A few months ago a mother brought in her 11 year old daughter who had a sore great toe. Since her daughter was in gymnastics, the great toe pain was having an effect on her performance. It was obvious that the pain she had was a result of overload. Anyway, I fixed the toe. The pain was gone, she fully recovered and went back to her gymnastics.
Sometime after I helped her with the toe pain it started to bother her again. Her mother decided to take her to an orthopedic doctor. He did some X-rays and put her into a “boot” that restricted all movement of the foot. After a couple of months in the “boot” the toe began to swell and the pain got much worse. The mother decided to take her to another orthopedic doctor for a second opinion since the “boot” seemed to make matters worse. The new doctor repeated X-rays of the toe and even a CT scan. He told the mother that there was nothing wrong with the toe. The mother on hearing this said that this massage therapist (me) was able to eliminate the pain before when the pain was minimal. The doctor told her that if it worked that she should take her daughter back to the massage therapist. That is what brought her back to see me.
The great toe was now swollen about one third more that the toe on the other foot. I did all necessary evaluation and concluded that the real cause of her toe pain was tension in the lumbar erectors muscles. I did Medical Massage protocol for lumbar erectors without even touching the toe. By the end of the session, the daughter was able to put her full weight on the great toe with almost no pain, something she had been unable to do for months. I gave them homework to do and we will have another session early next week. Needless to say, the mother was amazed that I could relieve the pain in the toe without touching the toe.
C. Lezanic, LMT
1. If symptoms are coming back to the same area even if the initial application was successful, there is a big chance you missed the real cause
2. In the majority of cases where the patient feels pain, it isn’t where the actual problem is
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