Home The Book Dr Articles Products Message Boards Journal Articles Search Our Surveys Surgery ESWT Dr Messages Find Good Drs video

Egoscue Pain Free and related Questions

Posted by Dorothy on 7/29/03 at 14:41 (125559)

Has anyone here been to the Egoscue Center?? If so, can you talk about your experience there?
I have been scanning the Pain Free book by Pete Egoscue which I bought some years ago for back problems information, not even thinking about feet issues then. Now I am reviewing it with feet in mind (OWCH - feet in mind - now there's a headache!) and am finding it very interesting.
It seems to comport with my own intuition about these matters.
One thing he does seem to be saying is to go barefoot whenever you can.
I guess that is heresy, eh?
I just don't know what to believe - but what I do think is that so many of these physiological problems and their associated treatments only underscore the inadequate science education that most of have, and that even what we did have either fades over time or is supplanted or augmented by new information all the time. Sigh...
Any Egoscue information and personal experience out there?

Re: Egoscue Pain Free and related Questions

Aly on 7/29/03 at 15:37 (125565)

Hi Dorothy,

I haven't been to the Center but I do have the book. My only problem is that many of the exercises are weight-bearing, so I can't do them. I haven't read it recently - I would think that the barefoot reference would be for people with healthy feet (?) - seems like it would be a good preventative thing...

Re: Egoscue Pain Free and related Questions

Lynne C. on 7/30/03 at 07:36 (125624)

Hi Dorothy,
I just heard from friends about the Robin McKenzie Method. I did a search online and found enough info for me to be interested, so I checked out his book from the library. ' 7 Steps to a To A Pain Free Life'. His excercises are not weight bearing and my friends swear by it. I have just started so I am a little sore. I don't know if it will help your problem but thought I would let you know about it.
Good Luck,
Lynne C.

Re: Egoscue Pain Free and related Questions

Dorothy on 7/30/03 at 11:31 (125664)

Thank you. I am well aware of Robin McKenzie and have his books. The key component of his exercises for back pain is essentially the cobra (yoga)pose and I have been doing this ever since becoming aware of his ideas. I have found his suggestions to be helpful, but I did learn later that they are controversial because, according to some, they do exacerbate sciatica and possibly neck problems. As you know from reading his book, he does emphasize extension rather than flexion and thinks that far too much emphasis had been placed on flexion moves...but it seems to me that both are very important and balance and bilateral moves are important. Having said all that, I have often gotten into cobra pose for a good stretch.
When you refer to 'your problem', I am not sure what you are referring to but I do thank you for thinking of me and appreciate your sharing this information. If others are not familiar with Robin McKenzie's work, they might be introduced to it with your reference.
With regard to Pete Egoscue and his work, I continue to read in his book Pain Free which actually deals with musculoskeletal disorders and pain, but this time I am reading with foot/feet problems in mind, rather than the back. It is very interesting to me and I am going to begin doing some of his exercises. I will post more as time goes on.
Thanks again for your thoughtfulness.

Re: Egoscue Pain Free and related Questions

rose on 7/30/03 at 12:59 (125682)

I have the Pain Free book and have done manh of the exercises. They definately do help. I believe in his philosophy. I listen to him on Saturday mornings on the radio and do the verious exercises with him. They do work. I thought I might like to go to the clinic one day, but I am much better now. I do plan to call him on his radio talk show, but it is very hard to get in. If you get through, they will take your number and you will be called. I think it is very very interesting and should be looked into by anybody who suffers any kind of pain. His ildea is to fix the body posture and alignment that has caused the problem in the beginning. He believes that the body can and should heal itself. I do think there is something to it.

Re: Egoscue Pain Free and related Questions

Dorothy on 7/30/03 at 15:05 (125703)

Yes, Rose, that is my attitude as well. I wish I could hear his radio program. Do you know if it is available on the internet, by any chance? Many radio programs are available on the internet.
Rose, I appreciate your reminding me of the Egoscue book because I had purchased it for back problems several years ago and would probably not have looked at it again for feet - but now I am and I think my mind is even more receptive to his ideas than it was when my back was the issue. Thanks again. I like how you think!

Re: Egoscue Pain Free and related Questions

Ellen J. on 7/30/03 at 19:06 (125722)

Hi Dorothy,
It seems that each person has to figure out what their feet need and it seems to be different with different people. Although many seem to need arch support and can't go barefoot, I have been experimenting with going barefoot for about 3 months now. I figured that since arch supports didn't help me, and actually made my feet worse, I would carefully experiment with going barefoot. I took off my shoes and did a few easy household chores for about 10 min. and then put my shoes back on and waited a day or two to see if that caused problems. When it didn't, I took my shoes off for a tiny bit longer every few days and waited to see if my feet got sore. I was careful not to do any chores where something could fall on my feet or in which my feet could get hurt in any way. I also added area rugs to more of the wood floors in my house, to add cushioning. I'm finding that my feet are perfectly fine, though I'm still very careful not to go barefoot for very long because I think it takes a long while to carefully condition all those foot muscles. I can now wear sandals too, and my favorites are Teva Circuit, which have less arch support than the other Teva sandals. (many sandals have way, way too much arch support for me.) I can't even begin to wear Chaco sandals, for instance.
Well, enough rambling..
Ellen J.

Re: Egoscue Pain Free and related Questions

rose on 7/30/03 at 21:14 (125726)

Yes, he is on 1130 KCBQ at 9:00am pacific time on Saturday mornings. You can go to the internet and type in the radio station and watch it on the net and call in during the show. A number of people do this.

Re: Egoscue Pain Free and related Questions

rose on 7/30/03 at 21:15 (125727)

You can also go to Egoscue.com and listen to all the past radio shows. Very imformative.

Re: Egoscue Pain Free and related Questions

Dorothy on 7/30/03 at 23:32 (125751)

Not rambling at all! I appreciated your rather scientific experimental way of going about this and it sounds very reasonable to me. I mean, really, what did people do before orthotics, and all the rest - before shoes, even? They had their feet touching the surface they were walking on. I like your style and I think I will be 'barefootin'' myself more and more. Thanks for taking the time to 'ramble.'

Re: Egoscue Pain Free and related Questions

Dorothy on 7/31/03 at 00:40 (125757)

Thank you, Rose.

Re: Egoscue Pain Free and related Questions

Aly on 7/31/03 at 07:52 (125761)

Hi Dorothy & Ellen,

For the first 6-8 months that I had PF, I didn't know I wasn't supposed to go barefoot, and was doing it all the time (indoors only). I finally heard that I wasn't supposed to do that, so I've been wearing shoes ever since...My feet are worse than ever! I think I'm going to try a little of this too.

By the way Dorothy, I've been using that LED unit and now think that I was mistaken when I thought my foot was improving...I'm still using it, but I am edging towards returning it. Will let you know if anything changes!

Re: Egoscue Pain Free and related Questions

Ellen J. on 7/31/03 at 08:14 (125768)

Hi Aly and Dorothy,
I hope the barefoot experiment works for you. I found (and still am finding at times) that my feet would feel a bit 'tired' after going barefoot for a short while. If, while going barefoot I felt any sense of tiredness in my feet I would put my shoes back on in order to give the feet some time to recover. I found that wearing flip-flops was a good exercise for the feet but I'm still limiting the amount of time I spend in them so that I don't overwork those muscles and make my feet worse. I'm also using the Foot Trainer exercises and my feet are feeling stronger and stronger.
I would be very interested to hear the results of your experiments and of anyone else's attempts to go barefoot. It probably isn't right for everyone, esp. if they have a major biomechanical problem but it seems worth looking into for some of us.
Ellen J.

Re: Egoscue Pain Free and related Questions

Dorothy on 7/31/03 at 12:01 (125788)

And for what it's worth on the barefooting experiment - I have been trying to focus on the way that I walk, whether barefoot or in shoes, with a conscious effort to go 'heel-ball-toe...' and with attention to posture - getting everything in line and good form and relaxed, etc.
Needless to say, it is taking me longer to get revved up to move! But so far, so good. However, I will reserve judgment until much more time has passed. Like you with the LED unit, I find that some things help for a while, then not. Perhaps that is the novelty effect, I don't know, or the hopeful effect or the placebo effect....who knows.

Re: Egoscue Pain Free and related Questions

Dorothy on 7/31/03 at 12:05 (125789)

This is a pure guess, but it makes intuitive sense to me - your feet feel tired after going barefoot for a short while because you are using the muscles of the feet, rather than the various adjunctive tools (e.g. shoes, orthotics, etc.) to do the foot-work. Your method of going gradually and in short increments makes sense, just as we should do with any new exercise, to build strength and flexibility.

Re: Egoscue Pain Free and related Questions

rose on 7/31/03 at 12:40 (125791)

Yes. He advocates going barefooted, but also doing various exercises to relieve the cause of the foot pain and realign evrything so the cause will disappear.

Re: Egoscue Pain Free and related Questions

rose on 7/31/03 at 12:44 (125792)

Yes. Great answer. Mr. Egoscue says that is exactly it. We need to strenghten those muscles so they can hold the foot correctly and hopefully easing the pain. I think that is why they got away from babies wearing those heavy shoes they used to make them wear. The trend reversed when mykids were little and doctors told us to have our kids go barefooted as much as possible to build strong feet and legs.

Re: Bare feet

Ellen J. on 7/31/03 at 14:59 (125801)

Being the type to research everything, I have been reading alot on the net about going barefoot and I've been reading that when children go barefoot, it allows them to build up much better muscles in the feet and it helps to build the arch, as you mentioned. Apparently all kids are born more or less flat-footed and then over time they develop the arch in the foot. I thought that was really interesting. Also, I find those who run marathons barefooted fascinating! I will sound very ignorant when I say that I think they came from Africa but I have not kept up on my sports at all. Anyway, apparently they went barefoot all their lives, more or less, and have built up enough strength in the feet to be able to do a marathon on paved streets! I think that is awesome! Now, if I have my info wrong, please correct me. Sometimes my memory is a bit vague!
Ellen J.

Re: Bare feet

Dorothy on 8/01/03 at 03:44 (125842)

No, you are quite right. Some of the world's greatest runners run barefoot and are from Kenya and Ethiopia. Truly amazing. But really, the most important thing you need to know to keep up with sports is this: Lance Armstrong!!

Re: Bare feet

Lori W. on 8/01/03 at 18:19 (125927)

I too, have been trying to learn to walk correctly. A few weeks ago I finally purchased some SAS shoes, into which I inserted my orthotics. I noticed a big difference. First of all, I noticed that I must have been walking completely wrong (or maybe I'm walking wrong now). I must have been walking on the right side of my foot before (right foot), because the SAS shoe made me feel like I had to walk on the left side. It made me place my foot heel, ball, toe. It was definitely awkward at first and it would give me an aching pain in the back, right side of my heel. But I noticed a huge improvement in how my foot felt. I started having no first step pain. It was exciting. But now, although better than before, I have backtracked some and am again experiencing pain. I don't know if it is because I'm back to my bad walking habits (which I try not to do) or the placebo effect.

Re: Egoscue Pain Free and related Questions

JudyS on 8/02/03 at 21:00 (126050)

Rose - are you in the San Diego area?