As y’all know, I’ve been suffering excrutiating pain from plantar fasciitis, probably caused by a combination of very high arches combined with a walking and jogging regimen of 4 to 6 miles daily in an attempt to keep middle-aged weight gain under control. It had gotten to be so bad that I was limping through life when previously I had been bounding. My house, yard, and pastures have not been as well cared for, for it is hard to take good care of property when every step brings stabbing pain.
Oral steroids brought (very) temporary pain relief. I felt great when I was taking them! The stretching tips I got from the podiatrist didn’t really help. The night splint helped a little. I got custom arch supports and hoped that those, along with taking the diclofenac, would effect a miracle. It did–as long as I was taking the diclofenac, but then I had to cut the dosage due to GI complaints. After the now once daily dose wore off, the pain would be back with crippling intensity. I couldn’t even contemplate having an operation for the heel spurs. I simply cannot be incapacitated for that much time.
Exacerbating the problem, to be sure, was that my weight was not creeping up but leaping up. Cessation of aerobic exercise along with eating for comfort was a bad combination. I put on 25 lbs. in a year.
I checked out the book “The Permanent Pain Cure” by Ming Chew, PT, from the library. Although the stretches that I had done previously were ineffective, I was willing to try just about anything.
I have a confession to make about the book. He wants people to cut down the sugar. Way down. I need my southern sweet tea, people. I do not like mother-in-law tea, so called because you have to imagine there might be sweetness in there somewhere. The kind of tea that I like could be poured on pancakes if syrup wasn’t available. So, I haven’t done all of the dietary reforms suggested, except that I am taking fish oil for the anti-inflammatory properties. I also started eating wild salmon again, this time for breakfast. I haven’t given up all fried foods, but I’ve been frying using olive oil. I haven’t taken the “systemic enzymes” because I have a tendency to bruise easily. (You should see the sheep hoof marks on my legs! I didn’t even feel those yesterday. Isn’t it wonderful how a smashed finger can redirect your thoughts?) They (systemic enzymes) are supposed to be blood thinners, but I figure my blood is already thin enough, particularly with the fish oil supplementation. I am drinking more water and my sweet tea is limited to one large glass per day.
I stopped taking diclofenac for pain/inflammation and started using the stretches to manage and control the pain, although I confess that I still have a few diclofenac “just in case”. Even though I am not yet doing all of the stretches recommended (time constraints in the morning!) and all of the dietary recommendations, I have gotten sufficient pain relief that I have been diclofenac free all this week.
I was sufficiently enamored with the book that SwampMan bought me my own copy so that I would quit monopolizing the library’s copy.
With my imperfect adherence to the book’s recommendations, I would still estimate that my pain is about 50% less than before I began the exercises and dietary (such as they are) modifications. It may not sound like much, but in a couple of weeks’ worth of stretching, I have managed to reduce the severe, unremitting pain that has made my life miserable for over a year! I am astounded.
Will the pain continue to diminish if I continue to stretch and wear my arch supports? I certainly hope so. Will I ever be able to go back to jogging or walking 6 miles daily? At this point, I just do not know.
If you have muscle and joint pain and don’t believe too much in physical therapy (or, like me, haven’t had much success with the exercise sheet handed out by the podiatrist), then I recommend that you check out the book and give it a trial run before committing to a book purchase. While I have used the book exclusively for relief from plantar fasciitis, there are numerous joint and muscle pain problems listed along with physical therapy remedies.