Recently I got a call from a dad of a tenth grade student. His son intensively plays baseball. His father told me that his son had developed pain in the arches on both feet. We talked at length about his son’s problem until he mentioned that the boy’s ankle joints were swollen.
Without seeing the patient, I told his father that someone needed to check his piriformis muscle. The dad told me that he was taking his son to a podiatrist the next morning to get the pain resolved and what was my opinion on that. I told him that I didn’t believe the podiatrist could resolve his son’s issue and again suggested his son see someone who could rule out Piriformis Muscle Syndrome first. The father then asked me what type of doctor could do that. I suggested that an orthopedic doctor would be a better choice.
Two days later the father brought his son to my clinic. The father told me that he took his son to a podiatrist and an orthopedic surgeon and they both told him that his son’s problem was a growth spurt. They both insisted that the boy should not run for the next six months.
I examined the son. He presented swollen ankles and very sore feet especially along both arches. I did the normal evaluation and as soon I barely pressed into the piriformis trigger point the boy about levitated off the table. The father about passed out.
I did Medical Massage protocol for Piriformis Muscle Syndrome and the swelling in the ankles significantly reduced by the end of the first session and the son did not have any pain on the bottom of the feet when he got up from the table.
The boy is still playing baseball and I am now getting referrals from the other team members like crazy. The other parents say that they can even see the difference in the son’sperformance since I worked on him. Three weeks out and the boy has no pain, no swelling and is performing at 100%.
By Curt Lezanic, LMT, San Antonio, Texas
1. In many cases where patients feel pain is not where the problem is. The real trigger can be located in a completely different part of the body and since the patient doesn’t complain about any symptoms there, everyone is treating the consequence instead of the cause.
2. Of course pain in the bottom of the feet can be the result of trauma or tension in the plantar fascia. What was alarming to Curt, even during the phone conversation, was thepresence of local edema around the ankle joints, which is very unusual for a person at such a young age and didn’t fit into the clinical picture of Plantar Fasciitis. The fact that the child was an avid baseball player reinforced the idea that some other trigger was possibly responsible for the clinical symptoms.
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