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Severe Foot Pain for since 2009
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Severe Foot Pain for since 2009

I am a ballet dancer and backdrop painter that has been experiencing severe sharp foot pain for 4 years now. However, I have not danced for a year to attempt to fix this pain.
I have seen 6 specialists and have not recovered or improved with any treatments they could provide.
they have all diagnosed me with plantar fasciitis, which according to what i can find should heal or improve within a period of weeks, to 6 months, not 4 years.
I have tried NSAIDS, rest and RICE(over and over again), over the counter inserts, stopped dancing, lived in an aerocast boot, used canes and crutches, slept (and sleeping still) in night splints, tried taping, physical therapy (and stretching), and  have had a corticosteroid injection. I have tried everything except for very expensive custom orthotics (because my insurance won't cover it if i am not diabetic, and i haven't had that much in my pocket yet), and surgery.

Again i have been dealing with this pain for 4 years. it has worsened slightly, and has not improved at all.
It has caused a lot of grief not only because i cannot dance in my ballet company, but because i can barely walk on a regular day to day basis. I have given up on ever dancing again at this point because i can barely walk from one class to another in college, let alone don a pair of pointe shoes and dance swan lake. I have gained 30 lbs from inability to even exercise at the gym (yes even using the bike machines sets my foot off).

As a note, I also have fairly arched or cavus feet and have a tendency to naturally pronate while standing/walking/dancing.
the primary trouble is with my right foot, but the left has developed a less painful problem that is similar.

The pain is a severe "pulling, tearing, shocking" sensation in the meaty underside of my arch (underneath the area around first metatarsal and medial cuneiform bones), around/along the plantar fascia that runs from my big toe to my heel. let me say this, there is no pain in my heel. It only pulls when i am transitioning my weight from my heel, to the ball of my foot. somewhere in that weight transition while walking sends a severe shock or pull into my arch. It has recently starting the same sensation in my left foot (about the same location) and has started spreading to another small area further to the left of the underside of my right arch. I cannot walk normally and must roll outwards or supinate in order to reduce the pulling frequency.

The pain and pulling worsens throughout the day (no problem when i get out of bed in the mornings!), and when my activity/exercise increases or lengthens in duration. longer periods of standing cause more frequent pulling and pain. it seems that when i stretch my hamstrings and my achilles tendons the symptoms become more frequent and do not over time make the pulling feel better but worse.

I have spent a lot of days and nights crying over the pain, and have considered just getting a wheel chair. I would like to know what on earth is really going on with my foot/feet, and find out how to heel them so that i can at least walk normally again without extreme pain with every step.

Any recommendations would be helpful.

Tags: plantarflexors, plantor, fasciitis, plantar fascitis, chronic, Chronic Pain
Avatar_dr_f_tn
Hi,
I'm sorry to hear what you have been through for the last 4 years. What initial diagnostic tests were done? Plantar fasciitis or inflammation of the thick tissue on the bottom of the foot is usually associated with foot arch problems, tight Achilles tendon or from shoes with poor arch support or soft soles. Nonsurgical treatments almost always improve the pain and may take a couple of months to years before relief is seen. However, if it has been 4 years already, it is best that further evaluation be done. Seeking another doctor's opinion may also help. Aside from pain medications, complementary and alternative therapy such as acupuncture may also help. Take care and do keep us posted.
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