Friday, January 4, 2013

You mean...there's hope?

Well, I went to the chiropractor yesterday.  I was so nervous especially since the Mr wasn't with me; he's my cure for white coat syndrome (aka- my blood pressure skyrocketing.)  Before I even went back, I could feel myself tearing up and I had to blink to not let any tears fall.  Note to self:  don't schedule new docs visits the week before Aunt Flo is scheduled to visit.  The receptionists were so super nice and every patient that came out was smiling, joking or saying how much better they felt.  Another good sign.  He was late by about 20 minutes but I don't usually mind that for good doctors because it tells me they spend time with their patients.  He's probably in his 30's which I like because I don't like an old fogey not up on the latest but also don't want Doogie putting down his sucker to talk to me after nap time.  I liked that in his bio it said he treated marathoners, was into healthy living, a personal trainer and wants to get people back to their healthy lifestyles asap.  We went back to his room and as he asked me what I was in for, I started to tell him and then the floodgates opened.  I apologized profusely and told him maybe a visual would help and I pulled out a comparison picture I had on our fridge of us with our friend who had also lost weight since the first time we met.  I told him I'd lost over 200 lbs and I am terrified this will sideline me from being able to lose the rest and I've lost hope.  I brought in my list of symptoms, issues and diagnosis which he said he really appreciated.  (I always do this and the docs do seem to really like having it all spelled out for them)

He examined my feet (my podiatrist never did...just an x-ray!) and said he thought I was suffering from two different issues but they're intertwined so he thought I would benefit most from laser therapy to get rid of scar tissue from the heel spur on the back.  When I told him the things the podiatrist had me doing like the compression hose (but they pinch me right in the front bend of the foot where the nerve hurts), the night splint at 90 degrees (stretching the calf muscle but putting severe pressure on the bend of the front of the ankle) and then compressing the nerves in a flexible cast that first week, he said he understood what direction she was heading with those methods but unfortunately they were making me worse.  My nerves need to be free and I need to work on strengthening the functional muscles in my foot.  I got the foot scan and it's moderate pronation and you could see where the most pressure was.  He didn't push the orthotics on me.  He didn't really seem to think they were the most important aspect of the problem.  He said he doesn't like Dr Scholl's so he said the stacking I was doing with the heel spur pad and active series might end up causing more problems.  He said to get a good arch support insert with a good heel cup but still stopped short of recommending the custom ones.

He stretched out the muscle group above my outer ankle (where most of my pain is) and said it was very tight and he suspected that my muscles that surround my shin are very weak and I need to strengthen them because my feet seem to be overcompensating. He said doing a few particular stretches at home, along with a couple laser treatments and maybe one vibration plate session could be all I need to be back up to speed. (Insert Shelly Fabares' Johnny Angel here.  I think this is where light strewn from behind him and he gave a wink with a tooth sparkle off of his now gleaming smile.)

Here are the exercises he recommended for my particular issues...

The Imaginary Marble
I have to imagine a marble where the dot is and envision pulling point A to B and C to D to keep the "marble" stable and from falling off of my foot while keeping the toes flat on the floor.  If I do them standing up, I lean slightly forward to engage the muscles in the front of my leg.  I do these daily as often as possible.

Soleus Achilles Stretch


This is kind of like a typical standing calf stretch except bending both knees to stretch the muscles that are all bunged up on me.  (The muscles just below the calf muscles)  You can read more about it here.  I have to do it in the morning and after every workout.

The "Duck Walk"

I couldn't find a fancy graphic for this one so I'll have to describe it.  Basically a half squat, lift the toes back and walk on your heels.  I have to do this 2-3x week.

I'm still under orders for no weight bearing exercises but things like squats where I am stationary and such are cleared so long as they don't cause pain when I'm standing otherwise stop and get off my feet.  He said I can walk as long as it's comfortable because while "rest and ice" are nice in theory, it's vague.  I also have to use my spiky ball to keep the tissue soft and pliable.  "Ice massage" can also be beneficial where you take a Dixie cup, fill it with water and freeze it and after a workout use it to rub all over the affected areas.  (Think the ice cube trick in Duran Duran's night version of Girls on Film but without the controversy.)  He said as the nerve issues go away I can do an "ice bath" on the foot only after workouts to reduce inflammation and trace the alphabet in the tub my foot is in.

As you can see, all of this is heads above the blase crap the podiatrist gave me.  For the first time, I have hope.  I am VERY sore this morning.  Various muscles he worked and various muscles I worked doing my exercises last night.  My Soleus stretch this morning while brushing my teeth really felt it in the achilles so I've already ultrasounded that bad boy to get circulation moving.  I am ecstatic to report NO twitchies not only last night but this morning as well!  That's not to say they're gone completely but it's a step in the right direction and I couldn't be happier...something I haven't felt for quite a few weeks.

Have you ever had to do laser therapy or physical therapy?  

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35 comments:

  1. I am so happy for you to finally have some hope in all of this. I really think you lucked out and found the right doctor this time and I am hopeful that your foot is going to heal and be better than ever!

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    1. Thanks hon! I think I did luck out with this doc but I lucked out even more having you for a hubby. Thank you for everything you've done to help me, you're the best!

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  2. Sounds like you had a very good experience! WOOT!!

    I have no laser/PT experiences to share so I'll just WOOT!! for you again.

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  3. All I can say is follow what the doctor says. Sounds like he knows what he is doing.

    Have not had laser therapy, but I have any PT. About two years ago I went in for bone spur surgery and they ended up having to cut my achilles tendon, the spur was so big that it had cut the tendon to 2 mm from snaping. SO...... PT did help, but the what helped the most was all the exercises at home.

    Good luck


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    1. I absolutely will! I am SO sore from doing the stretches but I know it'll be that way for a few days until my body adjusts. I just need to make sure these exercises are a part of my life for good just like you.

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  4. Awesome! Awesome! I think chiropractors are sometimes the closest to being "alternative" thinkers in the way of offering treatment. And they are great about giving you exercises to do at home and keep you from having to come back. Sounds like you found a good one!

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    1. Yes, I definitely think I will be utilizing him for any issues I have. Hopefully I don't have to see him often due to amazing healing skills but for now, I feel like I'm in good hands!

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  5. Awesome!! thats a positive..way to go..glad u like ur doc, which is key and he was helpful without piling u with recommended products..

    heal up!!

    MAnasa

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    1. Definitely! I think I found a winner which is half the battle!

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  6. Sounds like you have lucked out with a good practitioner. I have done PT twice, but never with lasers. Both visits were for the shoulders. The first was due to muscle degeneration and exercises with electrical muscle stimulators and heat were prescribed. The second time is currently ongoing and is due to a car accident. This time I am being treated with heat, dry needling, ultraviolet light, and home exercises. It seems to be working since I am no longer having pain sitting at my desk, driving, and some of the strength is coming back. I can now hold a plank and do more of my Pilates exercises that I found painful after the accident.

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    1. I'm glad to hear your doing better and have had positive experiences. It sounds like a success in the making!

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  7. Yay! Yay! Yay! Yay! So glad to hear you had a good experience and are already seeing results!! Keep doing what you know is working and you'll be back better than ever soon!

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    1. Yes, I'm feeling so much more confident in a recovery after seeing someone who has treated this and is optimistic. I had no idea the difference that would make.

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  8. I'm so glad you had a good experience. The fit with a doctor's personality makes all the difference. I'm glad he's given you hope and that you're already seen some improvement.

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    1. It DEFINITELY does! Fingers crossed I'm better sooner than later since the podiatrist basically set me back 3 weeks.

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  9. I'm so happy things went well for you. I really do like physical therapists. They are pretty awesome. Keep working at it. I'm sure you'll be moving along in no time!

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    1. I was glad to see he was also a sports physical therapist. At least he gave me some direction unlike my pod. :\

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  10. Sounds like all things went well at your appt. My podiatrist did the whole splint, boot thing with me and fucked me up more. Ortho DR or chiro, no more podiatrists!

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    1. Sounds like our podiatrists went to the same school!

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  11. Sounds like you found a great doctor who is accustomed to treating people who use their feet for exercise! I hope this works for you and you are able to be back doing all your regular exercises and walking. I still am in awe of your continuing to workout - doing what you can and modifying! You are the queen of no excuses!!

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    1. I sure hope so, it feels right from all angles. Even the staff at the podiatrists office were uptight and would cower when she walked into the room which was weird. The chiro staff were all laughing, joking, super nice, etc. Yep, no stopping me with the workouts! I'd be insane if I didn't have that time to work on keeping up my strength. I could crack walnuts with my new biceps but I'm getting REALLY bored with the limited options. I want to snowshoe!

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  12. YEA!!!!!! I was so happy to read your blog today! I LOVE my current Chiro. I was very nervous about going to him after my previous one retired. Imagine my surprise when the new guy (who bought the practice from the retired guy) was SOOOO much better, hands on and took his time. When you find the right one it is amazing. Glad to see you have hope and that there is positive progress! Good luck with the exercises and working to getting back to being active!

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    1. Thanks Jen! I'm so glad your new chiro was a pleasant surprise. There's nothing worse than going from someone you trust to someone who isn't the right fit for you.

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  13. I'm SOO happy for you! I'm glad things seem to be headed in the right direction finally.

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    1. Thanks Holly! Despite extreme soreness muscle wise today and not really being able to walk well, I see other improvements which are encouraging.

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  14. I know exactly what you mean about the angelic light and tooth gleam. The same thing happened when my new doctor diagnosed me with insulin resistance instead of assuming I couldn't keep cake out of my mouth.

    I'm so happy for you!

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    1. Isn't it funny how a good doctor can make such a big difference in your life! Mmm, cake. Oh wait, that wasn't what I should've taken away from that was it? ;)

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  15. I am so happy to hear you got a good doctor who actually listened to you! He sounds like he really knows what he's doing and wants to work with you to get better. What a blessing hope is!!! His bio fit his persona in action, which isn't always the case with some docs. I liked the dixie cup concept. A physical therapist I worked with at my old job told me about taking a plastic water bottle, pouring a bit out before freezing (to allow for expansion) and roling my foot on that after exercising because of the plantar fasciatis I had. To me it's a treat for my feet I look forward to! =o)

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    1. Thanks beautiful! That is an AWESOME trick with the water bottle, I am SO stealing that! I hope others read that too since PF seems to be so prevalent. As far as the bio's not matching up, I agree. My podiatrist was on these boards with awards and it said she was a personal trainer but I think it was one of those deals where she just got certified but doesn't put it into action since she recommended her "workout partner" who is an active personal trainer. So I felt a little duped. I've read enough about nerves, muscles and arch support to take a test, doesn't make me a podiatrist. HA!

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  16. I had to do psychical therapy with I was pregnant. My daughter had managed to kick my kibs up and between her kicking them and the plcentea was growing larger than what my stomache was Long ways so that moved my ribs up. It was PAINFUL. It would put me in pain to the point I would throw up!.It also stretched me so much I gained a lovely 50 pounds And over 8 months I have managed to get off 12 of them so I am now trying weight watchers! And hopefully I can get back healthy.

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  17. I'm so excited for you to find such a great doctor!!!!! I know how discouraging it can be with prescriptions/etc that are not working!!! I hope things continue to heal!!

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  18. Yay! So glad you are finding your hope again! I got teary eyed too reading the first part of this post (AF is coming soon for me now) b/c I can only imagine how hard this must be for you! You've worked so hard and accomplished so much that this injury just plain sucks :( I'm glad this Dr seems to be actually helping you rather than giving you BS treatments.

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  19. And he didn't try to crack your back or pop your neck? ;) I'm so glad you found a chiro that you like and are comfortable with. It sounds like he really listened to you and I'm SO glad you have a glimmer of hope again.

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  20. I'm sorry you are injured!!! I am too. I've been dealing with Runner's knee since September. It sucks. I've been doing the physical therapy religiously since and while I've gotten better, it's so slow. I wish I could heal faster. :(

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