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Geocaching Foot Problems


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This is a topic that doesn't seem to have been discussed here for some time... one that has recently had some relevence to me... I'm talking about plantar's faciitis and achilles tenonosis. Mine started a year ago, but it would pretty much go away after the weekend. I'd barely be able to walk for the first few minutes out of bed, but I just attributed that to "old age" (which, I'd imagine, is partly the cause).

 

My achilles tendon where it attaches to the back of the heel was (and is) my main problem, although both my doctor and the podiatrist she sent me to said they thought that it sounded more like plantar's faciitis. I don't think it much matters... the treatments of quality shoes, quality inserts, stretches, and rest seem to be the same for both conditions.

 

So, I just passed the three-day Memorial Day weekend and this past regular weekend basically sitting on my duff (well, I did sneak out for a few caches on Memorial day, but don't tell my doctor!)

 

Things are improving, but not as quickly as I'd like. Also, finding just the right combination of shoe and orthotic that supports, but doesn't simply move the problem to another part of my "drive train" seems to be a matter of trial and error.

 

I'm sure there are other stories... I think it would be worthwhile to revive this subject.

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I had plantar's faciitis back in 2007 just before retiring. It's caused by the tissue pad on the bottom of the foot getting less flexible (with age). A trauma to the arch of the foot caused it to pull against the attachment at the heel and cause micro-breaks to the heel bone. Essentially, it's cracked bone and inflamation at the attachment points.

 

Mine was caused (I think) when I was caching one day and slipped down a hill, stopping myself sharply against a drainage ditch with my foot.

 

Took 6 months to heel and it has been fine ever since.

 

Shoes with a good arch support plus exercising on a step did the trick.

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I have problems with my big toes that i'm guessing is similar to gout but not quite as severe or with the same provocation... This first started a few years ago when I was hiking and slipped and put more pressure on my big toe than is normal. I was fine for the rest of the day but the next morning it was so bad that I could barely walk. It felt a lot like the feeling before you pop your toe knuckle. I gimped around a few spots for a few days and the extra use on my other big toe caused it to do the same thing. Very strange.

 

Since then it's happened after over exertion several times: In Guatemala playing soccer with the kids or my family, motorcycle crashes (never injured beyond a few scrapes), etc. It used to be enough to keep me off my feet for a few days. I've gotten to where I can see it coming and take the appropriate medicine and rest though so it's not a problem much anymore.

 

Caching, I have noticed in a lot of the caches that I search (which often require bushwhacking), can aggravate it as well so I've had to take it easy sometimes after a day of stomping about :)

 

I know it's not heel-related but I think the toe thing is odd and was wondering if anyone else has seen/heard of anything like that.

 

Also it's nowhere near as bad as having my heels shattered :D

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I had plantar faciitis on and off for 10 years, and tried everything including cortisone shots, which were only temporarily effective.

 

Now I started having pain again last week on the other foot... I've been hiking greater distances lately but I think my new boots may be partly to blame, they are not as comfortable as my last pair(they were heaven).

 

It's a horrible feeling and really restricts what I can do, but stubborn me will just hobble through the pain like I did the last time. The only good thing is as the day goes on the pain goes away, but it starts all over again the next morning.

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I had plantar faciitis on and off for 10 years, and tried everything including cortisone shots, which were only temporarily effective.

 

Now I started having pain again last week on the other foot... I've been hiking greater distances lately but I think my new boots may be partly to blame, they are not as comfortable as my last pair(they were heaven).

 

It's a horrible feeling and really restricts what I can do, but stubborn me will just hobble through the pain like I did the last time. The only good thing is as the day goes on the pain goes away, but it starts all over again the next morning.

 

Question for you... was there any pain in the arch itself? What puzzles me about my issues is that I don't have any pain there, aside from a very occasional (but intense) cramp in my arch. And most of the soreness is in the back of my heel. I thought that PF soreness was on the bottom of the heel. But the main thing is that, aside from those cramps, the arch itself is no problem.

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I had never had any problems with my feet until I started caching in 07. I had taken my first long caching hikes (4-6 miles) over some rough terrain and began getting really bad pain in the top of my right foot. Turns out it was multiple stress fractures. Was in a boot air cast for 6 weeks and them attempted caching at MOGA 08 only to end up back in the cast for a few more weeks. I don't think it will ever be back to 100%. After a hike of 3 or more miles I have to give the feet a day or two rest.

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I had never had any problems with my feet until I started caching in 07. I had taken my first long caching hikes (4-6 miles) over some rough terrain and began getting really bad pain in the top of my right foot. Turns out it was multiple stress fractures. Was in a boot air cast for 6 weeks and them attempted caching at MOGA 08 only to end up back in the cast for a few more weeks. I don't think it will ever be back to 100%. After a hike of 3 or more miles I have to give the feet a day or two rest.

 

Oh, wow! Was it just the hiking that caused the fractures?!? Were you wearing proper footware for a hike like that? And how old were you at the time? What sort of terrain? I had no idea that something like that could happen simply by walking/hiking.

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I have had PF in my right foot for about 6 or 7 years. Mine is related to working on my feet for 25 years and to cycling which is also common I hear. I have very high arches on my feet and orthotics and top of the line boots help control it. If I forget to put my orthotics in my hiking boots I am in pain for about a week. None the less I still cache and hike and bike. Find a good podiatrist you can trust and work with them. It may take a while to find the right treatment to suit your particular symptoms. Happy Caching Bill the Cat

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This is a topic that doesn't seem to have been discussed here for some time... one that has recently had some relevence to me... I'm talking about plantar's faciitis and achilles tenonosis. Mine started a year ago, but it would pretty much go away after the weekend. I'd barely be able to walk for the first few minutes out of bed, but I just attributed that to "old age" (which, I'd imagine, is partly the cause).

 

My achilles tendon where it attaches to the back of the heel was (and is) my main problem, although both my doctor and the podiatrist she sent me to said they thought that it sounded more like plantar's faciitis. I don't think it much matters... the treatments of quality shoes, quality inserts, stretches, and rest seem to be the same for both conditions.

 

So, I just passed the three-day Memorial Day weekend and this past regular weekend basically sitting on my duff (well, I did sneak out for a few caches on Memorial day, but don't tell my doctor!)

 

Things are improving, but not as quickly as I'd like. Also, finding just the right combination of shoe and orthotic that supports, but doesn't simply move the problem to another part of my "drive train" seems to be a matter of trial and error.

 

I'm sure there are other stories... I think it would be worthwhile to revive this subject.

 

u have experience the same with plantar fasciitis. I try to remember to treat my hiking shoes like car tiers and replace them periodically. The personally designed orthopedic supports and stretches helped but the shots worked the best (Series of three). They used ultrasound to ensure injection at the proper location (and only the proper location). I was impressed. The bad thing about the shots is the permanent side effects related to degeneration of the tendons near the injection sites. I would not know this has occurred until the tendon has been damaged unless I went back for further ultrasounds. so the next step would be surgery if it returns so I make sure I stretch before hiking and routinely.

 

http://orthopedics.about.com/od/paintreatm...sideeffects.htm

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I had plantar faciitis on and off for 10 years, and tried everything including cortisone shots, which were only temporarily effective.

 

Now I started having pain again last week on the other foot... I've been hiking greater distances lately but I think my new boots may be partly to blame, they are not as comfortable as my last pair(they were heaven).

 

It's a horrible feeling and really restricts what I can do, but stubborn me will just hobble through the pain like I did the last time. The only good thing is as the day goes on the pain goes away, but it starts all over again the next morning.

 

Question for you... was there any pain in the arch itself? What puzzles me about my issues is that I don't have any pain there, aside from a very occasional (but intense) cramp in my arch. And most of the soreness is in the back of my heel. I thought that PF soreness was on the bottom of the heel. But the main thing is that, aside from those cramps, the arch itself is no problem.

From what my doctor told me, the damage is actually to the heel where the tissue is imbedded in the bone. Tiny fractures slightly around the backof the heel. The pain there is from stepping on the foot and stretching the bottom tissue, thus pulling on the attachment points at the back. In effect, same as a broken bone. So, that's where the pain is. Not in the tissue of the arch itself. That would be a different issue.

Edited by Cache O'Plenty
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I got pf in my left heel a few years ago by walking across the face of a very steep slope. I'm diabetic so cortisone injections were not a possibility. Pain first thing in the morning on standing up which goes away once the muscles warm. Could then go walking but the pain would reappear much worse once the exercise stopped. Stretching exercises and orthotic inserts in my shoes eventually did the trick after 9 months. It comes back if I stop wearing the inserts.

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I suffer from PLantars Faciitis in both feet. caused by bad support in Combat boots,, The doctors tried several things, but I did not opt to any cortisone injections or surgery. I do recomend doing stretches by placing your toes up higher (on a 3 inch block or brick) and moving your knee forward, this will give some releif before a long hike,, and after too.

Another thing is to use good hiking shoes with orthotics to support the arch, try to fing a high boot to support the ankle too so it won't pronate or turn in which is another problem you don't want

 

This injury caused me to have a early retiement from the army for medical reasons but I still enjoy the nice walks and hikes I just plan the adventure a bit better and carefully place my steps,,

 

You know it is a good day when you can get out of bed and your feet do not feel like they are tearing apart on the soles,

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I have high arches and get pain under the arch if I do too much without support. I recently tried heat modable inserts (Sole brand) for my distance running. To mold them, they are put in the oven for a few minutes and then worn for a few minutes. They give good support and have a nice cushion to them. For those who need extra support but don't quite want to go the full podiatrist/custom orthotics route yet, those can be a decent option.

Edited by carleenp
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I know it's not heel-related but I think the toe thing is odd and was wondering if anyone else has seen/heard of anything like that.

 

 

I was at an event where we did a huge hike to find 16 temporary caches. The next day my big toe hurt so bad that I thought I had a stress fracture. A week later the nail turned a nice shade of purple. I attributed the injury to my new hiking boots. I had broken in the boots but this was the first major hike that I wore them on. I still don't know what exactly caused it but if it happens again I am going to the doctor.

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I know it's not heel-related but I think the toe thing is odd and was wondering if anyone else has seen/heard of anything like that.

 

 

I was at an event where we did a huge hike to find 16 temporary caches. The next day my big toe hurt so bad that I thought I had a stress fracture. A week later the nail turned a nice shade of purple. I attributed the injury to my new hiking boots. I had broken in the boots but this was the first major hike that I wore them on. I still don't know what exactly caused it but if it happens again I am going to the doctor.

 

Many large toe injuries occur because of too small shoes or boots (insufficiently broken in boots could also contribute). If there is less than a full thumb's width of space between the big toe and the end of the shoe, the toe will jam into that. This is especially true later in an activity after the feet start to swell a bit. That is why runners often get black toe nails. In most cases going up a half size in shoes stops the problem. If they feel a bit loose before the feet get a bit swollen from activity, thicker wool socks and making a loop in the lacing at the top to tighten the heel area can help.

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I know it's not heel-related but I think the toe thing is odd and was wondering if anyone else has seen/heard of anything like that.

 

 

I was at an event where we did a huge hike to find 16 temporary caches. The next day my big toe hurt so bad that I thought I had a stress fracture. A week later the nail turned a nice shade of purple. I attributed the injury to my new hiking boots. I had broken in the boots but this was the first major hike that I wore them on. I still don't know what exactly caused it but if it happens again I am going to the doctor.

 

Many large toe injuries occur because of too small shoes or boots (insufficiently broken in boots could also contribute). If there is less than a full thumb's width of space between the big toe and the end of the shoe, the toe will jam into that. This is especially true later in an activity after the feet start to swell a bit. That is why runners often get black toe nails. In most cases going up a half size in shoes stops the problem. If they feel a bit loose before the feet get a bit swollen from activity, thicker wool socks and making a loop in the lacing at the top to tighten the heel area can help.

 

And keep your toenails cut! Besides causing toe problems, it will also wear out those expensive Merino wool socks prematurely (or so I've been told. I would never let that happen to me!) :D

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I've had plantar fasciitis and achilles tendinitis (which most docs now call '-osis'). What I found is that most remedies for these problems do not work, and that if you're middle-aged you're in for about a year of recovery. Efforts to accelerate the process only delay it. The good news is that for the most part benign neglect works fine. That is, every day that goes by that you don't make the condition worse, it's getting incrementally better.

 

Things that didn't work for me were structured insoles, shoes and boots, stretching regimens/calf exercises, and anti-inflammatory drugs (e.g., Ibuprofen). What did help was:

  • walking barefoot on sand (for PF)
  • stretching my feet upward, toes-toward-shins before getting out of bed
  • substituting some cycling/elliptical exercise for running/jumping
  • gradual conversion from heeled boots to flat sandals
  • during bad spells, sleeping with my feet trussed "Strassborg Sock" style

"Stretching" appears on both lists for a reason: It's helpful as temporary relief, but not as any sort of therapy for tight calves. Calf muscles are too strong, dense and tenacious to respond well to stretching. Lengthening the muscle against resistance for a solid minute does not begin to overcome its endurance. But flexing your feet/toes upward (toward shins) a few times before getting out of bed will really help with the pain and stiffness. Good for morale, which is 90% of the battle with this stuff.

 

Disclaimer: Your situation may be entirely different than mine. I'm a fitness fanatic about to turn 50. I haven't been kind to my joints and connective tissue, and I'm paying the price. What worked for me may not work for folks who acquired their aching feet by different means...

Edited by Mule Ears
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I'm 36 and have problems with my feet too, but I had it before geocaching...

 

Several times a year I get gout on one foot or the other... Its almost always the toes or Ball of my foot... Hurts so bad, I can stand but not really walk without a severe limp... After several hours, I can barley walk and don't even want to stand...

 

I've went to the Doc a few times and they said they ""Thought"" it was gout... Have be an anti-inflamatory and a pain killer a day or so and its all better...

 

What sucks is I don't know exactly what casues it... I've read tons of ""______ Causes Gout"" and the doc has given me a list, but everything thats been mentioned, I've swore off and still had an attacks, so I just try to cut back on those things and take them in moderation...

 

When it happens it happens and I just have to deal with it...

 

I've always had bad tender feet, prone to problems with ingrown and smashed Bigtoe nails too... Actually, right now, I'm recovering from a nastly loose of the T.N. on my right foot... It casued me to miss out on a pretty decent hike a few weekends ago... It will be back to 100% in a day or so....

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I've had plantar fasciitis and achilles tendinitis (which most docs now call '-osis'). What I found is that most remedies for these problems do not work, and that if you're middle-aged you're in for about a year of recovery. Efforts to accelerate the process only delay it. The good news is that for the most part benign neglect works fine. That is, every day that goes by that you don't make the condition worse, it's getting incrementally better.

 

Things that didn't work for me were structured insoles, shoes and boots, stretching regimens/calf exercises, and anti-inflammatory drugs (e.g., Ibuprofen). What did help was:

  • walking barefoot on sand (for PF)
  • stretching my feet upward, toes-toward-shins before getting out of bed
  • substituting some cycling/elliptical exercise for running/jumping
  • gradual conversion from heeled boots to flat sandals
  • during bad spells, sleeping with my feet trussed "Strassborg Sock" style

"Stretching" appears on both lists for a reason: It's helpful as temporary relief, but not as any sort of therapy for tight calves. Calf muscles are too strong, dense and tenacious to respond well to stretching. Lengthening the muscle against resistance for a solid minute does not begin to overcome its endurance. But flexing your feet/toes upward (toward shins) a few times before getting out of bed will really help with the pain and stiffness. Good for morale, which is 90% of the battle with this stuff.

 

Disclaimer: Your situation may be entirely different than mine. I'm a fitness fanatic about to turn 50. I haven't been kind to my joints and connective tissue, and I'm paying the price. What worked for me may not work for folks who acquired their aching feet by different means...

 

Very helpful and informative post, Mule Ears. But also very disheartening. I quit smoking almost two years ago, have been walking many miles every weekend, thanks to geocaching, and now I hear that in order to keep getting my exercise that i need to stop getting my exercise! (I don't do well with structured exercise like on machines, which is one reason caching has been so great).

 

Sure sounds like a lot of us have these problems, doesn't it?!?

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Very helpful and informative post, Mule Ears. But also very disheartening. I quit smoking almost two years ago, have been walking many miles every weekend, thanks to geocaching, and now I hear that in order to keep getting my exercise that i need to stop getting my exercise! (I don't do well with structured exercise like on machines, which is one reason caching has been so great).

 

Sure sounds like a lot of us have these problems, doesn't it?!?

 

Try cycling some. That takes a lot of the pressure off of your feet and still gets you exercising. Many areas also have a lot of caches near bike paths!

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Very helpful and informative post, Mule Ears. But also very disheartening. I quit smoking almost two years ago, have been walking many miles every weekend, thanks to geocaching, and now I hear that in order to keep getting my exercise that i need to stop getting my exercise! (I don't do well with structured exercise like on machines, which is one reason caching has been so great).

 

Sure sounds like a lot of us have these problems, doesn't it?!?

 

Try cycling some. That takes a lot of the pressure off of your feet and still gets you exercising. Many areas also have a lot of caches near bike paths!

 

Aside from the fact that I broke two ribs the last two times I got my bike out (yeah, really... :P although there were about 10 years between those times, and the 2nd time was just a mile re-crack of the same ribs), I have been considering that (only for caching, though)

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Very helpful and informative post, Mule Ears. But also very disheartening. I quit smoking almost two years ago, have been walking many miles every weekend, thanks to geocaching, and now I hear that in order to keep getting my exercise that i need to stop getting my exercise! (I don't do well with structured exercise like on machines, which is one reason caching has been so great).

 

Sure sounds like a lot of us have these problems, doesn't it?!?

 

I didn't mean to be disheartening. And don't stop exercising; that will make your AT worse in the long run. Tendons heal in a dual-channel process of repair and remodeling. If you cut out activity, they'll remodel themselves shorter and tighter than before. Then, when you resume activity, you'll be more vulnerable to injury.

 

Try the stuff on my list and anything else that seems sensible. Be patient. And realize that unless you suddenly take up pro basketball, parkour or Olympic broadjumping you're probably in no danger of doing any real injury to your tendons. Ask your doc--unless he's an orthopedic surgeon looking for a last big score before private medicine is outlawed, he'll counsel patience.

 

I see my list as being mostly good news. Since almost nothing works, you can save a lot of money on useless gadgets and therapy. If you have to buy something, get some cheap 'night splint' gadgets. Stretching your calves while you sleep will make a big difference.

 

Edit to add: +1 on the cycling!

Edited by Mule Ears
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Mule Ears,

 

You forgot to show him the picture of you and your Vibram Five fingers in the remote Arizona Mountains.

 

I've been itching to buy a set myself. The best thing ive done for myself is taken up Yoga.

Edited by Kit Fox
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Mule Ears,

You forgot to show him the picture of you and your Vibram Five fingers in the remote Arizona Mountains.

I've been itching to buy a set myself. The best thing ive done for myself is taken up Yoga.

 

Yoga class or tape? I've been really curious about it myself, and could use the extra flexibility.

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Mule Ears,

You forgot to show him the picture of you and your Vibram Five fingers in the remote Arizona Mountains.

I've been itching to buy a set myself. The best thing ive done for myself is taken up Yoga.

 

Yoga class or tape? I've been really curious about it myself, and could use the extra flexibility.

 

Tape. I'll send you a PM. I'm also doing several of the P90X workouts.

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Had a bout with PF about 10 years ago - first couple of steps outta bed in the morning, I would see stars and smell smells, it hurt so bad. Ended up having a single injection, which thankfully resolved it. I've carried forward one of the interim therapies, though, for those times after a long day on my feet: keep a soda can filled about 3/4 with water frozen in your freezer (with a stopper of some sort in the hole). Sit down to watch TV, log caches, etc, and place that can on the floor, then using your arch roll it back and forth as far you can go for 10 - 15 minutes. Aaahhhhhhhhh!

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I developed PF in May 2007. I'm convinced it was brought on mostly by a new pair of rather expensive shoes I just started wearing. They felt good on my feet but the way the inside heel was cupped more than my other shoes I believe contributed to the initial inflammation. It bothered me for more than a year and half and I would hobble each time I got up after sitting or sleeping My feet would throb after standing or hiking for a long time.

I finally took it easy last summer and did a lot less hiking (and more kayaking!). I also started wearing a night brace and sticking to the stretching regime my doctor had recommended. Gradually over a period of several months, the problem abated and I now only occasionally have trouble. When I feel it starting to flare up, I wear the night brace for a few days and make sure I do some extra stretching and I'm good again. Between heel spurs, PF and a recent stress fracture, I've had my share of nagging foot issues. I've worn orthotics for the heel spurs since the early '90's and now have a new set designed to help both the spurs and the PF.

Edited by nittany dave
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I developed PF in May 2007. I'm convinced it was brought on mostly by a new pair of rather expensive shoes I just started wearing. They felt good on my feet but the way the inside heel was cupped more than my other shoes I believe contributed to the initial inflammation. It bothered me for more than a year and half and I would hobble each time I got up after sitting or sleeping My feet would throb after standing or hiking for a long time.

I finally took it easy last summer and did a lot less hiking (and more kayaking!). I also started wearing a night brace and sticking to the stretching regime my doctor had recommended. Gradually over a period of several months, the problem abated and I now only occasionally have trouble. When I feel it starting to flare up, I wear the night brace for a few days and make sure I do some extra stretching and I'm good again. Between heel spurs, PF and a recent stress fracture, I've had my share of nagging foot issues. I've worn orthotics for the heel spurs since the early '90's and now have a new set designed to help both the spurs and the PF.

 

Actually, from what I've read, heel spurs are never the problem. They are a result of PF, but they are soft tissue that will show up on an x-ray, but they don't actually cause pain... the pain is caused by PF. Sorry, can't recall just where I read that. Probably on http://heelspurs.com, but that's just a guess.

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I know it's not heel-related but I think the toe thing is odd and was wondering if anyone else has seen/heard of anything like that.

 

 

I was at an event where we did a huge hike to find 16 temporary caches. The next day my big toe hurt so bad that I thought I had a stress fracture. A week later the nail turned a nice shade of purple. I attributed the injury to my new hiking boots. I had broken in the boots but this was the first major hike that I wore them on. I still don't know what exactly caused it but if it happens again I am going to the doctor.

 

Many large toe injuries occur because of too small shoes or boots (insufficiently broken in boots could also contribute). If there is less than a full thumb's width of space between the big toe and the end of the shoe, the toe will jam into that. This is especially true later in an activity after the feet start to swell a bit. That is why runners often get black toe nails. In most cases going up a half size in shoes stops the problem. If they feel a bit loose before the feet get a bit swollen from activity, thicker wool socks and making a loop in the lacing at the top to tighten the heel area can help.

 

And keep your toenails cut! Besides causing toe problems, it will also wear out those expensive Merino wool socks prematurely (or so I've been told. I would never let that happen to me!) :rolleyes:

 

Good information! I bought my boots a little loose so I will try pairing them up with wool socks and see how it goes. The last time I wore them they felt better but I didn't hike as far. If the boots still bother me I will be buying a new pair.

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Do the stretches mentioned above ALL THE TIME, not just before you get out of bed. You want to keep the tendon as flexible as possible. Basically, you should just point your toe up (as if trying to touch your knee with your toe) anytime you have been off your feet for even a few minutes...do this before standing and putting any weight at all on the feet. Stretch only until you start to feel it a little, not to the point of discomfort, and do each foot about two or three times before standing. Pretty soon it becomes second nature to do this and it only takes a few seconds (and it can be done pretty unobtrusively if you are in public). After a couple of weeks, you should feel a lot better.

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Gout can be painful. Naproxen (Aleve) usually handles small flare ups, but I have found profuse sweating (via cycling 30-50 miles several times a week) really helps to eliminate the uric acid build up that causes gout. At least it works for me.. at first my gout was misdiagnosed since it would cause pain in the arch, side, top of foot and in the ankle. It wasn't until I got the classic "big toe" pain that a simple blood test confirmed hyperuricemea (or whatever it's called). Some people swear by cherries and/or cherry juice. Anyway, prolly won't help with PF but if my case is any example, sometimes what is called PF maybe something else. At first the ER Doc did an x-ray because he was convinced I had some kind of stress fracture. Then he gave me a shot of Prednisone (steriod) and the next day I was better. Since then I keep a couple of prednisone tablets around in case I get what I call a "grand mal" gout attack in the middle of the night (the kind 3 or 4 Aleve won't even make a dent in).

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Gout can be painful. Naproxen (Aleve) usually handles small flare ups, but I have found profuse sweating (via cycling 30-50 miles several times a week) really helps to eliminate the uric acid build up that causes gout. At least it works for me.. at first my gout was misdiagnosed since it would cause pain in the arch, side, top of foot and in the ankle. It wasn't until I got the classic "big toe" pain that a simple blood test confirmed hyperuricemea (or whatever it's called). Some people swear by cherries and/or cherry juice. Anyway, prolly won't help with PF but if my case is any example, sometimes what is called PF maybe something else. At first the ER Doc did an x-ray because he was convinced I had some kind of stress fracture. Then he gave me a shot of Prednisone (steriod) and the next day I was better. Since then I keep a couple of prednisone tablets around in case I get what I call a "grand mal" gout attack in the middle of the night (the kind 3 or 4 Aleve won't even make a dent in).

 

Unfortunately I have an allergy to the non-steroidal anti-inflammitories and cannot take asprin, naproxen, ibuprofen etc... so I end up usually taking tylenol (for the pain) and prednisone for the inflammation. This has seemed to be the trick and I have noticed that if I nip it in the bud it doesn't progress to the debilitating stage. I'm (glad?) ... relieved to know that others have similar problems and that I'm not the only one but would like it if none of us had em! Thanks for the comments :rolleyes:

 

Edit: The predisone has to be started at a certain level and then tapered, meaning quite a few days on the medication so the previous suggestion of naproxen or something similar would be MUCH more preferable. Mine doesn't seem to flare up like a lot of the typical gout and doesn't swell like those either. Interesting to hear others' stories about it.

Edited by mrbort
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Gout can be painful. Naproxen (Aleve) usually handles small flare ups, but I have found profuse sweating (via cycling 30-50 miles several times a week) really helps to eliminate the uric acid build up that causes gout. At least it works for me.. at first my gout was misdiagnosed since it would cause pain in the arch, side, top of foot and in the ankle. It wasn't until I got the classic "big toe" pain that a simple blood test confirmed hyperuricemea (or whatever it's called). Some people swear by cherries and/or cherry juice. Anyway, prolly won't help with PF but if my case is any example, sometimes what is called PF maybe something else. At first the ER Doc did an x-ray because he was convinced I had some kind of stress fracture. Then he gave me a shot of Prednisone (steriod) and the next day I was better. Since then I keep a couple of prednisone tablets around in case I get what I call a "grand mal" gout attack in the middle of the night (the kind 3 or 4 Aleve won't even make a dent in).

 

Your post describes my experiences with the gout pretty much perfectly...

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This is really interesting to run into this topic today.

 

The past weekend my wife and I did a charity walk of about 3 miles on hard concrete and a fairly quick pace (Arthritis Walk to support a friend that has severe RA that she's been living with since she turned 15 - she's 24 now).

 

Anywho - the brisk 3 miles was followed by about 4 hours of caching in an urban park setting. Some caches required a little walking and we did some hiking in addition to the caches we visited.

 

By the end of the day my heel was killing me - and the next morning I could hardly walk on it for the first hour after getting up.

 

I know what caused the pain to start but never knew what it was called or specifically how to treat it.

 

My case: Poor quality shoes that I wear at work. It has rarely been an issue but my recent increase in activity levels as I've gotten back into caching has led to a more regular weekend pain.

 

I'm starting a regimen of stretches and exercises and have a trip to a shoe store planned to replace my work shoes and tennis shoes. I've recently bought new Vasque hiking boots after being properly fitted and thats made a significant difference on my hikes.

 

Thanks to the OP for tipping me off. If some basic 'self treatment' doesn't resolve my issue it's off to the podiatrist.

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Had a bout with PF about 10 years ago - first couple of steps outta bed in the morning, I would see stars and smell smells, it hurt so bad. Ended up having a single injection, which thankfully resolved it. I've carried forward one of the interim therapies, though, for those times after a long day on my feet: keep a soda can filled about 3/4 with water frozen in your freezer (with a stopper of some sort in the hole). Sit down to watch TV, log caches, etc, and place that can on the floor, then using your arch roll it back and forth as far you can go for 10 - 15 minutes. Aaahhhhhhhhh!

 

Yup, PF, left foot only, never the slightest sign of it in the right foot. The getting out of bed thing was the worst, of course. The Doctor diagnosed it within seconds, and gave me a prescription for physical therapy. But being the thrifty guy I am, I just looked up the excercises on WebMD. :) They work pretty good, along with arch supports. I've heard of the frozen can thing, I must try that sometime. I can't blame it all on Geocaching however, I've been doing 1/2 (or more) of the work on a weekend only paper route with the daughter for 2 3/4 years.

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I just got out of a boot last week after wearing it for 6 weeks due to PF and a stress fracture, due to limping for months, due to tearing my hamstring really bad. The toe points work well. Also wearing good walking shoes with good arch support and heel pads help me. I was told to get New Balance 608s or a Rockport walking shoe. The steroid shot in the side of my foot helped after a few days but it made my eyes leak when i got the shot. :) The mobic I was prescribed seems to give me a headache so I quit taking it. I guess if I'd slowed down when I was recovering from the hamstring tear, it would have helped. My "Cache Now, Pay Later" policy finally caught up with me. Someday I'll learn........maybe....

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Very helpful and informative post, Mule Ears. But also very disheartening. I quit smoking almost two years ago, have been walking many miles every weekend, thanks to geocaching, and now I hear that in order to keep getting my exercise that i need to stop getting my exercise! (I don't do well with structured exercise like on machines, which is one reason caching has been so great).

 

Sure sounds like a lot of us have these problems, doesn't it?!?

 

I didn't mean to be disheartening. And don't stop exercising; that will make your AT worse in the long run. Tendons heal in a dual-channel process of repair and remodeling. If you cut out activity, they'll remodel themselves shorter and tighter than before. Then, when you resume activity, you'll be more vulnerable to injury.

 

Try the stuff on my list and anything else that seems sensible. Be patient. And realize that unless you suddenly take up pro basketball, parkour or Olympic broadjumping you're probably in no danger of doing any real injury to your tendons. Ask your doc--unless he's an orthopedic surgeon looking for a last big score before private medicine is outlawed, he'll counsel patience.

 

I see my list as being mostly good news. Since almost nothing works, you can save a lot of money on useless gadgets and therapy. If you have to buy something, get some cheap 'night splint' gadgets. Stretching your calves while you sleep will make a big difference.

 

Edit to add: +1 on the cycling!

 

By the way, I totally understand that you didn't intend to be disheartening. It is frustrating, though, when you are doing something that is supposed to be GOOD for you, only to find that it has had bad effects.

 

I just finished my third weekend with only minimal caching and taking care of things, and am starting to feel much better.

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Hi,

 

So, how are the paws now?

 

As it happened we started running and I developed plantar fascitis (though not as dreadfully bad as other people have described) and was grateful I'd read this thread before the pain began. Mule Ears' advice has been wonderful and I was reminded by Kit Fox to go back to yoga. As it turns out, headstand helps wonderfully, as do most of the leg stretching poses.

 

Poses that require me to balance on the injured heel don't work and barefoot running has been put on hold until things feel better.

 

A friend who is a runner advised kneading my calves and thighs with a rolling pin, which has also been a relief.

 

Anyway, thanks for predicting that I would need this thread and getting it set up for me just in time. I hope your paws are on the mend.

 

Carolyn

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I had PF problems last year. I tried inserts with no good results. Then bought good quality comfortable running shoes and started going to the gym. I walk from 2-5 miles a day and dropped 50 lbs - no more PF.

 

Another thing that my doc recommended is wearing shoes most of the time. I usually did work around the house in bare feet, started wearing shoes while cooking, cleaning and just hanging out. That helped a lot. Now that the PF has gone i do more stuff barefoot but i can tell when i am starting to overdo it.

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Hi,

 

So, how are the paws now?

 

Carolyn

 

Thanks for asking, Carolyn. Much, much better. Not totally healed yet, but its now limited to only one foot, and even that is probably 95% back to normal. I have been caching and hiking, but being careful to not overdo it, and generally only on Saturdays, giving me Sunday to let it rest and recover. There are moments when I think I'm fully recovered, but soon enough I'll feel the burn in the heal and that will remind me that I've still got to be careful.

 

I'm wearing a good pair of running shoes (New Balance) even at work, and avoiding going barefoot as well.

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This is a topic that doesn't seem to have been discussed here for some time... one that has recently had some relevence to me... I'm talking about plantar's faciitis and achilles tenonosis. Mine started a year ago, but it would pretty much go away after the weekend. I'd barely be able to walk for the first few minutes out of bed, but I just attributed that to "old age" (which, I'd imagine, is partly the cause).

 

My achilles tendon where it attaches to the back of the heel was (and is) my main problem, although both my doctor and the podiatrist she sent me to said they thought that it sounded more like plantar's faciitis. I don't think it much matters... the treatments of quality shoes, quality inserts, stretches, and rest seem to be the same for both conditions.

 

So, I just passed the three-day Memorial Day weekend and this past regular weekend basically sitting on my duff (well, I did sneak out for a few caches on Memorial day, but don't tell my doctor!)

 

Things are improving, but not as quickly as I'd like. Also, finding just the right combination of shoe and orthotic that supports, but doesn't simply move the problem to another part of my "drive train" seems to be a matter of trial and error.

 

I'm sure there are other stories... I think it would be worthwhile to revive this subject.

 

Not sure what the technical terms are but Im guessing thats sore whilst caching. Doctors generally dont use technical terms with us over here (probably because they know we will search it online and demand some sort of treatment), they generally just use painkillers as the cheapest way to treat (these dont eat into their NHS budget as much as seeing a specialist).

 

I have been getting a sore left foot recently (probably down to the weight Im carrying) Im noticing it more where the foot path slopes to the left rather than the right. It seems to be the bone that leads from my wee toe up the side of my foot.

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To save time, if you wanna see my whole story check out my Frankenfeet Blog. Before that event I also had been dealing with PF for about 2 years. That hasn't been so much of a problem since, oh, about Jan of last year. :ph34r:

 

I'll apologize in advance for the long post, but there is a lot to cover here.

 

With all the pain and structural issues mentioned throughout this thread and in my experience, I'll start off with suggesting....

 

1. Find a foot and ankle orthopedic specialist. Forget the podiatrist. You need someone who knows and understands all the intricacies fo the entire foot structure and how it all ties in to your lifestyle and the rest of your body. THe foot and ankle is an extremely complex area that undergoes extreme stresses. You want someone that will look at the WHOLE picture.

 

2. Find an excellent pedorthotics person. Yes, they have certifications for those. Find one with experience. A good one will also understand the structures and extremes of the foot and ankle and will look at the big picture. It's not just a matter of insoles and heel pads. There are structural support and corrective issues, shoes requirements, and much, much more.

 

3. Finally, find yourself a good physical therapist that will listen to all your symptoms and do a good eval and treatment plan. PT does NOT have to be torture. I was in therapy for over a year and actually enjoyed going! Find a therapist that will do a combination of stretches, exercises, and manual manipulation. Make sure they tell you what you need to do on your own to keep thins flexible, then DO THEM!

 

4. If you are fighting any swelling, you have 2 things that really work. First, keep those old dogs elevated whenever possible. Second, contrast baths, though nearly hellish, work wonders. In my case, I alternated 3 reps of both feet in 3 minutes in water as hot as can be possibly tolerated immediately followed by 1 minute in ICE water. It helps dramatically!

 

5. To help loosen the tissues on the sole, get a golf ball, racquetball, and a tennis ball. Place them on the floor and roll them around with the sole of your foot, applying reasonable pressure as you go. Acts as a message and helps loosen the tendons and such. the different sizes provide very different levels of relief.

 

6. To help work muscles, tendons, and such, place a towel flat on the floor. Using your toes, scrunch the towel up under your foot. I still can't do that, but it is a GREAT workout for the feet.

 

7. To help relieve pain and swelling on the sole, freeze a bottle of water, then pu tit on the floor on its side and roll it back and forth (heel to toe) with the sole of your foot.

 

As for the tendonosis/tendonitis, I had to fight those too. Beyond that you get into pulls and tears and stuff. The best thing to do for them is to immobilize the tendon with braces (keep your ankle in the neutral position) for a long enough period of time. We're talking 2-6 WEEKS depending on severity. Just a day or 2 will NOT cut it. Then when you start back, you start back VERY slowly or you'll get even bigger problems. You definitely need to see the orthopedist and physical therapists to get this treated properly. Mess around with these injuries and you could end up in braces permanently or looking at reconstructive surgery.

 

Good luck to everyone dealing with this stuff!

 

SQ

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To save time, if you wanna see my whole story check out my Frankenfeet Blog. Before that event I also had been dealing with PF for about 2 years. That hasn't been so much of a problem since, oh, about Jan of last year. :ph34r:

 

I'll apologize in advance for the long post, but there is a lot to cover here.

 

<snip>

 

Good luck to everyone dealing with this stuff!

 

SQ

 

Wow! I looked at your blog a bit, and I am awestruck! You've been through hell and back. Glad to hear that things have improved so much for you.

 

You have provided a wealth of information in your post. It will be a great resource for a lot of people, I'm sure.

 

My single experience with a podiatrist was as laughable as it was wasted money. If I have further problems, I will take your advice and find a good foot and ankle orthopedic specialist. I found that their Association has a page that lets you find members near you: Find an Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle MD/DO

 

(They also have lots of other useful information such as lacing techniques, shoe selection, etc)

Edited by knowschad
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