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Tried stretching... Questions

Posted by Beverly on 5/22/00 at 10:06 (020681)

Last night curiousity got the better of me. As I sat in my recliner, I thought to myself, 'What do I have to loose if I try a little stretching?'

Most of you know my doctor is very 'anti-stretching until completely healed'. But from what I've learned on the Board, I decided I'd try just a little passive stretching, before moving onto the wall stretch.

I did the 'flex back your foot and hold it stretch 10x' on my left foot.
It felt ok. Then I did the right foot. It hurt... nothing awful but
I sure could feel that stretch far more than I remember feeling it when I tried stretching back in the beginning of my treatment, two months ago, and was told to stop. Last night's stretch in the right foot, hurt in the arch, not the heel. It continued to ache after I stopped.
I put some ice on my foot and went to bed.
The interesting thing is that this morning I wokeup with just a little bit less morning pain. That may only be a coincidence.

So I'm in a delimma. Do I keep doing a little passive/nonweight bearing stretching and then move into the wall stretch? Is a small amount of pain normal when one begins stretching? Do I stop and do what the doctor says (rest, ice, orthodics, massage)?

Most of you know I'm leaving in a week for vacation. On one hand, I want to be my best and stretching is tempting. On the other hand, I sure don't want to make myself worse just before I leave.

One more thing... The doctor says that now I need to think of my recovery from the day I got the ortodics (last week). In other words,
don't count the time that I didn't have orthodics. Now the 'real treatment' has begun. After reading the less than great success many of you have had with orthodics, I'm less optimistic than the pod in on that topic. After one week, I think the right foot fits pretty well. The left foot seems to have too much arch support, but I was told to give it time to break in... mold to my foot... (soft orthodic). So it was way too soon for me to say if the orthodic is working.

I also reported the occassional tingling (little pins) feeling I have in the bottom of my foot to the pod's office. The receptionist said that is not unusual... didn't seem concerned and said not to jump to conclusions that it is something like Tarsal Tunnel or nerve entrapment. She said, 'It could just be your foot getting used to the orthodic.' Well, the tingling not an all the time thing... just occassional tingling... just lasts a few moments. I hate the thought of having to start all over with a new doctor, but I am leaning that direction when I get home.

Beverly


Re: one more thing about the pain

Beverly on 5/22/00 at 10:09 (020682)

One more thing about the pain... I'm just a little achey this morning in my arch... the one the stretch felt uncomfortable in.

Beverly


Re: one more thing about the pain

Nancy S. on 5/22/00 at 10:18 (020683)

Hi Beverly -- In my opinion, pain from the stretch means you're overdoing it. I would flex the foot but NOT hold the stretch for now; just reach the beginnning of the stretch point and let it go. And perhaps start with fewer stretches, too. Ten is quite a lot when you're just starting (or restarting). I would wait until the ache you got from the stretching is gone. Good luck, and I think I might agree with you that a second opinion is in order. --Nancy

Re: Tried stretching... Questions

Steve P on 5/22/00 at 15:46 (020693)

Beverly --- I confess I had a hard time deciding whether 'to stretch or not to stretch'. I finally decided to do only a few gentle, non-weightbearing stretches per foot per day. My PT believes in stretching, but only to the point that there is no pain (only tightness). I have been following this advice & have been improving the last couple of weeks.
By the way, have you given any more thought to a night splint?

Re: Tried stretching... Questions

Beverly on 5/22/00 at 17:29 (020701)

Steve,

Yes, I am going to ask the second opinion doctor about getting me a night splint. I will have to do it when I get back from vacation.
This new doctor is highly sought after, and he is hard to get into see.
I have an appointment with him near the end of June. I understand that he trained under my present doctor, but he is younger and tends to take a more aggressive style with PF.

Thanks,
Beverly


Re: one more thing about the pain

Dr. Zuckerman on 5/22/00 at 21:53 (020708)

Stetching without weight bearing and no severe pain isn't going to kill you. It could take six weeks for the foot to adapt to the orthosis. I believe in the personal foot trainers for stretching. I have never seen a patient get worse from stetching non-weight bearing. I have seen patients get worse from not stretching when they have a true equinus. Either way the foot won't be cured in one week.
Never go without shoes. There should be a break instruction sheet with your orthosis. Typical instruction sheet is reduce the wearing time if you have alot of pain . Most podiatrist won't adjust the orthosis for six weeks unless you start to develop alot of pain like the insert in cutting into your foot or causing blisters. Give you doctor advice with the orthosis some time.

Re: nightsplint

Bob G. on 5/23/00 at 03:13 (020713)

I've got my nightsplint - get your own!

pain-free and still wearing it...


Re: Just a thought...

VickiJ on 5/23/00 at 06:47 (020714)

I got far more valuable help regarding stretching and other self help treatment from a physical therapist than any doctor...have you tried that route yet?

Re: Just a thought...

Beverly on 5/23/00 at 13:05 (020726)

Vicki,

Yes, at the beginning I got a three week perscription for ultrasound.
I went to the same PT place that helped my neck/shoulder get better.
The PT taught me stretches. I thought they were helping. Then I got carried away and probably overstretched. I was also on my foot too much as it felt better. I had a major relapse and was worse than ever. My doctor blamed it on the PT/stretching. I really thought it had more to do with being on my foot too much, and I still suspect that. This was 2 months ago.

For the moment, I can't get the pod/Dr. interested in sending me back to PT since he believes stretching should only begin once one is pain-free.
So as I said earlier, I have an appointment for the end of June to get a second opinion. This doctor is younger and more aggressive. I hope to get the perscription for PT from him. I'm sure insurance also plays into this, but I have a fairly lenient PPO with good PT coverage.

One thing I have been doing is getting a massage once a week. It does wonders for my shoulder and my mental health. My massage therapist has been cautious not to go too deep on my foot. At the moment I think that would hurt, but I am interested in following other people's deep massage results. (And also things like ART) I get deep tissue work on my neck and shoulder and love it, but my foot still feels too tender.

Thanks for you imput,
Beverly


Re: Just a thought...

Bob G. on 5/24/00 at 01:12 (020754)

Yes, my Pedorthist is very foot savy and helpful.

Re: one more thing about the pain

Beverly on 5/22/00 at 10:09 (020682)

One more thing about the pain... I'm just a little achey this morning in my arch... the one the stretch felt uncomfortable in.

Beverly


Re: one more thing about the pain

Nancy S. on 5/22/00 at 10:18 (020683)

Hi Beverly -- In my opinion, pain from the stretch means you're overdoing it. I would flex the foot but NOT hold the stretch for now; just reach the beginnning of the stretch point and let it go. And perhaps start with fewer stretches, too. Ten is quite a lot when you're just starting (or restarting). I would wait until the ache you got from the stretching is gone. Good luck, and I think I might agree with you that a second opinion is in order. --Nancy

Re: Tried stretching... Questions

Steve P on 5/22/00 at 15:46 (020693)

Beverly --- I confess I had a hard time deciding whether 'to stretch or not to stretch'. I finally decided to do only a few gentle, non-weightbearing stretches per foot per day. My PT believes in stretching, but only to the point that there is no pain (only tightness). I have been following this advice & have been improving the last couple of weeks.
By the way, have you given any more thought to a night splint?

Re: Tried stretching... Questions

Beverly on 5/22/00 at 17:29 (020701)

Steve,

Yes, I am going to ask the second opinion doctor about getting me a night splint. I will have to do it when I get back from vacation.
This new doctor is highly sought after, and he is hard to get into see.
I have an appointment with him near the end of June. I understand that he trained under my present doctor, but he is younger and tends to take a more aggressive style with PF.

Thanks,
Beverly


Re: one more thing about the pain

Dr. Zuckerman on 5/22/00 at 21:53 (020708)

Stetching without weight bearing and no severe pain isn't going to kill you. It could take six weeks for the foot to adapt to the orthosis. I believe in the personal foot trainers for stretching. I have never seen a patient get worse from stetching non-weight bearing. I have seen patients get worse from not stretching when they have a true equinus. Either way the foot won't be cured in one week.
Never go without shoes. There should be a break instruction sheet with your orthosis. Typical instruction sheet is reduce the wearing time if you have alot of pain . Most podiatrist won't adjust the orthosis for six weeks unless you start to develop alot of pain like the insert in cutting into your foot or causing blisters. Give you doctor advice with the orthosis some time.

Re: nightsplint

Bob G. on 5/23/00 at 03:13 (020713)

I've got my nightsplint - get your own!

pain-free and still wearing it...


Re: Just a thought...

VickiJ on 5/23/00 at 06:47 (020714)

I got far more valuable help regarding stretching and other self help treatment from a physical therapist than any doctor...have you tried that route yet?

Re: Just a thought...

Beverly on 5/23/00 at 13:05 (020726)

Vicki,

Yes, at the beginning I got a three week perscription for ultrasound.
I went to the same PT place that helped my neck/shoulder get better.
The PT taught me stretches. I thought they were helping. Then I got carried away and probably overstretched. I was also on my foot too much as it felt better. I had a major relapse and was worse than ever. My doctor blamed it on the PT/stretching. I really thought it had more to do with being on my foot too much, and I still suspect that. This was 2 months ago.

For the moment, I can't get the pod/Dr. interested in sending me back to PT since he believes stretching should only begin once one is pain-free.
So as I said earlier, I have an appointment for the end of June to get a second opinion. This doctor is younger and more aggressive. I hope to get the perscription for PT from him. I'm sure insurance also plays into this, but I have a fairly lenient PPO with good PT coverage.

One thing I have been doing is getting a massage once a week. It does wonders for my shoulder and my mental health. My massage therapist has been cautious not to go too deep on my foot. At the moment I think that would hurt, but I am interested in following other people's deep massage results. (And also things like ART) I get deep tissue work on my neck and shoulder and love it, but my foot still feels too tender.

Thanks for you imput,
Beverly


Re: Just a thought...

Bob G. on 5/24/00 at 01:12 (020754)

Yes, my Pedorthist is very foot savy and helpful.