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self-help

Posted by dennis uk on 2/06/99 at 00:00 (004564)

I have just turned 40 and have suffered from this for
several years. If you asked me what caused this
I would say that it was a combination of too much 'bouncy'
dancing (when partially inebriated---so you dont feel the
pain and just carry on to extremes). The other contributory
factor was running a half-marathon in flat shoes designed
to play squash in. To cap all this, 4 years ago I began
karate training, which is the love of my life, but obviously
has to be performed bare-foot.
As to treatment: 1. Cortisone injections---these provide
very limited relief (2 weeks at most) and long term use is
not recommended because of the side effects.
2. Find a good 'sports injury' massuere----I found this to
provide good, nearly instant, relief. But the treatment
itself can be very painful as it involves the practitionner
applying intense pressure to remove the build-up of hard
tissue which 'clots' around the 'spur'. The massage in my case
was mainly circular in nature and the 'hard-spot' could be
felt moving to different parts of my heel after the treatments
You have to be careful here because if the pressure is not
applied adequately, the effect is minimal and treatments
can go on and on. In my own case, the practitioner was
a butcher by trade and the strenght in his hands was incredible.
3.) (And this is where the self comes in.) I do a lot of
ankle-joint manipulation as part of my martial art.
I also do thigh-muscle and calf-muscle strenghtening excercises.
this, I believe, takes some of the pressure off of the heel.
4.) Just lately, I have been doing this: I take hold of my foot
by the toes and ball of the foot and gently, but firmly,
pull the foot back (as if you are trying to touch the toes
to your shin). I do this to the maximum degree, slowly,
holding it in this position for 30 seconds or so.I do this several
times. This stretches both the heel tendons and the calf muscle.

This last 'do it yourself' technique seems to have provided
relief-----so much so that I can now walk without the constant
pain that brings on the limp which makes you feel about
20 years older than you actually are. One other thing:
Whenever I know that I'm going to be on my feet for a long
time or carrying heavy stuff (I do manual work), I use 'tubigrip'
(elasticated bandage). This is especially so when I'm training
in bare feet.

I hope this has been of help to someone.
My massuese's telephone no. is:01424 420322 or 01424 850334.
This is in Hastings, east sussex,England.
Ask for Bill----he is most helpful,and will not rip you off.
Good luck, Dennis.