Home The Book Dr Articles Products Message Boards Journal Articles Search Our Surveys Surgery ESWT Dr Messages Find Good Drs video

Personal Foot Trainers Re; PF pain in the ball of the foot questions

Posted by Mike W on 2/27/00 at 00:00 (016475)

Hello PF people,

I have had 4 e-mails recently from persons who's Pf pain is located in the ball of the foot and I would like to explain how and why PFT's can be effective and safe.

While the majority of pf patients experience pain in the heel area, it can also occur in the ball of the foot.

To better understand this it is important to know a bit of foot anatomy. The ends of the 2nd to 5th toe muscles (flexor digitorum brevis)and the big toe muscle (the flexor digitorum brevis)are connected to the toe bones and the heel bone by tendons. Muscles have the ability to regenerate and when healthy are elastic. Tendons regenerate very slowly and are naturally very inelastic. Repetitive impact strain on weak, short or tight muscles causes excessive pulling tension on the related tendons. These over stressed tendons then cause micro tearing at the point of attachment (either the ball of the foot or the heel)and over time pain inflammation and bone spurs.

These 2 muscles also have opposing extensor muscles (extensor digitorum brevis and extensor hallcius brevis). PFT's allow you to take advantage of a natural process called muscle facilitation / inhibition. This means that if you contract an extensor muscle the opposing flexor muscle will automatically relax and vice versa.

Therefore, if you have pain and inflammation for example, under the ball of your foot(under ther big toe) it it likely that your big toe flexor muscle is short, tight or weak and the result is inflammation and pain.

The PFT technique does several things;
1. It allows you the ability to isolate and decrease the tension on the big toe flexor tendon by contracting the big toe opposing extensor muscle.
2. It allows you the ability to isolate and gradually improve the strength of the big toe flexor muscle that has just been relaxed.
3. It allows you the ability to control the amount of resistance that you apply. Therefore you can start very gradually and build up at your own pace.
4. All positions are non weight bearing so the muscles are not contracted prior to the exercise. If a muscle is loaded prior to a stretch than it will place excessive tension on the tendon that you are trying to heal.

When you stand in a normal balanced stance you body weight should be balanced between the forefoot and the heel. The big toe is responsible for 1/3 of the forefoot weight, so it is important that it's muscle are working properly. This is why any standing stretch is not correct especially if you have PF.

I hope this addresses these questions.


Regards,

Mike W



Re: Personal Foot Trainers Re; PF pain in the ball of the foot questions

Marti C on 2/27/00 at 00:00 (016482)

Hi MIke.
I havent seen this product your talking about. Is it yours and is it located at this web-site?
Thanks Marti

Re: Personal Foot Trainers Re; PF pain in the ball of the foot questions

Kim B. on 2/27/00 at 00:00 (016499)

Hi Mike,

I am having a lot of arch, ankle, and calf pain. This aside from the pain on the ball and heel of both feet.

My Orthopedist diagnosed me with heel spurs/PF last Sept. since the heel spurs were evident on the x-rays he took. However, I am starting to suspect some kind of co-exhisting condition. What do you make of it, and do you think someone like me could benifit from the PFT considering the arch, ankle pain and calf pains?

Thanks for your input,
Kim B.


Re: Personal Foot Trainers Re; PF pain in the ball of the foot questions

Mike W on 2/28/00 at 00:00 (016565)

Hello Kim,

I am sorry you have so many lower leg pains. I can not make any medical diagnosis about your condition but I can offer some general advise regarding practical self care choices that anyone with lower leg pain can use. You might do a word search Mike W or Personal Foot Trainers for numerous posts regarding my approach to eliminating lower leg pain.

A sport medicine doctor told me that as high as 70% of North Americans have heel spurs at some time in their lives and many do not become painful. Heel spurs are a symptom of PF not the cause because they are the body's response to repetitive strain on a tendon. To eliminate the pain of a heel spur you must first address the underlying cause of PF.

We are all different and contributing factors of lower leg pain are numerous. However, we are all biomechanically the same. We all have 28 muscles located between the knee and the toes and every one of these muscles is anchored on either side by a cord like tendon. Most muscles work in pairs (E.g. flexors and extensors). Healthy muscles have the ability to regenerate and are naturally very elastic while tendons regenerate slowly and are naturally very inelastic.
When a muscle becomes inelastic, the related tendons may be forced to handle excessive tension and the point of attachment begins to pull away from the bone which we feel as pain.

It is interesting that PF is most common among people between the age of 35 and 50. The natural aging process called sarcopenia (and usually starts at about age 30) means that the average person will lose 30% of their muscle mass and flexibility between age 30 and 50 and 10% per decade after. This occurs throughout the entire body. The good news is that no matter how weak muscles become they can be improved.

The only natural way to reduce the tension on a tendon is to improve the flexibility and strength of the related and opposing muscles.
This is what PFT's and technique are designed to address. The PFT placement positions help you to isolate neglected lower leg muscles in a safe non weight bearing manner.


I believe that PFT's if used consistently and properly combined with other practical self-care choices can help you and others who suffer from tendon pain in the lower legs.

I hope this answers your questions, and hope that you get better real soon.

Regards,

Mike W


Re: Personal Foot Trainers Re; PF pain in the ball of the foot questions

Mike W on 2/28/00 at 00:00 (016568)

Hello Marti,

Scott has given me a link at http://www.heelspurs.com/a/pft/ or go to the PF Book and you will see New strengthening and stretching device Personal Foot Trainers. There is a picture of a couple of the positions but they are not very clear. If you have any questions please get in touch with me.

Regards,

Mike W


Re: Personal Foot Trainers Re; PF pain in the ball of the foot questions

Marti C on 2/27/00 at 00:00 (016482)

Hi MIke.
I havent seen this product your talking about. Is it yours and is it located at this web-site?
Thanks Marti

Re: Personal Foot Trainers Re; PF pain in the ball of the foot questions

Kim B. on 2/27/00 at 00:00 (016499)

Hi Mike,

I am having a lot of arch, ankle, and calf pain. This aside from the pain on the ball and heel of both feet.

My Orthopedist diagnosed me with heel spurs/PF last Sept. since the heel spurs were evident on the x-rays he took. However, I am starting to suspect some kind of co-exhisting condition. What do you make of it, and do you think someone like me could benifit from the PFT considering the arch, ankle pain and calf pains?

Thanks for your input,
Kim B.


Re: Personal Foot Trainers Re; PF pain in the ball of the foot questions

Mike W on 2/28/00 at 00:00 (016565)

Hello Kim,

I am sorry you have so many lower leg pains. I can not make any medical diagnosis about your condition but I can offer some general advise regarding practical self care choices that anyone with lower leg pain can use. You might do a word search Mike W or Personal Foot Trainers for numerous posts regarding my approach to eliminating lower leg pain.

A sport medicine doctor told me that as high as 70% of North Americans have heel spurs at some time in their lives and many do not become painful. Heel spurs are a symptom of PF not the cause because they are the body's response to repetitive strain on a tendon. To eliminate the pain of a heel spur you must first address the underlying cause of PF.

We are all different and contributing factors of lower leg pain are numerous. However, we are all biomechanically the same. We all have 28 muscles located between the knee and the toes and every one of these muscles is anchored on either side by a cord like tendon. Most muscles work in pairs (E.g. flexors and extensors). Healthy muscles have the ability to regenerate and are naturally very elastic while tendons regenerate slowly and are naturally very inelastic.
When a muscle becomes inelastic, the related tendons may be forced to handle excessive tension and the point of attachment begins to pull away from the bone which we feel as pain.

It is interesting that PF is most common among people between the age of 35 and 50. The natural aging process called sarcopenia (and usually starts at about age 30) means that the average person will lose 30% of their muscle mass and flexibility between age 30 and 50 and 10% per decade after. This occurs throughout the entire body. The good news is that no matter how weak muscles become they can be improved.

The only natural way to reduce the tension on a tendon is to improve the flexibility and strength of the related and opposing muscles.
This is what PFT's and technique are designed to address. The PFT placement positions help you to isolate neglected lower leg muscles in a safe non weight bearing manner.


I believe that PFT's if used consistently and properly combined with other practical self-care choices can help you and others who suffer from tendon pain in the lower legs.

I hope this answers your questions, and hope that you get better real soon.

Regards,

Mike W


Re: Personal Foot Trainers Re; PF pain in the ball of the foot questions

Mike W on 2/28/00 at 00:00 (016568)

Hello Marti,

Scott has given me a link at http://www.heelspurs.com/a/pft/ or go to the PF Book and you will see New strengthening and stretching device Personal Foot Trainers. There is a picture of a couple of the positions but they are not very clear. If you have any questions please get in touch with me.

Regards,

Mike W