Now heel pain

I know this topic has been covered before, but I did not get any sleep last night because of both of my heels hurting. I’m just having a bad day.

I have been off the prednisone for three weeks because it was making my back hurts so bad I couldn’t go to work. Now, both my knees and thighs hurt so bad I can hardly walk, but I make it to work. Just not today.

I have had both of my heels on ice all day, ‘cooling my heels.’

In my other life, I am a professional hypnotist. For over 4 years I treated folks for various things. I do have additional training in treating chronic pain with hypnosis and had great luck with it. It if wasn’t for what I know, I would be disabled

At the end of the month, I am going to see the hypnotist’s hypnotist and let him do some work with me on the pain. I have my fingers crossed a good refresher will help me. I’ll let you know.

Hi tarmac, how’s the heels? You’re up against it right now, that’s for sure.

My heels only really make themselves noticed at night, I tuck the duvet under them, any contact with the mattress hurts as if it was made of stone.

So you hypnotise yourself …? Any tips?

Hi Tamac,

I’m sorry for the pain you are experiencing–and, in my experience, lack of sleep makes things worse. You mention you have been off Prednisone for three weeks and NOW have pain. I have wondered whether some of my pain is due to Prednisone withdrawal or muscle disease caused by having been taken it too long without a break. (It was 21 months last time). For those of you who have had PsA for a while, can it cause widespread, disabling body pain all on its own?

I hope you feel better soon.

Hi Pixie,

Withdrawal from Prednisone certainly caused widespread all over body pain. I took it for around 9-10 months, for the last two or three of those, I was in constant withdrawal. A lot of that all over body pain receded around a month after I was fully clear of the Prednisone.

The only way I have found relief for the pain of heels resting on the bed is to place a pillow under my legs, ending just before my ankles, so my heels are elevated off the mattress. A pillow under your legs also helps take the pressure off hip and lower back pain. Haven’t slept without one for a good six years. During the day I often wear open back - slip on or clog style - shoes for the same reason. BUT I would say be careful with this as not supporting the heel in a shoe can make the problem worse. As with everything “PsA” it’s trial and error.

I was only on the prednisone for 6 months. I hate the the stuff because it messes with my depression problems. Don’t know if the terrible muscle and joint pains I am having now is from the prednisone withdrawals as some have suggested.

I took your advice and propped my legs up so my heels didn’t touch the bed and it help. Sort of like dealing with gout.

Right now the heel pain is lessening, but I am having terrible pain in my upper arms.

Doc says I have to give the Enbrel two more months before we can try anything else. It is going to be a long two months if things don’t get better.

Yes, I am also a hypnotist and have treated chronic pain. Someone asked for a tip. My first suggestion is to learn to breathe deeply using your diaphragm, or belly breathing. Pretend you are blowing up a ballon in your stomach. The reason you want to do this is because the more oxygen you can get into your blood the less pain you will have.

Take a deep breath the way you normally do. Most people will inhale raising their chest. When you do this feel the tension in your neck. Breathing with your belly gets the oxygen down to the lower lobes of the lungs which have more sacs for absorbing it.

When you deep breathe this way do it slowly, hold it for a few seconds then exhale slowy and hold for a few seconds then repeat. The whole breath should take about 10 seconds atleast. If you can lie in bed and do this it is better. You want to breathe as slow a pace as you can without having to catchup by taking a deep breath. While relaxing you can get your breathing down to about 9 or 10 times a minute by enhaling nice and slow then exhaling nice and slow.

This is great to do in bed at night nice and slow. It will help reduce pain and help you go to sleep. If you do this every night for about a month you will retrain your body to breathe this way all the time. It does help because you get more oxygen.

You can google belly breathing or deep breathing to reduce pain. Here is a link on you tube. Google diaphramatic breathing.

Having changed the way my body naturally breathes is something that is keeping me going.

tarmac, thanks for the suggestions re. breathing techniques. I’m wondering if I do this already, not necessarily for pain, but when filling in my tax return (which I find excruciatingly stressful) for example. And possibly for pain sometimes … anyway, belly breathing definitely rings bells, seriously. So I’m going to take a look at the youtube and then maybe I’ll try it intentionally when necessary.

And I’m glad you find this technique helps you. But that muscle pain does sound odd. I think you may have mentioned it before … do you have an additional diagnosis or comorbidity? Though prednisone withdrawal does sound like a possible cause. There’s also something called bone marrow oedema (which I believe isn’t as scary as it sounds) … another possibility perhaps. It’s something I’d want explained I think, if it was happening to me.

Hi Sybil,

Maybe @tamac will provide some further advice on the belly breathing exercises as that is his area. Everyone is different, but I found I needed to practice them (and meditation) when I was calm, because by the time I needed them, I was too distracted by pain, or anxious with stress to be able to effectively do them unless they were already second nature. Kind of like changing gears in a manual.

You make a fair point about the muscle pain - probably better not to dismiss it as prednisone withdrawal until it’s been discussed and explored with a medical professional.

I have REALLY struggled coming off pred every time I’ve had it over the years (for various things). I’ve told my rheumy I’ll only take it as a last resort, and she’s fine with that. I’ve only had one course so far, during a spell when I could hardly walk.