Whenever I’ll get a massage and a particular “point” on my right foot right above my heel is being pressed, it would hurt. And I just ignored it for years because after a split second it would go away. Then, around October of 2017, my right heel together with this “point” was so painful that it caused constraints to my walking. It would hurt the most in the morning right after I wake up or when i just got down from a vehicle, or from sitting for too long then standing up. Midday or just 10 minutes into walking, the pain would go away. I thought I had high uric acid so I had a medical checkup as the pain got more and more pronounced.
A general physician first attended to me. The moment I pointed out the parts of my foot that hurts (my Achilles tendon and heel), she easily diagnosed me with plantar fasciitis. She asked me two or three questions more: the time of the day when it hurts most, the date when I first felt the pain, and the nature of my work. From my answers she sort of confirmed Plantar fasciitis. Plantar fasciitis (PLAN-tur fas-e-I-tis) is one of the most common causes of heel pain. It involves inflammation of a thick band of tissue that runs across the bottom of your foot and connects your heel bone to your toes (plantar fascia). The general physician prescribed me the following:
-30 days of 1 tablet of Dolo-Neurobion
-a medical checkup with the rehab doctor before I undergo therapy sessions
The rehab doctor who next attended to me some days after also checked my foot and said the same findings. He ordered x-ray of my entire right foot just to rule out injury. He did not take my word for it that my foot wasn’t strained.
Plantar fasciitis is a type of sports injury. I enjoy jogging, fun runs, and treadmills but I know for a fact that I’m not a hard-core runner. I don’t force myself much (I should be fit by now if I do). I commute, though, and walk wearing doll shoes which were so flat and do not offer any support at all. I am flat-footed, too.
The rehab doctor ordered me the following:
-Voltaren Emulgel 1% Diclofenac (to be used during therapy and especially during non-therapy days)
-6 sessions of therapy, preferably every other day
-follow up check up with him after 7 days
I had my therapy sessions scheduled and conducted in Healthway Edsa Shangrila. All my therapies and checkups were covered by my health card but after every session, I would sign payment slips worth Php2,000+. The therapy lasted for an hour and would consist of the following:
–TENS (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation). This feels hot although ice-cold packs are usually also applied to the skin to make the heat more bearable. I feel the “stimulation” but it can always be adjusted to the level where I was comfortable with. In fact, after some minutes, I won’t feel anything anymore so the therapist would had to adjust it higher.
From www.webmd.com: Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) is a therapy that uses low-voltage electrical current for pain relief. Usually, you connect two electrodes (wires that conduct electrical current) from the machine to your skin.The electrodes are often placed on the area of pain or at a pressure point, creating a circuit of electrical impulses that travels along nerve fibers.
–Ultrasound Therapy. This felt relaxing as a cold ultrasound cream will be applied and massaged to the painful area. From painscience.com, Ultrasound therapy (US) is the use of sound waves above the range of human hearing to treat injuries like muscle strains or runner’s knee. It is mostly used by physical therapists, and has been one of the Greatest Hits of musculoskeletal medicine since the 1950s.
–Physical exercises. This varies from therapists to therapists or to what nth number of therapy I was on. But the exercises they made me do were: writing the alphabet using my right foot; up and down and sideways movement (around 20 counts each) with and without rubber band; wall exercises, grasping a laid out towel on the floor using my toes. During physical exercises is when I’ll have muscle spasm pangs. I would tell the therapist that I can feel having spasm (pulikat) any time so I’ll be told to rest. I mentioned that for years, I’ve experienced waking up early mornings because of the stabbing pain on my calf muscles because of spasm and that I am very prone to it. Around the second time this has happened, my P.T. told me to mention this during my follow up checkup so the rehab doctor can recommend something about it.
–Tape. This helps much! I think this is the part that helps the most. The first time I had my foot taped, I noticed that my calf muscles get really rested and relaxed when I sleep. I was so used to waking up in the early morn, because of spasm attack or the onset of it. That morning though, I felt that my muscles are supported by the tape. The tape, ideally should be removed during the next therapy session meaning I had to take a bath with it. It wasn’t a very comfortable feeling! I remove it on my own after one day. Yup, even if my legs are hairy!
By the time I had to do my follow up check up, my heel doesn’t hurt that much anymore, the main reason why I got bothered in the first place. I did mention that the “point” in my Achilles tendon still hurts. He increased my therapy sessions from 6 to 10. This time, therapies lasted for 1.5 hours as all the procedures mentioned above for my foot are also done up to my calf.
During the past months, I’ve ditched all of my cute doll shoes, and had stuck to rubber shoes even at work. Footwear plays a big factor. I joined a facebook support group for plantar fasciitis and I found out that I have a very mild case of P.F. compared to other people who really had their days ruined because of the pain. This doesn’t stop me from seeking medication and extra preventive care as I am aware that all illnesses when left untreated can aggravate.
There are patients who had steroid injected already, some even had operations of their plantar fascia and still feel pain! Right now, I’ve been buying shoes and footwear that has ample support and boy, they are not cheap! I still apply the cream whenever I would feel pain because there’ll be days when it’s completely pain free even if I do minor climb (160m ASL mountains) or do 5-km fun run and days when it would hurt just by jogging for 500meters.
Due to my busy schedule and the doctor’s equally busy schedule (he’s just available at Healthway clinic during Fridays), I have yet to see him for probably my last checkup. I’ll update you asap.