July 2016 Update
I haven’t shared about how I live with chronic foot pain in nearly two years so I thought I was due for an update. You can read about my entire journey and where I’m at now over on my foot pain post.
For those of you who do not know, I’ve had chronic foot pain in both of my heels and arches since I was a child. It’s always been difficult since my feet ache daily, even before I get out of bed, but things really came to a standstill in 2011 when the pain was unbearable.
I tried everything in the books and went to numerous doctors. I got second, third and fourth opinions. I tried physical therapy, injections, and custom orthotics. As a last resort, I even had surgery in both feet (which later proved to be completely unsuccessful). I ended up at a pain management doctor because I was never able to get a concrete diagnosis. Most doctors ultimately thought that it’s in issue with my nerves and that my brain fires pain signals unnecessarily. The pain management route left me still in intense pain and not feeling like myself to say the least. I gained twenty pounds and felt moody and sad. I hated the way all the different medications I tried made me feel and it seemed as though they just weren’t helping enough to justify taking them.
In the fall of 2014, I decided to stop all my medications and give acupuncture a try.
For months, I went weekly for acupuncture treatments. And for the first time ever, I started to have days with way less pain. My pain wasn’t gone completely, but it now was bearable. I could now do things like ride my horse a few times a week and go on walks, both which previously were so difficult to do.
Over the course of the year I tried two different acupuncturist, who use different methods. I found the Dr. Tan method, which uses points that mirror the parts of your body that are in pain, to be effective. When I had needles places directly on the areas where I experience pain, I had no relief. It’s sounds crazy but when the needles are placed in points in my hands I have the most relief.
I continued with acupuncture in Florida up until we moved to Los Angeles last fall. In January I found an acupuncturist out here that I now see weekly. I was able to find a health insurance plan out here that covers unlimited acupuncture visits so on weeks I’m having unbearable pain I’ll go in twice or even three times. I still have really hard days and extremely hard mornings but I’ve found a way that works for me and allows me to be healthy and active.
Although none of the numerous doctors I visited diagnosed me with any condition related to poor circulation (since everything was always thought to be nerve related), I found that the days I stand in on place or sit for hours to actually be the most painful. Lately, when I’m in bed the pain is at its worst. My acupuncturist recommended I start taking an herbal supplement to increase circulation to my extremities. I’ve been taking it for a couple months now and I can’t say if it’s been super effective although the days I forget to take it do seem to be worse.
If you have chronic foot pain, know that you’re not alone and I hope my story helps you find some comfort and relief.
The sandals I’ve wearing in the photo above may look like they would be awful for my feet but they’re not. They are actually super supportive and I wear them so much I’ve just about worn out my second pair.