Posts Tagged ‘plantar fasciitis’

I haven’t been posting here much recently but it’s hard to have much to say on a fitness blog when I’m not able to do much in the way of exercise!

I finished up my PT this week.

The good:

I seem to have recovered a fair bit of strength in my left leg (at the start I had apparently lost a lot of strength in my left leg due to favoring my pain free right leg).

Primarily from the rest my pain did go down from around a 7/10 to about a 5/10 (averages). I hardly ever limp anymore, but there is still pain when walking.

The bad:

I am still not cleared for any exercise that involves putting weight on my foot. No walking more than necessary, no running, no krav maga, no heavy lifting.

According to the physical therapist I saw last (I saw 3 different therapists over the time I went), it just takes awhile to heal and I have to wait for it to heal and can’t start doing any of these things until I’m fully pain free.

 

Which is really frustrating. I’m getting very frustrated at the lack of exercise.

I should be able to bike or swim though since that puts no pressure on my heal, so now I need to investigate a way to afford membership somewhere I can swim and/or a bicycle. Looking on amazon it might actually be cheaper to get an indoor exercise bike before buying a new bicycle.

Until then though… more rest!

I am really struggling with this, essentially, no fitness thing.

According to my physical therapist I can’t walk more than necessary (I can walk for day to day needs, but not like, go out for a couple mile walk for extra activity), I can’t do Krav Maga, and I can’t lift heavy.

I can body weight and light weights so long as my foot doesn’t start hurting more when I do. But most things do cause it to hurt.
In theory I think I could do cycling or swimming since those don’t put impact on my heel. But I don’t have a functional bike or anywhere to swim at the moment.

Though at the moment I guess it’s not so hard given that’s it’s too hot to try moving at all in this weather! 😦

I hope this is all worth it. My foot does hurt less, but it’s always hurt mostly from walking/activity. So I don’t know if it’s “healing” like my physical therapist thinks it will, and after it heals I can go back to being active. Or if it’s just hurting less because I’m not using it and  as soon as I try to again, I’m right back where I was pain wise. Which makes it even harder. It would be easier to accept the lack of activity if I trusted it would pay off in the end. Right now, I’m a skeptic though.

I finally got around to getting in for the physical therapy my doctor told me to get!

It was an interesting experience. Number 1 thing I learned- I suck at relaxing. Every time the physical therapist told me “now relax your muscles and just let me move you” I would try but my muscles didn’t seem to understand “relax”.

More on topic the physical therapist said that I have a significant strength imbalance between my left and right side which she thinks is causing pain. Though I wonder whether that is a cause or an effect, since I’ve spent a long time now favoring my right side because of the pain on my left foot.

Also found out I need to work on my glute strength more.

For the time being though, she also says that the most important thing is that my foot needs to rest and I haven’t been resting it enough. I am not supposed to use any heavy weights for the time being, limit walking, no running.

She didn’t say I can’t do Krav Maga, but classes usually involve running during the warmup and I’m not supposed to do that :\ But I don’t want to have to completely avoid it for at least a month if not longer. So I don’t know how to handle that yet.

This is just a post about me, and my health. I haven’t been particularly active recently between the plantar fasciitis and asthma.

So to catch folks up: turns out I have exercise induced asthma. Found this out after severe coughing following a krav maga class lasted several days rather than the several hours it used to. Went to my doctor, got diagnosed, prescribed an inhaler to use before exercise.

Inhaler helped but didn’t completely eliminate the coughing and trouble breathing. I then started having panic attacks when working out from panic that I wouldn’t be able to breath which just exacerbated the asthma.

Well, I finally got back to my PCP today about this. She prescribed a daily maintenance inhaler in addition to the as needed on I’ve been using. She also informed me that the as needed inhaler (albuterol) increases heart rate. Since I was (and am) supposed to use it before exercise, I think this as part of why I was having panic attacks (my fear + the physiological response to the albuterol). I feel a lot more relieved and in control knowing this.

Between this and improvements with my foot pain I’m hoping to get back to a higher activity level again.

So this post doesn’t directly address any big important topic, other than I think it’s good to recognize that health stuff happens, treatment is good, and if other folks are having trouble with a physical issue that is making it hard to exercise, it’s a good idea to see a doctor. Often it’s easy to put it all down to personal failing I think, especially breathing problems which we often attribute to “I’m just not in shape enough”. This is especially a problem for fat people because when our health problems are so often boiled down to “lose weight” regardless of what they are, it encourages people to not see doctors. Yet sometimes, medical intervention is necessary to allow people of any size to exercise safely, and there should be no shame in seeking that out.

And of course ignoring health problems because “I must just be out of shape” or “I’ll see a doctor after I lose weight” can be deadly. 

I’ve mentioned before on here having problems with foot pain, but let me try to give a history of how things went.

It started out with some pain in both heels of my feet, I looked up info and decided it sounded like plantar fasciitis and started doing some stuff to help that I found online. I did stretching, massage, I got this thing that you can freeze and roll under your foot, and I used kinesiology tape, particularly when running. I can’t remember when this started but… come to think of it, it must have been about 2 years or longer ago I think.

For awhile this worked pretty well and I was still running and not having major issues due to the pain. But then it started getting worse in my left foot and none of what I was doing was helping. It continued to get worse until I couldn’t run anymore because I ended up limping when I was running. Then I started limping just trying to walk on it. This started happening even when walking short distances, like the distance from my car into my desk at work.

I realized I needed to see a doctor, but that realization came about during a period when I didn’t have health insurance.

Then I had insurance but I was working during the day when doctors are available. So I waited until after I was able to take time off from my job (90 days from when I started) to make an appointment to see a doctor.

I finally got in to see my PCP about it and she had an x-ray done and referred me to a podiatrist.

The x-ray showed a heel spur and also a small tumor on my foot. When I got in to see the podiatrist he told me that the tumor thingy was nothing to worry about and most likely was unrelated to my pain. He said the pain was plantar fasciitis and that the PF actually causes the heel spur. He recommended icing it, stretching, super expensive insoles (I had been using some that were like $10 from the store, he had me buy brand that was $50/pair -_-), told me to always wear shoes in my house (boo), and had me get a night splint to wear. He also prescribe naproxen to be taken twice a day, and told me he could give me a cortisone injection. He said that he is usually hesitant to give the injection because he doesn’t want patients to think that the shot takes away the  pain so that’s all they need, saying that the shot will wear off so you need to do the stretching and so on to resolve the underlying issue to keep it from coming back. However, since I had been doing stretching and all for months he said he would leave it up to me if I wanted to do the shot too. I said I did and he gave me a cortisone injection. He kept asking if I was ok throughout, because it takes awhile to slowly administer the whole dose, but I’m actually pretty good with needles and have a high pain tolerance. Didn’t bother me watching him do it either.

I chatted with him during it and told him about the last time I saw a podiatrist, years ago, for ingrown toenails. That doctor numbed my foot with a local anesthetic and started cutting into the flesh around my toenail and I could feel him cut into me. He gave me more anesthetic and asked if it hurt when I went to the dentist. Well, yeah, of course it hurts when I get stuff done at the dentist! Isn’t that why everyone hates going to the dentist? He informed me that actually I shouldn’t feel any actual pain after being administered a local anesthetic. Seriously blew my fucking mind!  I seriously thought that experiencing pain even after a local anesthetic was normal, I thought it reduced the pain but didn’t realize it was supposed to completely eliminate pain. I’ve become a lot more vocal at the dentist now if I feel pain asking for more anesthetic!

Anyways, he said it would take about a day to feel the effects of the cortisone injection and sure enough a day or 2 late the pain was massively reduced. I was a bit disappointed that pain didn’t go away completely, but it was reduced to the point where I didn’t limp when walking. I could feel pain when walking, but not enough to impact my walking. But after a few days even that wore off.

I kept up with stretching, bought the expensive insoles, try to wear shoes in my house, and tried to wear the night splint but would end up taking it off halfway through the night because my food would start going numb.

I was supposed to follow up in 2 weeks but put the appointment on my calendar on the wrong day and then just kept forgetting to make appointments so I didn’t get back in until just the other day. I told him how things hadn’t improved much and my experience with the cortisone injection. He said that sometimes it takes building up the cortisone injection so he gave me a stronger dose. He was telling me how most people complain about getting the shot but I couldn’t feel it at all. Even though he would inject some and then go deeper, inject more, go deeper, inject more, and so on and it looked creepy how far that needle went into my foot, but only once did I feel any pinching type feeling from it, otherwise I wouldn’t even know he was doing it if I hadn’t been watching.

He told me to continue stretching and he looked at the night splint. He adjusted the straps and made them much looser, and told me that should make it better. I had the straps tight because I was trying to get my heel as close to being against it as possible but according to him I guess it’s ok with my heel isn’t against the bottom of it, it’s still more flexed that it normally would be while resting.

He also recommended that I start physical therapy, so I’ll be doing that soon.

This time the stronger cortisone injection actually has taken away the pain! I’m 2 days now with no pain when walking and it’s amazing!

Would be great if it lasted but I’m not expecting it will.

This pain is particularly rough this time of year. It’s getting nice out and I really want to go running again, but haven’t been able to yet. I’m hoping that finally all this stuff will get me to where I can walk without pain and then start back to running again eventually. Not sure how long it will take though.