foot injury


Black Belt
Jul 9, 2002
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Pittsburgh, PA.
I figure this would be a good place to ask this question. I was doing a roundhouse kick on a sand bag about 10 months ago and accidentally only caught it with the very top of my foot. ( I guess thats not very definative, where the toes are attached to the foot) Anyways, I immediately felt a sharp pain in my foot joint where the top of the foot meets the bottom of your shin. (my shin doesnt hurt, more just the top of that joint) Basically I think that my foot got stretched too far back into the wrong direction. It has been 10 months now. I have iced, wrapped, used hot water with epsom salt, ate TONS of Motrin, elevated, went to physical therapy and done little exercises, everything that I and the doctor can think of. I am getting an MRI and bone scan in a couple of weeks. In all fairness, I did keep training on it up until 6 weeks ago so that probably wasnt too bright. Has anyone out there experienced this? If so, do you have any ideas to get it better? Ancient chinese secrets? Ancient Thailad-ese secrets?
Thanks in advance.
Ancient chinese secrets?

From your description of the mechanism of your injury, it sounds as though you may have torn the extensor digitorum longus tendon or the extensor hallucis longus tendon, or strained the inferior extensor retinaculum, or torn some of the ligaments that hold the bones together on the top of the foot, or subluxed the tarsometatarsal joint - or any combination of the above (plus anything else I failed to mention). The extent of your may or may not show up on an MRI, which is why Chinese medicine can often be an effective therapy, as it works within a different paradigm.

There are several strategies in Chinese medicine for dealing with injuries. These include various methods of massage (tui na), acupuncture, and herbal therapy. Treatment of injury is generally guided by the stage of injury (acute or chronic), and mediated by several "patterns" for which the injury may show evidence. For example, a recent, acute injury that feels hot and looks swollen, will be treated quite differently that a chronic injury that won't heal and/or keeps re-occuring. In the case of chronic injuries, the issue is to determine why the body cannot heal itself after a sufficient amount of time, and to treat both the "root" and the "branch" of the problem once it has been determined. Often the problem with Chinese medicine is that practioners treat only the "root" (i.e., constitutional issues) of the problem without treating the "branch" (the specific area that has the problem: in your case, the bones and tissues where the ankle joins the foot). Chinese medicine that treats martial arts injuries ("Die Da," or "hit and fall" medicine) is quite differnent from the Chinese medicine that is taught in schools and which most Chinese doctors practice. It should therefore be noted that effective treatment with Chinese medicine is entirely dependent upon the expertise of the practitioner. In general Die Da medicine practitioners are quite skilled at tui na and often specialize in Chinese osteopathy (sometimes called "bonesetting").

If you decide to try Chinese medicine, I would ask any of the older Chinese martial arts practitioners in your area who they go to for martial arts injuries. Word of mouth is probably the best indicator of sucess, in these cases. Other therapies to consider include hilot (Filipino massage), Traditional Thai Massage, and osteopathic practioners who specialize in manual medicine, particularly craniosacral "unwinding" techniques.


Steve Lamade

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