Nurse with plantar fasciitis. Help?

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  • mystgrl1604
    mystgrl1604 Posts: 117 Member
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    Maybe your coworkers will take sympathy on you and give you assignments closest to the nursing station. ;)

    Hahaha. No such luck. Plus the heaviest patients are the ones nearest the station and I don't really want to have all my assignments to be bedbound. Lol.

    What kind of stretches are you guys doing? I've been stretching my arches first thing in the morning (by pulling my toes up towards my shins) before getting up else I won't be able to walk to the bathroom at all, but otherwise that's it. Plus ice when it gets really bad.

    This stretch/massage is painful but helpful. Sit with one leg folded across the other. Use one hand to pull back your toes. Use the other to massage your arch. You can call in the aid of a spiky massage ball if you want--I do. You can also roll the ball under your foot as you sit. Or roll a frozen water bottle.

    ETA: In bed, I'd suggest modifying the stretch you already do to stretch your calf muscle, too (tight calf tightens the plantar fascia). Loop a hand towel or rope or something around the bottom of your foot and give it a nice stretch like so. (I did this while lying on my back, FYI).

    You should also work on *strengthening* your calf muscle and plantar fascia. For your calf, do calf raises and heel drops (off a stair). For the PF themselves, there are a couple options. I like picking up and putting down objects with my toes--a towel, the massage ball. Some people like to trace the alphabet on the ground or in the air with their toes.

    That first stretch is what i do first thing in the morning so I can walk to the bathroom. Lol. I do calf stretches about 3x/week when I go to my exercise classes but I'm guessing I should do them a lot more often eh? I'll start doing that with my arch stretch first thing in the morning as well then. My calves are already pretty strong, I do weighted calf raises as part of my leg day, but they are prone to muscle cramps so I try not to stress them often. Stretching sounds good as they're always a bit tight. Plus, being a particulary lazy girl when I can find some other easier way to do things, I already pick up a lot of stuff with my toes :tongue: i have dexterous toes hahahaha!
    nurselroy wrote: »
    I'm a nurse and had this in both feet a few years ago so I know your pain. I ended up having to get steroid shots as the home remedies weren't enough. The shots worked wonders and I've been able to maintain by stretching , icing, and the occasional naprosyn for pain control. The tennis ball works great too. The shots were a little uncomfortable but I literally limped in in severe pain and walked out of the office with barely a twinge of pain to work a 10 hour shift running up and down the halls of the hospital.

    Giiiiiirl! Hello fellow nursey! I haven't even thought of steroid shots, was just looking for home remedies, but sounds like it's done you and others a load of good! Sometimes, I'd ask my SO to massage my arches for me and I'd be screaming in a pillow coz of the pain, they're that painful. Maybe it's something I can ask my GP about. I've got an inkling that home remedies might not work for me too, coz I'm pretty much doing everything I'm supposed to do but the fact that I can't do them while I'm working a 12.5hr shift on my feet just beats the effect of those stretching, I think. I already wear very supportive shoes.
    Cherimoose wrote: »
    Is there a cure? I've not done a lot of research and just sort of fallen into treating the symptoms and not the underlying cause

    The underlying cause is usually arch degeneration (according to studies) which is usually from wearing shoes that are overly supportive and/or from not walking enough. Arches, being avascular, require regular movement to stay healthy, but the rigid insoles of most shoes reduces the amount of movement the arch gets. So try to do your arch stretch as often as possible throughout the day, and also wear a Strassburg Sock, to stretch it while you sleep. If you can walk pain-free in shoes with a more flexible sole, like skateboard shoes, that will speed recovery. I used to have PF, and now i can run barefoot. :+1:

    Lol I don't think not walking enough is the problem. I usually hit 10-20k steps on a regular basis. The pain normally hits once I've had a little rest (e.g. lunch break) from being on my feet for 3-4hrs before that and I'd be very slowly and painfully limping back to the ward until my arches stretch enough for me to walk normally again.
  • 79dawn
    79dawn Posts: 19 Member
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    Mine has finally resolved. I'm a nurse also and I can thank standing all day while learning to scrub for the misery I was in. I had noticed that the pain and limp were much worse when I first got up in the morning or whenever I first got up after sitting down. I found the key was to keep my feet flexed. When you sit do you pull your feet back under the chair where only your toes touch the ground?? If so don't do this. Keep both feet planted firmly on the floor. Someone recommended wearing the braces at night, the braces will do the same thing. I wrapped my ankle in an ace bandage at night and it worked for me.

    It took almost 4 years to get rid of mine. I was working as a travel nurse and took some back to back jobs in much slower cath labs. I was able to sit down more and rest my feet. I always had to wear supportive shoes during that time, so no flip flops on the weekends.
  • niduran1961
    niduran1961 Posts: 26 Member
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    A friend of mine has plantar fascitis and says that when she exercises regularly (I think on an elliptical, mostly) the pain goes away. Maybe the increased blood flow or something? I hear you that you are doing lots of walking already, but maybe actual, intentional exercise is different somehow.
  • UltraRunnerGale
    UltraRunnerGale Posts: 346 Member
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    Nothing much helps, but a good resource is The Sock Doc. His videos are online and they are amazing. He recommends trigger point massage, that you can do yourself!! He says to NEVER stretch. Check him out! <3
  • jchite84
    jchite84 Posts: 467 Member
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    Going to go against the grain of many of the comments. I am not a doctor, but this is what helped me. 1) Lots of self massage - calf, Achilles tendon, hamstrings, and glutes. 2) Switch to a more minimalist shoe, something that is lower to the ground and does not have any heel lift, and has minimal cushioning and a flexible sole (Nike Free or something similar will do). The special socks, and many of the stretches involve pointing your toes upward. Zero drop shoes prevent your toes from dipping below your heel while you are standing. My experience was that the muscles and tendons were tight and putting "slack" on my plantar fascia allowed everything to tighten up more, which is why the symptoms are worse when waking up or after resting off of your feet. Since I switched to minimalist shoes and began regularly massaging, I haven't had a flare up in 2 years. Oh and 3) Use and NSAID (Aleve is my go-to) to relieve swelling/pain temporarily, but of course long term use is a bad option (not good for the liver and kidneys).
  • slinke2014
    slinke2014 Posts: 149 Member
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    I don't know if anyone recommended them yet but Zionic brand shoes are wonderful! They have orthopedic soles and have everything from flip flops to boots. I started wearing them and my foot pain was greatly reduced.
  • GiddyupTim
    GiddyupTim Posts: 2,819 Member
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    Solution is Superfeet insoles, available at any running store. They give you support all day, so that you are not continually re-aggravating the condition, so that it can heal.
    Worked for me. I put them in every pair of shoes I had, and I stretched, and I got better fast -- while still running quite a bit.
  • mbaker566
    mbaker566 Posts: 11,233 Member
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    see a podiatrist and in the mean time stretch and roll a frozen water bottle on the bottom of your feet when you have a chance
  • slinke2014
    slinke2014 Posts: 149 Member
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    slinke2014 wrote: »
    I don't know if anyone recommended them yet but Zionic brand shoes are wonderful! They have orthopedic soles and have everything from flip flops to boots. I started wearing them and my foot pain was greatly reduced.

    and I meant Vionic shoes....not zionic LOL
  • marcelo_templario
    marcelo_templario Posts: 653 Member
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    Hello nurse, I got that from running overweight, do you have a strong hands husband, ask him to massage your feet while you stretch them, pointing your toes at you, he must apply some pushing with his knuckles, it hurts as hell but the pain will subside with days, also apply some muscle soar aiding roll on at nights, fascitis is the layer of the feet plant too tense.

    Or, go to a therapist, they will put electrodes and relax it.
  • marcelo_templario
    marcelo_templario Posts: 653 Member
    edited August 2015
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    Hello nurse, I got that from running overweight, do you have a strong hands husband, ask him to massage your feet while you stretch them, pointing your toes at you, he must apply some pushing with his knuckles, it hurts as hell but the pain will subside with days, also apply some muscle soar aiding roll on at nights, fascitis is the layer of the feet plant too tense.

    Or, go to a therapist, they will put electrodes and relax it.

    Oh..one more thing, roll your plant on a tennis ball, it feels totally unpleasant to the point of peeing in self but it absolutely helps the foot to release that tension and massage deeply.

    Do it!
  • CattOfTheGarage
    CattOfTheGarage Posts: 2,745 Member
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    You said "GP" - are you in the UK? If so, get yourself a referral quickstyle! You can get bespoke orthotic insoles on the NHS. Do it soon - they work wonders, not just for feet but knees, hips and back, all of which are thrown out of line by plantar fasciitis.

    Stretches etc are fine, but get the insoles ASAP. As far as I know there is no cure but a good pair of insoles is the nearest thing you'll get. Put it off no longer!

    (Source: I also suffer from this and got insoles prescribed, huge impact).
  • Adc7225
    Adc7225 Posts: 1,318 Member
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    I feel your pain. I was recently diagnosed with my second encounter, I had no idea it would come back. Initially I was given some heel cups that worked wonders and while I could never locate any to purchase I was able to get a new pair from the internet once I found out what they were called Tuli's Heel Cups (they are not all created equally). I wore them almost all the time, except in the shower, I put them in my socks when at home and even slept in them for those late night trips to the restroom (no time to stretch before getting up). The pain lightened up much faster than I expected. I still wear the heel cups on occasion especially when I am going to be on my feet for long periods.
  • Numberwang22
    Numberwang22 Posts: 213 Member
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    I had this for a while and the 2 things that worked for me were exercising in aisics 'motion control' trainers, and otherwise wearing a small heel. Wearing complete flats for too long sets it off. Didn't have any luck with shoe insets. Ibroprofen gel helped a lot as well!
  • mystgrl1604
    mystgrl1604 Posts: 117 Member
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    Thanks for all the replies! Yes I'm in the UK, so will get on the GP as soon as I can. I have insoles but I'm wondering if there are prescription ones that will be better for my feet.

    Im walking and doing mostly Zumba with the occasional Pilates thrown in with my strength training in the gym. Don't feel the pain when I've been walking for a while, only when I first get up in the morning and when I've rested for a bit.

    I've tried Ibuprofen gel with no luck, and I don't really believe in taking Paracetamol or other pain killers for such transient pain.
  • ladipoet
    ladipoet Posts: 4,180 Member
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    Have you ever heard of or considered trying acoustic compression therapy?
  • mystgrl1604
    mystgrl1604 Posts: 117 Member
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    ladipoet wrote: »
    Have you ever heard of or considered trying acoustic compression therapy?

    First time I heard of it. What is involved?
  • Chasity6
    Chasity6 Posts: 183 Member
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    Thanks for tip about keeping feet flat instead of toes only on ground. I find myself doing this while charting. Counters to high to sit with feet flat without getting different chair. However I have to reach up at odd angle. But already have back issue sure do not need PF to.
  • ladipoet
    ladipoet Posts: 4,180 Member
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    ladipoet wrote: »
    Have you ever heard of or considered trying acoustic compression therapy?

    First time I heard of it. What is involved?

    Here are a couple of quotes from various websites I found when I googled it to find a definition for you:

    # 1:

    "Myofascial Acoustic Compression Therapy...is widely used in the treatment of acute and chronic pain in muscles, tendons and joints. MyACT describes the use of acoustic waves to target tissue at varying depths to compress and manipulate tissue resulting in a focused and precise deep tissue massage. The results of the mechanical stimulus delivered by MyACT can lead to increased circulation, range of motion and pain relief – key components in the healing process."

    # 2:

    "Shockwave therapy is a relatively new treatment option in orthopedic and rehabilitation medicine. The effect of shockwaves was first documented during World War II when the lungs of castaways were noted to be damaged without any superficial evidence of trauma. It was discovered the shockwaves created by depth charges were responsible for the internal injuries. This created a great deal of interest and research into the biological effects of shockwaves on living tissue. The first medical treatment developed from this research was lithotripsy. This allowed focused shockwaves to essentially dissolve kidney stones without surgical intervention. Today, over 98% of all kidney stones are treated with this technology. The use of shockwaves to treat tendon related pain began in the early 1990s.

    A clinical shockwave is nothing more than a controlled explosion that creates a sonic pulse, much like an airplane breaking the sound barrier. The primary effect of a shockwave is a direct mechanical force. The exact mechanism by which shockwave therapy acts to treat tendon pathology is not known. The leading explanation is based on the inflammatory healing response. It is felt the shockwaves cause microtrauma to the diseased tendon tissue. This results in inflammation, which allows the body to send healing cells and increase the blood flow to the injured site.

    Shockwave Therapy offers a cutting edge treatment for Tendonitis, Bursitis and Fasciitis. It is an FDA approved, noninvasive procedure that can be used to treat Tendonitis, Plantar Fasciitis, Bursitis, Calcific Tendonitis, Rotator Cuff Syndrome, Tennis Elbow and Golf Elbow. Shockwave Therapy is used as an alternative to Physical Therapy and uses a stream of pulsed sound waves to break up old scar tissue and promote blood flow back to the effected area. Many have shown a positive response versus placebo treatment and others have shown no benefit over placebo. No studies have reported any significant side effects when utilized for orthopedic conditions. Contraindications to shockwave therapy include bleeding disorders and pregnancy.

    There are two main types of shockwave machines, low and high energy. High-energy treatments are administered in the operating room with regional or general anesthesia. Low-energy treatments are administered in the clinic and do not require anesthesia or injections. Dr. Berry currently uses a low-energy to mid range machine by placing the probe on the area of greatest tenderness and the shockwaves are delivered over 10-20 minutes. Occasionally, patients will relate mild transient discomfort at the treatment site. Patients are usually treated with 3-5 sessions separated by a week. Between treatments, patients are able to perform all normal daily activities. Some patients report immediate pain relief but the healing response usually requires 6-8 weeks."

    Hope this information is helpful.
  • no1racefan2
    no1racefan2 Posts: 84 Member
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    Shoes are one of the most important health investments you can make. Really good orthotic shoes fixed my PF. Most brands sold by the Walking Company are good. I like ABEO, Naot, Vionic, Brooks, and Orthoheel.