One thing off throws all things off

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One thing off throws all things off

Postby Ralteria » Wed Aug 13, 2008 7:05 am

Back in 1999 (wow, that was almost 10 years ago) I was in a car accident and shattered my right heel. After reconstructive surgery I was in wheel chair for 3 months and crutches for 6 months. Needless to say my right leg went through a bit of atrophy and I lost alot of flexibility in my legs (I used to be able to do full splits and put my legs behind my head back during my Shoto-Kan days :roll: )

Well, I fell in love with TCM a few years after that and began doing a bit of light Wei Dan standing meditation (back in 2003) added in to my regular practice schedule. My leg strength improved drasticly, to the point where they are stronger now then they were before the accident. Needless to say I don't walk with a limp like the doctors told me I would. However this has also created some interesting and uncomfortable situations.

First is that my right leg is slightly longer then my left now (which is odd feeling b/c I'm left handed/legged). In addition to that my right leg still has not regained as much flexibility as is desirable. I've begun to amp up my training considerably and really focus on stance work, and my mabu sure isn't what it used to be. The flexibility in both my legs has been compromised to a certain degree. So while I'm not really interested in doing splits any more, I'd like to be able to correct my mabu. My right foot turns outward as I settle downward which causes my left knee to go out of alignment. Also, while in a left side Bow and Arrow stance (60 on the left leg) my right foot "caves" outward slightly (not violently or anything) preventing me from keeping truly rooted. While I see a certain amount of my problem areas (waist flexibility being one of them, I can fix that over time fairly easily) the right foot flexibility is causing everything else to been thrown off. Though I'm pleased with my TOTAL lower body strength, it is disproportionate

Sooooooo.... does anyone know some good exercises to increase foot/ankle flexibility/strength. Judging from my body responses, this one correction should do a world of change since it is preventing everything from aligning correctly. It never came up before when doing Zhaun Zhaung (sp), I'm assuming because standing naturally distributed the weight more easily. It only happens when my legs are more than shoulder width apart pretty much. I'm not looking for a quick fix here, just something I can work into my normal training to facilitate me eventually being able to settle into my mabu again, which inturn should allow me to train correctly. Thanks!
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Postby Inga » Wed Aug 13, 2008 7:57 am

I had ankle surgery in May to correct a misplaced tendon. The physical therapist told me when I started with him, that normal rotation (inward) of the ankle is 30 degrees. I was able to manage 5 degrees when I started, and am now up to 20 degrees range of motion. The PT is very pleased, he hoped I might gain 15 back, and my new goal is 30 degrees. I would say I am glad I worked with a professional to get my exercises straight. He manipulates the ankle for me during sessions and gives me "homework" which I do faithfully, hence my progress. I use a large elastic band and balancing on the foot to strengthen the muscles in that area, and more simple exercises to try and work on flexibility. I would suspect it's not too late to take some PT at this stage, at least get things assessed. I would recommend that, if you can arrange it. Good luck!
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Postby Ralteria » Wed Aug 13, 2008 11:48 am

Thanks Inga, I hope you get your 10 more degrees or rotation back! I was never so thankful for having legs as when I couldn't walk anymore.

I'm worried about PT though. I'm broke with bad health insurance, haha. I went through a great deal of it back in 99' . It's important enough for me to inquire about though. Thanks again
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Postby Inga » Wed Aug 13, 2008 1:43 pm

Well I must say I was only on crutches for a couple of months, but with no weight bearing at the beginning and end of it. It was a glimpse of what you went through, and I think I can grasp how pleased you were to have your legs back, as it were.

With regard to the expense, I do understand, having similar issues. I was not able to attend as much physio as they recommended because of the cost, but after a few assessment & training sessions I was able to do my "homework" on my own. After all, most of it is down to the individual doing the repetitive exercises faithfully. I trusted the PT to tell me what to do, and how often, and I went back to see him once a week. At that time he checked how I was, reviewed/updated the homework and he manipulated the ankle for me, in ways I would be way to scared to try on my own, not being qualified to know what "too far" was. It was so wonderful! Like having a huge itch scratched. The cost was high, but I am happy, so delirously happy, to have my mobility back!

Thanks for your well wishes, they are reciprocated, and hopefully you'll be able to update us in time if you find a method that works for you, we would pleased to hear about it.
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