and sports. Lo and behold, it
wasn't just PF, but also Bursitus.

As far as doctors appointment go this one was pretty cool...He did a video analysis of my
stride, an ultrasound, etc.

At the end of the appointment (which went about 45 minutes...he didn't just blow me off
with an assistant...) he gave we some medicine, some recommended stretches and icing
techniques, and "The Boot". "The Boot" is an interesting device developed during the
Spanish inquisition, resembling something like the outer shell of a ski boot. It is worn at
night in order to get your foot roughly at 90 degrees to your legs, vs about 120 degrees as
would normally happen in a relaxed mode while sleeping. He also prescribe some lotions
and prescription medicine for me to take. At the end of three weeks, he said, come on back
and if it is not substantially better, he'll work on custom orthotics and inject steriods in the
heel to make it all better.

So, here I am, about two weeks after the appointment. Pain in the foot in the morning (the
PF) has completely gone away. I credit most of that to the boot, and somewhat to the Icing
and Stretching before and after the runs. I don't know when I can stop wearing The Boot,
hopefully soon, but it seems the PF has disappeard in a relatively short time.

Same holds true for the bursitus. I'm not really sure what bursitus is, but it caused significant,
all-day pains after a run, getting worse throughout the day and into the evening. It would
go away if I stopped running for a couple days, but if work required a significant stretch on
the feet (like at a convention) the bursitus would come back. I still occasionally feel it in the
middle of a run, but it is getting later and later (miles wise) in the run. But, it does not rear
its ugly head after the run, and I have been spending the rest of the day in a normal mode
without any pain.

I am very pleased with the outcome (so far) and look forward to seeing the Doc next week.

If you've got insurance and can afford it, see a doctor. It is well worth it, and could get
you back on the street in a couple days, not several weeks or months.

Good Luck

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         JamesJohnsonLMT 675 posts since
Aug 23, 2009 16. Re: Foot Woes. Jan 25, 2010 1:20 AM

   in response to: Ladysky61
Finally found that other site with pads another doctor designed for Morton's...

About halfway down is a picture of a sandal with the pads applied. I found something like
this at Walmart last night by "George" brand in the shoe department. 4 anti-microbial gel
pads (perfect size) for $3.49... They also have clear ones for the same price, all self-
adhesive. Bought a set and used them on my 15 miler today. I used two pads in the left shoe
and one in the right, because my left foot is worse than the right. No pain, no problems. I
didn't even bang my ankles together as I had been doing before.

         ~Coach Dave~ 41 posts since
Feb 17, 2009 17. Re: Foot Woes. Jan 25, 2010 11:34 AM

   in response to: Ladysky61
I wear a night splint too and sometimes my foot wiggles out in the middle of the night. I tried
wrapping the entire cast with an Ace bandage but that was just outright uncomfortable. I
now sleep with a sock on my left foot and I don't get the slippage.

Good luck and it's been very informative reading over this particular string. I've had PF
since early summer and still have very dull pain in my arch (just in front of my heal).
Perhaps Mortons foot might be the cause.

Thanks to all for the input.

         Ladysky61 11 posts since

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Foot Woes.

Jan 13, 2010 18. Re: See a Sports Foot Doctor Jan 25, 2010 2:47 PM

  in response to: BZEns
ummm Thanks. However, I have already been to a doctor. Actually, a primary care doc,
a physiotherapist, and a podiatrist. I might see another podiatrist specializing in sports
injuries, if my insurance will cover it, when I get home, but that won't be for a few months. I
definitely waited too long to see a doctor though, since I thought it was just and ankle sprain
or tendonitis. Should have seen one more immediately but I was traveling.

Anyway, I do wear night splints on both my feet. I've done this for the past few weeks. I got
them at a pharmacy. They do seem to work because the pain is definitely worse when I don't
wear them. I may switch to a boot-like one eventually, but as I spent $80 on the splints, I
want to give those a good try first.

I also got custom orthotics and steroid injections too.

         Runnergal262 514 posts since
Sep 1, 2009 19. Re: Foot Woes. Jan 28, 2010 4:49 PM

Custom made orthotics got my heel woes to go away... hard ones. Ask a podiatrist, a sports
oriented one, one that will do a plaster cast of your foot. That's what got my heel pain, along
with some serious night splint action, self massage with hand tool digging right into the
problem spot and some PT work.

         Runnergal262 514 posts since
Sep 1, 2009 20. Re: See a Sports Foot Doctor Jan 28, 2010 4:54 PM

  in response to: Ladysky61
Injections don't sound like any fun and I'm not sure are effective for this...

My PT guy seriously suggested this and it really did work for me

Get a heating pad, heat up problem foot for about five min.

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Foot Woes.

Get a hand tool, mine was called a knobble (kind of looks like a door knob) and get into the
problem area and rub with the crossgrain of the fiber. Hurt like the dickens, but it really did
relieve the inflammation. Use Ibuprofen, sparingly. I also wore hard heel supports in my
dress shoes, which helped while I was at work. After a fashion of doing this little heat and
dig routine daily... and being in some pain.... it did get better, slowly, and finally went away
with said orthotics.

         Runnergal262 514 posts since
Sep 1, 2009 21. Re: See a Sports Foot Doctor Jan 28, 2010 4:56 PM

  in response to: Ladysky61
forgot, that runners sock I wore (night splint) helped too... also kinda hurt to wear the darn
thing, but it did pay off in that the mornings really weren't bad after a month or two of wearing
it nightly.

         natewv 1 posts since
Nov 11, 2009 22. Re: Foot Woes. Feb 11, 2010 8:04 AM

This is a reply to the whole I play ultimate Frisbee and also run alot, in the past
6 months I've focused a lot more on trails (which is hindsight I think is the main contributor).
  I'm 31 and could use to lose a few pounds, I should be 185-190 and i'm just over 200. For
months my arch has hurt a little when I woke up, but that's it. I never thought anything of it,
other than I left my running shoes at the in laws and used my old shoes for a few weeks and
that hurt my arch, so I guessed it was no big deal.

Anyway about a month ago my inside heel started to hurt a little, and i moved off of trails to
roads, still playing frisbee once a week when I could. Back to just the morning slight pain.
  Fast forward to 2 weeks ago I wake up Tuesday after running 6 then 7 over the weekend
and frisbee Monday night, and the pain is palpable. I haven't exercised in 2 weeks and it - it
being 2 places ,the tendon between the insde of my heel to somewhere near the ball of my
foot, as well as the inside bottom of my heel - still hurts most of the time. I did not even look
anything up online until 2 weeks ago either, when it became pretty clear pretty quickly that at
least some of what I have is PF.

My question is this. If I follow some of the steps you guys (and ladies) have laid out, can I
just go back to running? Honestly, I don't care much about the pain, it doesn't hurt when I

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Foot Woes.

run, and I can deal with it any other time, BUT I do not want to tear something that will result
in complete immobility for any amount of time, I have a hard enough time not getting fat.

I guess I could have just written this: I can't figure out on this site or anywhere else on the
web what the possible consequences are of continued exercise on a foot that very likely has
PF. Of course I'm exagerrating here, but I won't die or lost my foot or anything, will I?

         Ladysky61 11 posts since
Jan 13, 2010 23. Re: See a doctor ASAP Feb 11, 2010 11:09 AM

  in response to: natewv
I am serious! Preferably a podiatrist and/or sports medicine person. I neglected to do this
for about 3 months and now over a year later am still in pain. They can best answer your
questions about continued exercising and suggest exercises and stretches that will help and
get your custom orthotics or another treatment. If you just ignore the pain (in the morning)
and keep running, your PF (or other foot problem) will just get worse, prolonging recovery
and causing more pain and other foot and ankle problems Likely you will feel find while you
are running but then the next morning is really bad. I know for PF if it goes on long enough,
your ankles, knees, hips and back start to have problems as well because of the change in

In the meantime, buy a new pair of running shoes (if your "new" shoes are more than a
few months old) with lots of arch support and padding and do calf stretches. Also wear
supportive shoes all the time while doing your normal activities. Cut back on running and
other high impact sports. Swim or bike instead for a workout. In addition, icing your feet
should help and taking ibuprofen if the pain gets really bad.

Definitely don't ignore this problem.

         JamesJohnsonLMT 675 posts since
Aug 23, 2009 24. Re: Foot Woes. Feb 11, 2010 12:22 PM

  in response to: natewv
A real, live foot doctor weighed in on this subject in another related thread...

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Foot Woes.

Between such research and what I've found in my own experiments as a marathoner, the
technology holds. We just have to adapt it to athletics, which most of the info out there does
not do. We are on the cusp of what could and should be a boon to runners everywhere.

Before the big sea change comes, the business of PF has been around for a while,
regardless of cause. PF is more of a condition than an injury, and tends to self-limit damage
via the pain mechanism. Got you to cut back on your running, didn't it! Unfortunately,
many runners chronically self-medicate to dull the pain and continue running, leading
to real injuries later on. Sore feet, whether due to PF or not, cause so many dangerous
compensations in other parts of the body, you have the potential for developing everything
from headaches to torn hip cartilage.

Tight calf muscles are often the culprit in PF, since they pull directly on the plantar fascia via
the achilles tendon. Aggressive sports tend to produce tight calves.

By all means, research the subject and try some things. If you do consult a doctor, make
sure you are thoroughly informed before going in. A doctor can have great credentials and
still not be the one for you. Make sure their schooling is consistent with the latest research,
and their approach places a premium on keeping you active. You wouldn't have come this
far if you were not born for sport.

I hope we'll hear more on the subject from the medical field. Until then, we have plenty of
valuable information to keep us busy.

Stay plugged in, and never stop learning.

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Foot Woes.

         drtheta 3 posts since
Feb 11, 2010 25. Re: Foot Woes. Feb 11, 2010 1:02 PM

  in response to: JamesJohnsonLMT

As a practicing foot specialist for over 20 years , I wish I could agree that the best thing
to do is contact a physician reguarding your "neuroma woes". Unfortunately most all fail
to understand foot function and it's relation to chronic pain even as well as Jame does.
Certainly less than a hand full of podiatric physicians understand how a "pad" under the first
metatarsal will reduce neuroma pain better than a prescription orthotic. Cortisone injections
are of temporary value, and after 20 years in practice as a foot surgeon, alcohol injections
and surgery for Morton's Neuronma are completely unnecessary.

The only problem I have with the use of antimicrobial pads as described here are that they
compress out then cause the patient to believe that they are no longer of value. Additionally
the amount of correction they apply is may help some patients in the early stages of the
condition, but provide only minimal help for those who are more advanced.

Definitely try the antimicrobial pads. When you realize that they help, a PST made from urethane rubber will not compress out and can provide
condiderably more of the same type of help over the long term.

For those of you with more advanced conditions or who have already experienced the
failure of more invasive medical procedures our Total-Control orthotics uses both traditional
rearfoot design and forefoot control with a sub first metatarsal wedge (pad) to achieve
results that basically put me out of buisness as a Neuroma surgeon.

Brent A Jarrett DPM

         Ladysky61 11 posts since

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Foot Woes.

Jan 13, 2010 26. Re: Foot Woes. Feb 11, 2010 4:24 PM

  in response to: drtheta
I'm doing the pad thing right now (I already have custom orthotics). I think its helping but its
not magic cure (done it for about 2 weeks now). I am starting to wonder if this PF is going to
be a chronic condition and if I'll have foot pain everyday for several years if not my whole life.
I am only holding out hope that losing my excess weight will make a dramatic difference.

         drtheta 3 posts since
Feb 11, 2010 27. Re: Foot Woes. Feb 11, 2010 5:45 PM

  in response to: Ladysky61
Basically you are rignt, at least as far as the antimicrobial pad is concerned. I use what I call
a PST, similar to the "pad" occasionally, to prove to a patient that
I can help them . Although I have never recommended the intimicrobial pad myself, for 4
bucks, it would be good to have in your first aid kit.

However, when I change foot function well enough, I consistently see complete resolution of
the symptoms in the patients I treat. The amount of change required for complete resolution
of symptoms, determines how much correction is necessary. Basically it is all quantified in
mathematical terms, and related to angles that I call Theta.

The benefits you observed with the antimicrobial pad, although similar to the treatment I
provide on the internet, is a small fraction of the correction I use, with a small fraction of the

For now I would add a couple more "pads" (so as to increase the forefoot correction
to almost 3 degrees) and I would use them with your custom orthotics (to provide
approximately 13 degree of rearfoot correction). I would be sure to wear them during ALL
weight bearing activities to get the most help from what you allready have.

When the pads compress or rip apart, and you want a treatment that is twice as good but will
last for 15 years, order a Total-Control 17/5. If after 6 months it is clear that I know what I am
talking about and you have fully adjusted to the change provide by your 17/5, order a 22/7.5
and get twice as much help. My research lets you determine how much help you get, with up
to 37 degrees of rearfoot correction, and 18 degrees of forefoot correction.

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Foot Woes.

Brent Jarrett DPM

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