When I have experienced a problem with my health, I am reminded of how important it is to take care of myself. On airplanes, they teach us, put your oxygen mask on first, then help others. We need our health before anything else in our lives can really work well. This isn't the world we live in, is it? It's take care of everything and everyone else, before we take care of ourselves. Today I'll share about an injury I had, how and what I did to resolve it, and how I keep it resolved. I will also share on the larger topic of self care and finally will educate you a little more on chiropractic (of course).
Quite a few years ago, I had pain in my heel when I got out of bed. The first step was excruciating. Specifically the pain was on the inside or medial side of my heel right where the arch ends and meets the heel bone. I could barely walk, running was definitely out. If you haven't guessed it yet, I had Plantar Fasciitis. The first thing I did was go to my chiropractor. I was in chiropractic school at the time so I knew enough to have my chiropractor, who is my doctor to check it out first. He checked my whole spine for bones out of alignment or what chiropractors refer to as subluxations. He especially checked the bones in my low back because if these are subluxated then our brains cannot communicate effectively through the spine to the foot (to heal correctly). Once my spine was clear, he also looked at my foot. We have 26 bones in each foot and if those become fixated, they will pull and push on muscle groups all the way up from there. Our feet being out of alignment can affect everything north of them. He mobilized both feet (because I have 2). He also gave me stretches, mainly calf stretches, focusing on the gastrocnemius and soleus. This wasn't all I had to do. Each night I rolled the arch of my foot out with either a lacrosse ball or a frozen water bottle. I had to do constant work on this daily for about 6 months. I went to my chiropractor weekly, and stretched daily. Lastly, I started personal training prior to my injury and had to stop activity completely because of the injury. I needed to use what I had paid for otherwise I would've lost it, so I started to slowly exercise again. The trainer I had was phenomenal. She rehabilitated my foot by strengthening all the muscles in my legs and even my upper body. It was after the 7th session that I could run again, which was unimaginable when I hurt my foot initially. Finally, I got pedicures every week. This was before foot massage places were on every corner and I knew I could receive an inexpensive foot massage to muscles I could not reach. I still keep up most of these habits but I don't have to baby my foot anymore. Now it's my other foot that I'm having trouble with because I spent so much time on the other one. More to come about that.
Now on self care. What does this mean? The first part is not being so hard on ourselves. How often do we talk to ourselves in a negative way, that some how we are not doing enough, being enough, making enough, exercising enough, eating right, etc. The first lesson here is to be gentle with yourself. You are enough. Too often I beat myself up for when I simply just want to do nothing. It's hard to do nothing, and yet so necessary. Rest is just as important as eating healthy, meditation, exercising, working, etc. The second recommendation on self care is turn off the tv, well, mainly the news. There's nothing good there. iIve noticed how simply watching tv has lowered my mood, not just the news but the commercials. I often wonder at the end of any show if I have depression, bad circulation, heart problems, restless leg syndrome, headaches, pain, and whatever else the drug companies are trying to push that day. Finally, the third lesson, is go outside, in nature, even if it's just a 10 minute walk. Something about being outside heightens our mood and clears our head so we can feel energized and able to solve life's whirling wind of challenges.
Next...what is chiropractic and how can it help you? Mainly I can talk about how it's helped me. I had terrible back pain at the age of 28, I went to a chiropractor and my whole life changed. It began this incredible journey of self care. It really did start with having my spine in the correct alignment and continuing regular chiropractic care as a form of a wellness practice. Chiropractic is an art, science and philosophy. It is built on the truth that life force energy runs through our bodies and when trapped, via the spine, dis-ease occurs. When people have their spine adjusted, they describe that they feel a freedom they didn't know was possible that is beyond pain relief. Is it the be all end all? No, but it's pretty close. ;)
Finally, take care of yourself, first. Yes people may call you selfish, but in the end no one will take care of you best, but you. First, get adjusted regularly, second take care of your feet, and third move your body/go outside.
Note: I also have a lot of foot recommendations beyond what I talked about here. If you're in the Vancouver/Portland area, you can call our office (360.909.2566) or schedule an appointment online via this website.