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Plantar Fasciitis

Posted by Sammy (My Page) on
Wed, Jan 21, 04 at 6:58

Are any of you familiar with Plantar Fasciitis? I guess it usually lasts about a year. The bottoms of both feet hurt when you first walk on them. There are other problems too, but I'd like to know what you do to loosen up your feet first thing in the morning. The long ligament that runs along the bottom of your feet tightens up and it really hurts when I first put weight on my feet in the morning. I think it would heal faster if I could figure out a good "therapy" to use when I first get up.
Sammy


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Plantar Fasciitis

Have you tried ordinary massage? Just take some lotion and gently rub it into the arch and bottom of your foot.

Ask the doc about stretching exercises that might helkp without aggravating it.


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RE: Plantar Fasciitis

My orthopedist gave me some hard plastic heel cups (no padding) to insert in enclosed shoes and after a few weeks the pain was gone. Over the past 5 years if I ever start to feel it coming back I go back to enclosed shoes and tennis shoesand insert the heel cups and after 3-4 days it's gone again.


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RE: Plantar Fasciitis

My pain is gone if I wear an old pair of tennis shoes that they no longer make and has no equivalent. I wear shoes to work that are pretty comfortable, but at night the bottom of my foot tightens up and it takes a few minutes in the morning for me to get it to loosen up. If I get out of bed quickly to go to the bathroom, it can really hurt and I feel that I have reinjured it. I have done the stretching exercises, but not regularly. I friend said to stand on stair steps and let my heels hang down. This feels ok, but my morning it has tightened up again.
Sammy


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RE: Plantar Fasciitis

I have had p.f. for 25 years. It is finally under control, but still flares now and then. But, I went through a LOT to get to this point.... but mine was really severe.

One of the things I tried for it was physical therapy. One of the things they had me do was take a towel, or a sturdy belt, and while I was still in bed, lay on my back and put the towel around the ball of my foot, with knee bent. Then, straighten up your leg and gently pull on the ends of the towel, stretching the foot in the same manner that it stretches on the edge of a stair step when you have the ball of your foot on the step and your heels dropped down below the step. As you get better at this, and the muscle gets more flexible, bend the opposite knee and put that foot flat on the bed. (this is to prevent lower back injury - they said it was important to have the leg you are not stretching bent like this ) Then with the extended leg, with the towel around the foot, start raising the leg to the ceiling, keeping tension on the ball of the foot with the towel. Will hurt like heck at first. When you stretch they told me it was important to stretch the calf and hamstrings too! (that's the point of the leg lift). You should do these exercises several times a day (gradually build up the number of times a day as well as the seconds you hold the stretch). If the pain is really bad, take a 16 oz plastic soda or water bottle, fill it with 1 part rubbing alcohol, 4 parts water. Freeze. It won't freeze solid with the alcohol in it, but it gets colder than if it was water alone. Then, set the bottle on the floor, and roll it with your foot, from toes to heel. The ice really will help. But don't use ice for more than 20 minutes or you could freeze your flesh!

Another good exercise for when you don't have a towel or a stair step is to face a wall, put your hands flat on the wall at shoulder height, and shoulder width. Start "walking" your feet backwards until you are stretching the calf and back of your leg, while keeping the foot flat.

Strangely enough, even with injections, therapy (including ultrasound whirlpool), exercises, steroids, anti-inflammatories etc.... It was a massage therapist that finally did the trick. 3 treatments with her, and I have had very little pain since. HOWEVER, the treatments she did were INCREDIBLY painful. Much worse than any cortisone injection into my heel. So, you might check into a registered massage therapist. Remember, I had mine for 25 years... it was really bad. Since yours is not nearly as bad, the massage therapy might just cure you right off, and should not hurt you near as much as mine did.

I have found Birkenstocks to be far better for me than any custom orthotic device or any brand of tennis shoe. They make many more styles than just sandals and clogs. The cork foot bed is excellent for this problem. I do get a flat gel insert (without arch supports - it lays flat) and put it under the cork foot bed for additional cushion.

Have also found that going barefoot makes it worse.

If you search Google for Plantar F or heel pain, you'll find lots of good info. I think one of the good sites was footpain.com if I remember right, but it's been a couple years.


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RE: Plantar Fasciitis

I have had several flare-ups of plantar fasciitis, the worst for over two years. Here are a few things I do:

1. Never, ever, not even for half a second, walk without wearing shoes. I use a pair of Birkenstock sandals as slippers.

2. Before you get out of bed, do some simple stretches. My quickest routine is to lie flat in bed, flex the feet and hold for 30 seconds, then point the feet and hold for 30 seconds. It helps to stretch the tendon. I also do the walk back from the wall exercise that daylilyfan mentioned.

Standing on your tiptoes for 15-30 seconds and then going back can help. Also, a really good exercise is to stand on the bottom step of a stairway, holding on to the rail and maybe the wall. Toes on the step, rest of foot hanging off - push the heels down and hold to stretch.

On a bad day, use ice massage. I make the ice in a small paper cup. Rub into the affected areas.

Orthotics can be very helpful. I've had custom and OTC, and I like the Spenco inserts. You can buy them at sports stores, if you're interested.

Best of luck. And if you want a *lot* more information, do a search on google.


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RE: Plantar Fasciitis

Daylilyfan and Joann, thank you so much. I am studying what you wrote and am making notes. I invested in many inserts, but have a size problem. I wear a woman's 8-8 1/2 dress shoe and a 9 athletic shoe. That means that a woman's insert hits my arch too close to the heel. I need to go out again and purchase a man's insert and cut it down. I have a very high arch and instep and claw toes. It is a structure that goes together as opposed to hammer toes that have other causes. I require shoes that keep me from pronating and shoes that have a heel. Usually my high arch takes care of itself, and at times an arch support can hurt my foot.
Now that I have gotten older, I realize that my arch probably needs some support. I don't want to invest in orthotics since I often wear open shoes. Also, so many people have been disappointed in their choice of orthotics even though the doctor says it is a good fit. I am taking medications to stop osteoporosis and don't want any steroid unless the problem has no other option. Since I am so close to the normal range (non osteoporosis) I don't want to argue with my doctor or refuse treatment. The condition (foot) seems to be improving and I would like to treat it myself. (I will see the doctor again in the summer for a checkup and call immediately if it gets worse.) There have been times when I have been uncomfortable during the day, but usually I have problems only first thing in the morning, and a little stiffness after sitting during the day.
I feel that I could almost be cured if I would not hurt my foot first thing in the morning. I am going to work on the stretching exercises that you have suggested.
I just purchased some new shoes that will also be helpful.
Do you have any idea what causes this? The only thing I can think of is that sometimes when I work in the garden, I will wedge myself into awkward positions to clip or pull weeds, and I will stay there for about 15 minutes trying to accomplish something. In this position my feet sometimes hurt and I cannot adjust because of the roses and thorns, but when I am finished my feet don't hurt. Another thing that I used to do is to rest on the sofa or love seat by putting my ankles on the arm rest. My daughter had said that Plantar Fasciitis is caused by cutting off oxygen to the foot. I wonder if lying down for 15 minutes with my ankles on the arm rest would cause it. (It is very comfortable to me to have my feet raised like that.) Besides getting over this, I sure would like to keep it from happening again.
Thanks
Sammy


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RE: Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis is simply an inflammation of the plantar fascia, which is the long ligament on the bottom of the foot. Various things (high arches being one of them) can cause small tears in the ligament which then become inflamed.

By the way, you're right that a mid-height heel will make your foot feel better, because it allows the plantar fascia to contract. When you take your first step in the morning - in bare feet or slippers - your plantar fascia is stretched, which can reinjure it and make it very painful.

I doubt the gardening or lying on the couch would cause it.

By the way, the best cure for plantar fasciitis is rest. I once saw an orthopedic doctor who told me that if I could stay in bed for six weeks, the little tears would heal and I would feel fine. All other treatments are things we do because we cannot rest!

Here is a very good article from WebMD that you might look at.

Here is a link that might be useful: WebMD plantar fasciitis


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RE: Plantar Fasciitis

You know, maybe this is going away by itself, but I think it helps to stretch my foot by standing on a step at night. Thanks to whoever reminded me of that. I was having trouble with shoes and finally took out the sole and put in the Dr. Shoels and that has done wonders. (I don't really want to look up the spelling of that word, but it is wrong -- sorry)
Sammy


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RE: Plantar Fasciitis

Birkenstock shoes. They are pricy but I haven't had any problems since I've purchased a pair of these handmade German shoes. It's taken me 2 years to be able to afford quite a few pair but they last forever. Go to their web site and look into the bargain section. I know how painful this can be. Take care and good luck.


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RE: Plantar Fasciitis

If anyone is still reading this, do you have a high arch? That seems to be my main problem. I found athletic shoes that were almost perfect. I took out the soles and put in Dr. Sholes (wrong spelling, sorry) soles. The fit is absolutely perfect, but the texture of the insole grabs my socks. I cannot get my foot in easily, and once I wear them, they then pull down my socks. Any suggestions? I want the athletic socks, that's the point. I don't want panty hose when I can wear athletic shoes.
Birkenstock has a problem for me. My high arched foot also has claw like toes. Some people call them hammer toes, but when all the toes are equal, there is no problem. However the toe end of Birkenstocks rises, and my toe nail hits it. This just doesn't work for me. I have seen some that don't, but have been afraid to purchase them sight unseen. My city doesn't have a good variety of shoes.
Sammy


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RE: Plantar Fasciitis

Sammy - If you'd like to try Birkenstocks, there are many styles on Zappos.com. The good thing about them is that they often run specials with free shipping. Plus, returns are always free - you fill out an online form, and they send you a prepaid label.

That would be a way for you to try them with nothing at risk.

Here is a link that might be useful: Zappos


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RE: Plantar Fasciitis

I love Zappos. I cannot buy any shoes here, since it is so hard to find the fit I need. I buy Clarks, Ecco, and Asics. Zappos and Online Shoes are great. I also use Shoebuy and one other, I forget. They have "clerks" who can really help. Here in my city are only people who can go retrieve the proper size and put the shoe on your foot. They have very limited knowledge -- even the Running store. I ought to try Birkenstocks. I have seen some sandals and shoes that don't have that rise at the end of the sole. So many people love that shoe. Thanks for suggesting it again.
Sammy


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RE: Plantar Fasciitis

I had plantar fasciitis for years. My HMO paid for a couple of cortisone shots and I paid for othotics which helped a bit. A new HMO doctor decided I needed fascia release surgery. I had that and at the same time they chinked off some of a bone spur. I was on crutches for a month. It has been 8 months and my foot still isn't as good as it was before the surgery. part of my heel is numb which makes it feel like I am walking on a wadded up sock. I wish I had the benefit of more information before taking such a drastic step. My surgeon seems genuinely baffled that my foot reacted so badly. I don't know if it is common or not. I sure wish I could go back 9 months. I am trying to be grateful that I can finally walk enough to do my own shopping again. My complaint before the surgery was that I couldn't last longer than a couple of miles.


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RE: Plantar Fasciitis

That's odd...my DF has PF, and his doc told him it never truly goes away, so he'd need orthodics for life, pretty much. He also said surgery was an option, but that it would be much worse than the actual injury, so he didn't recommend it. Sounds like you needed a second opinion - sorry you're in such pain!


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RE: Plantar Fasciitis

I know the pain of mornings where you walk for the first 10 minutes like your 90+ years old. Heck my 85yr old grandmother could have beat me in a footrace.

Doctor said she normally recommends staying off the feet and physically therapy. Knowing me (no insurance coverage for physically therapy and no time) and my work schedule (long days and standing all day long) she suggested that I freeze a water bottle and once or twice a day roll my foot over it for 5 minutes or so. She also recommended that I go to Lady Footlocker and get sneaker inserts (about $20).

Did both of these and it really helped! Occassionally after several long days I may feel it but not like before. I replace my sneaker inserts at least once a year. I usually wear thick socks (no shoes) at home and the socks help to cushion my feet.


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RE: Plantar Fasciitis

I have been told that I have this and that there is no cure, but possibly stretching could help it feel better. I am now trying barefoot walking to see if that will help. I have flatfeet and walking with no shoes is supposed to build up the arches. I know lots of websites say never go barefoot. Does anyone here have experience with going barefoot helping plantar fasciitis?


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RE: Plantar Fasciitis

Wow, this post is three years old.

It turns out that I used to wait at the coffee maker at work with a teacher who used to be a chiropractor. He told me the problem was caused my the calf of the leg. I forget his exact words, but he indicated that either the way I walk or certain exercises shortened the calf of the leg. THen there is a domino effect with the condition affecting the achilles tendon, then the plantar faciitis.

Therefore, he said to stand on a step, and one at a time to lower the heel of a foot, and stretch it. He said to consentrate on each foot separately, and do this as many times during the day as I can think about doing it.

When I got up in the morning even to go to the bathroom at night, I slipped on my sport shoes and walked carefully. I began to stretch maybe 10 or so times a day - 20, 30 - I don't remember.

This began working like magic. It took me awhile because I had injured my foot, and it had to heal, but the condition began to heal.

I seldom go barefoot - it is very bad for my feet, and does not strengthen them. I change my wardrobe for school, and always wear pants anymore, so I can wear shoes with good support. Ecco gives me the best support, but they look best with pants. Since I teach in a high school, good pants have become a very comfortable choice. I am a teacher, and the kids don't need me to wear fashionable high heels. They need me to teach. Even going out in the evenings, I wear shoes with good support.

I haven't had a problem in a couple of years, but if I feel the tightness, I immediately do the step thing for a few days.

There was a time that I considered crawling the the toilet at night because I thought those trips were most injurious to my feet. First thing in the morning I worked my foot for awhile, but in the middle of the night was when I caused the most damage.

Sammy


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RE: Plantar Fasciitis

I stretch my foot well, pulling the toes back (probably would be similar to doing the step stretch Sammy described)before I get out of bed. That regular stretching through the day seems to be the key.


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RE: Plantar Fasciitis

I have found that going barefoot actually causes some of my plantar fasciitis episodes. The trouble I'm having now is I have some neuromas, and the only thing that makes them feel better is to go without shoes for awhile........so I hope I don't get my heel problems back.
I believe that most people with plantar fasciitis have very high arches. And when they walk, it stretches (and hurts) the tendon. One of the most common ways of dealing with plantar fasciitis is to make an orthotic with a good arch, so it doesn't fall down and pull on the heel tendon.
Those stretches that sammy mentions are really good, to gently stretch out that tendon. I have found that it works much better to do the stretches with shoes on.....especially if you're standing on a step and lowering the back of your heels down and up and down and up. I like what my physical therapist has in her office, which is a little ramp made out of plywood. That seems to really stretch things good without hurting anything else.
I think people who have lots of trouble with plantar fasciitis have unusually short tendons.
It is one of the most painful things. There was a time when I thought I would have to quit walking, and was sure I'd never feel better. But my podiatrist made me some good orthotics, and injected my heel with some steroids (when they were the worst), and I quickly was able to walk again. YAY!
I believe gentle stretching exercises are good for alot of other body parts that are having problems too. I also find that stretching makes me happier and gives me energy.......so I'm thinking it releases endorphins. :)


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RE: Plantar Fasciitis

The step stretches you mention are excellent and should be done daily. It's the same idea as plies that ballet dancers do daily and really helps this. The more you can stretch and remain flexible, the better. For this, I also recommend yoga, at any age. Rather than going barefoot, I recommend wearing the wooden clogs made by Dr. Scholl. Worth the money. Wearing high heels only makes this problem worse, especially with age....


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RE: Plantar Fasciitis

I suffered from plantar fascitis for almost a year. I could barely walk when getting out of bed or standing from sitting. I needed to exercise, so I got a stationary exercise bike. Within two weeks of riding the bike, the pf was completely gone! I rode the bike on the easiest setting during those first weeks. I don't know if it will work for anyone else, but it worked for me.


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RE: Plantar Fasciitis

The best thing I ever did was buy a pair of Z-Coil shoes!
I have had NO problems since. I had the injections and also had expensive inserts made. The injections helped for a while but the inserts were a waste of money. I recommend the Z-Coil shoes. (And I don't sell them or own stock in them either!) I have 2 pair now and wear them all the time. They are expensive but well worth the price. I couldn't live without them. My arthritis in my knees doesn't bother me as much either! The best investment I ever made.


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RE: Plantar Fasciitis

A year ago I suddenly- out of the blue- got plantar fasciitis in both feet at the same time. I, too, went through cortisone injections in the heels (helped my arthritis elsewhere but not the pf!), physical therapy, many $$ shoes (that now sit unused in my closet!) ... nothing helped but when I continued the exercise of rolling my feet over a broom handle cut to about a foot in length, laid on the floor & rolling my feet over it from the base of the toes to the heel on the bottom of the foot I did get relief ... in time & I still do the exercise occasionally. The towel method mentioned before would do the same stretching as the standing away from the wall & stretching the heel, I'd think & I also tried those. My problem seemingly had no cause as to why both feet were affected at the same time. I, too, go barefoot as much as possible ... love it! but the podiatrist didn't think that caused the problem. I also have recurring bone spurs on both feet & have had numerous surgeries for them.


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RE: Plantar Fasciitis

I also have PF and have tried various things to resolve it. My foot doctor did not do anything for me except tell me that I have high arches. Someone on another web site recommended reading the book "Pain Free" (http://www.egoscue.com/ lists some of the exercises on their website but not all). It offers up several exercises that will help various foot problems. I do them every day and no longer have pain when I wake up or when I go for walks. If I walk a few miles I still have some pain but I'm hoping time will solve that problem. I also go barefoot as much as possible as recommeded by the book.


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RE: Plantar Fasciitis

I have suffered from plantar fasciitis for over two years. I have tried stretches, anti-inflammatories, shoe inserts, night splints and even had a cortisone injection into the heel (total relief of symptoms but only lasted about three weeks). A couple of months ago I went away from home to visit friends and I had to sleep on the floor. I noticed after a couple of days that I was not waking up to my agonizing foot pain that occurred with the first few steps of walking. I was totally pain free the entire day! Once I returned home to my bed the pain returned after a few nights. I tried sleeping on the floor again and the pain vanished! Now for maintenance, I will sleep on the floor 2 - 3 times a week and my plantar fasciitis pain does not return. I am hoping that after a few months of doing this I will be cured as sleeping on the floor is not the utmost in comfort but it sure has helped me to return to my previously active lifestyle.


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RE: Plantar Fasciitis

Instead of sleeping on the floor, try to scoot to the end of the bed, and let your feet hang over the side -- on your stomach of course.

When you do stretches, you need to do one foot at a time on the steps. Work one foot then the other, and really pull it. Do it 10 times a day or more. Also exercise the muscles in your legs and walk. The PF could be the opposite of shin splints. The back of your leg pulls, and pulls on the achilles heel, it in turn pulls on the PF.

Everything needs to be stretched and exercised. It is great fun to do that when you are already as busy as can be, and guess what! After all that you might get a few leg cramps. LOL Or foot cramps! Have you ever gotten foot cramps while you are driving?

When all of this happens, you swear that you will exercise, walk, and drink plenty of water. But sooner or later you slack, and back it comes. I don't know why, but I think water is a huge factor.

Sammy


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RE: Plantar Fasciitis

I have had intense pain in my feet for two years that was diagnosed as plantar fasciitis. I have seen numerous doctors and tried various anti- inflammatory meds etc., and until two weeks ago was having physical therapy. I had my yearly check up three weeks ago and was told I need to have b12 injections as I am severely deficient. Within two days the pain In my feet was totally gone, not to mention other mild symptoms I was having. When I looked on the internet there was information saying that b12 often helps, as it relieves inflammation in tissues and the deficiency can affect nerve pain. I anyone is suffering with the pain of plantar fasciitis i would strongly reccommend getting your blood tested for this and other vitamin deficiencies.


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RE: Plantar Fasciitis

My blood is tested every year, the doc would have told me that I have a deficiency. She did the last time I saw her, but it was vitamin D.


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Spenco original insoles

wow! what a long thread. a lot of people with heel pain out there. I just wondered if anyone has tried using 2 pairs of flat spenco insoles. I bought one pair and they are so much better than the super thick arch support insoles I replaced, I couldn't believe it. right foot still hurts a little. I'm thinking of doing double layers. anyone else ever tried that? thanks! Bill


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RE: Plantar Fasciitis

I just got an aircast brand "air heel" and it's really helped. It feels a little weird when you first put it on in the morning, but in just a little while you kind of forget it's even there. This is the first time I've been able to walk around all day and do work in the greenhouse on my feet for prolonged periods without being totally hurting by the end of the day. I think I might actually survive spring (my too busy season) this year! I just bought mine on ebay.


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RE: Plantar Fasciitis

Hi I have been having the same pain in my feet for about two weeks now and now my ankles are starting to hurt is that common.


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RE: Plantar Fasciitis

did you go to a bone doctor? I have it also and my doctor had it both feet so he was very understanding. He have me a shot in my ankle, that and Merrill air slides = no more pain

I believe my PF was caused by walking on concrete in the mall.


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RE: Plantar Fasciitis

Once again, to any/all physical therapists who fail to acknowledge exceptions to the rule:

As I said up above, I'm an exception to the rule, so i've different strokes than other folks. I'm sick to death of "one size fits all" perspectives, and that goes for two-and-three sizes as well.

Probably, only stem cells would cut it for me, since my entire body is like 30 years prematurely aged due to life stress, the likes of which nobody can imagine.

But this country (unlike China) isn't rushing to replace phony medicine with genuine MSC repair clinics for the likes of me, are they?The elitist tyrants who run the show suppress anything real, resulting in gross neglect, and/or shoving anyone who is alone & helpless into Houses of Horror (AKA nursing homes, hospitals & "asylums").

No wonder some of those places have become haunted sites!

I once read the writings of a great personage who said that in End of Days, so-called modern medicine will be considered primitive, and also, that everyone at that time will communicate thru telepathy. Compare that, to the notoriously abusive, bleak, isolated experiences which have been imposed on ill people all these past centuries.


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RE: Plantar Fasciitis

The thing I've found that works best for me is a product called FS6. It's a compression foot sleeve that can be worn right under your sock any time day or night, is much cheaper than bulky night splints, and actually works! You should check it out and even if it doesn't work for you, you can return it for a full refund. So, the only thing you have to lose is the pain of plantar fasciitis!


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RE: Plantar Fasciitis

Maybe it is due to a bio mechanical imbalance?


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RE: Plantar Fasciitis

Are your feet swollen in any way?


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RE: Plantar Fasciitis

I have PF in my left foot. I have tried chiropractic with limited success, massage, which felt good but didn't give lasting relief, two new pairs of shoes with a third on the way, and orthotics. The shoes that are most comfortable are Abeo H2O tennis shoes with a Spenco orthotic inside. The others, which I am still getting used to are Abeo sandals that are similar to Keens. I do find that it is necessary to wear the new shoes a little each day and increase the time daily. I do stretching exercises that my doctor gave me, and I ice several times a day. I also roll my foot over a frozen juice can, or a frozen golf ball (chiropractor's suggestion), or a tennis ball. I also rest my foot on a bag of frozen peas so my heel can get the benefit of the ice too. Before getting out of bed I stretch by pointing toes toward shin, then out front, repeat ten times. I am in extreme pain, and next Wed. I begin physical therapy. I am hoping for relief. Oh, and I just ordered a pair of clogs I found online that had excellent reviews in terms of plantar fasciitis. It is important to NEVER go barefoot.

Good luck to all of us as we search for what will work. This is a nasty, painful thing that hangs on and on. Walking is a real challenge.


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RE: Plantar Fasciitis

The clog I referred to above is the Merrill Encore Lattice. I am hoping this will bring some relief.


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RE: Plantar Fasciitis

My Merrill Air Slides worked for me. They were recommended by my bone doctor. The "shot" took care of it completely and is still working.


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RE: Plantar Fasciitis

My goodness! I started this thread in 2004, and it is still going.

My problem was easy to understand and the pains are gone. You always need to strengthen the opposite muscles that you stress. When you walk, if you mainly use your front calf muscles, then you begin to shrink your back of leg muscles unless you work them too. I exercise my "shin" muscles when I walk, so I need to work on my calf muscles if I begin to feel the Plantar pain. The calf muscles "shrink" if not worked.

Therefore those calf muscles need to be stretched on a step or in some other way. If you do not stretch them, they shrink, pull on the achilles tendon, and on the bottom of the foot. In my case the bottom of the foot and the achilles tendon are not the problem. I need to strengthen the calf muscles. If I do that, the problem goes away.

I have not had problems for years, and probably will not be responding here again. I can only speak for myself.


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