Friday, February 15, 2008
Medical Treatment in Asia
About a year and a half ago I developed heal spurs on my right heel. It was so bad that after about an hour walk I was in excruciating pain, same for just standing. Read all the web sites. With the help of my good friend, Arnold, went to see doctors (I was in China at the time).
They were talking heel cups, surgery and such. I tried the heel cup, didn't work because of where the spur was. Being that I was a westerner, there was not a doctor for a thousand miles that was going to be willing to cut into my foot.
I bought the most expensive shoes I could. Nothing. The x-ray showed the bottom heel spur was probably a a centimeter or more long...scary to look at.
Well, a ran across this website that said they were cause by immobility of the calf muscle, or some such thing. These people were selling all these ankle braces that maintain a healthy angle of your foot when you are sleeping. At first I tried to build one my self. That was a big laughable failure. :)
Click here to see a much larger scan of the x-ray. X-Ray or right foot
Being in China and having a hard time getting anything shipped there I found as good solution. I always sleep on my stomach, have all my life. This stretches my foot out, toe pointed. I also have this bad habit of locking my feet together under my chair at work. It was a combination of these that I believe cause the spur.
What did I do? I slept on the bed (on my stomach) with my foot hanking off the right edge, or of the end of the bed, laying as gravity pulled it. The calf muscles was apparently relaxed. I also force myself to stop locking my feet under the chair, but changing to a chair that did not allow for that. Lastly, I bought a kind of a stool to sit on when I was in front of the class. My students at SXNU must have thought I was pathetic! Not being that old, they just could not understand how I could be having such a serious problem.
Within 2-3 months all the pain was gone, except on very long walks. By 5 months I was back at the gym on the tread mill. Today I walk 9 kilometers per day on the tread mill, some days as much as 12. I experience zero pain (except my knees-but that is just old age). I have not had another x-ray done, but I am sure the spur has been completely absorbed.
Being in Asia has forced me to learn a valuable lesson. Not medical problems necessarily need to be solved by running to the doctor. If it is not life threatening, being in a situation where you have to find a solution can be beneficial.