Transdermal Therapeutics Patient
I love playing soccer! And I love running! So, imagine, if you will, how it felt to have both of those things ripped from my life unfairly at an early age. The thief: plantar fasciitis. So, before you dismiss a common diagnosis as “plain old foot pain”, let me ask you a few questions. Do you have pain in either heel with your first few steps out of bed in the morning? Have you ever noticed a burning or straining feeling when climbing stairs or standing on your feet for too long? Do you have pain at the beginning of exercise that gets better or goes away during that exercise only to return with a vengeance when the exercise is completed? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, you may very well have one of the most common foot ailments, plantar fasciitis. According to the Mayo Clinic, 10% of the population in the United States experiences bouts of heel pain related to plantar fasciitis , with over 1 million cases a year severe enough to warrant a visit to medical professionals for treatment.
Many folks are lucky in that they have this condition from overuse and then, when the inflammation goes away, they have no more pain. For the million or so of us each year that require these medical professionals for help, the pain and the condition are chronic and, in my case, it changes the way you live. I was first diagnosed with plantar fasciitis in 1998 while serving in the United States Army. I was on a 12-mile road march with full gear, meaning combat boots, BDU’s, weapon, web gear and full ruck. In short, it was a 12 mile hump, in boots, with an extra 85 pounds of gear. During this march, the arch in my left foot collapsed and the plantar fascia tore away and flattened out. I was treated at the medical center and released with 800 mg tablets of ibuprofen to take once every four hours. Of course, this wreaked havoc on my stomach, but I had no other option.
I lived with the pain of plantar fasciitis for years, taking ibuprofen, getting steroid injections, buying custom orthotics and so on. I was determined that it would not affect the way I lived my life! I was a very active person, playing in a competitive soccer league, running marathons and working out as much as my work schedule would allow. This type of band-aid approach kept me going for quite some time, although there were periods of rest I had to take between long runs or soccer seasons. As I got older, the pain got increasingly worse. I was coaching my daughter’s soccer team and it got to where I couldn’t bear to lace up my cleats, much less run around at practice. The pain was so bad that I had to start wearing tennis shoes to work because I simply could not stand to walk in dress shoes after a night of soccer practice. I had given up. I figured I’d never be able to play or run again and would be relegated to a life of coaching from the sideline, never to run the pitch again. That was a horrible, defeating feeling.
As fate would have it, I ended up taking a job in operations at a pharmacy which my friend’s family owned. This friend was also coaching soccer with me and would witness my pain on the field and subsequent limping around at work the next day. A few months into my employment at Transdermal Therapeutics, I decided to try one of our creams that many prescribers use for plantar fasciitis. I have to be honest when I say that I was very, very skeptical that a simple “lotion with some powders in it” would even touch the excruciating pain that I had been getting steroid injections and tons of ibuprofen for during the past 16 years of my life. Boy was I wrong! I applied it to my foot about 20 minutes before practice the first night and then slipped on my socks and laced up. I was hesitant at first and stepping as gingerly as I could. About thirty minutes into practice, I realized that I had forgotten about the pain and was running around like before. I had forgotten about the pain because it was gone!
I have been a constant user of this ever since that night. I apply some in the morning and then again in the evening. If I am going for a run, I apply it before I run and I have absolutely no pain during or after my run now. I am back to playing soccer and running long distance events and it is all thanks to this cream! I no longer go for injections and could not tell you the last time I took Aleve or anything of the sort for my foot pain. I no longer have to sleep in plantar braces at night either. For me, this product has truly given me my active life back and given me more time with my daughter playing soccer instead of sitting on the sidelines.