Taking My Own Advice
For the last year, I have been dealing with foot and calf pain (plantar fasciitis and achilles tendinosis) in both legs. For those of you that have ever had or have these conditions, you know it is not fun. When the majority of your steps are painful, walking becomes a chore. And, of course, we all walk – A LOT. Over the past year, I’ve tried many things to help myself heal. Rest, elevating my legs, stretching, heat, inserts, new shoes, etc. I would get temporary relief but nothing permanent. And, if I was feeling better and went for a hike or increased my physical activity in areas that involved my legs, I would exacerbate the issue.
Having an area or areas of the body that are in pain constantly is quite challenging. It informs your mood, energy levels, and feelings of hope or lack thereof. It also changes your activity. Before I started having this issue, I was walking or hiking 30-40 miles per week. I love being outside. It is part of what nurtures and heals my spirit. It has been difficult for me emotionally to not be able to engage with nature in this way.
Over the course of this year, because of this condition, I have been angry, sad, frustrated, and hopeless. For me, this tends to make the pain feel worse as it reinforces ideas like: “I’m never going to get better”, “I can’t do the things I enjoy”, and “This is the worst pain ever”. While these thoughts are natural and normal, too much of this roots us into our pain and our experience and doesn’t allow for hope. Hope is vital for the healing experience.
When I have clients with a chronic pain issue like this, I generally recommend, at a minimum, weekly appointments until they start to notice a shift in the quality of the sensations they are feeling – preferably in a positive direction. What this means is less pain, improved range of motion, and increased feelings that healing is happening. Most people still think of massage as simply a time to relax and while relaxation is certainly part of the equation, I encourage my clients to also think of massage as health care.
Getting regular bodywork was the one thing that I wasn’t doing for my legs. So much for taking my own advice, right?!? Over the past few months, I have been receiving weekly bodywork at earthspiritwisdom for my legs – and the rest of me. This has made a world of difference!!! My condition has improved by 80% and I expect that it will continue to improve.
- Get regular bodywork – have an honest discussion with your therapist about your needs and work together to come up with a suitable treatment plan.
- Manage your thoughts. When you have defeating thoughts about what your body is experiencing, check in to see if your thoughts are true (is it really the worst pain EVER?). Can you replace this thought with something that feels better?
- Consider starting a meditation practice. Meditation has been proven to reduce pain in the body.
- Check in with your doctor.
- Find other movement options that make your body feel good and support healing.
- Most importantly – keep the faith. Our bodies have an amazing capacity for healing!
This blog is not designed to and does not provide medical advice. All content available on or through this blog is for general information purposes only. The content is not intended to be a substitute for medical diagnosis or treatment. Amy C. Anderson, LMT is not responsible or liable for any advice, course of treatment, diagnosis or any other information, services or products obtained through this blog.