I feel I actually need to apologise for my last post. I had been feeling so bad for so long, and genuinely couldn’t see a way forward, that I did just pour my heart out. Not entirely fair of me to dump it on everyone else though.
I was, however, so touched by all the wonderful comments, including some superb information sent from Willem Fox – who I met briefly on the Challenge and had no idea he was a Medic. You all helped me realise that I’m not the only person who’s ever struggled with this, and I feel privileged that you all took the time to be supportive and help me along.
Since coming home from the Challenge, I have started with a new physio. This guy was recommended to me by another Twitter pal who is struggling with PF, and I have to say I am now feeling very cautiously optimistic.
This physio analysed how I’m walking (incorrectly – which I was aware of to be honest) and recognised that the arch on my left foot had totally collapsed. This all seems to be linked to a weakness in my left leg and ankle since fracturing my fibula a few years back. I’ve never quite gained full flexion in that ankle since the accident, either.
So, not only do I now have exercises tailored to my personal needs, he has also been treating me with Shock Wave Therapy and Tens Therapy.
The Shock Wave stuff does make it pretty sore for a couple of days, which can make you wonder if you’re going backwards, but by the third day it starts to calm down quite a lot and continues improving from there.
He has told me to stop ‘proper’ walks for a few weeks too, but I’m getting out cycling for an hour or two each day as that doesn’t seem to bother it.
I’ve had four treatments now and I can say it is definitely improving. In fact when he manipulated it this morning, it was barely noticeable – normally I nearly go through the roof when he starts massaging it.
Of course sadly, none of this is available on the nhs. From my experience so far though, my advice to anyone else going through this is you have to find someone who will try and work out WHY you have it and treat it accordingly. You can Google exercises and stuff forever, but you could well be doing the wrong thing for you. PF is different in everybody and the treatment is definitely not a One Size Fits All thing.
I couldn’t finish this post without saying another huge thank you to the daughter of another Twitter pal, who is also a very highly qualified sports physio. She was happy to chat with me when I was feeling very down and reinforce that I was now getting the correct treatment. She’s also given me some more exercise ideas and cheered me up immensely, giving me the motivation to keep going. She (and her dad) know who she is.