Friday, January 4, 2013
You mean...there's hope?
He examined my feet (my podiatrist never did...just an x-ray!) and said he thought I was suffering from two different issues but they're intertwined so he thought I would benefit most from laser therapy to get rid of scar tissue from the heel spur on the back. When I told him the things the podiatrist had me doing like the compression hose (but they pinch me right in the front bend of the foot where the nerve hurts), the night splint at 90 degrees (stretching the calf muscle but putting severe pressure on the bend of the front of the ankle) and then compressing the nerves in a flexible cast that first week, he said he understood what direction she was heading with those methods but unfortunately they were making me worse. My nerves need to be free and I need to work on strengthening the functional muscles in my foot. I got the foot scan and it's moderate pronation and you could see where the most pressure was. He didn't push the orthotics on me. He didn't really seem to think they were the most important aspect of the problem. He said he doesn't like Dr Scholl's so he said the stacking I was doing with the heel spur pad and active series might end up causing more problems. He said to get a good arch support insert with a good heel cup but still stopped short of recommending the custom ones.
He stretched out the muscle group above my outer ankle (where most of my pain is) and said it was very tight and he suspected that my muscles that surround my shin are very weak and I need to strengthen them because my feet seem to be overcompensating. He said doing a few particular stretches at home, along with a couple laser treatments and maybe one vibration plate session could be all I need to be back up to speed. (Insert Shelly Fabares' Johnny Angel here. I think this is where light strewn from behind him and he gave a wink with a tooth sparkle off of his now gleaming smile.)
Here are the exercises he recommended for my particular issues...
The Imaginary Marble
Soleus Achilles Stretch
The "Duck Walk"
I couldn't find a fancy graphic for this one so I'll have to describe it. Basically a half squat, lift the toes back and walk on your heels. I have to do this 2-3x week.
I'm still under orders for no weight bearing exercises but things like squats where I am stationary and such are cleared so long as they don't cause pain when I'm standing otherwise stop and get off my feet. He said I can walk as long as it's comfortable because while "rest and ice" are nice in theory, it's vague. I also have to use my spiky ball to keep the tissue soft and pliable. "Ice massage" can also be beneficial where you take a Dixie cup, fill it with water and freeze it and after a workout use it to rub all over the affected areas. (Think the ice cube trick in Duran Duran's night version of Girls on Film but without the controversy.) He said as the nerve issues go away I can do an "ice bath" on the foot only after workouts to reduce inflammation and trace the alphabet in the tub my foot is in.
As you can see, all of this is heads above the blase crap the podiatrist gave me. For the first time, I have hope. I am VERY sore this morning. Various muscles he worked and various muscles I worked doing my exercises last night. My Soleus stretch this morning while brushing my teeth really felt it in the achilles so I've already ultrasounded that bad boy to get circulation moving. I am ecstatic to report NO twitchies not only last night but this morning as well! That's not to say they're gone completely but it's a step in the right direction and I couldn't be happier...something I haven't felt for quite a few weeks.
Have you ever had to do laser therapy or physical therapy?
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