Tuesday, August 16, 2011

My Physical Therapy Regimen

I've been going to the chiropractor for about two months now for ART (Active Release Therapy), and as reported several times earlier, it is finally working. The heel pain varies, but even on the worst days now, it is a lot better than the best days before, starting about a month ago. Today, I feel almost no pain at all when walking. Last Saturday, walking 10 miles, I had moderate pain at times, and I iced the hell out of my heel that day. The very next day, walking 8 miles, I had very little pain.

It's the same way with the ART - when he digs into that heel, hitting the exact sore spot, it always hurts. But several times lately, it was just normal pain. Other times, it hurts quite a bit. But at no time recently has it hurt the way it did two months ago, when I about shrieked like a little kid who's mom took away his ice cream cone.

Along the way, the doctor has added exercises and stretches, which I try to do most days, even though I usually miss one or two of them. In rough order of assignment, the last couple being assigned last week, these now include:

Foot and Achilles stretch (2 sets 4-5 times a day)

Foot roll (roll sore foot on frozen water bottle or foot log)

Slow heel drop (forefeet on step, drop heels slowly to count of six, bring heels back up to count of three - repeat 10 times)

Towel stretch (sit on floor with legs out, loop a towel over one foot and pull back)

Marble pick up - pick up flower pot glass stones with toes. I'm a pro at this now, and have minimal trouble with either foot. I can pick up 50 stones in about 2.5 minutes with my left foot, and about 3 minutes with my right).

Side planks (Get in side plank position and 15 dips each side, then hold the plank for 30 seconds)

Side leg raises (lie on side, raise leg slowly and lower slower, repeat 15 times - 2 sets each leg)

Front planks (I do these with my forearms down, which I can hold for up to 3 minutes; I also do them hands on floor and lower half way down, like being partway through a push up. I can only hold that about 30-40 seconds)

Runner stretch (for upper calf)

Single leg squats (repeat 5 times each leg, trying to get close to 90 degrees - although it is more like 110 degrees for me most of the time)

Four way elastic band (heavy elastic band anchored under the door, 10 repeats each of four ways each leg: (1) to the left (2) to the right (3) forward (4) backwards

That's quite a list. Many of these are for the hips (abductors and adductors) because these muscles are weak with me and many other runners and walkers. Weak hips can cause many problems, including contributing to plantar fasciitis. Well, time to go do a few of these - later!

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