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Pain free in two sessions - deep massage seems to have worked

Posted by Ken S. on 6/07/02 at 10:25 (086661)

What I am about to write is probably not meant for the majority of folks with PF. I have read your stories and counted myself lucky that my three-year bout with PF has not forced me onto crutches, wheel chairs, job loss, etc. Given the kind of pain endured by others, my case was relatively minor and perhaps that is why the most recent treatment seems to have worked. (I do not know how to grade my pain against yours, and maybe the development of a PF pain spectrum/guage would be useful).

I have had PF for approx. 3 years. I gained weight after quitting smoking, upped my hiking miles to combat the weight, and began waking up with sore feet every morning that would go away . . . you all know the rest of the story.

Moving from Honolulu to Portland, I hoped to take on new hiking trails in the Northwest, but the pain was going to limit me. Besides, I had read your warnings that continued activity could aggravate things. Anyway, I asked a friendly naturopath in Hono about treatment. She suggested Rolfing. In Portland, I asked about Rolfing with a new naturopath. She said that would be too radical and gave me the name of a massage therapist who she said cured her PF quickly (we don't always know how widespread this problem is).

Now, I had already resigned myself to one of the Canadian ESWT treatments but feared the cost more than the pain. So what the heck, try the massage.

The first session took 90 minutes and he worked my legs deeply from back of the knees to my heel. He warned me of burning and searing pain, but the pain would be the fascia 'releasing' and my feet would be relieved aftward. The heel and arch were too tender to work and he could not touch the (insertion?) point where the pain was greatest at the front of the heel. He described the entire area along my calves as feeling like oatmeal and his job was to break up allof that oatmeal. This he did.

Since I am a pain weenie (although living with PF, I wonder if that is true) I feared great, searing pain. He began very conservatively and gradually increased pressure. Instead of flashes of pain (my expectation), I felt many dozens of uncomfortable pinches. My friend, watching the process, says he never pinched but was working the skin and meat deeply and consistently up and down. Frankly, it felt like I had put too many miles on a trail and my muscles were overworked. So you probably know that it wasn't that bad, just uncomfortable.

In any case, when I got up from the table I felt immediate relief. My legs were sore but the PF was gone. He recommended I massage the foot, arch and heel areas, during the week and he would come back. This I did. I couldn't believe it but the pain was reduced to such an extent that by the third day after I was able to massage my entire foot, all areas, deeply and without any discomfort. Even that tender area in front of the heel could be deeply massaged.

I have had my second massage and we worked the entire calf area and complete bottom of the foot. I am walking naturaly and well and doing some exercises at the gym such as swimming and recumbent bike. His advice on all exercise was to be very conservative and build up distance. If sharp pains, work through them, but if deep lasting pain that doesn't go away after a moment or two, end the exercise and rest. Of course, as always, plenty of stretching before and after exercise is mandatory and more throughout the day is great too.

Finally, I asked the therapist about a third visit and he seemed a bit confused. He finally got it, saying there was probably not going to be a need for a third visit. However, if there was a flareup, give him a call.

Well, I will keep you informed but if you have PF on the low end of the spectrum as I apparently did, you might consider this deep massaging treatment. It has been worth the pain free mornings and long walks in the woods.

Re: Pain free in two sessions - WOW!

Sharon W on 6/07/02 at 12:34 (086673)

Ken,

WOW!! I wish I'd had YOUR massage therapist!

-- Sharon

Re: Pain free in two sessions - WOW!

Ken S. on 6/08/02 at 12:43 (086773)

He's great. They are around, although it was dumb luck I found out about him. Just asked the right person the right questions. However, thinking about it, I would explore alternatives through naturopaths et.al. because they often are in touch with a very different yet effective layer of care providers who are outside the area of traditional, so-called Western medicine.

My experience is that a lot of scientific research, properly constructed and methodologically sound, is being conducted in Europe. My non-traditional friends/healers always seem to know about it, use it, and can direct me to this valuable source of medical information.

Bottom line, I believe, is that it takes what it takes -- traditional/non-traditional, western or eastern. Keep searching.

Re: Pain free in two sessions - deep massage seems to have worked

Brian on 6/11/02 at 22:38 (087216)

Well where is this therapist.. maybe he knows someone around me!

Re: Pain free in two sessions - deep massage seems to have worked

Ken S. on 6/12/02 at 09:56 (087280)

Send me an email with your email address and, meanwhile, I will check to see if he wants to take these kinds of calls. Some folks just don't want publicity.

Re: Pain free in two sessions - WOW!

Sharon W on 6/07/02 at 12:34 (086673)

Ken,

WOW!! I wish I'd had YOUR massage therapist!

-- Sharon

Re: Pain free in two sessions - WOW!

Ken S. on 6/08/02 at 12:43 (086773)

He's great. They are around, although it was dumb luck I found out about him. Just asked the right person the right questions. However, thinking about it, I would explore alternatives through naturopaths et.al. because they often are in touch with a very different yet effective layer of care providers who are outside the area of traditional, so-called Western medicine.

My experience is that a lot of scientific research, properly constructed and methodologically sound, is being conducted in Europe. My non-traditional friends/healers always seem to know about it, use it, and can direct me to this valuable source of medical information.

Bottom line, I believe, is that it takes what it takes -- traditional/non-traditional, western or eastern. Keep searching.

Re: Pain free in two sessions - deep massage seems to have worked

Brian on 6/11/02 at 22:38 (087216)

Well where is this therapist.. maybe he knows someone around me!

Re: Pain free in two sessions - deep massage seems to have worked

Ken S. on 6/12/02 at 09:56 (087280)

Send me an email with your email address and, meanwhile, I will check to see if he wants to take these kinds of calls. Some folks just don't want publicity.