Treatment for Foot Pain
By John Slosberg
Enduring pain in your feet, knees, hips, or back? If so, is it inhibiting your ability to walk or run? Options do exist outside of surgery or conventional means, and in many cases the option I am about to discuss is very effective.
Acupuncture in combination with a form of microcurrent therapy called MPT (microcurrent positional tuina) can permanently alleviate musculo-skeletal pain. Pain arises due to injury, overuse, or poor posture. Typically, a combination of the three occurs. Dr. Malvin Finkelstein, L.Ac., a well regarded acupuncturist based in Eugene, has developed a sophisticated approach to treatment of musculo-skeletal pain. The approach has taken years and thousands of patient visits to refine into its present format. The results can be astonishing. Central to Dr. Finkelstein’s theory is that strained muscles tend to “recruit” a neighboring muscle.
This dynamic of musculature results in two (or more) muscles performing functions that they were not intended to. Then they pull on joints and cause pain. The microcurrent portion of this approach is highly effective at “freeing” stuck muscles, fascia, or any soft tissue that is not moving as well as it should. This treatment is accomplished using a hand-held microcurrent device called an ETPS 1000. The ETPS 1000 emits a low-voltage (micro) current of energy through a metal tip which rests on the surface of the skin. The signal it sends into the body has an uncanny ability to loosen tight and restricted areas. By freeing up tight musculature, muscles and soft tissue are able to work in the way they were intended to, and pressure on the joint is relieved. Pain is lessened.
Through significant clinical experience, there have been a number of key points that Dr. Finkelstein has identified as effective for dealing with all manner of pain conditions in any area of the body. These points are, in my clinical experience of fourteen years, very effective in addressing pain. During treatment a patient’s body is placed in various positions, or stretches, which enhance the amount of release that occurs. After the MPT treatment, an acupuncture treatment is performed. Due to the work that was accomplished with the micro-current, fewer needles may be required. Acupuncture is an important part of the treatment as it works to solidify the work done previously and helps to “set” the treatment in the body. Acupuncture by itself is acknowledged to be useful in treating pain.
Let’s look at an example. Plantar fasciitis is a painful condition involving the sole of the foot. Conventional means offer orthotics, rest, and ice. The MPT and acupuncture combination has a comprehensive and potentially highly effective way of dealing with this condition. How?
In dealing with pain on the sole of the foot it is important to set up an environment whereby the gait is changed. This is simply due to the fact that there is no getting around striking the foot over and over again. If the foot continues to strike the ground in the same way, it will not get better. In an examination of someone coming to me for foot pain I will look at his or her entire leg, knee, hip, and even lower back. A restriction in the lower back can cause a change in the way a person walks. This change could be a significant cause of the problem. Unless the entire leg, hip, and low back are treated, the problem will not go away.
In terms of dealing with the foot itself, the micro-current device is superb at releasing tight and restricted ankle tendons, toes, and the plantar fascia itself. Often restrictions higher up in the calf and even thigh and hip are active “players” in the root cause of this stubborn ailment. The MPT and acupuncture combination can be enormously helpful in changing the pattern of strain that results in this condition, but that is not all. Home exercises involving a gentle stretch of the entire leg, calf, and foot are an essential part of the rehabilitation process. The exercises retrain the body to work in a different way. They are a key way of both strengthening the areas as well as keeping them loose and flexible. If you have questions please contact me.