August 25, 2011

Plantar Fasciitis Woes

I have been dealing (suffering) with plantar fasciitis for over 3 years now. I have tried just about every conservative treatment therapy from physical therapy, NSAIDs, cortisone injections, stretching, night splint, ice, taping, custom orthotics, and Graston.

The pain has become more constant and to the point where I would cry as soon as I got home from work because I was in pain and frustrated.

A few weeks ago I decided to go back to my podiatrist to see what else could be done although I already knew what she was going to say (surgery). We talked about my options which were endoscopic surgery to release the plantar fascia, ultrasonic shock wave procedure to help stimulate the blood flow and healing process of the inflamed and scarred tissue, or to continue with other conservative measures. Just to be sure the pain hasn't been caused by something else such as a tumor or cyst she wanted to send me for a MRI.

I went for a follow up today to review the results of the MRI. The MRI showed no clear signs of plantar fasciitis although my symptoms are clearly those of plantar fasciitis, but it did show arthritis in my left foot, a small heel spur, as well as a benign cyst.

So, my podiatrist strongly urged me to consider having at least one more injection of cortisone into my heel to see if that doesn't help. I am very hesitant about this because the first shot hurt like you wouldn't believe. Steve went with me when I last had the injections and I practically squeezed his poor hand off. My doctor feels that the ultrasonic shock wave procedure would be best to try first because it is non-invasive, but she is not sure if my insurance would cover it and Hopkins is the only hospital that performs that procedure. Also, the procedure would require anesthesia because the shocks are "intense" as she put it. Hmmm.... I did YouTube the endoscopic procedure which looked fairly short and simple, but the recovery time is up to 3 months and with anything there is no guarantee that it will work.

I've decided to try a physical therapist that was recommended to me by a coworker. My coworker was having a lot of foot pain and said that the physical therapist helped her tremendously. I also have decided to give acupuncture a whirl. I'm pretty terrified about the thought of hundreds of tiny little needles being inserted all over my body, but at least then I can say that I have tried everything. I'm going to get fitted for a new pair of orthotics too since mine from 3 years ago are more than worn out. In the mean time, I'm going to continue what I have been doing and hope for the best.

Anyone have any other suggestions? Please share your stories about your experience with plantar fasciitis!

Below is a YouTube clip of the Graston technique for those who are interested. I did find some relief from it, but the chiropractor wanted me to come 3 days a week which was not possible with my work schedule. Also, it would be costly over time.


August 23, 2011


I was sitting at the desk and talking to a patient in the triage room at work when all of a sudden I saw the walls shaking and the ceiling moving. I really wasn't sure what was going on and thought that I was going to pass out or something. The patient and I just looked at each other and then he grabbed my arm and said, "we gotta go stand in the doorway!" At that instant, I knew we were experiencing an earthquake. Seriously?! An earthquake on the east coast?! Yes. A 5.8 magnitude earthquake at that.