Author Topic: Diagnose me!  (Read 8018 times)

Kaminoge

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Diagnose me!
« on: May 14, 2015, 10:48:24 AM »
For months now I've had foot issues. Sometimes it's better than others but I've never been pain free at any point. I can't exactly explain where the pain is, sort of the arch/heel area but it's not localized.

1. When I first put pressure on the foot (after waking or after sitting) the pain is usually intense. After I hobble around for a bit it eases some what.

2. When I run I can feel the discomfort most of the time but it's only really painful for the first bit of the run.

I've self diagnosed as either plantar fasciitis or bone spurs (thank you Dr Internet) but I'm not 100% convinced of my own diagnosis. I've had plantar fasciitis before and this is a bit different. The descriptions online of bone spurs don't quite match either. So I thought I'd ask if anyone has any other ideas... or better yet suggestions for DIY treatment. I'm sick of hobbling.

I realize this isn't exactly a MMM topic but you people are smart so I figured it can't hurt to ask. I could pretend I'm not seeing a dr to save money (that would be Mustachian) but the honest truth is that I've found the doctors here fairly useless and search as I might I can't find any podiatrists in the city (I'm in Bulgaria).

Kris

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Re: Diagnose me!
« Reply #1 on: May 14, 2015, 11:31:51 AM »
I haven't had plantar fasciitis, but my husband has, and that's what it sounds like to me, based on his experience with it.

Better Late Than Never

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Re: Diagnose me!
« Reply #2 on: May 14, 2015, 11:49:24 AM »
I have had plantar faciitis, and this sounds very similar. After getting diagnosed by my primary physician, I went to a physical therapist to learn stretching exercises and massage techniques to help with the inflammation. That all helped, but I didn't really improve significantly until I started wearing a boot to bed and found good arch supports. Now I don't need the boot anymore, but I still need the stretching exercises at times, even after several years.

TrMama

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Re: Diagnose me!
« Reply #3 on: May 14, 2015, 02:36:46 PM »
It may also be Achilles tendonitis. Is it stiff? Is it worse in the morning when you get up?

If it is tendonitis, be very, very careful not to tear or rupture the tendon.

The_Crustache

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Re: Diagnose me!
« Reply #4 on: May 14, 2015, 02:42:25 PM »
Hairline fracture?

You should probably see a podiatrist.

Retire-Canada

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Re: Diagnose me!
« Reply #5 on: May 14, 2015, 03:05:49 PM »
I've had foot issues most of my life. Finding a good doctor is hard and even with access to one it can be hard to diagnose and treat these problems.

One thing I would suggest is looking at all your regularly worn shoes for wear patterns. I tend to pronate and wear the outside of my shoes. Once that gets to a certain point my feet will start to hurt.

I get new shoes and things go back to normal.

Also consider if there is anything new in your regular routine that might be contributing to the problem.

-- Vik

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Re: Diagnose me!
« Reply #6 on: May 14, 2015, 03:09:57 PM »
I am not a Doctor. But as a previous poster mentioned it's probably Plantar Fasciitis. I had this and the Doctor recommended that I wear Air Jordan's. The problem went away after about a year.

Better Late Than Never

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Re: Diagnose me!
« Reply #7 on: May 14, 2015, 03:21:52 PM »
I've had plantar fasciitis before and this is a bit different.

I just realized you said this. Were you diagnosed by a doctor last time, and how was it treated? In what way is it different this time?

Kiwi Mustache

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Re: Diagnose me!
« Reply #8 on: May 14, 2015, 03:23:32 PM »
For months now I've had foot issues. Sometimes it's better than others but I've never been pain free at any point. I can't exactly explain where the pain is, sort of the arch/heel area but it's not localized.

1. When I first put pressure on the foot (after waking or after sitting) the pain is usually intense. After I hobble around for a bit it eases some what.

2. When I run I can feel the discomfort most of the time but it's only really painful for the first bit of the run.

I've self diagnosed as either plantar fasciitis or bone spurs (thank you Dr Internet) but I'm not 100% convinced of my own diagnosis. I've had plantar fasciitis before and this is a bit different. The descriptions online of bone spurs don't quite match either. So I thought I'd ask if anyone has any other ideas... or better yet suggestions for DIY treatment. I'm sick of hobbling.

I realize this isn't exactly a MMM topic but you people are smart so I figured it can't hurt to ask. I could pretend I'm not seeing a dr to save money (that would be Mustachian) but the honest truth is that I've found the doctors here fairly useless and search as I might I can't find any podiatrists in the city (I'm in Bulgaria).

Did you switch to minimalist/barfoot type shoes recently?

southern granny

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Re: Diagnose me!
« Reply #9 on: May 14, 2015, 04:50:32 PM »
My husband has had plantar fasciitis twice and it is painful.  One thing that helps a lot is to freeze a water bottle and then roll in back and forth with your foot whenever you are sitting and relaxing.  There is an old wives cure about wrapping your foot in banana peels while sleeping, but I never could get him to try that one.    But I do think you should get an xray to rule out a fracture.

Rural

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Re: Diagnose me!
« Reply #10 on: May 15, 2015, 03:46:42 AM »

It sounds tremendously like my plantar fasciitis  to me. An x-ray to rule out a fracture is probably a good idea, especially if it's only one foot.


But, regardless of the diagnosis, keep a pair of shoes next to the bed so that when you get up, you're not hobbling on bare  feet. Put some arch support in shoes if they don't have them, and, even more importantly I found, make sure there's padding on the ball of the foot. You can do this with a pair of relatively cheap slip-ons and some gel inserts if you want to.


I quit worrying about what my diagnosis had been using this method.

Kaminoge

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Re: Diagnose me!
« Reply #11 on: May 15, 2015, 08:14:30 AM »
Thanks for all the suggestions. I'll be back in Australia briefly in July so maybe I'll try to get some arch supports while I'm there or even an appointment with a podiatrist (the thought of Australian prices is putting me off!). I think it probably is plantar fasciitis... just manifesting itself slightly differently. It's actually not as painful as last time but it's lasted a lot longer.

TrMama it's definitely worst when I first get up but I wouldn't exactly describe it as stiff. It hurts and I hobble.

Kiwi Mustache I didn't switch to minimalist shoes recently but I do run in minimalist shoes. Last time I had this problem I tried switching back to different running shoes but I didn't even make one 5k run. My knees just can't take it (which is why I switched to minimalist shoes in the first place). I could give up running but then I'd get fat (I know this from experience) and that wouldn't be good for my feet either.




Bracken_Joy

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Re: Diagnose me!
« Reply #12 on: May 15, 2015, 08:20:23 AM »
Thanks for all the suggestions. I'll be back in Australia briefly in July so maybe I'll try to get some arch supports while I'm there or even an appointment with a podiatrist (the thought of Australian prices is putting me off!). I think it probably is plantar fasciitis... just manifesting itself slightly differently. It's actually not as painful as last time but it's lasted a lot longer.

TrMama it's definitely worst when I first get up but I wouldn't exactly describe it as stiff. It hurts and I hobble.

Kiwi Mustache I didn't switch to minimalist shoes recently but I do run in minimalist shoes. Last time I had this problem I tried switching back to different running shoes but I didn't even make one 5k run. My knees just can't take it (which is why I switched to minimalist shoes in the first place). I could give up running but then I'd get fat (I know this from experience) and that wouldn't be good for my feet either.

I'm sure you know this, but just in case: Be sure to check your running form then. Make sure you're not heel striking, but instead doing more of a mid-foot or fore-foot run. Shorter strides, less vertical motion. A good way to check this is to find somewhere you can run 100% barefoot. You will notice very quickly if you're heel striking =P Minimalist shoes can sometimes provide just enough structure that you aren't getting that feedback.

Moonwaves

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Re: Diagnose me!
« Reply #13 on: May 15, 2015, 08:49:55 AM »
I've self diagnosed as either plantar fasciitis or bone spurs (thank you Dr Internet) but I'm not 100% convinced of my own diagnosis.
I've had both in the same foot at the same time so you might be just that lucky, like me. :) Although, I think it was more that during physio for the plantar fasciitis, the physio felt the bone spur and explained to me what that was.

1. When I first put pressure on the foot (after waking or after sitting) the pain is usually intense. After I hobble around for a bit it eases some what.
This is most often, with me, the bone spur. There's one specific place that hurts a LOT - not often anymore and usually after a day where I've been standing for the best part of the day. When it happens, I can only limp on tiptoe on that foot and even that hurts. I usually manage to just make it to the bathroom and back to bed, where I wait for half-an-hour or so, gently stretching my foot from time to time. It's usually fine after that.

2. When I run I can feel the discomfort most of the time but it's only really painful for the first bit of the run.
I don't run (got mine while doing a lot of hiking in preparation for a 100km walk I did) so can't really comment on this. I will say that the doctor told me very firmly that plantar fasciitis is a nuisance complaint and the only way to get rid of it is to rest your foot as completely as possible. It frustrated the hell out of me to have to stop hiking but it really was the only way it eventually got better. Of course I set myself back by doing the 100km walk anyway - with my foot taped up every day.

If good doctors are thin on the ground there, any chance of finding a decent physio?

frugaliknowit

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Re: Diagnose me!
« Reply #14 on: May 15, 2015, 09:09:45 AM »
I have had plantar factitious most of my adult life.

Do you have standard health insurance?  This is what you do:

Visit your doctor, complain about foot pain.
Your doctor will refer you to a podiatrist.
Podiatrist will most likely prescribe custom orthotics (inserts to go in shoes).
They will take a mold of your feet, then send it to a lab.  Orthotics
come back in a couple of weeks.
Most insurance pays for this.
You WILL love them, once you get used to them (takes about 2-4 weeks). 
For me, the orthotics take care of everything.  I have no pain.

Mrs. PoP

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Re: Diagnose me!
« Reply #15 on: May 15, 2015, 11:25:47 AM »
Not sure if it's much help, but it's possible to add arch support (if you think it might be plantar fasciitis) to your minimalist shoes to a certain degree.  I have a neuroma in one foot, but add strategically placed cushioned pads (get them from hapad.com) to any shoes that don't have a ton of cushioning in the forefoot (including my minimalist running shoes) and they keep the neuroma from freaking out.  I can't wear any heels or running shoes with cushioning or I get severe back and knee pain, so this is my work-around. 

Hapad also has arch pads.  There may be other places to get similar items since it looks like intl shipping is pretty pricey. 

Stretches and other foot workouts might help as well.  One of my favorites for flexing and releasing the muscles of my foot is to practice picking up a tennis ball with your barefoot, holding on to it, and then releasing it carefully. 

MustachianAccountant

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Re: Diagnose me!
« Reply #16 on: May 15, 2015, 01:53:59 PM »
......

Why on earth would you come to the MMM forums for medical advice????

I don't even.

Kaminoge

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Re: Diagnose me!
« Reply #17 on: May 16, 2015, 02:54:06 AM »
MustachianAccountant why not? I'm not going to operate on myself using instructions I get on here but why not ask people... in the same way I ask people I work with for advice?

Mrs PoP maybe I'll try to get some sort of arch support and put it into the minimalist shoes like you suggest. It sounds like we might have similar issues in the sense of avoiding cushioning. I'll try some stretches but there's not way I can pick up a tennis ball with my foot. I don't know if my feet are too small or don't bend enough or what but I can't even begin to get a grip on it. When my boyfriend is around I'll get him to try to see if it's just my feet that are abnormal. But I've googled stretches to help with plantar fasciitis and I'm trying those.

frugaliknowit  there are no podiatrists in the country as far as I can tell. I've found other people looking for similar on the internet and no-one seems to have found one. I've asked around and googled and no-one knows of any. I could visit the gp at the local international clinic BUT I've found them to be completely useless with every other complaint I've ever been to them with and going there is a complete pain so I'm putting it off as long as possible. As mentioned I'm visiting Australia in July so I could see a podiatrist there but there wouldn't be time for getting anything fancy done (like orthotics being made). I'd only have time for the one visit (if I could even get in without a referral from a gp, I'm not sure how it works).

Emg03063

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Re: Diagnose me!
« Reply #18 on: May 17, 2015, 02:06:12 PM »
Sounds like plantar fascitis to me.  This took care of it for me:  http://thesock.com/

Kiwi Mustache

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Re: Diagnose me!
« Reply #19 on: May 17, 2015, 05:50:19 PM »
If you are keen on running, I'd pay a few hundred dollars to get your running stride/technique videoed and analysed. I got it done at the local university by biomechanics students and I learnt to run properly with the right technique, landing under the hips instead of in front, running tall, etc.

I haven't had any injuries since.

Running is a repetitive motion and if your technique isn't great, you are putting enormous strain on your legs and hips. Doesn't matter what type of footwear you own (minimal or supportive/arches with big heel and heel to toe drop) if your technique is off, you are just going to hurt yourself.

Technique lessons are well worth paying for. Also, I do drills and strides for 30-40mins once per week to maintain my technique year round as advised by the biomechanics report and a running coach.

I know as MMM this seems like a big expense but if you love running it keeps you healthy, then the money spent is definitely worth it for enjoyment and longevity in running.

Kiwi Mustache

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Re: Diagnose me!
« Reply #20 on: May 17, 2015, 05:53:54 PM »
Also, don't go to podiatrist or running shoe stores, they are full of out of date rubbish advice and all they want to do is sell you stuff.

Orthotics and the modern running shoe are only 20-30 years old. Humans aren't designed to run in these things. I went from Asics Kayano's to New Balance Minimus and now have slightly more padding and switch between Brooks Pure Flow and Pure Cadence for a little bit more cushion and comfort. Still quite minimal with zero heel/toe drop.

Moonwaves

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Re: Diagnose me!
« Reply #21 on: May 18, 2015, 04:14:15 AM »
frugaliknowit  there are no podiatrists in the country as far as I can tell. I've found other people looking for similar on the internet and no-one seems to have found one. I've asked around and googled and no-one knows of any. I could visit the gp at the local international clinic BUT I've found them to be completely useless with every other complaint I've ever been to them with and going there is a complete pain so I'm putting it off as long as possible. As mentioned I'm visiting Australia in July so I could see a podiatrist there but there wouldn't be time for getting anything fancy done (like orthotics being made). I'd only have time for the one visit (if I could even get in without a referral from a gp, I'm not sure how it works).
If a trip to Germany would be less of a pain than your international clinic then I can bring you to my local orthotics place. :)
I get a prescription from my orthopaedic doctor and it's the place they recommended. It's basically an orthopaedic shoe shop and they have a workshop with a few people working making orthotics. If I get them on prescription I only pay about 10. You'd have to pay full price but at around 60, even that wouldn't exactly break the bank. :)  They have a machine to scan your feet - it's kind of like a photocopier in the floor so measures exactly where the pressure is and that kind of thing. It normally takes about a week for them to be made.
All joking about trips to Germany for something like that aside, is the international clinic your only option? Sorry, not sure if you're living long-term in Bulgaria or just on an extended stay. If things are really that bad there, and depending on what part of the country you're in, is a trip to any neighbouring country feasible? Also, if you ask someone for their opinion on where you should go, does that get a different response than asking them where to find a podiatrist? As I mentioned, I have to get my orthotics prescription from the orthopaedic doctor here, a podiatrist wouldn't be able to help me. Different countries do seem to sometimes have different ways of dealing with things.

Finally, I did get a certain amount of relief when I was injured from acupuncture. Perhaps not as much as I had hoped for, but some, anyway. Could also be worth trying.


Kaminoge

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Re: Diagnose me!
« Reply #22 on: May 18, 2015, 09:46:06 AM »
Thanks for the additional suggestions. Emg03063 that sock thing looks interesting but I'm kind of wary about paying that kind of money for something that can only be bought off the internet (they want almost 50 euros for postage which seems fairly ridiculous).

Kiwi you don't need to convince me that minimalist is the way to go. I couldn't run at all (due to knee issues) until I switched to them. The idea about checking technique etc is good but I doubt very much any such thing exists here. And if it did the chances of it existing and being offered in English is probably even slimmer.

Moonwaves thanks for the suggestion. No current plans to visit Germany but who knows, maybe on a future holiday I will have the chance. It is a direct flight from here and I have visited a couple of times. The international clinic isn't my only option but an English speaking dr is (since I speak approximately 3 words of Bulgarian). As far as I've been able to discover there's no podiatrists in Bulgaria - regardless of language. I'll keep asking around though. I should ask the PE teachers I know, they might have more of an idea. Neighboring countries aren't exactly centers of medical excellence and I don't have any holidays to go visit them anyway (well I do have holidays but I'm already off to Australia).

I should also ask about acupuncture. I don't know if it exists at all. Before I lived here I lived in Japan and my acupuncturist was truly a miracle worker. I swore by him. I'd tried acupuncture before (when I lived in China) and it did nothing for me but the guy in Japan made a huge difference to some issues I was having and was well worth every yen I paid him.

curlyfry

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Re: Diagnose me!
« Reply #23 on: May 23, 2015, 03:48:17 PM »
See a physical therapist for a proper diagnosis, as most heel pain is mechanical in nature.  There are different types of heel pain & the treatment is very different depending on which is the cause.  They can rule out things so you don't waste your time & money.