Getting Rid of Plantar Fasciitis

I’m really sick of my feet hurting.

I recently stopped taking Meloxicam, which is an excellent NSAID that helped me get through walking in THREE 5k’s within a week of each other the beginning of September.  But I was having all sorts of weird gastro-intestinal issues, so I started phasing things out that weren’t needed in the hopes of getting my intestines and stomach back to reasonable performance. My gut has settled down quite a bit over the past couple of weeks, so maybe it was just a prescription drug cocktail problem (of my taking Meloxicam on top of Metformin everyday) and not the dreaded gluten allergy/celiacs issue. Jury is still out on that one, and I’ve done nothing yet to pursue testing that possibility.  One thing at a time, people.

Back to my current pains…last weekend, I was limping along after sitting down too long (joints get cold, stretch the inflamed fascia back out, pain ensues), and I mentioned my foot pain to a family member who’s in her 60s and has had foot problems as well. She said, “Oh, plantar fasciitis? Well, at least that will go away.”

I very quickly corrected her. I’ve had plantar fasciitis since 2005. Closing in on 9 years now. I’ve done a plethora of treatments – shoe orthotics, physical therapy, night splints, tens unit stimulation, cortisone shots, acupuncture, NSAIDs, pain creams, lost weight, never go barefoot, never wear shoes without arch support, and my wonderful husband gives me a foot massage almost every night. My. Feet. Still. Hurt. And hurt terribly 80-90% of the time. Even worse when I over-work them by walking a lot or being on my feet for too-long stretches.  I don’t think it’s going away anytime soon. Is it because they always stay inflamed because I have such crappy circulation in my feet and they can never seem to heal? Is this one of those “stupid diabetes” things?

The sad thing is, I want to exercise more, and my favorite forms of exercise involve walking and hiking. I’d love to someday actually *run* some 5k’s instead of walking them. Sure, I know I could do an exercise bike, or go swimming, but they are just not my favorite, and it’s tough to get motivated to do something you really don’t enjoy, when that will take valuable time away that you could spend with your family, your friends, or doing 8,000,000 other things that you’d like to do.Stupid feet.

I’m still up in the air about subjecting my feet (and blood supply) to the questionable PRP – Platelets Rich Plasma treatment that my podiatrist has mentioned. But really, I’ve sort of run out of options. Staying on NSAIDs indefinitely is NOT feasible, even though my feet felt the best they have in years for the 2 months I was taking Meloxicam. Granted, I still had *some* pain, but it was on a scale of 2 or 3 instead of 8 or 9.  Having pain every-single-day, on top of dealing with diabetes crap, really wears me down (despite the demeanor of happiness and positivism that I try to keep up as a good front for the people around me. I don’t want to be a Debbie downer.)

I’ve taken the stance that no matter what, I just have to keep on going. But I would love to hear from other diabetics that have had issues with plantar fasciitis – and even moreso, would love to hear from those who have suffered with it for years but then finally found relief. Please, someone, tell me the secret!

Another Plantar Fasciitis Treatment Option?

One thing I forgot to mention in my post yesterday about my left foot…..Dr H. also mentioned one other course of treatment we haven’t tried yet called PRP – Platelets Rich Plasma.

As it was explained to me (or rather, how I am now explaining it in my own simplistic terms), for PRP they first take your own blood, extract platelets from it and suspend them in the plasma, then inject it all around your foot in the inflamed areas. Because the platelets are so rich in all the “good blood stuff,” it speeds up and aids in healing since it’s injected right there at the source of the pain and inflammation.

Blood platelets

Blood platelets (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There appear to be several studies (and even a link to a YouTube video that I can’t convince myself to watch) that discuss PRP and note marked improvement in patients with chronic plantar fasciitis who have it done. I’m just not sure what I think about it? I’m still a little gun-shy about getting any sorts of shots in my feet again after I had that awful reaction to the cortisone shots. Just another thing to ponder if the NSAIDs don’t help calm things down. (And I’m also buying some Skechers GoWalk shoes at the recommendation of a pregnant d-friend who has foot pain as well….if these shoes work for her,  I’m willing to give them a try!)