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GETTING BETTER!

Posted by Barbara S. on 7/25/00 at 16:05 (023922)

After 6 months of excruciating and unremitting pain... it was nearly impossible to even stand up for a whole month. I strapped pillows on my knees to try to care for a toddler and a five year old and couldn't even stand in the shower. You may remember my sad story! After two unhelpful podiatrists, I did a shot (no relief whatsoever),nightsplints, x-rays, and naprosyn (Alleve, which is acceptable for a nursing mother like myself) along with $400 orthotics that were too painful to wear. My hands and knees were a mess from crawling and my calf muscles were starting to atrophy despite my best efforts at the excercise bike. I was in total despair. Then, despite my belief that chiropractice was as effective as voodoo, I gave it one desperate try. Traditional medicine had failed me.

My chiropractor informed me that I had spained my ankle some months before (indeed, I had, but had not mentioned it because I didn't think it was related) and it was frozen up and out of joint. This was the body's way of protecting the joint from damage. My new out-of-joint way of walking had caused my big toe joint to lose flexibility and become rigid (hallux rigidis) THUS, pulling on the fascia, which eventually, tugged on the heel abnormally. This is the best that I can explain it in my own words... but to have someone FINALLY give me a biomechanical explanation for my pain was astonishing! My treatment was to have my ankle adjusted until it remained in the correct position, and to have the scar tissue in the facia and around the big toe joint broken up with a technique called myofascial release (some chiropractors call this Active Release Therapy). I learned about this technique through this website - THANK YOU SCOTT. Apparently, any good chiropractor knows some form of myofascial release.

After two weeks of therapy (every other day, to make sure that joint stays in place) I am STANDING for ten minutes at a time, my limp is disappearing, and I can walk around the house for short distances with minimal pain. There are lots of pops and clicks in my ankle - a good sign that the joint is becomming more mobile and things are sliding across one another like they used too. This last visit, the chiropractor found that the joint had stayed in place. At last, I have some hope of recovery. It is heavenly to walk again - I cannot describe it.

The bottom line - anyone with a history of ankle sprain should consider this solution. My ankle sprain back in September was so slight that it wasn't even painful... it was just horribly swollen, and the doctor said I didn't even need an x-ray. I walked on it and the swelling when down and I considered myself back to normal... except for this teeny, tiny pain in my heel that kept worsening month after month. I asked the chiropractor why my podiatrists never told me this, and he answered that a very good one will, but most of them aren't trained to consider heel pain in this way.

Please feel free to e-mail me with any questions, especially if you are a nursing mom. I've done it all, let me tell you, but I'm still nursing my baby. My chiropractor is in Irving, TX (near Dallas) and his name is Dr. Andy Ullman #972-255-6700. Please search the message boards for messages by a woman named Ruth Morrow - she has experience with Active Release Therapy (The Leahy Method).

I'll let you know how my recovery is going. Thanks all! B.


Re: GETTING BETTER!

wendyn on 7/25/00 at 17:39 (023929)

Glad to hear that you're getting better AND still nursing your baby. Quite a 'feat' or a 'feet'? There are a lot of us that seem to benefit from alternative therapies when conventional medicine fails.

My understanding is that this is simlar to the trigger point releases that I've been having done on my back and my butt. They were very painful but the improvement in how I feel always amazes me.


Re: GETTING BETTER!

john h on 7/25/00 at 18:01 (023931)

you sound a lot tougher than i am barbara.

Re: GETTING BETTER!

Barbara S. on 7/25/00 at 18:27 (023938)

Yes! This is 'trigger point' release of a kind, designed to break up scar tissue that impedes the normal smooth movement of tissues across one another. It is VERY PAINFUL, especially if you get the kind called ART (Active Release Therapy) and it seems that you recover more quickly the more painful it is. Mine chiro. did mine in little doses over the course of 2 weeks. ART goes for the whole shebang in just two or three visits. You are right. It is amazing. If I hadn't experienced this relief myself, I wouldn't believe it in a million years. Good luck! B.

Re: GETTING BETTER!

Beverly on 7/25/00 at 22:15 (023964)

Barbara,

I'm so glad to hear how much better you are doing! It must be such a relief.

I have had myofacial release on my upperbody, and it was wonderfully effective. Is myofacial release different than ART or are they the same thing?
How long did your foot hurt after the treatment? So far, my limited experience with deep tissue work on my foot is that it is very painful and leaves a lingering pain.
Also, how did the chiropractor determine that your ankle was out of place? This is relevant to me, because I twisted my ankle early in my PF. It wasn't too bad...very little swelling, and it cleared up within a week. I'm not sure that it even ranked as a sprain. However, I have sprained my ankles in past years and I seem to be more prone than the average person to 'twisting' my ankle.
Beverly


Re: About myofascial release

Barbara S. on 7/26/00 at 10:05 (023990)

I think that ART is myofascial release in which you move your muscles in their full range of motion WHILE the chiropractor works on them,,, I suppose this puts more pressure on the scar tissue. I have heard it is very painful. My chiropractor is doing a little at a time, which takes longer. He determined my ankle to be out of joint by flexibility and range-of-motion tests (comparing it to my non-pf foot, feeling it all over (would you believe that my podiatrists never even touched my feet?) and watching my stretches and gait. Whoa, did that baby snap hard the first time! Now it is easier, and less painful. I really can tell when it slips again... I feel that itchyt, clawing, tight feeling in my fascia. Its miserable. He assures me that soon it will stay in place, and it has lately. Often it will slip back and forth (with a little stabbing pain) and then the major pf symptoms subside. Mind you, I'm still VERY limited in my activities - but as you can tell from my post, I have made and incredible stride forward. ABSOLUTELY try this if you have had a sprain. Chiros are good at free consultations, too.

I must also tell you that my sprain was absolutely painless... I only went into the doctor because of the weird swelling (I thought it was a vein problem or gout)! The swelling went away in about a week - but my foot was forever changed... little did I know. As Dr. Zuckermann has said - a good podiatrist can spot this problem too. Good luck and tell us all about your progress. B.


Re: About myofascial release

JudyS on 7/26/00 at 10:11 (023992)

I had the ART on my Plantar(s) in late spring for about 6 weeks. I went 3x/week for the first 2, then 2x/week after that. It was EXTREMELY painful for the first 3 visits. I'm very certain that it was one of the 3 most effective things I did for my PF. I could literally feel the scar tissue breaking up and by the 4th visit the pain began to lessen considerably. Once that's done, your own mild and regular stretching should help greatly to keep the Plantar flexible.

Re: About myofascial release

Beverly on 7/26/00 at 12:12 (024004)

I will ask my orthopedic surgeon about myofascial release and a good chiropractor when I see him at the end of my PT script (about a month from now). I feel like I have to try one modality at a time or I won't know what is helping or not helping, and I don't want to do too much.
But the myofascial release if of keen interest to me since it helped my neck significantly. I don't remember it being painful. My massage therapist did it. I have only lived in this city for 1.5 years. I don't know any chiropractors; so I will have to do research. Besides asking the doctor, does anyone have ideas on finding a reputable one?
Beverly

Re: About myofascial release

Barbara S. on 7/26/00 at 21:08 (024058)

Here is a number to call for Leahy-trained specialists: 'To find a certified ART practitioner in your area, call Mike's office at
719-473-7000. Best of luck in your search for help. ART should be of
great assistance to you for plantar fascitis. Dr. Joe'

However, myofascial release is a common procedure among chiropractors. You might seek out someone who is an 'extremities specialist' or someone who works with a podiatrist. Good luck to you! B.


Re: GETTING BETTER!

wendyn on 7/25/00 at 17:39 (023929)

Glad to hear that you're getting better AND still nursing your baby. Quite a 'feat' or a 'feet'? There are a lot of us that seem to benefit from alternative therapies when conventional medicine fails.

My understanding is that this is simlar to the trigger point releases that I've been having done on my back and my butt. They were very painful but the improvement in how I feel always amazes me.


Re: GETTING BETTER!

john h on 7/25/00 at 18:01 (023931)

you sound a lot tougher than i am barbara.

Re: GETTING BETTER!

Barbara S. on 7/25/00 at 18:27 (023938)

Yes! This is 'trigger point' release of a kind, designed to break up scar tissue that impedes the normal smooth movement of tissues across one another. It is VERY PAINFUL, especially if you get the kind called ART (Active Release Therapy) and it seems that you recover more quickly the more painful it is. Mine chiro. did mine in little doses over the course of 2 weeks. ART goes for the whole shebang in just two or three visits. You are right. It is amazing. If I hadn't experienced this relief myself, I wouldn't believe it in a million years. Good luck! B.

Re: GETTING BETTER!

Beverly on 7/25/00 at 22:15 (023964)

Barbara,

I'm so glad to hear how much better you are doing! It must be such a relief.

I have had myofacial release on my upperbody, and it was wonderfully effective. Is myofacial release different than ART or are they the same thing?
How long did your foot hurt after the treatment? So far, my limited experience with deep tissue work on my foot is that it is very painful and leaves a lingering pain.
Also, how did the chiropractor determine that your ankle was out of place? This is relevant to me, because I twisted my ankle early in my PF. It wasn't too bad...very little swelling, and it cleared up within a week. I'm not sure that it even ranked as a sprain. However, I have sprained my ankles in past years and I seem to be more prone than the average person to 'twisting' my ankle.
Beverly


Re: About myofascial release

Barbara S. on 7/26/00 at 10:05 (023990)

I think that ART is myofascial release in which you move your muscles in their full range of motion WHILE the chiropractor works on them,,, I suppose this puts more pressure on the scar tissue. I have heard it is very painful. My chiropractor is doing a little at a time, which takes longer. He determined my ankle to be out of joint by flexibility and range-of-motion tests (comparing it to my non-pf foot, feeling it all over (would you believe that my podiatrists never even touched my feet?) and watching my stretches and gait. Whoa, did that baby snap hard the first time! Now it is easier, and less painful. I really can tell when it slips again... I feel that itchyt, clawing, tight feeling in my fascia. Its miserable. He assures me that soon it will stay in place, and it has lately. Often it will slip back and forth (with a little stabbing pain) and then the major pf symptoms subside. Mind you, I'm still VERY limited in my activities - but as you can tell from my post, I have made and incredible stride forward. ABSOLUTELY try this if you have had a sprain. Chiros are good at free consultations, too.

I must also tell you that my sprain was absolutely painless... I only went into the doctor because of the weird swelling (I thought it was a vein problem or gout)! The swelling went away in about a week - but my foot was forever changed... little did I know. As Dr. Zuckermann has said - a good podiatrist can spot this problem too. Good luck and tell us all about your progress. B.


Re: About myofascial release

JudyS on 7/26/00 at 10:11 (023992)

I had the ART on my Plantar(s) in late spring for about 6 weeks. I went 3x/week for the first 2, then 2x/week after that. It was EXTREMELY painful for the first 3 visits. I'm very certain that it was one of the 3 most effective things I did for my PF. I could literally feel the scar tissue breaking up and by the 4th visit the pain began to lessen considerably. Once that's done, your own mild and regular stretching should help greatly to keep the Plantar flexible.

Re: About myofascial release

Beverly on 7/26/00 at 12:12 (024004)

I will ask my orthopedic surgeon about myofascial release and a good chiropractor when I see him at the end of my PT script (about a month from now). I feel like I have to try one modality at a time or I won't know what is helping or not helping, and I don't want to do too much.
But the myofascial release if of keen interest to me since it helped my neck significantly. I don't remember it being painful. My massage therapist did it. I have only lived in this city for 1.5 years. I don't know any chiropractors; so I will have to do research. Besides asking the doctor, does anyone have ideas on finding a reputable one?
Beverly

Re: About myofascial release

Barbara S. on 7/26/00 at 21:08 (024058)

Here is a number to call for Leahy-trained specialists: 'To find a certified ART practitioner in your area, call Mike's office at
719-473-7000. Best of luck in your search for help. ART should be of
great assistance to you for plantar fascitis. Dr. Joe'

However, myofascial release is a common procedure among chiropractors. You might seek out someone who is an 'extremities specialist' or someone who works with a podiatrist. Good luck to you! B.