I was ALWAYS a very fit woman even in my 40's. Nothing extreme, just always moving & energetic, great diet, etc. Until I turned 41 - my back started giving me trouble. Fast forward to me going to PT to get my back in better shape in Fall 2012. Then late Dec 2012 - PT is great until one rushed day when she stretched my right leg too far too fast. Didn't feel like anything until 2 hrs later, OMG, the pain in the sole of my right foot & low back! I couldn't walk without a limp. I had never had foot pain before, ever. I couldn't sit on anything soft because of the pain it would cause my low back.
It got worse. I had an MRI (slight disc bulge, but nothing that would cause such pain). I tried everything over the next few months - acupuncture, chiropractor, spine drs, orthopedist, physiatrist, neurologist, steroid shot, supplements, stretching, walking through the pain, ice, heat, epsom salt baths 3+ times a day, etc etc. My life became a nightmare of pain - unable to ambulate properly, I had to crawl around my house. I could barely drive. I was given a temp handicap parking placard and told to get a cane. I used to run, bike 40 miles a week, garden, now I was reduced to a cane and suggestions of back surgery in less than a couple of months of being in great shape and NO pain?? My sole of my foot and my back was on fire; other parts of me was starting to deteriorate as a result.
Now, I am a big reviewer on here because I believe in the power of the truth and word of mouth to help others. And I depend on it as well to help me. So I was going through a review of what, I do not remember, maybe a supplement that might alleviate pain, and it mentions looking into trigger point therapy. I am so glad I followed the trail to this book.
By the time I got to this book, it was November 2013. Not quite a year into my hell. My family was suffering, watching me suffer. I would lay around and try not to wince or cry out when I had to get up, knowing my kids were watching. I shuffled around. I missed so many of my kid's activities.
Anyway, I got the Kindle version, and I look in this book as fast as I can for how to manage pain for the sole of my foot. Imagine my surprise - THAT pain originates in my CALF?? NO! So I look for the tender spot it tells me to and OUCH!! THERE IT IS! Painful, in the meat of my calf. I start to gently work on it. It was painful and would get sore with massage, but I worked through it. This was the Saturday before Thanksgiving.
Monday before Thanksgiving - TONS to do. Cleaning for family, shopping, etc. I tell my husband I am going out to get groceries at a couple of different stores, he looks worried. How can you handle it, he asks. He knows I usually can only do about a half hour out then come home and rest. I insist, tired of being so disabled. I go to one, two, three stores. I am out for over 2 hrs. And...THERE IS NO PAIN IN MY FOOT. NONE. I am stunned. No pain from driving, which usually exacerbates it. No limping. Normal gait for the most part, though not perfect due to almost a year of altered gait/limp. UNBELIEVABLE! I come home and my husband rushes out to help me, worried that I am going to be in a bad, bad place pain wise.
My husband cannot believe it either. We both are thrilled.
Now, I have to get to work on all the other trigger points that have cropped up due to my altered walk, excessive crawling, and poor sleep posture to work around pain, as well as my low back issues.
It took some time. It took work. I ordered the actual book so I can highlight and dog ear pages. For low back pain, your glutes carry some heavy duty trigger points. If you sit a lot, you probably have trigger points.
My foot pain is 100% gone, but after a bike ride I can feel it creep back in. I just pull out my lacrosse ball & roll it out, done. The book warns this can happen, so knowing what to expect and then managing it is most of the battle. Low back pain has cleared up around 80 - 90%. TPs have a tendency to return esp in a cold environment (I'm in Boston) and esp if they've been there a while. So it can be a bit of work but very worth it.
I have lost a lot of muscle so there is a weakness there, I am working on regaining all the strength I lost.
What I cannot understand is why all the specialists I saw in Boston - land of great doctors! - NONE of them thought of this? Even the PHYSIATRIST? Isn't this supposed to be their specialty, muscle and soft tissue pain mgt & recovery? I told my neuro about this and she said "it makes sense".
It's is some work to keep up with all the trigger points that crop up but I do it while watching TV or listening to music.
If you have soft tissue pain that nothing else seems to help, you have NOTHING to lose here. You can also Google your pain symptom and 'trigger point therapy' and find some solutions. There are also great YouTube videos on it.
BTW, if you stretch a tired or cold muscle too fast/too hard it can set off a trigger point. That's what happened with my PT that day. If I had known about trigger point therapy, I could have saved myself from a year of hell on me and my family, as well as the bills.
I recommend a cleaner diet, some good supplements like good filtered water, magnesium, milk thistle, Vitamin D & K2, potassium and calcium to help you flush out the toxins that triggers points can gather. Fresh air, constant movement versus just sitting. Excessive sitting and lying around make soft tissue pain worse. Stand for half of your tv show. Micro breaks from your laptop. Move around more, get blood flowing, blood flow to an injured area is healing. I love Tiger Balm for night time stiffness or to help get your circulation going on a painful spot.
There are also some good videos and a Ted Talk on the science of pain in the brain that are worth watching. If you have been in pain for a long time, your brain actually can become hypersensitive to even tiny pain stimulus. An exaggerated response. It is important to retrain the brain not to overreact to small incidents. I took a nasty fall on my bike last week and was totally panicked, as I have not fully recovered from this past year's trauma. I was hurting that day pretty bad but it didn't turn into anything more than sore arms & shoulders for a couple of days. I had to keep telling myself not every boo boo turns into a year's worth of pain. It helps!
Please get in touch if you have more questions or input.
*UPDATE June 1, 2014*
I keep learning from this book. One thing I think has helped keep pain/discomfort at bay is the use of a SMALL KID BALL in addition to the lacrosse ball. I got into the habit of using the lacrosse ball and it works well, but I started to get more pain in the hips & tightness in lower back. Over the last 2 weeks I started using the small ball and it really got into the tight, deep muscle tissue that needed attention, that even the lacrosse ball couldn't reach. I am finding new relief now, just in time for summer activities. The knowledge I have gained from this book has absolutely made a difference in my back pain. Give it a try, it may well be the most affordable & most effective solution you come across.