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STRETCHING - question to all...

Posted by CatherineL on 2/13/02 at 09:07 (073590)

Hi all,

I have a question...

STRETCHING - I don't tend to do much as with my 'years' of experience, it hurts with the smallest stretch and agrivates it to no end. A couple times of mild stretching can make it almost unbearable to walk for a few days... so even though my calves are Sooooo tight, I tend not to stretch them much. I do mild, non weight bearing streching only.

Any ideas/thought on this.

Thanx
Catherine

Re: STRETCHING - question to all...

monte on 2/13/02 at 09:34 (073597)

what kind of stretches are you doing?

Re: STRETCHING - question to all...

Carole C in NOLA on 2/13/02 at 12:10 (073615)

Catherine, I wouldn't do stretching to the point that it aggravates things, no matter what type of stretching it is. For my own stretching, my pedorthist told me to simply sit with my legs out in front of me on the bed, and point my toes towards my nose while holding my knee down. Hold for 10-30 seconds (start at 10, work up to 30 as comfort permits) then relax. Maybe this would work for you too. If you feel pain from it, cut back on the seconds and on how energetically you point your toes, but if you don't, then go ahead and do it at least 3 times a day for 30 seconds each time.

In your case, with your calves so tight, you may not be able to do it at all. I am wondering if maybe you need physical therapy and/or massage therapy until you are able to stretch without hurting yourself.

Carole C

Re: STRETCHING - question to all...

Carmen H on 2/13/02 at 12:39 (073618)

Question number one:
What does your doctor say?
Are you on a stretching program of any kind per his orders?

Re: STRETCHING - question to all...

CatherineL on 2/13/02 at 15:02 (073625)

I 've been basically told to do lots of stretches...

1) stand and place foot against a wall/couter/whatever at an angle (toes upward) and push your body forward towards the wall until stretched. Hold for 30 seconds and alternate feet.

2) standing in a scissor position w/one foot behind and lean forward - this for 30 seconds with leg straight and then leg bent.

If I do either one at any level, I seem to suffer the next day. Phisio, dr. and therapist all seem to ignore that and tell me to do what I can, but don't understand that any weight bearing stretches make things hurt more.

Been stretching off and on for over a year with little progress... even with 4 months of the night splint, it hasn't helped with the tightness much.

been to 3 phisiotherapists, one massage therapist and one athletic therapist. They all tell me to stretch...

All I can do, is where the night splint, and I do similar to carole's pointing stretches...

thanx
catherine

Re: STRETCHING - question to all...

Glennx on 2/13/02 at 15:38 (073626)

Catherine: I've struggled with stretching long and hard too. I believe it's an area of rehab still lacking full understanding. PTs tend to stick to stretches that work fine for healthy individuals, and not to exercises that work best for folks who injured. Sometimes the aggressive approach works, but not always.

What gradually began working for me was restraint. Sounds contradictory, but stretching to full extension like the PTs kept advising, just seemed to work against my body's willingness to 'let go. ' Weight-bearing stretches got me nowhere, and inevitably aggravated my PF. But gentle foot dorsiflexing like Carole describes -- enough to feel some lengthening in the calves, yet short of pain or strain like she also describes, gradually loosened me up. Muscles won't let go, won't lengthen, if they don't feel safe doing so.

I also wore night splints while doing these light stretches, and that may have helped as well. Having a dorsiflexion-degrees target was helpful too.

I remain at 80 degress of dorsiflexion with a continued light stretching regimen.

Re: STRETCHING - question to all...

Carmen H on 2/13/02 at 16:16 (073627)

Those area weight bearing and standing stretches! Of course that's going to hurt if you have severe PF.
Write to our resident stetcher and yoga pro Julie. she can give you GREAT direction on what might helpt to alleviate the painful stretchng.
Don't give up though...
I would get a doctor or PT that seems to LISTEN to me and be concerned with me getting well!

Re: STRETCHING - question to all...

Julie on 2/13/02 at 16:38 (073628)

Catherine, the weight-bearing stretches you've been told to do aren't - in my view and that of so many folk here who have been made worse by them - appropriate for most PF sufferers. I cannot understand why the wall stretch, for example, is almost universally advised when most PFers have found, to their cost, that it exacerbates their problem. There is nothing wrong with it per se, as long as the person doing it is fit and uninjured, but when you're dealing with injured tissues, different rules apply. If I've learned one thing from my years of teaching yoga, it's that any exercise has got to be right for the person it's given to.

I think it's altogether possible that the stretching you've been doing has held up your healing, and I think you are sensible to back off them.

Your guide should be your own body, your own sensations. If an exercise hurts, it means that your body is telling you to stop because what you are doing isn't what it needs and isn't good for it - whatever the various therapists say. Stick to non-weight-bearing exercise until you are much better.

If you do a search of the message boards under 'Rudy', you'll find a series of simple yoga exercises for the feet that I posted a while ago and that several people here have found helpful. If you can't find them, please tell me and I'll post them again.

Re: STRETCHING - question to all...

CatherineL on 2/14/02 at 08:14 (073679)

thanx all & Julie... I found the post and to my pleasant surprise, have been pretty much doing these, spurred (no pun intended!) by my own common sense as my feet become very tight, I've needed to keep them loose and mobile.

Funny how our own common sense usually leads us in the right direction.

thanx
catherine

Re: STRETCHING - question to all...

john h on 2/14/02 at 09:34 (073683)

My personal thoughts on stretching based on nothing is that any stretching must be personalized to the individal in the case of feet. I think a person who has chronic PF (longer than a year or so) needs to do something very different from someone who is young and healthy and only had the problem for 4 or 5 months or less. As we all know the fascia does not stretch and if the tension on the fascia caused by whatever causes micro tears then draw your own conclusions. If my feet are really in a painful state I just flat do not stretch. I never hang off steps. I do not do the runners stretch. What I would like to achieve is loose hamstrings,calves, and back muscles.

Re: John and Catherine

Julie on 2/14/02 at 10:01 (073688)

John, you know I agree with you about personalized stretching, and you hit the nail on the head about the non-stretchable, micro-tearable fascia and the damage wrought by aggressive stretching. This is exactly why exercises like the wall and stair stretches are wrong for most cases of PF, but I don't think it matters whether the sufferer is old (like us!) and has had it for yonks (a long time, in 'English') or young and fit and had it for a few months. I know that some people have had success with weight-bearing stretches - but I suspect it has more to do with the specific type and severity of PF, than with its duration or the person's age.

Catherine, I'm glad you found the post. Those exercises really are just common sense, and natural. Keep doing them, but be very aware of how they are making you feel, and back off if they cause you pain.

You can learn a great deal about yourself from PF - or from any painful condition.

Re: STRETCHING - question to all...

paula on 2/14/02 at 11:33 (073700)

i have found that there are a lot of physical therapists. some were good for me others harmed me. i really believe in careful pt shopping. now i interview them on the phone first.

Re: STRETCHING - question to all...

monte on 2/13/02 at 09:34 (073597)

what kind of stretches are you doing?

Re: STRETCHING - question to all...

Carole C in NOLA on 2/13/02 at 12:10 (073615)

Catherine, I wouldn't do stretching to the point that it aggravates things, no matter what type of stretching it is. For my own stretching, my pedorthist told me to simply sit with my legs out in front of me on the bed, and point my toes towards my nose while holding my knee down. Hold for 10-30 seconds (start at 10, work up to 30 as comfort permits) then relax. Maybe this would work for you too. If you feel pain from it, cut back on the seconds and on how energetically you point your toes, but if you don't, then go ahead and do it at least 3 times a day for 30 seconds each time.

In your case, with your calves so tight, you may not be able to do it at all. I am wondering if maybe you need physical therapy and/or massage therapy until you are able to stretch without hurting yourself.

Carole C

Re: STRETCHING - question to all...

Carmen H on 2/13/02 at 12:39 (073618)

Question number one:
What does your doctor say?
Are you on a stretching program of any kind per his orders?

Re: STRETCHING - question to all...

CatherineL on 2/13/02 at 15:02 (073625)

I 've been basically told to do lots of stretches...

1) stand and place foot against a wall/couter/whatever at an angle (toes upward) and push your body forward towards the wall until stretched. Hold for 30 seconds and alternate feet.

2) standing in a scissor position w/one foot behind and lean forward - this for 30 seconds with leg straight and then leg bent.

If I do either one at any level, I seem to suffer the next day. Phisio, dr. and therapist all seem to ignore that and tell me to do what I can, but don't understand that any weight bearing stretches make things hurt more.

Been stretching off and on for over a year with little progress... even with 4 months of the night splint, it hasn't helped with the tightness much.

been to 3 phisiotherapists, one massage therapist and one athletic therapist. They all tell me to stretch...

All I can do, is where the night splint, and I do similar to carole's pointing stretches...

thanx
catherine

Re: STRETCHING - question to all...

Glennx on 2/13/02 at 15:38 (073626)

Catherine: I've struggled with stretching long and hard too. I believe it's an area of rehab still lacking full understanding. PTs tend to stick to stretches that work fine for healthy individuals, and not to exercises that work best for folks who injured. Sometimes the aggressive approach works, but not always.

What gradually began working for me was restraint. Sounds contradictory, but stretching to full extension like the PTs kept advising, just seemed to work against my body's willingness to 'let go. ' Weight-bearing stretches got me nowhere, and inevitably aggravated my PF. But gentle foot dorsiflexing like Carole describes -- enough to feel some lengthening in the calves, yet short of pain or strain like she also describes, gradually loosened me up. Muscles won't let go, won't lengthen, if they don't feel safe doing so.

I also wore night splints while doing these light stretches, and that may have helped as well. Having a dorsiflexion-degrees target was helpful too.

I remain at 80 degress of dorsiflexion with a continued light stretching regimen.

Re: STRETCHING - question to all...

Carmen H on 2/13/02 at 16:16 (073627)

Those area weight bearing and standing stretches! Of course that's going to hurt if you have severe PF.
Write to our resident stetcher and yoga pro Julie. she can give you GREAT direction on what might helpt to alleviate the painful stretchng.
Don't give up though...
I would get a doctor or PT that seems to LISTEN to me and be concerned with me getting well!

Re: STRETCHING - question to all...

Julie on 2/13/02 at 16:38 (073628)

Catherine, the weight-bearing stretches you've been told to do aren't - in my view and that of so many folk here who have been made worse by them - appropriate for most PF sufferers. I cannot understand why the wall stretch, for example, is almost universally advised when most PFers have found, to their cost, that it exacerbates their problem. There is nothing wrong with it per se, as long as the person doing it is fit and uninjured, but when you're dealing with injured tissues, different rules apply. If I've learned one thing from my years of teaching yoga, it's that any exercise has got to be right for the person it's given to.

I think it's altogether possible that the stretching you've been doing has held up your healing, and I think you are sensible to back off them.

Your guide should be your own body, your own sensations. If an exercise hurts, it means that your body is telling you to stop because what you are doing isn't what it needs and isn't good for it - whatever the various therapists say. Stick to non-weight-bearing exercise until you are much better.

If you do a search of the message boards under 'Rudy', you'll find a series of simple yoga exercises for the feet that I posted a while ago and that several people here have found helpful. If you can't find them, please tell me and I'll post them again.

Re: STRETCHING - question to all...

CatherineL on 2/14/02 at 08:14 (073679)

thanx all & Julie... I found the post and to my pleasant surprise, have been pretty much doing these, spurred (no pun intended!) by my own common sense as my feet become very tight, I've needed to keep them loose and mobile.

Funny how our own common sense usually leads us in the right direction.

thanx
catherine

Re: STRETCHING - question to all...

john h on 2/14/02 at 09:34 (073683)

My personal thoughts on stretching based on nothing is that any stretching must be personalized to the individal in the case of feet. I think a person who has chronic PF (longer than a year or so) needs to do something very different from someone who is young and healthy and only had the problem for 4 or 5 months or less. As we all know the fascia does not stretch and if the tension on the fascia caused by whatever causes micro tears then draw your own conclusions. If my feet are really in a painful state I just flat do not stretch. I never hang off steps. I do not do the runners stretch. What I would like to achieve is loose hamstrings,calves, and back muscles.

Re: John and Catherine

Julie on 2/14/02 at 10:01 (073688)

John, you know I agree with you about personalized stretching, and you hit the nail on the head about the non-stretchable, micro-tearable fascia and the damage wrought by aggressive stretching. This is exactly why exercises like the wall and stair stretches are wrong for most cases of PF, but I don't think it matters whether the sufferer is old (like us!) and has had it for yonks (a long time, in 'English') or young and fit and had it for a few months. I know that some people have had success with weight-bearing stretches - but I suspect it has more to do with the specific type and severity of PF, than with its duration or the person's age.

Catherine, I'm glad you found the post. Those exercises really are just common sense, and natural. Keep doing them, but be very aware of how they are making you feel, and back off if they cause you pain.

You can learn a great deal about yourself from PF - or from any painful condition.

Re: STRETCHING - question to all...

paula on 2/14/02 at 11:33 (073700)

i have found that there are a lot of physical therapists. some were good for me others harmed me. i really believe in careful pt shopping. now i interview them on the phone first.