Friday, July 24, 2009

Trigger Point Therapy: Foot Pain

The Trigger Point Therapy Workbook: Your Self-Treatment Guide for Pain Relief, Second Edition

Foot Pain
: I had foot pain that began inexplicably. No moment of injury, just pain that came out of nowhere. I found a name for it, plantar fasciitis, but no cure. Plantar fasciitis, it seems, isn't much more than a description of the area of pain, without doing much to say about its cause or how to heal it.

It was really weird pain, more so than my knees, which had been somewhat inconsistent, but always there if even slightly. But my foot pain would disappear almost entirely when I would run hard in a game of ultimate (frisbee). I'd feel it now and then in the course of the game, but for the most part it went away, but came back strong afterwards. And this was pain that was sometimes excruciating to the point of barely being able to walk. Over a long stretch of days when the pain remained fairly high, I was concerned I might even have a stress fracture. But this highest level of pain would usually only come if I was on my feet for long periods of time. So, it hurt if I walked, but largely went away if I ran. Say what? Some days it hurt, some days it didn't, others days it came an went. Strange.

I ultimately attributed the source of my pain to a pair of shoes I wore that were cushy, but mushy, and didn't provide the support my feet needed. But, I don't really know if the shoes were the main factor, or if perhaps my part time job spent walking around the bookstore and frequently going up and down the stairs combined with my often brisk walk to class up a hill were the main cause. I ditched the shoes for another pair, but it didn't cure me.

Eventually I discovered plantar fasciitis discussed in The Trigger Point Therapy Workbook. My foot pain had nothing to do with my feet, but with the trigger points in my lower leg muscles. Go figure. Properly treating the trigger points relieved my foot pain, but I wasn't as diligent as I needed to be, so it never fully went away. However, I stopped experiencing the occasional stop-me-in-my-tracks pain. Later on I developed the same pain in my other foot, but I just didn't work on the trigger points sufficiently to get anything more than mostly relieved. Being that it wasn't a pain that was constant, but only occasional, I didn't think about it often enough to treat it as frequently as necessary.

Foot Pain Gone
The pain finally went fully away, strangely enough, after an athletic tournament where we played six games in two days. My legs were pushed to their limits, and my only explanation for the foot pain going and staying away after these two days was due to the muscles being stretched and worked to their limits, and for whatever reason, this released the trigger points, which are small nodules of contracted muscle. I'm assuming the contracted muscle, these trigger points, couldn't keep their hold through being pushed through such a rigorous athletic effort. Certainly, whatever the full explanation, the foot pain was certainly not due to any sort of injury, but the trigger point explanation seemed to me to fit perfectly. The trigger points were finally released somehow through vigorous, force-my-legs-to-get-up-and-move-again-for-one-last-game tournament.

I don't recommend that as a treatment, but it may work for you, who knows. But I can confidently recommend trigger point therapy.

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