Saturday, August 3, 2013

How I overcame my heel pain

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Most of the women who are in their fifties must be familiar with heel pain, I think. I too had been a victim of that ailment and let relate how I overcame it.
 Those were hectic days, daughter’s wedding, her delivery and son’s wedding, all followed in quick succession with little rest to speak of for me. It was at this period that I began to feel an excruciating pain in the centre of my heels. When the family excitements were over and calm prevailed I had ample time to take rest. But still the pain persisted. I was scared to go to hospital.
When I inquired the ladies of my circle I came to know that among the women who have passed menopause only a very few escaped from the clutches of this complaint. Everyone had her own explanation and therapy.
Weight gain was regarded as one cause. Is it not true that most of us realize that after the age of 40 weight control is something beyond our control? It was believed that decrease in estrogen level added to aging changes caused the heel pain. There was also an opinion that laying mosaic, marble and cement tiles for house floors instead of the brick tiles of the olden times could be the cause.
I tried keeping my feet immersed in warm water. I had microsil slippers made to my foot measurement and wore them at home. I used acupuncture slippers when I went out. I tried wearing special stockings called ‘anklets’ sold in medical shops. An array of oils came to my rescue: eucalyptus oil, Franch oil, ‘vethakodari thailam’ and so on. But all failed. The advice to put ‘erukkam’ leaf on hot brick and foment the heels with the leaf also turned useless.
I got scared by the surmise of some that it was bone growth which needed surgical correction. Some were of the sure opinion that it was nothing but the wearing away of the bones and there was no cure on earth for it. To a person like me who puts off taking tablets till it is utterly unbearable the statement made by some that steroids were the only option was enough to create panic.
At one point my family members thought I have had enough quack treatments and advices and forced me to meet an orthopedist. I went to him filled with trepidations about endless tests and heavy expenses. But he calmed me with gentle words that I can easily put off my pain for 10 years by physiotherapy. He gave me medicines for 5 days to alleviate the pain and after that I was to start physiotherapy which was 3 simple steps of exercise.
Futher more, he advised me not to lift heavy weights, not to climb stairs often and not to travel long distances by train or bus in the sitting position for some time. As a general advice he asked me to avoid tubers in my menu in order to lessen the chances of putting on weight.
Worried as I had been about drastic treatments and expenses the doctor’s words brought immense relief. Yet I was full of disbelief of the simple exercises relieving me of my pain.
I started, however, doing my exercises very conscientiously. I was even sad at not finding much relief after a few days of continuing the physiotherapy. Still, I persevered with complete faith and trust and was surprised after a few weeks to find pain in one heel gone first and the other also next. I just could not believe it!
This is the simple exercise which regulated the blood circulation, activated the muscles and relieved the pain: sit on a chair with your feet resting on the floor; turn the toes on both the feet inward and back for 20 times; next tap the floor with the front part of the feet20 times, raising and lowering them; next fix the front of feet on the floor and raise and lower the heels for 20 times. These 3 exercises must be done in the morning and evening. Besides these 2 times it may done as many times as possible in the intervening time.
It is my desire to share my experience, the secret of a simple therapy with all those suffering with heel pain. May my ailing sisters be blessed with the same relief I found!

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