Discussions By Condition: I cannot get a diagnosis.

Foot extreme muscle pain

Posted In: I cannot get a diagnosis. 6 Replies
  • Posted By: seymore
  • September 21, 2008
  • 04:19 PM

I am a married female 49 years old and a teacher by profession, I have extreme pain in particular at the bottom of my foot heal (both feet but more painfull in right foot). Particularly when I get up in the morning in fact any time I get up, I can hardly walk. The pain decreases enough for me to go to school but coming back in the afternoon after been on my feet the whole moring, my feet, in paticular the heal (underneath) are VERY and continually painfull.
I have a very high foot bridge. Wearing a shoe with a heal 4cm plus, transfers the pain to the front of the foot (ball underneath the toes). Wearing flat heal shoes causes the pain to be in the heal and on the side of the heal. I dont partake in sport and never did.
I have used gout tablets without any effect. I massage my feet at night with Deep Heat which relieves the pain somewhat for the moment.

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  • For how long have you had this? Have you had any infections recently? This happened to me 10 years ago (I was 40 then). I started to feel soreness in my heels, especially when I got out of bed in the morning. Then it got worse and I had constant pain and a burning sensation in the soles of my feet. Sometimes I had a feeling of numbness. After a while I got even worse. I could not walk at all and developed the same condition in my hands (palms). A month later my twin sister developed similar symptoms, but not as severe. Two weeks later her husband (a doctor himself) had a very mild variation on the same theme, but his symptoms only lasted for two weeks. I couldn’t walk for 6 months. I had a mild swelling around the heels (the wrinkles that normally are there were gone) and the afflicted areas were a bit more reddish than normal. I went to six different doctors, all thought I was crazy (one actually asked me if I had been raped and did not want to believe me when I said I hadn’t). They had run all kinds of tests which all came back negative. A colleague of mine is a radiologist, and she run MRI on my feet and we could clearly see on T2-weighted pictures that there was a thin inflamed layer under the skin. Finally when I started to recover I met a good rheumatologist who explained everything to me. I remember he called the reaction in my feet panniculitis. I talked to three people who had experienced something similar and nobody could ever figure out what was wrong. My theory is that a stomach flue started it. Our whole family had been skiing in France and we had had a horrible stomach infection. We had the infection about two months before our feet symptoms and I also developed a severe vertigo before my feet symptoms (the vertigo lasted for about a month and slowly disappeared). I also developed pain in my joints, worst was my lower back and my right knee. What had made things worse, I’m sure, was that three weeks before our ski trip I had gone through mononucleosis, which is a rather serious infection. It took three years before I recovered completely. Today my feet soles are wrinkled as usual. All pains have subsided and I am no longer dizzy. At the time I searched Medline for weeks on sore feet without finding anything published. I found though interesting articles on the topic of reactive arthritis. My rheumatologist’s theory is that these two infections upset my immune system and made it overreact. This is how most of the autoimmune conditions start. There is often an infection starting it. Often a stomach infection like Yershinia, Salmonella, Shigella. The prognosis is good, but it may take some time. Maybe my story can help?
    Felsen 510 Replies
    • September 21, 2008
    • 06:31 PM
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  • Thank you for your informative and quick response. I am desparate for some solution as you can imagine teaching with constant painful feet. My patience level is zero!! In 2002 I had a perfurated appendix which was initially diagnosed as a tummy bug. 2 days later I ended teminally in surgery. The infection took 5 weeks to clear after peritonitis stepped in. Thinking back I can say that after this my feet gradually deteriorated. ( Although I have to mention that I have been suffering from a slight burning on the balls beneath my toes since my 13th year.) My toes are numb. Doctors do seem to think this problem is common and "live with it!" I find that the inner soles prescribed cost a fortune and not worth wearing. What remedy/medication did you use to solve your problem? Regards Lydia
    seymore 1 Replies
    • September 21, 2008
    • 07:16 PM
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  • I am really sorry for what you are going through. At the time it happened I was working as a teacher too and I literally was working with my feet on the desk. I couldn’t work at all for a couple of months, the rest of the time I used crutches and today I realize that the best way would have been to use a wheel-chair. I have used a wheel-chair because of another condition and I can say that a wheel-chair is the best invention since sliced bread. My story is very similar to yours. I have also always had aching feet. I could never go shopping for hours like other women did. And as you say, it all started much earlier but was quite silent before it eventually “exploded”. I also had numb toes. It was a combination of burning pain and numbness. But I want to stress that my pain was right under my skin and not in any muscles or tendons. And it was as you describe, worst on areas exposed to most pressure and weight. Appendicitis with the following sequelae is a very big strain on your body and can very well cause an autoimmune reaction, as I see it. I took voltaren/diklofenak, but it hardly had any effect. I would recommend the soles filled with liquid to spread out the load on your feet. Maybe you can get them at the health stores? Finally I want to say that even though I had this condition for very long time, my feet and hands have recovered completely. I really hope that you will get better soon. Best of luck!
    Felsen 510 Replies
    • September 21, 2008
    • 08:32 PM
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  • You described the textbook symptoms of a condition called Plantar Fasciitis. It can be treated with Lasar, Massage, Ultrasound, Physiotherapy...to name a few. It also sounds like you may have heel spurs forming. Consult with a Pediatrist.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • September 22, 2008
    • 02:16 AM
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  • I have tried to respond a few times.You have given a textbook description of a condition called Plantar Fasciitis. It can be treated in a number of ways...lasar, massage, ultrasound, physiotherapy...to name a few. Seek out a podiatrist...foot doctor. You may need to be fitted with orthotics.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • September 22, 2008
    • 11:45 AM
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  • I just wanted to add that my condition was not plantar fascitis, it was inside the skinlayer.
    Felsen 510 Replies
    • September 23, 2008
    • 05:42 PM
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