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exercise

Posted by paula on 1/20/02 at 18:23 (070693)

i don't hear much about foot and ankle strengthening exercises to help the pf and the pttd but my physical therapist has me working with a theraband and other foot and ankle strenghtening exercises all the live long day. am i the minority here? of course i stretch too but strong ankles, strong feet is the mantra over here. anyone else trying to theraband their way out of this mess?

Re: exercise

rebecca h on 1/20/02 at 18:33 (070694)

Paula,

How long have you been doing physical therapy? Is it painful? Is it helping? Do you like your physical therapist? : ) Hope your feet are getting better.

rebecca

Re: exercise

JudyS on 1/20/02 at 18:38 (070695)

Oh no Paula, you're definately not in the minority. Many here have been through those kinds of exercises for strengthening - and many have used the Theraband to do it as it is a favorite 'tool' amongst physical therapists. The theory is, as is the same in most injury issues, that strengthening the muscles that neighbor the affected one goes a long way in keeping pressure off the injury. If I recall correctly (and I know this happened to me) some folks had negative experiences with foot and ankly strengthing because it actually seemed to cause more pain. We didn't know when to carry on with the exercises and when to back off. It goes back to that same old issue......how much is too much and how much do we seriously need. Wish we had a crystal ball that would just tell us and be done with it!

Re: exercise

paula on 1/20/02 at 19:06 (070705)

well i can't say it's helping my pain level but at least it's something to do. and as my feet and ankles get stronger my pain level does not increase at least. i know when i tore all sorts of foot ankle stuff a pod who worked with athletes ,like football players, was amazed i couldnt walk. i guess they have strong compensating muscles. well if nothing else i'lll try to grow strong ankles and feet. and if i'm still in pain at least i'll have accomplished that. for what purpose i know not. maybe to kick the next person who thinks pf is nothing to complain about. maybe as insurance against gravity increasing on earth and my ankles will be ready. i'd like to hear some specific exercises that folks do. and also what the pods here think.

Re: exercise

Beverly on 1/20/02 at 22:30 (070713)

Paula,

I've used therabands- more for upperbody problems than lower, but yes, I like them. I was just getting started on several theraband foot/ankle stretches when I injured the achilles this past Spring. I've had to work back into stretching and I do four foot/ankle type range of motion stretches 3x a day.

As the achilles continues to calm down, I'm going to reintroduce the gate belt stretches (same as a towel stretch I just like using a belt better).
And if that goes well, in a few months I'll give the therabands a try. The therabands are harder for me because they create resistance so I have to built back up to them.

I've found I have to be very careful to build up my stretching slowly. When I was in PT, the PT wanted me to do way more than I could without pain. I learned many valuable stretching and strenghtening exercises there and I'm glad to know I was instructed on the proper way to do them, but I like being on my own better, because I don't have to fight with a PT over how many I do.

I may give PT another round this summer to learn something new but I'll probably only ask for a two or three week perscription... one long enough to learn the exercises but not so long that the PT can get carried away with how she increases my reps.

Could you describe your exercises?

Thanks,
Beverly

Re: exercise

Julie on 1/21/02 at 02:44 (070718)

Paula, therabands are a fine way of strengthening the musculature of the feet, and it really is important to do that, for the reason Judy gives. Apart from the obvious need to lengthen shortened calf muscles (which needs to be done carefully with non-weight-bearing stretching) I would say that strengthening is probably more important than stretching.

I don't know if Alan is still selling his stretching device (Alan? Are you there?) It's an excellent strengthener, a kind of very superior, sophisticated theraband. (I know that's a rank simplification, Alan.)

You could also have a look at the yoga foot exercises I've posted here a few times, most recently to Monte.

Re: Acu-Flex and an extra Theraband instruction

alan k on 1/21/02 at 08:03 (070732)

Indeed Acu-Flex is like Theraband, but because it has specialized toe loops it allows a more thorough toning of the feet. If you study the musculature of the feet you will see that it is quite intricate. A specialized device like Acu-Flex allows you to isolate all the muscles in the feet and give them the toning they need, which is especially good for people who spend alot of time in shoes-- which after years seriously alter the natural functioning of the foot in some ways. Also the exercises that come with the device are intricate and specialized with alot of attention to getting the neuromuscular pathways, according to Thai medicine (similar to meridians in Chinese medicine), running smoothly.
Acu-Flex will probably be offered on heelspurs.com in the future, but for now it is informally available by mail. The details are in a january post by me with the title 'Acu-Flex availability.'

Advice for Theraband you might not be getting: do be sure to make little baby motions at the beginning of the range of motion. This means that if you have, say, the theraband around the ball of your foot and you are pointing the feet in resistance to it, then the first inch of motion where your foot is flexed and starts to point, should be stressed in a separate exercise from the full range of motion. So after the regular exercise, do baby points, and likewise with other exersizes. The reason for this is that the resistance at the beginning is less than at the middle and the end because the band is not stretched much at first. So you do extra reps at the beginning. Different muscle fibers in every muscle are stressed at different points in the range of motion. Generally, the middle range stresses the middle of the muscle. Bands are excellent, superior even, to any other strengthener for getting one end of the muscle (at the end of the range of motion), but the other end needs to be stressed also to get the full benefit that bands can give you. It is good to get stress the beginning, middle, and end of a muscle for best toning without tension in the muscles.

Foot and leg conditioning may be very important to wellness in the long run, especially for those who must keep off their feet and rest for now. Keeping the circulation going and acquiring stable, strong feet will lead to the next very powerful healing stage: which is walking and resuming a normal life. Once you are walking without pain or damage again, you basically have a cure in the bag, as long as you are careful.

alan k

Re: Alan, can't find that old message. Could you give us the address/cost for ordering Acu-flex?

Beverly on 1/21/02 at 13:54 (070775)

eom...
Beverly

Re: exercise

Pamela S on 1/21/02 at 18:33 (070800)

I still use and like Personal Foot Trainers for non-weight-bearing ankle and foot exercises.

Re: exercise

Julie on 1/22/02 at 01:45 (070829)

The Acu-flex and the Personal Foot Trainer work on different principles. Each has its afficionados. In my view both are sound, safe, effective tools for strengthening the musculature of the feet and for healing.

Re: Acu-Flex Ordering Info

alan k on 1/22/02 at 06:59 (070839)

Sorry, this is really an inconvenient way to go. We'll have to get our website at http://www.acutai.com up. We are in a transition point here, including an expansion of our offerings for Thai meditation massage, which is not directly relevant to heelspurs so I never mentioned it.

The cost is $60/pair plus $6 shipping in the US. %15 goes to heelspurs.com. The Acu-Flex devices can be returned after 30 days, or more perhaps, no questioned asked for a full refund of purchase price. They can also be exchanged for free for the new Acu-Flex model which is not out yet and probably at least a month away.

Sorry to those who have no idea what I am referring to with this device. You can search the site here under Acu-Flex. I can also answer any questions, but for now I am not really 'advertising' but just letting people who know what they want know how to get it.

Payable to:

Integrated Health Science
1298 Annandale Road
Red Hook, NY 12571

cheers, alan k

NOTE: If you are reading this post after a search of the archive, check Scott's product page here or http://www.acutai.com first. This post is dated Jan 22, 2002. Ordering and price information may have changed.

Re: exercise

JudyS on 1/22/02 at 10:49 (070869)

I think, Paula, that your Pod or your PT (whomever gave you the Theraband) should have a phamplet that describes several foot/ankle strengthening exercises to do with it....if not, perhaps Dr. Z could send you a phamphlet? Or I could. I know there are several in my Pod's office.

Re: Acu-Flex and an extra Theraband instruction

JudyS on 1/22/02 at 10:56 (070871)

Alan, thank you for the reminders on the use of the Theraband. I'd forgotten that it is very easy to overdo with them and end up with sore feet!

Re: Acu-Flex and an extra Theraband instruction

alan k on 1/22/02 at 17:43 (070906)

That is good advice Judy. Actually what I was saying was to ADD extra exercise to a band routine: by doing extra reps in small motions at the very beginning of the full range of motion, plus the regular exercise as you were instructed. The reason for doing this is complicated and perhaps I can't explain it clearly. But do it.

alan k

Re: exercise

Dr. Zuckerman on 1/24/02 at 11:34 (071126)

I would be happy to send Paula written instructions on stretching etc. Just e-mail your address to (email removed)

Re: exercise

rebecca h on 1/20/02 at 18:33 (070694)

Paula,

How long have you been doing physical therapy? Is it painful? Is it helping? Do you like your physical therapist? : ) Hope your feet are getting better.

rebecca

Re: exercise

JudyS on 1/20/02 at 18:38 (070695)

Oh no Paula, you're definately not in the minority. Many here have been through those kinds of exercises for strengthening - and many have used the Theraband to do it as it is a favorite 'tool' amongst physical therapists. The theory is, as is the same in most injury issues, that strengthening the muscles that neighbor the affected one goes a long way in keeping pressure off the injury. If I recall correctly (and I know this happened to me) some folks had negative experiences with foot and ankly strengthing because it actually seemed to cause more pain. We didn't know when to carry on with the exercises and when to back off. It goes back to that same old issue......how much is too much and how much do we seriously need. Wish we had a crystal ball that would just tell us and be done with it!

Re: exercise

paula on 1/20/02 at 19:06 (070705)

well i can't say it's helping my pain level but at least it's something to do. and as my feet and ankles get stronger my pain level does not increase at least. i know when i tore all sorts of foot ankle stuff a pod who worked with athletes ,like football players, was amazed i couldnt walk. i guess they have strong compensating muscles. well if nothing else i'lll try to grow strong ankles and feet. and if i'm still in pain at least i'll have accomplished that. for what purpose i know not. maybe to kick the next person who thinks pf is nothing to complain about. maybe as insurance against gravity increasing on earth and my ankles will be ready. i'd like to hear some specific exercises that folks do. and also what the pods here think.

Re: exercise

Beverly on 1/20/02 at 22:30 (070713)

Paula,

I've used therabands- more for upperbody problems than lower, but yes, I like them. I was just getting started on several theraband foot/ankle stretches when I injured the achilles this past Spring. I've had to work back into stretching and I do four foot/ankle type range of motion stretches 3x a day.

As the achilles continues to calm down, I'm going to reintroduce the gate belt stretches (same as a towel stretch I just like using a belt better).
And if that goes well, in a few months I'll give the therabands a try. The therabands are harder for me because they create resistance so I have to built back up to them.

I've found I have to be very careful to build up my stretching slowly. When I was in PT, the PT wanted me to do way more than I could without pain. I learned many valuable stretching and strenghtening exercises there and I'm glad to know I was instructed on the proper way to do them, but I like being on my own better, because I don't have to fight with a PT over how many I do.

I may give PT another round this summer to learn something new but I'll probably only ask for a two or three week perscription... one long enough to learn the exercises but not so long that the PT can get carried away with how she increases my reps.

Could you describe your exercises?

Thanks,
Beverly

Re: exercise

Julie on 1/21/02 at 02:44 (070718)

Paula, therabands are a fine way of strengthening the musculature of the feet, and it really is important to do that, for the reason Judy gives. Apart from the obvious need to lengthen shortened calf muscles (which needs to be done carefully with non-weight-bearing stretching) I would say that strengthening is probably more important than stretching.

I don't know if Alan is still selling his stretching device (Alan? Are you there?) It's an excellent strengthener, a kind of very superior, sophisticated theraband. (I know that's a rank simplification, Alan.)

You could also have a look at the yoga foot exercises I've posted here a few times, most recently to Monte.

Re: Acu-Flex and an extra Theraband instruction

alan k on 1/21/02 at 08:03 (070732)

Indeed Acu-Flex is like Theraband, but because it has specialized toe loops it allows a more thorough toning of the feet. If you study the musculature of the feet you will see that it is quite intricate. A specialized device like Acu-Flex allows you to isolate all the muscles in the feet and give them the toning they need, which is especially good for people who spend alot of time in shoes-- which after years seriously alter the natural functioning of the foot in some ways. Also the exercises that come with the device are intricate and specialized with alot of attention to getting the neuromuscular pathways, according to Thai medicine (similar to meridians in Chinese medicine), running smoothly.
Acu-Flex will probably be offered on heelspurs.com in the future, but for now it is informally available by mail. The details are in a january post by me with the title 'Acu-Flex availability.'

Advice for Theraband you might not be getting: do be sure to make little baby motions at the beginning of the range of motion. This means that if you have, say, the theraband around the ball of your foot and you are pointing the feet in resistance to it, then the first inch of motion where your foot is flexed and starts to point, should be stressed in a separate exercise from the full range of motion. So after the regular exercise, do baby points, and likewise with other exersizes. The reason for this is that the resistance at the beginning is less than at the middle and the end because the band is not stretched much at first. So you do extra reps at the beginning. Different muscle fibers in every muscle are stressed at different points in the range of motion. Generally, the middle range stresses the middle of the muscle. Bands are excellent, superior even, to any other strengthener for getting one end of the muscle (at the end of the range of motion), but the other end needs to be stressed also to get the full benefit that bands can give you. It is good to get stress the beginning, middle, and end of a muscle for best toning without tension in the muscles.

Foot and leg conditioning may be very important to wellness in the long run, especially for those who must keep off their feet and rest for now. Keeping the circulation going and acquiring stable, strong feet will lead to the next very powerful healing stage: which is walking and resuming a normal life. Once you are walking without pain or damage again, you basically have a cure in the bag, as long as you are careful.

alan k

Re: Alan, can't find that old message. Could you give us the address/cost for ordering Acu-flex?

Beverly on 1/21/02 at 13:54 (070775)

eom...
Beverly

Re: exercise

Pamela S on 1/21/02 at 18:33 (070800)

I still use and like Personal Foot Trainers for non-weight-bearing ankle and foot exercises.

Re: exercise

Julie on 1/22/02 at 01:45 (070829)

The Acu-flex and the Personal Foot Trainer work on different principles. Each has its afficionados. In my view both are sound, safe, effective tools for strengthening the musculature of the feet and for healing.

Re: Acu-Flex Ordering Info

alan k on 1/22/02 at 06:59 (070839)

Sorry, this is really an inconvenient way to go. We'll have to get our website at http://www.acutai.com up. We are in a transition point here, including an expansion of our offerings for Thai meditation massage, which is not directly relevant to heelspurs so I never mentioned it.

The cost is $60/pair plus $6 shipping in the US. %15 goes to heelspurs.com. The Acu-Flex devices can be returned after 30 days, or more perhaps, no questioned asked for a full refund of purchase price. They can also be exchanged for free for the new Acu-Flex model which is not out yet and probably at least a month away.

Sorry to those who have no idea what I am referring to with this device. You can search the site here under Acu-Flex. I can also answer any questions, but for now I am not really 'advertising' but just letting people who know what they want know how to get it.

Payable to:

Integrated Health Science
1298 Annandale Road
Red Hook, NY 12571

cheers, alan k

NOTE: If you are reading this post after a search of the archive, check Scott's product page here or http://www.acutai.com first. This post is dated Jan 22, 2002. Ordering and price information may have changed.

Re: exercise

JudyS on 1/22/02 at 10:49 (070869)

I think, Paula, that your Pod or your PT (whomever gave you the Theraband) should have a phamplet that describes several foot/ankle strengthening exercises to do with it....if not, perhaps Dr. Z could send you a phamphlet? Or I could. I know there are several in my Pod's office.

Re: Acu-Flex and an extra Theraband instruction

JudyS on 1/22/02 at 10:56 (070871)

Alan, thank you for the reminders on the use of the Theraband. I'd forgotten that it is very easy to overdo with them and end up with sore feet!

Re: Acu-Flex and an extra Theraband instruction

alan k on 1/22/02 at 17:43 (070906)

That is good advice Judy. Actually what I was saying was to ADD extra exercise to a band routine: by doing extra reps in small motions at the very beginning of the full range of motion, plus the regular exercise as you were instructed. The reason for doing this is complicated and perhaps I can't explain it clearly. But do it.

alan k

Re: exercise

Dr. Zuckerman on 1/24/02 at 11:34 (071126)

I would be happy to send Paula written instructions on stretching etc. Just e-mail your address to (email removed)