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In Defense of Else B

Posted by KJ on 12/16/04 at 11:54 (165736)

I've been ‘cured' of pf for about 6 months now. I've been reading this board for about two years and this is my first post. The second part of Elyse's post of a few days ago summarized my cure, namely strengthening and stretching (which is nothing new). I've thought about posting the detailed stretches and exercises that I've been doing daily, but too often I've seen well intentioned people unfairly criticized and giving up on this site. I agree with Elyse B. that one should take from this site whatever may be of use and ignore the rest, that's what I did and I'm very grateful for all of the good information.

Re: In Defense of Else B

Elyse B on 12/16/04 at 12:25 (165747)

I would love the details of your stretches and stengthening exercises KJ. I am trying to research some good strengthening exercises for my feet and arches, found anything your could offer would be greatly apprciated by me at least.

Re: In Defense of Else B

Lynn F. on 12/16/04 at 14:12 (165754)

Elyse - while I'm not KJ, I can offer the following (non weight bearing) strengthening exercises I'm doing in physical therapy that work for me:

1. Keeping toes and heels on the ground, lift arches - repeat 30 times.
2. Keeping feet on the ground lift and spread toes then set them back down on floor - keeping them spread. (difficult at first but gets better with practice)
3. Creeps - keeping feet flat on floor, slide them from left to right then back again, like so.. \\ // \\ //
4. Calf stretches - Standing in front of wall, place ball of foot at base of wall keeping heel on ground and the other foot extended behind you, keeping both legs straight. Gently pull hips toward wall and hold for 30 seconds (you should feel slight pull in calf) Repeat 3 times.

Then there are the obvious ones..

- pick up marbles and drop in cup - 4 minutes
- roll tennis ball under arch - 2 minutes
- scrunch a towel up with toes - 4 minutes.

Hope this is helpful!

Re: In Defense of Else B

Elyse B on 12/16/04 at 14:15 (165755)

Lynn thanks, I am just curious about no. 1, how the heck can you lift arches while toes and heels are on floor?

Re: In Defense of Else B

Lynn F. on 12/16/04 at 14:26 (165757)

Very carefully! LOL!! It seems impossible at first, but you'd be surprised at how easy it becomes. I guess our feet are just not accustomed to doing these maneuvers. But I can tell you, after being in agony (several weeks post ESWT) - it is helping.

Re: In Defense of Else B

Julie on 12/16/04 at 14:47 (165762)

Elyse, it can be difficult at first because it is an unfamiliar movement to which your muscles aren't accustomed. It can also be difficult because the muscles are weak: therefore they need the exercise! Go to the yoga foot exercises: I added a description of this exercise at the end of that post some time ago, which may help you.

Re: In Defense of Else B

Elyse B on 12/16/04 at 15:06 (165764)

thanks Lynn and Julie. I can do and visualize the grasping and moving the ankle exercises but it does seem virtually impossible to just move my arches. I will try.

Re: In Defense of Else B

Susan on 12/16/04 at 15:07 (165765)

Julie showed me that before. It's really cool when you realize how to do it.

Re: In Defense of Else B

Tina H on 12/17/04 at 15:00 (165808)

I don't get it either, I can only move my arch if I move the heels or toes. Hmmm maybe this is why I have pf?

Re: Arch lifts

Lynn F. on 12/17/04 at 15:47 (165809)

They seemed impossible to me at first too. My therapist suggested turning fee outward slightly if necessary when initially attempting to do them, but that with time and practice I would do them keeping feet flat. He was right. Once I started to build strength they become quite easy to do.

Re: In Defense of Else B

Julie on 12/17/04 at 15:52 (165810)

Tina, you do move your toes. You move them back towards your heels, keeping them on the ground.

Re: In Defense of Else B

Susan on 12/17/04 at 16:31 (165814)

Your toes do move, but it's more than a toe curl and more than just bending at the toe joint. It seems to me that part or maybe most of the arch lift occurs due to bringing into play muscle(s?) right in the middle of the arch on the underside.

Re: In Defense of Else B

Lynn F. on 12/18/04 at 00:11 (165824)

Exactly, Susan. The toes will naturally curl but the goal (as explained by my therapist) is to train the arch to lift, without bending the toes, so that the arch muscle does the work and becomes stronger.

Re: In Defense of Else B

Julie on 12/18/04 at 01:48 (165826)

It may help if you think of it as lifting the *instep* while drawing the toes back towards the heel. The toes shouldn't curl.

Re: In Defense of Else B

Lynn F. on 12/19/04 at 22:06 (165868)

Thanks Julie, that's a better way to describe them. The operative word being 'think' as it seems to require a bit of concentration at first to do them.