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  • Toes

    I've been away from the dojo for over 12 months for various reasons but I've been trying to sort out a problem (one of many) I have with iai while away.

    I have arthritis in both big toe joints (I'm 46!) which gives me problems with kneeling forms such as mae, ushiro etc. I can do seiza without problems it's when I have to (try) and keep my toes under to give a "forward pressure".
    Essentially I can't . . . . . which makes my kneeling techniques "unbalanced" or not as "dynamic" as they should be.

    It's not too bad while kneeling as long as my foot just rests without pressure (not good), but going from kneeling to standing is impossible without my foot turning to the side so that I'm pushing of the inside of the ball of my foot (if that makes sense?? My heel is turned in.)

    Standing forms just give the occasional pain, but nothing I can't cope with.

    So to the question:

    any tips about things I can do to improve matters? I don't want to be a person who only does standing iai if at all possible as otherwise I'm fairly fit/active (my iai may suck, but that's a different story).

    David

  • #2
    Boy-o-boy, I hope you don't have gout like I do. Thanks to all horrible dietary habits from my younger years. 4 Big Macs with fries and soda for dinner, I am paying for it now. As debilitating as gout attacks, it's not chronic. So I'll just not go to class for a couple of weeks when it happens. Through changing of diet and medication, I sort of got the uric acid level under controlled, and haven't had an attack for while. knock on wood.

    I am sure you'll hear this from everybody, your doctor would have a better idea how to deal with it. Doing everything standing sucks, I know. Sensei made me do it standing when I first came back from my knee injury. You have to be patient, listen to your body, and avoid over doing it. Trust me, I learned it the hard way.

    Comment


    • #3
      Could it be a R.S.I. from your bike ?

      Comment


      • #4
        It's not from the bike as my toe joints don't bend in the shoes I have. I've had ever since I've done iai and it's got a little worse over the last few years.

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        • #5
          It sounds to me like the tendons in your foot are tight. If you cycle this could be because of inadequate stretching of the calf muscles and all the small muscles that control the ankle joint, after cycling.

          A Sports Massage Therapist will sort this out, but I should warn you that massage on the tendons across the arch of the foot is very painful.... though extremely beneficial.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Peter West View Post
            It sounds to me like the tendons in your foot are tight. If you cycle this could be because of inadequate stretching of the calf muscles and all the small muscles that control the ankle joint, after cycling.

            A Sports Massage Therapist will sort this out, but I should warn you that massage on the tendons across the arch of the foot is very painful.... though extremely beneficial.
            Thanks for the reply Peter:

            I do stretch quite a bit after a ride - calves included (I'd seize up if I didn't!!). I've been doing specific streches on the big toe joints to try and ease things - it helps but hasn't cured the problem. My ankles a fairly flexible (my left ankle carries an old joint displacement injury from a few years ago - had to have a bolt through it etc. - it can be very painful at times but works ok)

            Bending the joints a fair way isn't painful on its own, it's when some pressure is also put onto the toes in something such as mae, or standing or kneeling from ochiburi. The other toe joints are fine. The big toe joints don't give me problems walking, cycling etc., it's just kneeling iai kata.

            I will however have a go at doing more stretches to see if that helps - it's worth a try.

            Comment


            • #7
              Good luck

              Try, when you are sitting down, barefoot (desk, sofa etc) massaging the instep of you r foot with a tennis ball by rolling the ball under your foot on the ground. Use as much pressure as you can bear. If that is pain free, try a squash ball or (as I do now) a golf ball.

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              • #8
                If you have osteoarthritis, the protective slippery cartilaginous pad being worn away and the bony surfaces grinding together causing pain and inflammation, then no amount of massaging will help. Have you had X-rays and a clinical examination to make this diagnosis or is it just an assumption?

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                • #9
                  I dont totally agree with that. This is the kind of short sightedness that leads to way too many knee and hip replacements in the uk. Of course massage isn't a cure all, but much pain that is caused in arthritic states and with damaged cartilege can be aleviated by softening and lengthening muscles that otherwise keep the joints tight and under pressure.
                  Until I had massage and began stretching i could barely kneel, and walking was painful in my left knee. I was set to have a large picee of meniscus removed. Massage and stretching has made that unnecessary. This is not to claim that the therapy mended the damaged menuscus. It didn't, but i now have very little pin and can live with it.

                  Be careful of doctors. If the treatment doesnt involve knives and/or poisenous drugs, they don't trust it.

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                  • #10
                    I have just been diagnosed with the same problem in my right foot. I had a chat with my sensei, and basically I will keep doing Iaido as best as I can. I don't want to be stuck doing everything standing up either, if my toe gets too painful sometimes I fake it, getting as close to "correct" posture as I can without bending the toe. A couple of ibuprophen half an hour before class does wonders too. I have had my fill of surgery for other issues and have no intention of letting them start carving up my feet as well. However, if that does become the only recourse in the future ... so be it. I'm 57 and just graded for Nidan last December, I want to see how far I can get.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Peter West View Post
                      Be careful of doctors.If the treatment doesnt involve knives and/or poisenous drugs, they don't trust it.
                      You shouldn't be so mistrusting of doctors. It is they who have extended our live to four score years and ten and made those years more productive and enjoyable.

                      I've had a very different experience to you, Peter. I herniated an intervertebral disc and was in agony with sciatic pain and back pain- it was the worst year of my life and at times I wanted to....well I won't be dramatic. The doctors said, "look we see hundreds of these a year and in our experience 99% of people get better after a year. Pilates helps, physio may help but all we can do is monitor you and give you pain killers. Surgery will have about the same success rate as doing nothing, therefore let's for nothing and see what happens." I didn't like what I heard since I was in pain. So, against my usual rational, evidence-based pain-free mind, I was eventually willing to try anything. Pilates, sports massage, osteopathy, chiropractice each doing their own thing, saying their own thing (and sometimes contradicting each other). The physios said the same thing as the medics, the osteopaths and chiropractictioners just didn't make any sense and at time seemed like quacks and the sport massage guy said he wasn't sure he could help, but keep coming! Christmas and New Year was the worse time I've ever had- I've never had such pain and I've had kidney stones! I was popping opiates at night and paracetamol and ibuprofen in the day and these kept things tolerable as did my blessed TENS machine. Then, lo and behold, after a year of suffering things started improving (I'd abandoned the other therapies months ago). The sciatic pain began to ease off over a few weeks, the back pain reduced until now, as the doctors predicted, I am pretty good. The Pilates has shown me how to prevent injury again my using my core muscles to stabilise my vertebrae and I'm getting better every day other than the occasional gardening-induced twinge.

                      So it seems the evidence-based people (medics) were correct in the end. Exactly the same thing happens to a doctor friend of mine and he just did the physio and Pilates and was back on his feet in 6 months. So I have faith in the medical profession and I'm puzzled by the others and suspect they get work because people in pain will try anything to get better. I mean how can rubbing a muscle/tendon make it longer and thus ease tension? It might reduce the myotatic reflex a bit but so will a couple of pints! Stretch the muscle and tendon yes! but rub it? The sports massage was very nice and relaxing, but I don't believe it actually did anything to help and it cost me 40 a time!

                      I once asked a psychiatrist friend what he actually did to help people. He said all he really did was medicate them during the acute phase to prevent them harming themselves and then 99% of them cured themselves in six months. It was the 1% that took up his professional time.

                      My advice to anyone would to look at the cold-light-of-day evidence published in peer reviewed journals before parting with their money for unproven 'treatment'.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I think Peter was careful in using the phrase "be careful". This does not imply a level of mistrust only that they cannot be right 100% of the time.

                        I agree with both views as it happens. My 'concern' with doctors is similar to Peter's in that they often quickly wish to give pain killers or surgery and seem determined to dismiss alternatives as hokm pokum. The other slight worry is their absolute belief in such processes when sometimes they are quite wrong. This is not true of all GP's; many are happy to suggest alternatives to see if results can be gained from them.

                        The worry with 'alternative' practitioners is that many are simply not very good at what they do so finding someone who is adept can be a a bit of a minefield. The other issue is trying to decide what IS the best route for treatment. Painkillers, surgery, massage, physiotherapy, pilates, yoga, stretching, aromatherapy, reflexology, alcohol in copious amounts?

                        The problem is that every body is so unique that there is no one-size-fits all when it comes to trying to sort out problems with bodies when they malfunction.

                        Just my thoughts.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by satsumaruma View Post
                          I think Peter was careful in using the phrase "be careful". This does not imply a level of mistrust only that they cannot be right 100% of the time.
                          I'm sure not even the most arrogant medic would suggest they could be!

                          Originally posted by satsumaruma View Post
                          I agree with both views as it happens. My 'concern' with doctors is similar to Peter's in that they often quickly wish to give pain killers or surgery and seem determined to dismiss alternatives as hokm pokum.
                          But they're not doing that in a vacuum, it's based upon empirical data and experience. If someone comes to them with a herniated intervertebral disc, the research and their experience suggest they will be in pain for up to a year and there is little they can do to improve the situation other than give symptomatic treatment. As for alternative therapies being hokm, many witchdoc....sorry I mean practitioners, don't have (won't gather) data on the efficacy of their treatments perhaps for reasons I'll let you decide upon, so wouldn't any rational person dismiss them especially since they are not cheap?
                          Originally posted by satsumaruma View Post
                          The other slight worry is their absolute belief in such processes when sometimes they are quite wrong.
                          You need to change your GP!

                          Originally posted by satsumaruma View Post
                          This is not true of all GP's; many are happy to suggest alternatives to see if results can be gained from them.
                          My ex-wife developed tonsillitis when she was a student nurse and called out a GP who came, assessed and suggested a herbal remedy which she used. She developed a quinsy became very ill and ended up in hospital for 7 days. If, on the other hand the GP have prescribed tried and tested penicillin, she'd've been back tending the sick in a few days!

                          Originally posted by satsumaruma View Post
                          The worry with 'alternative' practitioners is that many are simply not very good at what they do so finding someone who is adept can be a a bit of a minefield.
                          But that makes the whole thing unfalsifiable. An alternative treatment doesn't work, it must be the practitioner, find another one and fork out more dosh! No! It's more likely to be the unsubstantiated 'treatment'.


                          Originally posted by satsumaruma View Post
                          The other issue is trying to decide what IS the best route for treatment. Painkillers, surgery, massage, physiotherapy, pilates, yoga, stretching, aromatherapy, reflexology, alcohol in copious amounts?
                          Well that's the same case with tried and tested medicine. There will often be different treatment pathways you can take and you'll have to decided, with information from the medical practitioner, which direction to go it-it's informed consent.

                          Originally posted by satsumaruma View Post
                          The problem is that every body is so unique that there is no one-size-fits all when it comes to trying to sort out problems with bodies when they malfunction.
                          If anyone has a headache, a high percentage of them will have their symptoms alleviated with paracetamol or whatever. If anyone has renal failure, fluid restrictions, dietary restrictions and dialysis of some sort will keep you alive and give you some quality of life. If anyone is suffering from blah blah, them medical science will have a therapy with a proven efficacy. Alternative therapies cannot give any measure of their efficacy at all and in some cases, like chiropractic manipulation of the head/neck, they may actually cause more harm than good. Why take the risk and pay for it? All I'm saying to these people is prove your therapy does some good or at least does no harm.
                          Originally posted by satsumaruma View Post
                          Just my thoughts.
                          And the thoughts of most of the population. Everybody should read this book

                          Right, I must get back to lying under my pyramid of Cheops with crystals suspended over me.....Naked of course

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                          • #14
                            I think Mitchell and Webb provide the best explanation of 'complimentary' therapy....

                            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HMGIbOGu8q0

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by lsrfbt View Post
                              I think Mitchell and Webb provide the best explanation of 'complimentary' therapy....

                              http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HMGIbOGu8q0
                              Ha ha, that's brilliant!

                              Comment

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