Knee Pain

Dr. Alex M. – Knee Pain

It is always interesting to work with doctors because they often have fixed ideas about etiology of pain and the best forms of treatment.  Alex came to me about six months ago with a long history of what had been diagnosed as plantar fasciitis in one of his feet.  He was frustrated because one of the ways he released the tension in his life was by running every day.  He stood for long periods of time every day in the operating room which put tremendous pressure on his back, feet, and legs, both because of how he was standing and the time he was required to stand without a break.

Alex had gone to see some doctors and physical therapists without any significant reduction in pain.  What did we do?  We worked together on a general approach to Alex’s lifestyle, not just the pain.  I gave Alex exercises for his feet and legs.  Alex came to understand that he needed to make some behavioral changes.  He learned to stop and stretch while in the operating room; he learned that it was his lifestyle that created the set of symptoms that presented as plantar fasciitis; he began to appreciate the idea that it is stress which leads to pain.

He told me that he had decided to come to me for a specific reason: he feels that doctors are useful for specific diagnoses, but for more elusive sets of symptoms, he feels that the medical world is somewhat helpless, and prefers to try an “alternative approach.”  What impressed him was my commitment to working with him until the pain had been resolved and developing a program to keep him from relapsing into pain.  This approach was different from that of doctors and physical therapists because I did not assume that his symptoms had to fit into my knowledge of potential diagnoses.  It was the quality of the time spent and my aggressive approach in finding a solution that instilled the confidence that I could really help him.

We both agreed that this quality of perseverance is often lacking on the part of health professionals. They just don’t have the time, and are often constrained by the dictates of managed care. They assume something is broken and if they can’t “fix” you right away, they send you on your way, or usually to another “specialist.” Through our work together, he realized that what had been identified or named as plantar fasciitis was nothing more than a set of symptoms created by too much pressure, stress, or intensity throughout the system. A problem of that nature cannot be fixed by attempting to alter the body’s structure with surgery or a massage; the pain will come back if stress remains unmanaged.  The most important part was that he realized that nothing was broken – there was no structural problem that was causing the pain. He is running again on a daily basis and is pain free.