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My A.R.T. provider gave me the boot!

Posted by Aly on 10/24/03 at 12:05 (135303)

Well just as I anticipated, my Active Release provider gave up on me last night and said he didn't see the point of me continuing b/c I'm not showing improvement. This after week 4 (7 appointments), and after I'd told him many times that it took Hilary 7 weeks to start to improve. What a jerk! 8-(PIPE) I don't understand these people who become doctors but don't seem to have any interest in healing. I started sensing his lack of interest around appt #4 - he really stopped trying after that. To add insult to injury, last night he was touching my foot gently and saying, 'See, it's so much better than it was when we first started.' When we first started, he used all of his strength to push his fingers into the tissue, which was excruciating. So yeah, it hurt less yesterday, when he was giving me what amounted to a gentle massage. Grrr.

So I'm going to try the other provider in the area, unfortunately she doesn't take my insurance so my visits will go up to $80/session instead of the $20 I was paying. I don't know if I can afford that, but I'll do if for as long as I can...

Thanks for letting me vent. Just add him to the long list of lousy doctors I've been to...


Re: My A.R.T. provider gave me the boot!

nancy s. on 10/24/03 at 12:16 (135308)

so sorry to hear that, aly. your experience is similar to that of many. some providers have no patience with a foot ailment, maybe not understanding the hugely serious impact it can have on one's life. a good number of physical therapists also get discouraged and hurry you out the door if you don't show signs of improvement within a couple of weeks. but that's no excuse! it stinks, but all you can do is keep looking. i hope your next try has more psychological endurance and perseverance. if so, and your a.r.t. treatments go on and end up helping, maybe this person would consider a sliding scale fee at some point? $80 is a lot, even if it isn't over the going rate.


Re: My A.R.T. provider gave me the boot!

Aly on 10/24/03 at 12:27 (135314)

Thanks Nancy,
You know, I will check with her and see if she can help me out a bit. If she's good and this ends up helping, it's worth it to me. :)

Re: My A.R.T. provider gave me the boot!

JudyS on 10/24/03 at 12:30 (135315)

Aly - with all due respect to your ART professional, seven visits is definately not enough. I was in it for about three months starting at 3X/week then tapering down.
I have a physical therapist who, I think, is the very best at the treatment. He was sort of on the cutting edge here in San Diego. If you want, I'll bet he'd be willing talk with your guy.
(email removed)

Re: My A.R.T. provider gave me the boot!

Suzanne D on 10/24/03 at 12:38 (135318)

I'm so sorry, Aly. Situations just aren't fair sometimes. HOPEFULLY, the new provider (even though more expensive) will be better, and you'll still see improvement! I hope that's the case.

Hang in there,
Suzanne :)

Re: My A.R.T. provider gave me the boot!

Aly on 10/24/03 at 12:54 (135329)

Ah, Judy, don't give him any respect! I think I will try the new person - even though she's much pricier, I really didn't care much for the therapist I was seeing. It wasn't like he gave up hope that he could help, but moreso wasn't interested if he couldn't make the crippled girl walk. That attitude made me angry - it was his own ego that was the problem. In any case, with this new person - if it turns out that I don't like her either, then perhaps I will take you up on your offer, as there's only the 2 of them in my area. Thanks, it was thoughtful of you.

Btw, when did you first start to notice a difference in the way your feet felt with ART?

Re: My A.R.T. provider gave me the boot!

JudyS on 10/24/03 at 13:12 (135334)

Aly - my feet were, without question, a seriously extreme case by the time I got in to the ART-style treatment. I'd really abused them and had, consequently, built up a lot of scarring. I couldn't walk for five minutes.
My PT dug in with that seriously deep work and it hurt like heck but I stuck it out (no comments from you, John h :) ). After about four treatments I found that my feet would feel 'looser' and be more comfortable for about a day (once the pain from the treatment abated). That amount of 'good' time gradually increased.
Eventually the PT could no longer feel the scarring, and my PF was hugely relieved - but not gone. Some months later I had my first ESWT with Dr. Z. After several months I had another and my healing has taken place slowly but surely ever since.
After my four years of experience, I believe firmly that relief comes slowly but surely if one is absolutely diligent about self-treatment.

Re: My A.R.T. provider gave me the boot!

Aly on 10/24/03 at 13:17 (135336)

Sounds like I'm at where you were at. Did you have 'regular' PF with first-step pain or atypical PF?

Re: My A.R.T. provider gave me the boot!

JudyS on 10/24/03 at 13:29 (135340)

Mine were the classic symptoms. Eventually (when I woke up to the fact that I'd have to DO something about my PF!) I found that the first-step pain was less and less problematic if I took about fifteen minutes to gently stretch and loosen my feet before I got up. Some folks have successfully used a night-splint overnight for the same reason.
I still do the morning routine religiously.

Re: My A.R.T. provider gave me the boot!

marie on 10/24/03 at 15:26 (135357)


Sorry to hear about the treatment you recieved. Hope you can find someone better for the right price.

best wishes marie

Re: Could that be why.... ?

Carole C in NOLA on 10/24/03 at 15:37 (135358)

Maybe your fifteen minute morning stretching routine be at least part of the reason why you are doing so well, Judy. That sounds like a great regimen and one that would benefit me also if I would just do it. I usually stretch a little in the morning, but more like 15 seconds than 15 minutes.

It's very encouraging to read your stories about traveling all over the country and playing competitive softball or baseball (I've forgotten which, but either one is just totally out of my realm of possibilities so I'm in awe! LOL)

Carole C

Re: My A.R.T. provider gave me the boot!

nancy s. on 10/24/03 at 16:26 (135369)

what about you, aly: are your pf symptoms classic or atypical? mine were Classic with the capital C, e.g., get up from bed or from a 10-minute sit in a chair and fall over in agony from That Spot under the heel. onto the floor.

in case this is relevant, my physical therapist did not practice a.r.t. per se, as i understand it, but she slowly over time (six months) built up to extremely deep massage. (i was sent to her for pf and also for the achilles, peroneal, and post tib tendonitis that had developed.) the sessions were excruciating, but she knew what she was doing, and i would say my pt played a pretty major role in my eventual 75% recovery.

after each session, she wouldn't let me off the table without icing my feet and ankles with giant freezer bags kept as cold as you'd ever want to imagine anything being.

but it was great. like judy, my feet felt looser somehow -- tenderized, maybe (as in meat tenderizing!). so by the time i got to my vehicle in the parking lot, i'd be wiping away tears while at the same time saying 'man, my feet feel so much better.'


Re: My A.R.T. provider gave me the boot!

Carole C in NOLA on 10/24/03 at 17:06 (135378)

Whew, my feet felt like they had been tenderized by a body builder banging on the bottom of them with one of those tenderizing mallets, after I overdid it a few days ago. But in my case, it wasn't a good feeling!

I'm glad that ART helped you and I'm sure that kind of tenderizing is a much better experience. LOL

Carole C

Re: My A.R.T. provider gave me the boot!

Aly on 10/24/03 at 17:35 (135382)

Hi Nancy,

I have atypical PF, my feet feel better the longer I'm off them. And I too found that my feet felt looser and tenderized afterward, that's kind of a good way to put it. Shoot! I just realized in writing to you that I forgot to follow up with that new practioner! I spent all day looking after my feet but still managed to forget the most important thing. Oh well! Monday it is.

Have a good weekend, I'm gone until Monday!


Re: My A.R.T. provider gave me the boot!

HilaryG on 10/25/03 at 08:35 (135439)

Hi Aly- I'm so sorry to hear about that jerk who gave up on you. What an idiot. He obviously has no real experience with PF, possibly not even with ART. I'm so glad you are going to give the other provider a chance. You do know that I too have atypical PF. I really think ART is our best bet. ESWT and EPF are not as likely to help atypical PF as the typical kind (at least from what I've read on heelspurs.com). And I was also told that I cannot even try EPF surgery because my feet are so flat. Please let us know how it goes with the new provider. As you know I believe ART has given me back my life, but then my chiro has been doing it for a long time (not sure exactly how long) and has a lot of experience with PF. Now I go every other wk and sometimes not even that often. i only have occasional twinges of pain, but mostly I feel fine. I would say I am at least 95% better, and I attribute it all to ART. Hilary

Re: My A.R.T. provider gave me the boot!

Aly on 10/27/03 at 12:45 (135751)

Thanks, Hilary, for the support. Even though i suspected he'd do it, I was upset by it nonetheless. There's nothing more depressing than having a doctor give up on you and lose interest in your case when you're in pain.

I'd forgotten you had atypical PF too. I'm trying to be hopeful, but I've been going through one of those 'I'll never walk a city block again!' phases. I appreciate your following my progress (or, so far, lack thereof!) I'll let you know when I've seen the new provider... :)