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Chronic pain

Chronic plantar fasciitis and shock wave therapy

22 replies

Colourbwrries · 05/01/2023 13:39

Hello, I’m hoping to get your opinions and what your experience was with PF and shock wave therapy.
I’ve been diagnosed with chronic plantar fasciitis in both feet about a month ago. Have been in a lot of pain for 6 months now. I saw a podiatrist 6 months ago who made special support insoles moulded on my feet. They helped for a while and I stopped doing the exercises/ice rolling as things got better. Then they went really bad when I walked into a physio practice and was recommended shock wave therapy.
So bought a set of 3 sessions with another practice that had the machine. The pain was excruciating but put up with it. After the first session I realised one day I could just stand up and walk without support. But it did not last long. Have not seen much improvement after the next two, apart from the fact that the therapist could use a higher setting on the machine. If I remember well he said 3000 shocks going through my foot. Also he stated he could go up to level 3 on the better foot.
Due to logistical issues I could not return to this physio for another course and found another one easier to reach. Now this other therapist seems to be changing the settings a lot, the heads, etc. I could hardly feel any pain. In this practice the machine was next to me so could see the settings. She would jump from 600 shots to 2000, then back to 600 and then 3000. I am somehow baffled. I told her it wasn’t as painful as it had been with the other therapist and she said it doesn’t matter if it is painful or not.

I was wondering how many sessions you had in total till it went away? I have done 4 so far, having another 5 left, all of this paid by me while I am waiting for the NHS to get things in motion.

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Seaweedandsalt · 05/01/2023 13:41
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BrassicaBabe · 05/01/2023 13:44

Hi
I've had PF in one foot for only 6 weeks. It's driving me potty. Not because it's painful, my foot soreness is only 1/10 but I can't run.
I've been seeing a physio since it started. But started shock wave therapy with her yesterday.
My reading says that it up "up to 80% effective". That if your pain has been with you 0-3 months then 3 treatments a week apart would be sufficient. But over that you might need up to 6 treatments
Fingers crossed!!
xx

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BrassicaBabe · 05/01/2023 13:46

I know nothing about the machine settings im guessing your treatment is less painful because your foot is less painful?!

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Colourbwrries · 05/01/2023 14:05

@Seaweedandsalt thank you, I was actually looking at something similar in Boots yesterday, £299! What a price difference. I’ve been using a foot so on and off since it started and it did help. I will give the foot massager a go too, especially that I have poor blood circulation in my extremities and my partner could use it too.
@BrassicaBabe i am surprised she has given you shock wave therapy so soon. My therapist said it should be done if your va he been in pain for at least 6 months, which I hadn’t when I saw her but it was due to the fact that I had felt pains with first steps for over a year before it was really bad. Now I wish I had seen someone sooner, when it was just a little bit painful in the morning. Do you feel worse for a couple of days after each session and then start feeling better? Hope you get better soon. And count yourself lucky, I can hardly walk to the local shops, running is such a far fetched prospect for me🤗

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trulyunruly01 · 05/01/2023 14:13

There is also a little device that you strap to the arch of your foot and it does whatever it's meant to. Costs about £35.
Both my mate and I have found this quite effective.

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KangarooKenny · 05/01/2023 14:15

I had one treatment on one foot and it cured mine. Then the other foot got better itself, I assume because I wasn’t over using it anymore.

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Nimo12 · 05/01/2023 14:18

I foolishly kept exercising with it as I didn't know what it was and made it much worse. KT tape applied correctly (there are videos on YouTube) was a lifesaver as well as a door roller and a device that sends vibration to the muscle from a site called plantarfix (I think that's the correct name) It's so painful. Hope you find relief soon

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BrassicaBabe · 05/01/2023 14:42

Bless you @Colourbwrries I think it's twaddle about waiting 6 months. But then I'm desperate and paying privately. Yes, it does feel a bit tender. But yours will feel worse than mine as your baseline pain is worse. And you are right, it's painful having treatment even when my baseline pain is low. You must be hanging from the ceiling!!

This podcast is running focused but talkes good things re PF and shockwave
podcasts.apple.com/gb/podcast/runpod/id1457721095?i=1000582340319

I feel for you not being able to walk. Completely and honestly do. But I'm a complete MH fruit loop at the moment not being able to run, fitness I've worked hard for going down the drain, weight going through the roof etc etc. I'm a total nutter. I'd pay anything at this moment for a magic wand.

Hope we both have miracle cures!

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Seaweedandsalt · 05/01/2023 14:54

I always wear good trainers for work with the air heel, they weren't particuarly expensive, partner got them from Amazon. They have two pairs of insoles in them. I wear flip flops around the house with some panty liners on the heel area to give added protection, sometimes I wear slippers with insoles. My wellies have two pairs of gel insoles in them too.

Never walk anywhere without a supportive heel, don't walk barefoot. EVER.
Your calf muscles will be tight I expect, so giving them a good massage will help with the heel pain.

FWIW I don't particuarly think shock wave is as good as its made out to be, I've used it a number of times on horses, I know humans are different anatomy, but works in the same way. But I never found it to be effective, nor a number of other people I know who have found the same.

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Seaweedandsalt · 05/01/2023 14:57

Its very debilitating, I also have what feels like a partially dislocated ankle on my right foot, with loads of additional calf muscle that isn't the same as the left leg. I have sciatica in both buttocks and legs and also extensor tendonitis on the top of my left foot. The plantar fasciitis was the final blow, I'm literally crippled if I walk bare foot in the night or in between co-codamol and gabapentin doses.

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KangarooKenny · 05/01/2023 16:31

Your shoes/slippers should be fastened on your foot. Any flip-flop or slider type footwear causes you to alter the way you walk to keep it on, so don’t wear them.

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Colourbwrries · 05/01/2023 17:28

Hi everyone,
thank you so much for your replies. My original post was quite long but will list below what I have been using/doing so far:
When it got really bad in the summer I started doing the stretching exercises on the NHS website and started using a foot spa while waiting for my appt with the podiatrist
I got the special insoles done by the podiatrist and had a reflexology session with her- I found reflexology to help but then it wore off,and due to her being on holiday I had to visit a physio as I was at this point in so much pain(had to hold on to walls first thing in the morning)
The physio told me to wear trainers indoors as well, so did the podiatrist but was not able to in the summer being so so hot
I started the first set of shock wave therapy and during this time I was finally able to see the NHS physio- she stated that I should get an injection as well, I suppose she many cortisone.I am still waiting to hear from the NHS
I have just started the second lot of shock wave therapy- all physios (I’ve seen 4 so far) stressed how important it was to keep doing my exercises
For the last 4 years I have been wearing DM’s at work due to the shoe policy in place
I do love to walk barefoot indoors especially on hardwood flooring but cannot anymore, even if I wanted, it’s too painful
My calves get tight as well, as one of you suspected, so I am massaging them too
I am also keeping a bottle filled with water in the freezer and roll my feet as well
The DMs in conjunction with my podiatrist insoles are too hard for my heels. I have recently started using the Neo gel heel pads and also bought the Neo gel insoles with special support for the arch.
I have recently invested in 2 pairs of Sketchers: one trainers and one ankle boots to be able to use at work.
@Seaweedandsalt you are right, it is debilitating, especially when you cannot even walk faster than a snail and a trip to the local shops leaves you agony for a a couple of days. I am sorry you I’ve to go through this on top of your other conditions. Hope you all get better soon🤗

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Muhwanda · 19/05/2023 14:31

Hello all, hope you don’t mind me redirecting this thread! I wondered how you are getting on now @Colourbwrries?

i have been suffering for about 6 weeks. I’m climbing the walls with frustration! I’m due to start shockwave therapy in a couple of weeks and also have reflexology booked for sun. My consultant recommended against cortisone injections.

i already didn’t wear totally flat shoes, had built up trainers, did calf exercises etc and it still got me 😩 Does anyone have any miracle cures? 🙏

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Colourbwrries · 19/05/2023 15:58

@Muhwanda Hi, I am currently doing my 3rd series of shockwave therapy. Finally got it through NHS this time. The first 2, which amounted to 9 visits in total, did privately. NHS only offered me 3.

I would say no matter how many people you have seen or how many articles you’ve read, ask the therapist to tell you as much as they can about it. I have seen a few so far and each of them will tell you at least one new thing you did not know. My last one told me not to do the ice rolling while doing the shockwave therapy, and also to stay away from ibuprofen. If need be take paracetamol. 2 things I did not know. The exercises are key though, and you need to keep doing them. I am better but it’s very slow progress, and when I stop doing the exercises I can see it worsening.
Also, i do not use the hard insoles anymore that my podiatrist moulded for me. I find the gel ones from Boots to be better. And started wearing sketchers, outdoors and indoors as well.
Someon recommended MBTs, my physiotherapist didn’t know about them. I am dreading the hot summer coming up and the prospect of wearing closed shoes. I need to at work, but inside my house ….
Reflexology did help me, but it’s only alleviating it. Hope it will go away for you soon. I’ve also been told to keep my weight down as well, but find it hard when I can hardly walk, let alone exercise. Hope this helps!🤗

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Runnerupthehill · 11/07/2023 07:15

The advice on here is great. Thank you.

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Erwi · 14/12/2023 15:25

Shock wave therapy can be a bit varied in its approach, especially with different therapists using varying settings. Some find relief sooner while others might need more sessions. In general, it can take around 3 to 5 sessions for noticeable improvement, but it really varies based on individual response. If you ever need additional resources, try to link it to get more information about one shockwave therapy. You should also remember to prioritise self-care since it's really significant to have everything in order.

Shockwave Therapy - Pro-Fit Physio & Allied Health Centre

Shockwave Therapy Treats Multiple Conditions and Provides Faster Healing and Pain Relief. Book Your First Consultation Today. Call us (02) 9771 1977.

https://pro-fitphysio.com.au/shockwave-therapy-2/

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Tiredmummy2019 · 14/12/2023 23:37

I am in a similar boat,had plantar fascitis for past 3years on and off then due to longer working hours on my feet as a cleaner on hardwood floors wearing flat work shoes with gel insoles and due to a twisted ankle injury several weeks ago I noticed the stretches I used to find relieving left me in more pain and the pain level was higher. GP put me on naproxen and referred me for xray. Realised had achilles tendonitus, a calcaneal heel spur and calcification of the tendons...wow I freaked at that. Obtained an ultrasound scan to see better what is going on (one foot 50% more thicker on plantar fascia than should be, worse foot 100% more thicker!), sent them to a podiatrist that I saw today who started off releasing fascia tenderness at my hips my calf and my ankle...boy was it painful! Like deep tissue sports massage without the oil ...idea being if tight upper body it reflects in feet,reflexology concepts...Once done she gave me my first laser therapy session on both feet to reduce inflammation (stopped naproxen 3 days before treatment)...idea being once inflammation reduced i can then get shockwave therapy to break down the calcification that us causing my heel pain! I have also been massaging my heel daily rubbing at the bump as I call it causing the pain and it is better but would probably take a year to decalcify this way...! I wear insoles, have started taking osteocare tables to give me more calcium and magnesium to aid in recovery and have ceased hard-core aerobics classes, favouring yoga and swimming to allow feet to heel. The plantar fascia constantly aches and first thing in morning holding on to furniture with first steps for sure! Sorry for essay, hope it helps, I'm hoping this works but as we're all different it's a suck it n see costly experiment!

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Colourbwrries · 16/12/2023 09:54

I feel your pain @Tiredmummy2019 when you say about holding on to the furniture in the morning. I was the same. Luckily I am a bit better now, no need for that atm. I am still lazy about the exercises but started being more cautious about what I eat and trying to incorporate anti inflammatory foods in my diet. I am back on the lemon and ginger water first thing in the morning and I am taking a turmeric supplement as well. The physiotherapist also supported the idea of turmeric but advised against having more shockwave therapy. All in all I have had 12 sessions.

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Tiredmummy2019 · 16/12/2023 09:56

Wow 12 sessions! I'm hoping 5 will be enough. My husband is skeptical about their efficacy and expense but got to try...
Interesting supplements...

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Colourbwrries · 16/12/2023 10:03

@Tiredmummy2019 also forgot to mention, have a pair of trainers for indoor use only and keep them by your bed. Put them on before you take the first steps in the morning. I found some cheap sketchers in TK maxx and in Costco as well. They do help as they have the memory foam insoles.

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Tiredmummy2019 · 16/12/2023 10:09

Thanks good idea. I have memory foam slippers with padded arch support insoles that work for me. I also exercise my foot and ankle and give it a basic blood flow rub down before stepping on them first thing...that helps...otherwise just rest when I can...

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Colourbwrries · 30/12/2023 13:43

What kind of slippers have you got @Tiredmummy2019 ? I’d love to try them as well. I’ve noticed that sometimes, after doing long shifts on my feet, when my heels hurt too much to be able to sleep, wearing the night splinters for an hour or so help get rid of the pain.

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