Ever wonder what the actual cost of an ongoing condition like plantar fasciitis is? There are some studies that have attempted to estimate it, but those numbers are probably low. For a better, more visceral idea of what the continued search for relief can cost, check out this post from someone who still hasn't found the answer:
You ask what people have tried and the cost and effectiveness of those treatments. I've taken prescription NSAIDs ($10 per month, thanks to insurance). I've tried inexpensive shoe inserts from the store, which didn't work. The thing that helped most was PT exercises which I found online (free). Unfortunately, that only lasted six months, then things got worse and I talked to my doctor ($20) who ordered an MRI (my share was $315, since I'd already met my insurance deductible). The doctor then referred me to a podiatrist ($20). The podiatrist had me get $50 orthotics and follow up in two months ($20). Those orthotics didn't help, so the doctor measured me for $400 custom-made orthotics (not covered by insurance) and had me follow-up in another two months ($20), and again a year later ($30). Another four months later ($30). Along with the custom orthotics, I bought three pair of good-quality shoes that the orthotics will fit into ($170, $145, $110). I'd rate the effectiveness of orthotics about 80%, so long as I wear shoes all day every day. This requires extra carpet shampooing since we don't typically wear shoes in our house. Add to that all the time and fuel required to go to all those appointments, the time to do the exercises, and ongoing pain. Recently the pain has increased, so I have another appt with the podiatrist scheduled, and might be told to try another expensive, ineffective treatment.
The page that the quote comes from is here (the second "reply" down from the top). Note that this person (a) has what appears to be some pretty good insurance and that (b) even though this list still isn't exhaustive, it totals up to more than twelve hundred dollars (none of which, I'll bet, came with a money-back guarantee). And the condition still isn't healed.
Why? Well, I can't say for sure, but I think I have a pretty good idea. Let me use a completely different example to make a point. Imagine that you have a toothache, and that the only remedy is to pull the tooth. You go to a dentist, lie back in the chair, get shot up with novocain and have your left bicuspid extracted. Now, if the problem was really with your left bicuspid, you're golden. But if it was really the incisor that was causing the pain, you're going to be in for an unpleasant surprise when you get home and the novocain wears off.
I've said it before, but since the Mayans were wrong and the world is still here I'll say it again: The reason so many people fail to find relief from "plantar fasciitis" is that they don't have plantar fasciitis in the first place. If you're calling a condition by a name that suggests one problem but in fact you actually have a different problem, it stands to reason that no matter how many "cures" you try, you're not going to get any better.
Here's the deal: Any kind of "~itis" indicates inflammation, and inflammation by itself is usually pretty short-lived. A week or two at the most. If you've had plantar fascia pain for longer than that, the chances are very good (like, 95%) that your condition is plantar fasciosis, not plantar fasciitis. (Of course, you could have both at the same time. But in that case it's the ~osis that's causing the ~itis to flare up for so long.)
This is the main question for most people with persistent PF pain, so I created a quick and easy (and free!) plantar fascia test to help them make a more informed judgement on the matter. The test only takes a minute, and as you can see from the above, it might just save you a lot of time and money.
About the author:
Alex Nordach has been involved in the health and fitness industry for over 30 years. His ebooks, Target Tendonitis and Target Plantar Fasciitis have sold thousands of copies world-wide and been translated into other languages. If you have had tendonitis or plantar fasciitis for more than two weeks, chances are that your problem isn't an "itis" but an "osis" – as in tendonosis or plantar fasciosis. Check out the links above to learn more.