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PF as a result of or related to stiff neck and/or back muscle spasms

Posted by BrendaKe on 3/26/00 at 00:00 (017862)

I was seeing a Dr. for accupuncture for a persistent painful stiff neck and told him about the pain in the bottom of my foot. He said, heel spur, plantar fasciitis, inflamed tendon. He used accupuncture on that visit and the next. Didn'd see any change. Have not been back, neck is better but not all better. Have decided to try magnet therapy for the neck and the heel spur befor seeing my regular M.D.
I assumed the neck and foot problem were al related as well as severe muscle spasms in my back. The spasms would wake me at 4 or 5a.m.,(some mornings my husband would have to help me get out of bed cause it hurt so much to even turn over let alone sit up; but it hurt too much to stay in bed.) I would drag myself to the kitchen make a cup of tea and sit in a chair for a couple of hours before I could function well enough to get ready for work. Two visits to my Chiro. (before the Accupuncture) didn't help my neck and hurt so much that I haven't been back. I never mentioned my foot. The ache in my foot started about the same time as my neck problem, but the pain in my neck and back overshadowed the foot pain. As the neck got a little better, the foot pain became worse. I believe the neck problem was a result of sleeping on the couch every day for over a week when I was sick with diarrhea; which was the result of taking Augmentin (an antibiotic) for 10 days for a rash on my face! I think the foot problem could be a result of that inactivity. I'm used to being on my feet all day at my job. With only a 1/2hr. lunch and 15' break in the afternoon. I have always worn supportive tennis shoes at work and never had a problem with my feet before. I work at a fabric store and often walk the entire length of the store helping customers as well as standing at the cutting table and register. By the end of the day I can't wait to get home and get off my feet. I put my magsoles and arch supports in my slippers. After supper I usually ice my foot for as long as I can stand it. It does seem to help. I also do calf stretching in the mornings. About a week ago I was ready to call my regular M.D. because my calf was hurting from being so tight. A friend offered me a Nikken rollout and the trial use of some Nikken magsoles shoe inserts for a few days. (Nikken - magnet therapy products) I could feel tingling in my feet and moving up my legs. Very interesting! I'm also wearing a Nikken magnetic neck wrap. My neck is still not better. I keep thinking it will go away, but may have to try my Chiro. again and see if he can do anything for the heel spur too. I have yet to get through any day without at least one dose of Ibuprophen! When my neck was at it's worst, I took 3 to 4 two tablet doses per day. When I started having occasional burning sensation in my stomach I started trying to back off and tough it out.

Re: PF as a result of or related to stiff neck and/or back muscle spasms

alan k on 3/27/00 at 00:00 (017868)

Hi Brenda,

Your case is very interesting. There are all kinds of paths you can try to help this and it seems from what you are saying you are already the adventurous and open-minded type.

First: do see the MD right away! Pf is a potentially easily curable condition which if neglected too long can turn into a chronic and possibly not completely curable condition, resulting in repetitive message board posting. Your MD will probably refer you to a podiatrist and various conservative therapies will be suggested and tests made (if you have a good podiatrist).

Second: Do not pursue any course of treatment recommended by a MD without thoroughly researching the information and cautions on Scott's website and 'PF book,' especially if you do not have a lot of experience with shady (though seemingly nice and dignified) vs. good doctors. However, you may get lucky and be able to trust everything they say.

Third: Specific advice to you-- Yes, your spasms and pf probably are related in some way. This is something for you to pursue, as most MD's or podiatrists do not tend to think in systemic ways and usually target just the one symptom. They usually are not curious to figure anything more out beyond the part of the body they have been studying for years. However, if there is any way you can get them interested that would be great, because who knows how many conditions there are which you might have and which tests might show. Many conditions masquerade as pf (another reason to find good medical care). But back to you-- I would adopt a exercise (non-weightbearing of course) and stretching regimen involving your whole body, as that may address the tensions in your muscles which are not confined to one place. Also, you should investigate a means of managing stress and tension (I've been stiff necked and unable to get out of bed before too). The other thing is you might look into a yeast-killing low-carb diet. There are some theories about yeast overgrowth in the intestines causing toxins to build up in muscles leading to pf and other aches in the body, among other things. Anti-biotic use and NSAID (ibuprofen, etc.) use, among other things, are a cause of yeast overgrowth. Do a word search on this board to find out what message posters have said about anit-yeast diets.

Finally, and probably most important, the fact that you are on your feet alot at work is a strong indication that there is a simple mechanical force at work on the pf, which needs to be addressed immediately. Rest from work, or if not possible, putting a plush carpet runner at the spots where you stand alot, is absolutely necessary. Talk to your boss about a stool. Also, you need to get into the right shoes, or combination of shoes, immediately. Birkenstocks have a great reputation in this regard, but take some getting use to.

Your tight calf muscles are, in my opinion, a big part of the culprit. Do not do calf stretches without properly warming up the muscles first. Otherwise, you are just tearing them. Doctors don't tell you that for some reason. Massage your calves vigorously and often (though this will seem to cause tightness at first). Follow up the massage with a calf stretch by holding your foot heel cupped in one hand and ball of foot in other, bend foot back for stretch (a must after massage). This is a non-weight bearing stretch that can be improved by then *gently* straightening the leg out somewhat, if you are flexible enough to continue holding the foot with the leg extended somewhat.

good luck,

alan k


Re: PF as a result of or related to stiff neck and/or back muscle spasms

Helene M on 3/27/00 at 00:00 (017884)

I've been told & have read you should not ice for more than 15 minutes at a time. After that the effects can be detrimental. I mentioned that since you say you ice for as long as you can stand it.

Re: PF as a result of or related to stiff neck and/or back muscle spasms

alan k on 3/27/00 at 00:00 (017868)

Hi Brenda,

Your case is very interesting. There are all kinds of paths you can try to help this and it seems from what you are saying you are already the adventurous and open-minded type.

First: do see the MD right away! Pf is a potentially easily curable condition which if neglected too long can turn into a chronic and possibly not completely curable condition, resulting in repetitive message board posting. Your MD will probably refer you to a podiatrist and various conservative therapies will be suggested and tests made (if you have a good podiatrist).

Second: Do not pursue any course of treatment recommended by a MD without thoroughly researching the information and cautions on Scott's website and 'PF book,' especially if you do not have a lot of experience with shady (though seemingly nice and dignified) vs. good doctors. However, you may get lucky and be able to trust everything they say.

Third: Specific advice to you-- Yes, your spasms and pf probably are related in some way. This is something for you to pursue, as most MD's or podiatrists do not tend to think in systemic ways and usually target just the one symptom. They usually are not curious to figure anything more out beyond the part of the body they have been studying for years. However, if there is any way you can get them interested that would be great, because who knows how many conditions there are which you might have and which tests might show. Many conditions masquerade as pf (another reason to find good medical care). But back to you-- I would adopt a exercise (non-weightbearing of course) and stretching regimen involving your whole body, as that may address the tensions in your muscles which are not confined to one place. Also, you should investigate a means of managing stress and tension (I've been stiff necked and unable to get out of bed before too). The other thing is you might look into a yeast-killing low-carb diet. There are some theories about yeast overgrowth in the intestines causing toxins to build up in muscles leading to pf and other aches in the body, among other things. Anti-biotic use and NSAID (ibuprofen, etc.) use, among other things, are a cause of yeast overgrowth. Do a word search on this board to find out what message posters have said about anit-yeast diets.

Finally, and probably most important, the fact that you are on your feet alot at work is a strong indication that there is a simple mechanical force at work on the pf, which needs to be addressed immediately. Rest from work, or if not possible, putting a plush carpet runner at the spots where you stand alot, is absolutely necessary. Talk to your boss about a stool. Also, you need to get into the right shoes, or combination of shoes, immediately. Birkenstocks have a great reputation in this regard, but take some getting use to.

Your tight calf muscles are, in my opinion, a big part of the culprit. Do not do calf stretches without properly warming up the muscles first. Otherwise, you are just tearing them. Doctors don't tell you that for some reason. Massage your calves vigorously and often (though this will seem to cause tightness at first). Follow up the massage with a calf stretch by holding your foot heel cupped in one hand and ball of foot in other, bend foot back for stretch (a must after massage). This is a non-weight bearing stretch that can be improved by then *gently* straightening the leg out somewhat, if you are flexible enough to continue holding the foot with the leg extended somewhat.

good luck,

alan k


Re: PF as a result of or related to stiff neck and/or back muscle spasms

Helene M on 3/27/00 at 00:00 (017884)

I've been told & have read you should not ice for more than 15 minutes at a time. After that the effects can be detrimental. I mentioned that since you say you ice for as long as you can stand it.