Living with Chronic Foot Pain

Living with Chronic Pain // Sarah Hearts

I’m about to get personal now and I apologize in advance that this isn’t the most exciting/crafty post here on Sarah Hearts. I’ve learned that a lot of you come here for inspiration to create you own projects but I thought if I share a little more about my life that maybe just one reader might be encouraged by my experiences (or at least smile along with me).

My foot pain started when I was in ninth grade. There wasn’t a particular accident that caused it. I think it was a combination of being slight flat footed and riding horses all the time. I would experience a really intense burring on my heels and arches after riding and just walking around. The first doctor I went to thought it was caused by a cyst or tumor in my foot (which I had removed last year). They referred me to an orthopedic doctor, who then referred me to an orthopedic nerve foot specialist. I had MRIs, CT scans, Cortisone Injections, and a nerve test (have you ever had this done? It was not fun at all. Dye is injected into several places and you have to lie still for a couple hours). They finally concluded that I had loose, extra bones in both my feet that needed to be fused to other bones to prevent them from moving around and irrupting my nerves. My parents thought it was very invasive procedure for such a young person, though we were all considering I have the surgery.

Shortly after that visit I had a serious horseback riding injury that required three surgeries and years of physical therapy so everything with my foot pain got put on hold. The pain kinda ebbed and flowed throughout the rest of high school and college. I think my mind put the pain on the back burner because of all the pain I was experiencing from my elbow injury in high school and later my pelvis fracture that happened in college.

Almost two years ago I woke up and was unable to put any weight on my feet. I went to the local urgent care clinic and they referred me to a sports medicine podiatrist. After several visits, he determined that I have plantar fasciitis and an entrapped (or severely pinched) nerve in both feet. Though I hadn’t received that diagnosis before I was desperate to find some relief. I started with getting good fitting supportive running shoes (which I was told were the only shoes I can wear, I know right?) then physical therapy, custom orthopedics for my running shoes, more injections and still had no relief. I found that my pain was only getting worse so I decided on what was seen as the last option, to have surgery to release both the ligament on the bottom of my feet and the pinched nerve that was near both arches. I had the surgery on my left foot last January and on my right foot last July.


I was prescribed Lyrica after my first surgery when the physical therapy wasn’t improving my condition. I was worried about taking a medication with the potential risk of crazy side effects but I was desperate. I still woke up with intense pain even before I stepped out of bed and running errands were so hard to do. I started on a very low dose and worked my way up to a moderate dose. I was extremely drowsy for the first couple of months. I also found that I would occasionally have intense, realistic scary dreams. I hated this. I didn’t feel like myself. But I found a little pain relief for the first time.

Around 8 months after the first surgery I still was having unbearable pain so my doctor referred my to a pain management doctor. Not only was I terrified that having a nerve stimulator implanted in my spine would be my only option but I also thought that they would just want to put me on narcotics. Neither of which happened though I did double the amount of Lyrica I was taking and I also started taking Cymbalta. I was so drowsy for the first couple of weeks that I didn’t feel safe driving and I would fall asleep at my desk. I wasn’t ever a coffee drinker but now I have to have a cup a day to keep me awake. I also found that I have days where I just don’t feel like myself or feel sad and can’t explain why. I’m trying to outweigh those side effects with the benefits of having pain relief.

In addition to the meds I was also “prescribed” to ride at least 3 times a week and do cardio 5 times a week. I made a few changes to my routine and switched from riding english to western and opted to use an elliptical rather than a treadmill and I’m actually feeling the most normal that I’ve felt in years. I’m having more pretty good days than bad ones though I’m still experiencing pain. Yet rather than an intense burning it’s an ache. Most days I my feet still ache before I even get out of bed but I feel like I’m slowly reaching a resolution on how to manage my pain and gain a bit of my life back.

Do you have chronic pain? Or have you taken any of the same prescriptions? I’d love to hear about your experiences. I’ve found that there aren’t many people in their late twenties that deal with chronic pain and I’m happy to answer any questions here or you can always contact me directly. It’s a tough thing to deal with and it’s really encouraging to know that someone else may be going through the same things.

Update – April 2014:

It’s been over a year since I wrote this post and I have received so many emails, comments, and encouragement from other people living with all types of chronic pain. Since it’s been over a year in my journey, I wanted to provide you with a brief update in hopes that it may be helpful to some of you.

Last fall, my pain seemed to come back stronger and I was having more bad days than good. I felt like I hit a plateau with the Lyrica and Cymbalta as the burning pain came back strong. I asked my doctor if I could try going off both medications as I felt like they weren’t helping at all. I wasn’t happy with the mood swings and the twenty pounds I gained while on both medications. So with his supervision, I slowly tapered off both medications. It was rough. Really rough. I got intense headaches around the same time every day for over a month and my mood was all over the place. Once I was finally off both medications, the pain in my feet was both an intense ache and a burning sensation, not that much worse than with the medication. I went about 3 weeks without any medication and went back to my doctor after enduring a painful few weeks. He prescribed Mobic (the generic is Meloxicam) which is a prescription strength anti-inflammatory drug. I had never tired anything like this since my pain was always diagnosed at nerve pain. I now take a low dose daily and have found more relief than I ever did with other drugs.

I’m still trying to ride and exercise several times a week, as I found that it’s be great for my overall health and mood. There’s something so rewarding in getting back to your daily routine when pain has previously prevented you from doing so. I have also found that keeping this foot massager under my desk to be so, so helpful. I just use it whenever I’m sitting at my desk and it’s provided a lot of relief. I feel like my pain is much worse the days I don’t use it. I also have found some great (and stylish) shoes that provide enough support of my achy feet. I still never go bare foot for longer than necessary and wear supportive slippers around the house.

Though I’m my feet aren’t pain free, and morning are really rough, I am finding ways to reduce the pain and that gives me hope. If you’re also living with chronic pain, remember that you’re not the only one.

Leave some love:

  1. This was such a great read! I’ve struggled with horrible GI issues for over a year and still have no relief as doctors are stumped as to what is going on. I can’t even drink water without severe pain. Chronic pain is so draining both mentally and physically since it really takes a toll on your entire body. It’s also difficult since others can’t always see your pain and therefore they assume you are fine. Props to you for covering a tricky topic that most people tend to avoid talking about!

  2. I think it’s so inspiring that you shared your story. I couldn’t imagine your pain and you are so brave to share this. I know many people will come across this post and it will touch them in a perfect way.
    I had Melanoma (skin cancer) last year and was, and still am, a little shy about sharing my story but you’re right.. someone might need to hear about it and feel touched and supported.

    Cheers to you for sharing!!

  3. Thank you for sharing your story. I think it is very corageous of you to share your story as well. I have no experience with chronic pain, but I hope you continue to find some relief in your daily life.

  4. Heather Reply

    Like Laura, I have GI issues also and after a frustrating and scary year of several doctors and numerous tests, they had no answers. I’ll be 28 next month and it’s rare if I go a day without some sort of discomfort or pain. Now that I’ve put that into words and read it back, it’s scary to think I probably won’t ever feel “normal” again. But the silver lining has been helping a woman I work with who has similar symptoms as mine maintain a healthy diet and avoid foods that trigger discomfort. So I guess going through this hasn’t been for nothing. I’ve been able to help someone else cope with their pain. And I think that’s what your experience has done also. Thank you for sharing!

  5. I too have had foot pain since high school and I’m 24 now. I’ve always had a difficult time finding pain relief, and I also hate the idea of having to wear good running shoes all the time just to prevent extreme pain. I’ve started wearing comfort shoes like Born, Aerosoles and Clarks which have helped, but I still can’t have long days without being in extreme pain at the end of the day. Thanks for sharing your story, Sarah!

  6. Sarah, thanks for sharing your story! You are strong, girl! I will keep you in my thoughts.

    I just turned 29, and I agree that it seems like there aren’t too many young people out there dealing with scary health issues. A year ago last month I started having episodes where my heartbeat would jump to over 200 bpm, and I had no clue why. One day I passed out in the shower, and I was rushed to the ER. They had to reset my heart, which was the scariest experience I’ve ever had in my life – the only time I’ve ever really felt like I was going to die. Four days later it was determine that I had atrial fibrillation, and three months after that it was FINALLY determined that my a-fib was just an electrical issue, not coinciding with a structural problem. My world was upside-down for almost four straight months. I’m now on medication that keeps my rate and rhythm under control (for the most part) and hopefully will never have to have a procedure done. Unfortunately I can’t exercise all that much because once my heart rate gets up, it stays up and starts going bonkers.

    My husband (also 29) was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis when he was in college, and takes 6 pills a day to keep it under control.

    I hope my story gave you something to relate to. Everyone has something. To keep things in perspective I try to remember how blessed we are that our issues aren’t very serious. If this is the worse health issue I ever have, I’m SO VERY LUCKY.

    Stay healthy and positive! Have a great weekend! xo

  7. I have Ulcerative Colitis, an inflammatory bowel disease and autoimmune disorder – diagnosed at 25 years old. Those were the days when I thought doctors had ALL the answers,and people under the age of, oh, 65, should just be healthy. But I’ve learned over the years – as all the drugs fail, as I cut out all my fave foods (turns out I’m allergic to dairy, gluten, and eggs – and can rarely tolerate alot of other foods too! argh!), as I deal with the drug side effects and the doctor’s telling me things I don’t believe, I’ve changed my mind. I’ve met soooo many other people who have their own diseases and pain issues. I’ve learned the hard way that in actuality, I think it’s rarer to find someone who IS just plain old healthy. It seems like everyone has something wrong with them. So seeing you share your story – and the comments of others dealing with issues too, feels right. We’re all in this together, right?
    I’m glad to hear you’ve found things that are helping you – I’ve found just a little bit of optimism goes a heck of a long way!
    And it’s so nice to see you sharing this on your blog. I’ve spent many weeks so sick I could hardly blog, but felt like I shouldn’t say anything, because it can be such a downer. Kudos to you for sharing and staying positive!

  8. Although I cannot relate to your situation, I can only imagine what you are going through. You are such a strong person to be able to stay so strong and together after years and years of agony. Go you!

  9. Sarah, You are such an inspiration! Thank you for sharing this story with all of us. I couldn’t have been more lucky to have you as my Alt roomie. You’re such a talented designer and to think that you get up in the morning every day and still produce wonderful work for your readers & clients while dealing with this is just amazing. I’m so excited to follow along as you keep moving forward in this awesome journey of yours! xxo

  10. Jennifer Reply

    I started having foot pain too. My feet would hurt very badly when I would get out of bed in the morning. My fiance and I both believe it is the plantar faciitis as well. I swam all through high school and tried to do track for conditioning when my knees started hurting horribly. I was told it was because my arches had fallen. It pulls on the tendons in the back of my ankle which pull on my knees. I ended up getting special inserts for my running shoes. A couple years ago the pain started in the mornings and I think it was because I had been wearing crocs. Very comfy on my feet at my chocolatier job where I stood and ran around all day but not very supportive. I am blessed to have a caring fiance that looked into it when I started telling him about it. He found special athletic tape and learned how to tape my feet for support when I was at work. I am very lucky that the pain has gone completely away in one foot. One is still sore but the tape really helped strengthen my other foot so I am hoping it will still help. I know I am very fortunate to only have a mild issue with it, especially after reading other stories. Love reading this blog. :)

  11. Laura Reply

    Thank you for sharing something so personal. I had no idea the pain you have been dealing with. The fact that you deal with this type of pain and still produce such beautiful posts is inspiring! I have been dealing with a lower back/hip pain in my right side for about 10 years. It hurts mildly while sitting and when I stand it can hurt badly to walk. Almost like the hip bone/rear bone feels “stuck” until I make an effort to pop it. I look crazy bending strangely every time I stand but otherwise every step I take will be painful.

    The first time I went to my Dr, she didn’t even LOOK at my back. Didn’t lift my shirt, didn’t take any X-rays. She told me maybe I was too skinny (even though I fall in the appropriate weight range for my age and height) and there wasn’t enough meat on my rear and that I was “too young” to have back pain. Two years later, still pain on my right side so I saw a new doctor. Turns out that yes, my low back/hip/rear area on the right side is showing bone deterioration on X-rays and that I have mild degenerative disc disease. There isn’t much to do about it except for physical therapy. It is a daily pain that hurts worse some days than others but it is not to the point of debilitating pain or anything requiring surgery, thankfully. I did learn my lesson though, to always listen to your body and your intuition about these things. I hope and pray you find some relief! Thank you for always being such an inspiration to others. :)

  12. Marlene Reply

    Hi Sarah,
    Thank you so much for sharing your story. As others have commented, I am so amazed at all you do in spite of your pain! I suffer from chronic pain as well and am 28 years old. I get 12 migraines a month–not all are “debilitating” but even the mild ones are painful and I get the nausea, light sensitivity, etc. Also, I have a chronic nerve pain syndrome that affects my lady parts (sorry, TMI, but since we’re baring all…). It is a mild dull itchy pain that is usually in the background, but prevents me from being intimate. I can’t wear pants for more than a few hours at a time and have to wear thigh highs or else cut a big hold out of the crotch of stockings. In addition, I have TMJ syndrome, wake up clenching most nights, and have very limited jaw movement. So while I don’t have pain every single day, between the three of these things there is usually pain in one part of my body or another, and it is a drag to say the least. I have had the migraines since early childhood, and the other two conditions began in my early 20s. I have to work part time because full time is just too much, and even so I always end up maxing out on sick days and have lost two jobs as a result.

    BUT, the news is not all bad. I have had many treatments for the migraines which has reduced the frequency and severity (they used to be much worse!). In the past two years I have been able to start having “a life” again, I can go out and make and usually keep plans. I also do a lot of crafting at home and just recently became motivated to start my own blog! Which is why I felt compelled to share my story–I am so inspired and encouraged to hear that there are others who have found ways to do what they love in spite of their pain. Of course, I wish that you DIDN’T have these pain issues–but know that you are not alone!

    I wish you more success with your remedies! Be well!

  13. Marlene Reply

    P.S. I am a horse-back rider too! :) (Well, I WAS until I became too old for my parents to finance it, haha).

  14. Elizabeth Reply

    Thank you for sharing your story! I’m 29 yrs old and have had a chronic pain illness (fibromyalgia) for about 4 years. I have taken Lyrica before, but wasn’t able to handle the side effects. I felt like my doses kept having to be increased. It was like my body would crave it, so I go off that and now I take a mixture of meds including Cymbalta. I have doing well on it. I also take Exalgo which is a small dose of morphine. That has greatly helped more so than any other med. I also do acupuncture every two weeks. If you haven’t tried it I strongly recommend it. It has been the best alternative treatment I have found. I wish you all the best in your chronic pain struggle. It’s a process. It seems that one day something works to relieve pain and the next day nothing seems to work. We can only take one day at a time. It seems that that seems to be just enough.

  15. Hi there, Sarah!
    I came across your blog via
    I must say, it is BE-YOU-TEE-FUL!
    Anyway, I found your post about chronic pain. I wanted to let you know, I can relate. I suffer from Fibromyalgia, endometriosis, and a myriad of other problems. I recently began chronicling my journey with it over at my website,
    I was wondering if you had a button that I could put on my blog, I’d love to share your page! (I also run a facebook page, and we have over 16,000 fans) I was wondering if it was okay to share your page there as well? I think alot of our fans there would love your site!

  16. I empathize with your story! I have a genetic nerve disorder that causes chronic pain. It’s a management nightmare. I take gabapentin for daily pain relief. I just got medicine for sleeping- Ambien, and I realized that I haven’t been sleeping well for years. Changing meds or adjusting meds is no fun. I send good wishes your way for pain-free days (we can wish :))

  17. Sarah,
    Thank you for sharing your story.
    I too have chronic pain. I have type 1 diabetes, a connective tissue disease (an autoimmune disease that causes severe pain throughout my body), and was diagnosed 7 months ago (after suffering for years) with gastroparesis. Gastroparesis is an inability to digest my food…so essentially everything I eat causes pain, nausea and vomiting, and malnutrition….yuck!!
    I am also a full time artist.
    It was so encouraging to find your blog. I was attracted to your blog for your DIY articles….all the while thinking how great it is that you do so many great things that I no longer have the energy or strength to do much of anymore. To stumble upon your post about pain has given me newfound hope!!! It has shown me that others also suffer from chronic pain and accomplish so much!! It is hard some days to know that I can not accomplish as much in a day as I used to. I told this fact to my dr who very gently told me that I have to find my new normal. Thank you for reinforcing what he has said….you have such a lovely blog, and do such beautiful work! Since you shared your story, and others have commented and shared theirs I know I am not alone!!

  18. sedley abercrombie Reply

    I, too, have chronic foot pain! I have all sorts of problems: accessory navicular bones and flat feet that have caused me problems all my life, and the last two years I’ve been struggling with plantar faciitis, bone spurs and achilles tendonitis. I know, right? I have done all the shots, boots, stretching, prednisone and now wear custom orthotics. I’ve been advised against surgery because there are no guarantees. I am 43 and overweight, but it’s like a double edged sword. I’m gaining weight because I can’t exercise, and I can’t exercise because my feet hurt. My next avenue to explore is weight loss surgery. I figure if I can shed 50 lbs. it might help alleviate some stress on my feet. Hope your feetsies are feeling better. Thanks for letting me vent.

    • Gail Reply

      Hi Everyone,
      I’m writing to let you know if you can avoid surgery do. I’m 53 & have had 7 foot surgeries since 1997 & I am in the worst pain you can imagine. All because of flat feet. I did the athletic shoes with custom orthotics & for summer had custom Birkenstocks with the custom orthotic built in. But with surgeries my feet changed so much. On one surgery the tendon that runs from the big toe up the front of the leg had to be cut & retied so it shortened the tendon causing my big toe to stick up. That has made the joint under my big toe grind into the ground, shoes anything I step on & OMG it hurts. Because of this I can now only wear flip flops & not just any flip flops, they can’t be too hard or too soft. I’ve tried everything under the sun for padding to no avail. I wear flip flops 24/7, sun, rain, snow, you name it. With socks in winter. The only socks I can wear are Dollar Tree diabetic socks, all others hurt too much. I have cadaver bone & metal fused into both feet. I’ve rejected some of the metal (it’s in a bag in my purse) then had to have it replaced when my feet started to collapse again. Every bone in my right foot except 1 is fused. Most are fused in the left. My Achilles’ tendon snapped on my left leg so that had to be reattached. At the moment I feel as if my ankles are going to snap off when I stand/walk. Both knees have cysts & arthritis as a result of my bad feet. I began pain management in April 2006 & have been taking narcotics since then. I get relief from them but still have a lot of pain & hate that I am a “legal” drug addict! I considered having the spine simulator, went thru all the steps including the mental evaluation, when I found out it only blocks 50% of pain if you’re lucky & makes your ears ring which mine already do I decided not to do it. I went to another Dr who everyone was saying was the best, to see if he could at least help with the joint under my toe. Boy I’d love to wear slippers again. The Dr looked at the xrays & said my feet were “hopeless “. He apologized for being so blunt & said he had never seen such a mess in a pair of feet & that I’ll be stuck in flip flops forever because I need the cushion on the bottom. After that visit I saw my GP & started antidepressants. I’m still trying to find one that works.
      Sarah, I thank you for writing this, I thank all of you that have told your stories. I never knew how many people were out there with foot issues. I do feel alone so often. To the you & everyone suffering with other types of chronic pain, hang in there. My 19 year old son has stomach issues. Plus he had ACL knee surgery. He gets it too. Thank you for sharing. Bless you all. Gail

  19. Heather Reply

    I come across your blog searching on how to make cupcake picks, see the mention of chronic pain on the side, and click to this post. So in case it could ever help, I have to write this comment. You might have one of two hereditary faulty foot structures that could be the root of your pain. Although these foot structures are very common, almost no one knows about them. I have one of these foot structures and have endured the pain and bodily chaos it can cause for many years. I am in treatment now. I suggest you look at I would be glad to share my experiences with you if it would help!

  20. Tammie Reply

    I can completely understand your pain, I am a 35 year old that has just been diagnosed with big tears in my plantar fascia. This has been miss diagnosed for a couple of years. I have days when I feel really depressed and unhappy and not sure how to cope and other days its just OK. It is hard to do the things I want to do, hard to even do the mundane jobs like housework. No one seems to understand what its like to live with foot pain day after day. I have hopefully now found a good podiatrist and hope to be finally on the right track to managing this pain. I just wanted to write to say your not alone and good luck.

  21. Kavita Sarang Reply

    Its kind of ” partner in pain “feeling that i get after reading this post of urs.
    I am suffering from heel pain on inner leg side since 2.5 years right after my marriage. Consulted from orthopaedic surgons to astrologist for it. Taken 21 b12 injections and so many pills, but theres little relief, i wear totally soft footwear continuosly, right from the moment i get out of my bed, the pain is more in mornings.,

    Its having negative effect in my life in so many ways, its crippling and m not finding a way out .

    Please help me out with this..

  22. Monica Reply

    I have plantar fasciitis and last year had a lisfranc fracture in my right foot. First surgery was unsuccessful so 4 months later i had a second, involving a bone graft and plates and pins. Its been 364 days since the last surgery and still so much pain across the plates, in my arch and ankle. Exercise exacerbates the pain. Cery depressed and tired.

  23. Dorothy Reply

    In my teens and 20s I was very active; biking, running, tennis, aerobics, etc. In my early twenties I began having stomach problems, but could not get a diagnosis. I felt like the doctors thought I was a hypochondriac looking for attention. After years of suffering great abdominal pain and bouts of diarrhea which became bloody and uncontrollable, a kind and knowledgeable doctor diagnosed me with ulcerative colitis. I thought since I finally had a diagnosis and with the doctor’s assistance, I could begin to regain control over my life. Several years went by trying different cocktails of prescriptive meds that always included prednisone. This is where my warning to everyone comes. Prednisone is not meant to take long term! If I knew then what I know now, I would question any and every time a doc gave me a script of prednisone or gave me a steroid injection. To this date, I am unaware of every side effect that has changed my life forever due to the ingestion of steroids, but I can tell you I have painful, crippling arthritis because of it. All of my joints, including my back, hands, hips, knees and feet are effected. My feet are absolutely the worst. I have a ton of shoes I cannot wear because the pain is too great. After a couple of podiatrists, one doctor had some custom orthotics made for me. They seem to help a lot, but most of the shoes I own do not have removable insoles. It’s real bad when I first stand up and the pain never goes away. I have felt very alone with this affliction since no one else I know has a problem with their feet like this. Thank you for sharing your story and reading mine. Best of luck all!

  24. Jodie Reply

    Sarah…gosh, I don’t know where to begin. I ‘m 38 yrs old and have been struggling with chronic bilateral feet pain for over 10 years now. I’ve tried everthing from medications (gabapentin and lyrica and tramadol) to creams, physical therapy, othotics, splints, accupuncture, massage, orthotics, heel cups, 3 surgeries! Nothing has helped at all and my feet continue to get worse and worse. I used to be able to at least stand up for 20-30 min before that pain was unbearable but now I’m done to 30 seconds before I must sit. I have a 2 year old and this affects every moment of everyday. I have had every nerve test, MRI, CT scan, Xray, blood test, etc that you can think of and everything comes back negative. Its very very hard to manage a pain when you don’t even have a diagnosis. I can ride a bike with minimal pain? Is your pain gone when you sit down? Mine is. It’s my only saving grace as I don’t have any pain when seated. But the time I get to sit with a 2 yr old is minimal. I’m so tired of this pain and can’t believe there is nothing that can be done to help us. Please let’s put our heads together and try to help each other out. Jodie

  25. I couldn’t imagine what you are going through. Whenever I get pain on both my feet and would revert to topical gels or anti-inflammatory. Have you tried doing yoga positions to alleviate the pain? I hope you would somehow find the best way or a cure for this. Thanks for sharing.

  26. PEGGY Reply

    Dear Sarah, I have a nerve condition called RSD or CRPS. It is only controllable not a cure exists. This cruel monster is at times unbearable. I received this diagnosis 8 months after getting hit by an automatic door in my elbow area. Some folks are not diagnosed for many years. I appreciate the fact my orthopedic doctor was aware of this unusual condition and confided with her dad who also practiced in the same field. If you google RSD or CRPS a lot of information will be available. I am no doctor, but many of the people who have commented may be suffering from this. It can be dated as far back as the Civil War. This can develop at all ages and for all kinds of reasons. There are national non-profit organizations to help and local support groups located all over the USA and the world. NEVER EVER STOP TRYING TO GET HELP AND DO NOT GIVE UP. THIS IS WHAT CHRONIC PAIN SUFFERERS DO. YOU ARE NOT ALONE. WE JUST HAVE TO HAVE A POWER TO KEEP THE CHIN UP! THE SUN COMES UP EVERY DAY. GIVING UP IS THE EASY WAY OUT. FOCUS ON THE AMAZING LITTLE THINGS. DAY BY DAY. I hope I helped. Heaven help us all.

    • Gail Reply

      I wrote above about my feet & along with all the issues they have I’ve been told I too have CRPS. If it wasn’t for my son & husband I would have given up a long time ago. Your words are inspiring. Last night I spent several hours rescuing stray kittens from a stray cat I have been feeding. I knew she had a litter, but had no idea where or how many. I found 2 & searched for hours on foot for more. So today I am suffering & can’t hardly walk. It take all I have just to take a bath, I can’t stand in the shower the bottom is too hard & it’s too small for a seat. So thank you for writing the positive words, I needed to read them today. Gail ????

  27. Abree Walker Reply

    Have you heard of melt method? I have chronic foot pain along with other pain issues related. It’s great for people with bad feet. I highly recommend buying the program. It’s not too expensive and it’s a something that you can do daily. Don’t give up. Pilates and yoga are also great exercise programs that you can use to stay in shape without stressing your feet!

  28. Jennifer pratt Reply

    Hi, I just found your blog throgh pintrest. I had severe foot pain, and through an elimination diet figured out that corn was causing the pain in my feet. I have been eating corn free for 5 years and my feet only hurt if I eat corn (which is only accidentally now). Please contact me if you have questions. I’d love to help if I can.

  29. I went from being very active to hardly go out of the house I,ve had 3 Sugery on my right foot and 1 on my left they ( The podiatrist orthopedic surgeon ) i’ve had several Morton which are small tumors that grow in between the joints of the foot also had planter fascia -itis surgery I had physical therapy and still continue to have chronic pain and the doctors don’t know why. I,ve been on several medications and see several different specialist . I think the most frustrating thing is not knowing why it hurt or having people look at you like you’re not telling the truth about how much pain you are in.

  30. Sky Reply

    Thanks for sharing your story! I have chronic pain in my left foot, I have a wheelchair for when it gets bad. I’m so glad that riding is helping, that’s good motivation for me to pester my trainer for lessons. The best treatments so far have been RFA (Radio Frequency Aberation) they microwave the nerve, it dies and grows back. It’s not usually for feet, but my pain doc was willing to try it. Something that you didn’t mention was diet. I went 80-90% raw for two years and it made a big difference in my daily pain. I learned corn really set off my pain ( seems like there were a couple others too) every body is different. I try to keep hope for the future and the technology/medicine to come. Good Luck!

  31. Carlos Reply

    Hi, I found your blog not too long ago and it def hit close to home. My girlfriend has been suffering from chronic foot pain for the last two years. Her story is very similar to yours from the pain to the medication. At this point she’s just trying to manage the pain. She’s holding off on the surgery as a last result as it has a shaky success rate. Recently, I stumbled across a procedure known as PRP( Platelet Rich Plasma) injections. I was wondering if you might know, or anyone on this blog might know more about it. It seems to have a pretty high success rate. Heres a link to the article that started my digging into the procedure:

    Thank you for your post. Hopefully I’m on to something!

  32. Jan Reply

    I’ve had any knee surgeries, now have total knee replacements, Fibromyalgia and Neuropathy in both feet. My Dr. put me on Mobic but did not check for Kidney problems. I did have kidney problems but getting off Mobic and some other Meds. has cured my kidneys! But I’m still in pain at times, but I’ve turned to using natural products and Essential Oils!

  33. Elle Reply

    Sarah, thank you for posting your story. It assuaged some of my despair because you, a young person, detailed the endless attempts so many of us older people have tried without success to end chronic foot pain. My bi-lateral foot pain began after a huge pile of books landed on my feet at work. I had a fracture and bone bruise on one foot, two sprains on the other and possibly an ankle fracture ( podiatrist noted edema in talonavicular bone) to go with the sprains. After wearing a brace and a boot for over a month, I was in terrible pain and I could barely walk. The uninformed blame my prolonged recovery on my age, they even have the nerve to tell me outright that I have “arthritis.” My X-rays, MRI , blood tests show no such thing.

    The PT says my leg muscles have forgotten how to work. He says I have PTT, a peroneal tendon problem, but my feet are not flat I have arches. He has treated my feet with the Graston Technique which has helped, but it is extremely painful therapy and my legs are badly bruised afterward. I am about 50% better and can walk a little bit, but I walk very slowly. I lost dorsiflexion in my left ankle and it kills me to squat. I walk down stairs like a toddler, because of this inflexible ankle. Both feet are painful in the heel which makes me think I also developed PF. I sleep with my feet in homemade PF socks and I stretch my them before I get out of bed. When I first took my job over a year ago I walked 3-6 miles a day and I moved like a mountain goat, now I am a snail. ):

    Tramadol did little for me. Vicodin helped a bit, but I can not work and take it. I am trying Neurontin to see if that helps. My PT wants me to wear compression hose, which is the only thing he and my podiatrist agree on. The PT wants me in minimalist bendy shoes with no orthotics, while the podiatrist wants me in rigid shoes with rigid orthotics. I do not know what to do anymore.

    As the weeks go by I am getting more and more depressed.

  34. Tracey Reply

    I am 25 and have had pain in my back on the right side and about in the middle of my back for about 6 years now. It all started after I had my gallbladder removed (2009) so it is in that area, kind of deep in my ribs. Living with pain every single day, I completely understand where you are coming from. I’ve tried countless medications, acupuncture, yoga, etc. They tell me that during the gallbladder removal, they may have nicked a nerve or a nerve got caught up in some scar tissue and that may be the cause but they don’t know for sure. So for now, I have a neurostimulator that helps but when the pain gets so bad that the stimulator won’t even calm it down, I get intercostal nerve ablations, which is a nerve block of your ribs basically. Those normally help but only a limited about of time. It is so very frustrating. I have also had to go off of medications (pain meds), and that is the hardest thing to do, but you are so very strong for doing it. The mornings are also bad for me for some reason. I’ve never been able to figure it out. I wish none of us were in pain, but glad that someone “gets me”.

  35. Katherine Reply

    Thank you for your post. I’ve just been battling with my left foot pain for 14 years. Burning, tightness, tingling, etc is a 24/7 battle. When you mentioned that you battle with both your feet with me just dealing with one its a lot…wow. I had a sports injury, neuromas, broke hammer toe, two nerve surgeries 2001 and 2002 and a cyst removed last year 2014. Back in 2002 my awesome podiatrist tried everything except the surgery you did on your plantar facia. I ran from that surgery anxiety ridden. Running I miss but wow intense extreme pain it causes. Over the past 15 years weight fluctuated. Bought a kayak and ended up with a lipoma the size of an almost softball. Now at my heaviest weight 190 lbs. gotta get back to my ole weight 145-150. Sports injuries are tough. Tried strausburg sock, injections, nerve blocks, gabapentin (spelling error), stretching, heat, cold, and numerous other things over the year. Your a breath of fresh air knowing that there are others battling, and your battling twice what I am experiencing. I’m 48 now. Thank you so much for your post. I can relate but knowing your battling more so with this makes me want to try harder to get back in shape over time.

  36. Brandi Burkett Reply

    This post describes the last nine years of my life. My husband has severe bilateral foot pain that he describes as both burning and aching. He doesn’t stand or walk unless he must. He’s otherwise a healthy, pretty stacked guy. We actually just returned from our pilgrimage to Mayo Clinic in AZ where we spent $6000 and found out nothing. He was initially diagnosed with plantar fasc and we did all the conservative treatments. Stretching, physical therapy, icing, ice dipping, ice massage, cortisone shots, special shoes, every night splint ever made, acupuncture, acupressure, ultrasound, orthotics, cold laser, special diets. Everything. When none of that worked he had the more conservative release by Topaz in both feet. That didn’t work either. At that point I drug him to a rheumatologist, a neurologist, an orthopedist, pretty much everyone except the Pope looking for a diagnosis. Everything came back normal. I had his spine MRI’d, which was normal except for a slight stenosis. They put him on Cymbalta, Lyrica, Mobic, Uloric, lidocaine pain patches, Voltairin ointment… The list goes on and on. We finally went to Mayo to see if maybe he has some kind of neuropathic condition, but the doctor we saw thinks the problem is in the foot somewhere, not a nerve condition. I am beyond frustrated. He has described his life before as “waiting to die”. It’s hard to raise kids with someone who is maxed out everyday just by being alive. We are headed to a new neurologist and podiatrist on Friday. One thing of note, we had a functional nutrition test here in Texas through a lab called Spectracell that showed he was deficient in vitamin b5, or pantothenic acid. The Mayo neurologist wouldn’t even look at the test. He also has terrible IBS. Wondering if anyone else out there has any similar gut issues?

    • Brandi Burkett Reply

      I also forgot to note that he had a gastroc release, tarsal tunnel release and fascia release on his right foot/leg and it remains unchanged.

  37. I suffered from Plantar Fasciitis tree years ago, and the only thing that gave me results were the stretches. I copied most from You Tube but the pain would always come back and the injections for me were pretty much out of the question. i say that to say this, i spent hundreds of dollars trying to cure my fascia and i don’t want anyone else to have to spend as much as i did with no luck

  38. Bonnie Hauck Reply

    Brandi you may want to have you husband checked for RSD or CRPS I think it’s called today. I have terrible burning in my foot and hurts awful. I went to a orthopedic Dr. Who diagnosed me with RSD in 1988. Tell him to be positive if at all possible. I was told by the doctor if you give in that’s it. Feet problems make you tired. Good luck!

  39. Marty Reply

    Hey after reading your story I had to share mine because of how similar it is!!!

    I have an ongoing chronic foot pain which has been affecting my daily life for the past 3 to 4 years. The pain is in between the first & second metatarsal webspacing/junction & travels to under the arch of my foot (Right foot).
    It all started 4 years ago when I was playing soccer & injured my big toe. I kicked the ground with my toe and at the same time I kind of tweaked my ankle. For days after that I rested & compressed my foot with ice. The big toe swelled up for a few days & went back to normal. I thought nothing of it as I always injured myself. I rested & thought it would be fine. 2 weeks had gone by, and my pain is still unbearable. There was no swelling anymore, and my foot looked perfectly fine. But I couldn’t walk. So I went to the doctor. He did the usual. Sent me to get an xray, the xray came out clean. No sign of any fracture, no bone misalignment, nothing.
    After that he referred me to an orthopedic surgeon who also checked my foot out. He sent me to get an MRI. The MRI came out fine, except for small liquid around my joint in the big toe, which didnt ring any alarms of distress. He told me to relax and let it heal, it will take time. So I took his advice…. 2 months pass, 4 months pass, 6 months pass. Im unable to walk longer than 100 meters without feeling pain. I most certainly cannot run or carry any weight with me or it will trigger chronic pain. Resting and not putting any weight on the foot is fine, I don’t feel any pain at all when not using it at all.
    After 6 months had passed I booked to see another orthopedic surgeon, I needed to get this foot sorted. I love sports & I cant stand the fact that I was partially immobile. This new orthopedic surgeon was a foot specialist. He booked me in to get 3 MRI scans. One of the forefoot, one of the mid foot & one of the hind foot. Surprisingly all came out CLEAN. His only advice was, its a nerve issue. Go see a neurologist. So I went to a neurologist. He did a nerve conduction test, came out crystal clean. Absolutely no issues. He prescribed me Lyreca and said see how that goes. It kind of helped but not really (maybe only 20% help), however it also had side effects – it made me go slightly blind. I stopped using it immediately & ran out of ideas. The neurologist said something that really upset me. “You’re either overly obsessing with this and there is no real issue, your mind thinks that there is pain but there isn’t, or you’re just going to live with it and get used to it”. How can my mind make up such chronic pain.
    Anyways I left it at that, 1 year had passed, 2 years had passed I just learned to get used to it. After the 2 year mark, my health started deteriorating, no running, no sports, no gym, absolutely nothing. Gaining weight, getting depressed, it was affecting my everyday life. (Im only 27 by the way!!!!!!!!!!! This all started at 24). So after 2 years had passed I booked in to see a Podiatrist, maybe he could help me, get me some inner soles etc. I booked in to see a Podiatrist & he had a look at my foot, my stance, the way I walk etc. He noticed that I have been walking on a supinating angle on my right foot, I started walking on an angle since the beginning of the injury. It kind of avoided the pain. He prescribed me inner soles and fixed my foot alignment. I started wearing them for a few months however it did not help with my pain. He injected me with cortizone in the affected area, but no luck, he started injecting anaesthesia on certain nerves to isolate nerve issues, still no help. He finally referred me to a Podiatric Surgeon, someone who should be the best of the best with foot problems. I went to see him, he saw all my previous MRI scans, XRAYs and made me do a CT scan. All came out clean. I also did a weight bearing Xray. Every single scan came out completely clean.
    I’ve come to a point in my life where this is affecting me so badly that I drink my depression away. I take painkillers on a daily basis & dont know what to do with myself. Im only 27 and I cant do anything. I cant work, I cant walk, I cant go up stairs NOTHING. Luckily I have a job as a Software Tester so I sit all day.
    The exact point of location for my pain is in the webspaces between my first and second metatarsal of my right foot. Its right in between that junction of the 2 metatarsals. Sometimes the pain travels to the arch of my foot. (This is all in the right foot.) I try do a deep massage of the web spacings & sometimes I can get to a point where it hurts so much when I touch it. Its deep in between the 2 metatarsals, sometimes it feels like its under the 2nd metatarsal. Closer up towards the lisfranc joint. In between that junction of the 2 metatarsals. & sometimes it is in the arch of my foot, directly under the first metatarsal. When I do a deep massage I feel great sign of relief. However only when I massage it, When I stop massaging, the pain is still throbbing.
    I dont know what else to do.
    The pain is chronic, it hurts alot, it also intensifies during cold weather.

    • Jacqueline Reply

      Hi Marty, I’m not sure if this will make it to you, but while I was reading your story I was trying to remember if I’d written it, so I had to respond. I’ve gone through a literally IDENTICAL situation with my right foot, except it started as a dancing injury when I was 20. It’s now been 4 years with minimal relief, having seen every doctor under the sun, the same thing with X-rays and MRI’s coming back clean, and doctors telling me “you’ll be fine.” I’ve also had cortisone injections that actually made things worse because they atrophied my foot tissue. I’ve mostly excepted that I’ll never dance again.
      I try to stay positive most days, but chronic pain is exhausting at times. Today is one of those days, since I started a new treatment last week and was super hopeful, but its not looking that great anymore.
      The best thing in my life right now is my bike. I bought a bike a year after this started and it was fantastic. Then I bought a car which was even better, but not as great as the bike because exercise is key. But I can only ride it 6 months of the year.
      Here’s hoping someone can fix our feet one day. Never give up!
      Solidarity from Canada :)

  40. Maria Reply

    I have read your article twice once when I was first diagnosed with a nerve condition in my left foot and again tonight. It brings tears to my eyes hearing other young woman like myself living fulfilled lives. After being diagnosed with plantar fictitious then Complex Regional Pain Syndrome I tried all sorts of pills that didn’t work. Had a stimulator implanted and the surgery went wrong. Leaving me in constant nerve pain from my waist down. At 27 I had to live in a hospital then a nursing home I have had to learn to stand again and walk. Living in continuous pain and hearing other strong ladies succeed gives me hope. I want my life to look like that again some day. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

  41. I too ride horses (have a horse blog) and have some foot pain. Not like you describe, but I have definitely had to alter that styles of shoes I wear. I have a theory that I might have done some damage to the ball of my right foot from swing dancing (too many twirls?). Anyway, I am happy to peruse your blog and get some creative inspiration.

  42. Jacqueline Reply

    another thing, Marty, I got a left-foot accelerator installed on my car because the pain is in the exact spot as yours, same foot as well (the right one). I recommend driving with the other foot!