A Simple, Surprising Foot Pain Treatment
Friday, 06 March 2020
UPDATE: This blog post is not an endorsement. I'm just explaining a surprising result in my case. I have no idea or any way to know if it would be helpful for anyone else.
Do you know what this is? Or what it is for?
Stick with me here and I'll tell you.
Until 2017, I spent 76 years being so healthy that I hardly noticed my body. The occasional cold, the even fewer influenzas over decades repeatedly confirmed my long-settled expectation that good health was just how I rolled in life.
I didn't even think my health was particularly remarkable. It just was. Until it wasn't anymore.
Until cancer and, subsequently, COPD too, I thought of medical treatment in terms of big, serious stuff – hospital, surgery, prescription drugs. It turns out (and maybe you already know this) that much more mundane, ordinary remedies do a lot of good.
In January, I told you about my first big surprise in this regard – pulmonary rehab. With simple exercises and breathing techniques, the nurses moved me within a few weeks from being incapable of walking between the bedroom and kitchen without stopping once and sometimes twice to catch my breath, to sailing along the hallway.
Okay, not sailing. But it's been a long time now since I even thought about my breathing in and around the house.
A second problem has been neuropathy pain in my feet – tingling on my soles but worse, huge pain in my heels, particularly when I wake in the morning or get up from a chair after sitting for more than 15 or 20 minutes.
I mean really bad pain. I'd been gritting my teeth while I walked around like a crab for a couple of minutes until the pain subsided a bit and I could almost function.
Two weeks ago I found myself with another rehab therapist who specializes in feet, only feet. In addition to some exercises, she handed me a therabrush, also called a therapressure brush. (See image above)
My new therapist showed me how to use the brush in a circular motion on my heels - while I tried not to laugh out loud. How could what looked like a small, oval shoe brush keep pain at bay, I wondered.
I was just as skeptical at home when I placed the therabrush on the table next to my bed, and tried it for the first time the next morning sitting on the side of my bed.
After a few rounds of pressure on one heel and the other as I moved the brush round and round, I put my feet on the floor and stood up. I took a tentative step. And then another. And another.
And there was no pain. Or, rather, so little that it didn't matter.
Once again, one of those physical therapy folks showed me who's boss. If I had only read about this and not been directed by a therapist, I would never have tried it. Now I use it every day.
Mostly, in the news and on medical television shows, we hear only about the heroic means of healthcare and saving lives. They don't show us what a new way to breathe or 30 minutes of morning exercises or a cute little brush can improve our lives. A whole lot.
It's a good thing for me that these wonderful professionals don't withhold their expertise from non-believers like me, and I am most grateful for that.
A short and shallow trip around the internet shows me that there are other uses for these brushes but you're on your own to track down those. (Just search “therapy brush”.)
Amazing, Ronni. Like you, ads or articles would never have moved me to try such a simple device. Having read it from your own keyboard, however, I know that I shall try it if the need ever arises for me or a loved one. You have great credibility, in my book. Thank you.
Posted by: Cop Car | Friday, 06 March 2020 at 06:15 AM
Wow! I am SO getting one of those brushes. Foot pain has been a part of my life for a decade. Thanks for writing about this.
Posted by: The Misadventures of Widowhood | Friday, 06 March 2020 at 07:03 AM
Thank you so much!! I recently tried a pair of boots with built-in cleats (to avoid slipping on ice). I only had them on for an hour, and was actually walking on them for about 15 minutes, but it was enough to trigger pain. Thankfully, it eased up, but this is good to know.
Posted by: mary jamison | Friday, 06 March 2020 at 07:10 AM
I'd never heard of such brushes. I don't know how or why they work, but should the need arise, I'll now know what to try.
Posted by: Susan R | Friday, 06 March 2020 at 07:51 AM
Thank you for the information.
Posted by: Redstone Gail | Friday, 06 March 2020 at 08:14 AM
I found these therabrushes on Amazon, but it seems like their primary goal is to soothe autistic children & other young ones with hypersensitivity or emotional issues? Still, I deal with my own foot pain (and shoulder, and hip) so if Ronni Bennett is endorsing them, they're definitely worth a try. Thanks Ronni.
Posted by: Doug M | Friday, 06 March 2020 at 08:26 AM
Really good to know should I ever have such foot pain. Thank You.
Posted by: John | Friday, 06 March 2020 at 08:28 AM
To be clear, I AM NOT ENDORSING therabrushes. I'm telling you that it is working on me. I have no idea if anyone else can be helped with them.
Posted by: Ronni Bennett | Friday, 06 March 2020 at 08:28 AM
Thank You Ronni, and perfect timing for me after pacing about for a good part of the night (AGAIN) with this issue over the last few days .
I have just ordered a set of 2 I found on Amazon. That way I can keep one at bedside and one by the 'lift chair" in my living room. Self done acupressure points work sometimes ...but is so tedious and tiring, this will be more efficient and easier it seems to me.
Even as a retired nurse I learn new things often, AND, quoting an excellent old MD friend,
"I never argue with success.".
An old surgical hand scrub brush I have might fill in until the better hand fit type arrives. I never even considered this approach. So again!! I'm thanking you for all you share with your readers. You are a true blessing to me today!
Posted by: Charlene Drewry | Friday, 06 March 2020 at 09:03 AM
Is it exclusively for foot pain? Might it work for arthritic pain, say in my hands?
Posted by: Irma | Friday, 06 March 2020 at 10:15 AM
Wow, I'm so glad you found this!
Posted by: Salinda Dahl | Friday, 06 March 2020 at 10:34 AM
I am going to look for a therapy brush in case my heel pain returns; what a potentially great way to prevent pain, as it is noninvasive and not a drug. Thanks for the tip.
Posted by: Terra | Friday, 06 March 2020 at 12:43 PM
Thanks so much for this! Will be seeking it out. A propos physiotherapists, I suffered horrendous pain behind the knee since December. Only a physiotherapist suggested, some months later, that it could be "referred pain" from myofascial syndrome - and it turned out to be exactly that. An undervalued profession, I believe.
Posted by: Diana Rubanenko | Saturday, 07 March 2020 at 02:01 AM