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Deep Tissue Massage and Physical Therapy

Posted by BarbJ on 2/01/99 at 00:00 (004329)

I have been to two sessions of PT and find I am in the worst pain I have ever felt since getting pf two years ago. I can't help feeling that it was the deep tissue massage of my feet and calfs that started it. But maybe its the exercises (picking up the towel with the toes, doing 'windmills' with the feet, etc.) I am wondering if I should stop or continue. Is this the 'no pain--no gain' approach? Will I get better if I continue? Suggestions and experiences please. Thanks, BarbJ

Re: Deep Tissue Massage and Physical Therapy

Becky on 2/01/99 at 00:00 (004330)

I came home from teaching overseas in the Winter of 1996. I went through several sessions (about 10) of PT (very costly) and it was one of the most painful times of PF. I would sit there and do all the exercises and just cry. The deep tissue massage, whirlpool, ice therapy, and ultrasound felt good but I feel it was a waste of my money and time. I really worked hard at the exercises at home because I was willing to do anything to get better (still am). My advice is if you don't care for the PT and don't feel you are getting you money's worth, quit and just tell them you can do the exercises at home. It isn't that PT doesn't work but... My Pf had been going on for over one year and probably exercises and the stretching didn't help. That in fact is my theory. If you catch the very beginning of heel spurs and PF (where there is tingling in your foot and it aches occasionally) maybe then PF and all those other things would help. The problem is that most of us really didn't start being serious about this until it was too late to start the conservative treatments. But doctors, bless their hearts, really wanted to try at least to do something so prescribed the Orthotics, and PT.

Re: Deep Tissue Massage and Physical Therapy

Alicia on 2/01/99 at 00:00 (004335)

Barb: I have been trying myofascial release therapy, which is done by a physical therapist and is a form of deep tissue massage. I have been to three sessions. They last about an hour and the PT discovered that I have a posterior pelvic tilt that contributes to adding more of my body weight onto my heels, rather than being centered on the foot. The massage actually feels good and the release of other areas of fascia is very relaxing. It is also very expensive ($50/session) and my insurance does not cover it. The first session did not help my PF at all. The second session left me almost pain-free for 36 hours. The third session didn't help until 36 hours had passed, then I have had a pretty good three days since then. I don't know if it's actually helping or not...No pattern to the relief. It also happened that this last session was on a Thursday evening, Friday I was on my feet a lot, so the pain didn't subside. I managed to rest more on the weekend, so maybe the rest did more than the therapy. I DON'T KNOW! Anyway, the point is, if it doesn't seem to be working, maybe you should stop and look for the next thing (that seems to be what we all are doing). If it didn't cost so much, I might continue, but I think I am going to stop myself. I know this probably doesn't help much, but good luck - don't give up hope. (I've been struggling with this for 8 years.)

Re: Deep Tissue Massage and Physical Therapy

Michelle on 2/01/99 at 00:00 (004349)

I went to physical therapy for about 8 weeks. After the first couple of visits, my feet were hurting worse. I have PF in both feet. I continued to go because my therapist said the PF was really bad & that therapy would help. I went 3 times a week & the therpay help as long as I wnet & did my stretches @ home. Well, it have been 18 days since my last appointment (they thought they had 'cured' me) and now I am going to a Foot Specialist and I have to wear a cast for 2 weeks. All in all the therapy helped when I was going, but 10 days after my last appoinment, I was back to having pain all the time. Good luck.... I hope the therapy works for you.


Re: Deep Tissue Massage and Physical Therapy/Pain-Not Good!

Diane R. on 2/01/99 at 00:00 (004354)

Barb - My reation is if it hurts as bad as you describe - don't do it - that's your body telling you not to do this anymore. I don't believe the no-pain no gain idea and for sure not with PF. I do go for massage therapy and it gets painful during the massages sometimes, but afterward, my feet and body feel great. Have you tried birks?? They really work for a lot of people.

Re: Deep Tissue Massage and Physical Therapy

Elise on 2/02/99 at 00:00 (004383)

I had a horrible experience with Physical Therapy. I initially had a bad case of PF in one foot and a very mild case in the other foot. 2 hours after my first session of PT, I had excruciating pain in both feet, and my foot which was initially mild is now my worse foot.

When nothing else was helping, I decided to go to a physiatrist (an MD trained in physical rehabiliation). when I told him the exercises prescribed by my PT, he said it was much too strenous and aggressive and started me on a much less rigorous routine. I have made progress sinced I started my 'gentler' exercise routine, but I still think that if I don't find the right orthotics, I'm never going to fully recover.

Anyway, my experience has been that exercise can be helpful or harmful, depending on technique and aggressiveness.