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Summary of Treatments and Diagnoses for Chronic Foot Pain Before Practicing Dr. Sarno's Approach

Discussion in 'Success Stories Subforum' started by Andy Bayliss, Mar 18, 2018.

  1. Andy Bayliss

    Andy Bayliss TMS Coach & Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi Forum Members,

    I hope this part of my success story is helpful for readers here, who might want details of my history. My story shows how deep one can go into fear, endless searching, money spending ---and still ultimately recover. Many people who come here have similar stories!! I was scheduled for surgery when I finally took Dr Sarno's books into the desert for extended retreat and study, doing three trips in two months. This initiated my recovery.

    I am submitting here both a sample letter which I wrote to most of the physicians who treated me, and the abbreviated list of practitioners, diagnoses and treatments which I included with the letter. I left off all the alternative healers' specialties, specific diagnoses and treatments, which would be it's own several pager.

    I wrote to the doctors who treated me about 2 years after I recovered, to educate them about Dr. Sarno's method, since I was such a "hard case" for them. (Some editing errors, but we know "being perfect is enraging to the Inner Child.")

    Andy B

    Letter to Physician:

    Dear Dr. __________

    I am writing you because you are one of several practitioners who treated me for severe chronic foot pain during the period 2010 to 2013, and I want to explain how my pain finally ended. With this letter I also want to thank you for your care, which I know reflected your best understanding of my case.

    I used Dr. John Sarno's mind-body approach to end my pain. Sarno's method works by understanding how our physical symptoms are caused by repression of deeper emotions. Sarno's work is mostly ignored in medicine.

    I urge you to consider my case for some of your “hard to fix” patients suffering from chronic pain and other symptoms. Please see my enclosed History for more details.

    In 2012 I spent $20,000.00 out of pocket looking for the right treatment, or the right surgery. I used either crutches or wheelchair most of four years.

    I saw over 10 physicians in total, including a sports medicine specialist, nerve specialists, an orthopedic physician, several podiatrists, and a number of chiroptractors, and two naturopaths. Please see my enclosed History for more details.

    Proposed surgeries included “fascia release,” “tarsal nerve release,” and “calf lengthening.” I was also diagnosed with neuropathy.

    I tried therapies including, but not limited to: blood platelet injections, low die taping, three different sets of orthodics, cold and warm foot baths, night splint, daily physical therapy, stretching, procaine neurotherapy injections, Chinese herbs, acupuncture, deep massage, Neurontin, and special diets. I gave most approaches a solid trial (several months). Relief was temporary, at best.

    Finally, in my fourth year of worsening pain, I began using Dr. Sarno's approach. I read Dr. Sarno's books, and connected my foot pain with my emotions, and with my Inner Critic. I also saw how my personality, which is a perfectionist and a “goodist” creates huge inner pressures and tension. I consulted with a Sarno-trained physician. I journaled and talked to my mind-body. I began to increase my activity slowly.

    In a short time the severe symptoms decreased, and in a couple of months I went on my first overnight backpack trip, which was an 8-mile round trip. I have completely recovered from my debilitating foot pain. My long-term double whiplash lingering pain also stopped, which is typical of patients using Sarno's method. I never had the surgical procedures that were strongly suggested would cure my pain.

    The medical model ---and the alternative medicine--- model link pain with physical (or energetic or systemic) causes. I learned that pain was a distraction from my inner conflicts and emotions, period.

    I ask you to consider Dr. Sarno's work for your patients that don't respond to typical treatments. Please visit my website www.tmspainrelief.com or www.tmswiki.org for more information.

    Thank you for your interest in the resolution of my case.


    Medical History:

    A--- B----
    History of Foot Pain 1-3-13(updated below)
    Male, 50's, very active with hiking, ski mountaineering until foot pain started.
    Symptoms as of Janaury 2013: Pain in arch and toward heel of left foot; lesser pain, but exact
    same location in right foot. I currently stay off feet for most of day. Can’t do most jobs, or hike;
    daily activities limited. Use wheel chair or crutches for longer walks (stores). Extremely limited
    January 2010, “Dr. A” DPM, Medford, OR prescribes 20 minutes of strap over ball of foot/calf
    stretch, both left and right foot, once per day, for “possible plantar fasciitus.” Comply with
    June 2010, “Dr A” Get X ray showing no fractures, prescribes orthodics, thermal contrast foot
    soaks, continue stretching, NSAIDs, one cortisone shot. Comply, with no relief through
    October 2010, during my fire lookout stint.
    November 2010, I decide to rest the foot using crutches for approx. 5 weeks. Not weight
    bearing, not casted, continued stretching, but now 10 min per day, as “Dr. A” recommends,
    continue thermal baths. Pain reduced with lack of foot use.
    January 2011, began Graston Technique with “Physical Therapist A”, also Myofascial Release
    with “Message Therapist A”. Debilitating arch pain and minor fibrous arch tissue begins,
    further limiting activity. Gout blood test with family physician negative. From this time
    forward I am limiting almost all walking standing, daily living activities to bare minimum.
    March 2011, “Dr. B” DPM, Medford, OR says, the orthodics you have are not right, I can do
    ultrasound, but I know what you have. It’s PF and I can operate to fix it.” Prescribes premade
    orthodics “which are soft” and topical pain patches. Continue stretching with strap. No relief.
    June 2011, “Dr. C” Chiropractor, Ashland, OR uses manipulation, best temporary pain relief yet,
    lasts 6 hours or so. Return to lookout for summer using weak cold lazer, ice, self-Guachain (like
    Graston) rubbing, standard strap stretching, and new stretches: bent knee off step, and
    backward lunge. Pain begins in right arch, but much less than left. Pain in left foot is
    worsening over time.
    October 2011, “Dr C’s” techniques continue, but with little results: trigger point release on calf
    and thigh, pressure on fascia with tools and stones, magnesium, fish oil, vitamin D, Continue
    ice, stretching.
    December 2011, “Dr. B” DPM “we can fix this surgically, two entry cuts, slice fascia 1/3 across. I
    don’t think you will have relief until the physical tightness is mechanically changed, with
    December 2011, “Dr D,” Naturopath, Ashland, OR: Tests: “Low on testosterone, low on vitamin B12,
    increase your protein” begin hormone replacement therapy (testosterone), vitamin B12, 90 gr
    protein per day. Also begin night splint. Later found the "low testosterone" was his idea, but not supported by actual test results.
    January 2012 “Dr. E” DPM, Los Angeles, CA: X rays (normal) Blood Platelet Injections, new
    orthodics, took ultrasound images, found no significant thickening of fascia. Results months
    later from Blood Platelet Injections are poor, more pain. He hit a nerve on one injection, in
    left foot.
    March 2012 “Dr. E” Got nerve conduction studies EMG, showed “high normal.” Also had MRI
    ankle and mid-foot looking for Plantar Fasciitis, found no evidence of Plantar Fasciitis. “Dr. E”
    suggests heel lift, tweeks orthodics, suggests possible future “calf release surgery.”
    March 2012, “Dr. F” DPM Ashland, OR, “You have Plantar Fasciitis or Tarsal Tunnel, probably
    should start with another EMG nerve test, “Dr. H” is good person to see.” I think you need my
    new orthodics." I pass on new orthodics, but schedule appointment with “Dr. H.”
    April 2012, “Dr. G”, DPM Medford, OR “You have Plantar Fasciitis. I can operate or you can
    start with my new orthodics." I pass on both.
    April 2012, Dr. H”, DPM Palo Alto, CA “You have PF, I don’t operate on PF, because this doesn’t
    work. Try corporeal shock wave therapy, X3.” I did not do the shock wave.
    April 2012, “Dr. I”, DPM, sports medicine, Sacramento, CA “You have PF, it is not operable. Use
    tape and modify orthodics.” Temporary help with taping and his tweek of my orthodics.
    May 2012, “Dr. J”, DPM Phoenix, AZ, uses Dr. Dellon’s Pressure Specified Sensory Device,
    determines I have lost two point discrimination, but have good single point sensory. Diagnoses
    Tarsal Tunnel, prescribes Neurontin, titrating up in 100 mg dose per week. Advises “don’t get
    manipulations, forget stretching, forget night splints, these may only worsen Tarsal Tunnel."
    Start Neurontin. Neurontin increased slowly until 1200 mgs per day, no relief, nasty side
    affects. Stopped Neurontin with confirmation of TT diagnosis with “Dr. K” below.
    August 2012, “Dr. K” Balitmore, MD uses Pressure Specified Sensory Device, diagnosis is Tarsal
    Tunnel and Neuropathy, finds “exactly the same results using PSSD as “Dr. J” did.” “Get
    blood tests to find out a cause.” If systemic causes are ruled out with blood tests,
    recommends “nerve release” surgery on the Tarsal and other foot nerves, including 3 or 4
    constrictions in calf. “Sooner the better, so we have a better chance of success. “85-90%
    chance of good results, but must act soon to prevent nerves from dying.” Obvious Tinnel sign
    first observed, after several doctors had looked for it. I don't get the surgery.
    September 2012, General MD, Ashland, follows up with “Dr. K's” request for Full blood tests,
    results are no blood indications of systemic causes of neuropathy or foot pain.
    October 2012, “Dr. L”, sports chiropractor. Portland. Most thorough exam yet. Diagnoses me
    with both PF and Tarsal Tunnel. Says there is a chance we can avoid surgery. Better Low Dye
    Taping and orthodic adjustment provide relief, uses Graston and electronic machines including
    cold laser, back on PT. Continued several months with treatment and home program, results
    limited to maybe 10% improved, still disabled for all activities except minimal, and continued
    bike riding for exercise (not weight bearing, so is tolerable, with some pain.) Traveling across Oregon by plane or car every week to receive treatments.
    December 2012, “Dr. M”, Chiropractor, Ashland, OR supplements “Dr. L's” work to reduce visits
    to Portland.
    December 2012, “Dr. N”, Naturapath, Portland, OR Conducted “Neural Therapy” with procaine,
    in late Dec. Injections every 2 or three weeks of procaine into the tarsal nerve area near ankle
    (just under the skin, not into the nerve) in effort to “reset nerve.” Procaine treatment provided
    good relief for pain in the bottom of the foot (arch) temporarily, so “indication the nerve is
    involved.” No lasting relief. Recommended hydro-dissection to release adhesion around tarsal
    nerve, rather than surgery.
    January 2013, “Dr. O,” Orthopedic Physician. Medford, OR. X rays show (normal). “If it was
    me, I’d start with the TT nerve release surgery, with “Dr. K”, since he is an expert, and if that
    didn’t work, go for the fascia release (for PF). You’re in a wheelchair, I'd start cutting and see
    what happens.”

    Update to History Above:
    February 2013, Begin Dr. Sarno's work: reading, journaling, inquiring into my personality type,
    observing inner pressures, tensions. I connect what I know about my inner life to the
    symptoms, based on Dr. Sarno's understanding. I begin very small pain-free walks, and
    gradually increase the distance.
    April 2013 Eight mile backpack trip. First backpacking since 2009.
    May 2013 Mt. Shasta ski mountaineering with several nights' supplies backpacked in. First
    skiing since 2009.
    March 2015 No relapse or symptoms except minor, temporary foot pain on strenuous ski trips.
    shmps, Ellen and plum like this.
  2. Ellen

    Ellen Beloved Grand Eagle

    I love your letter, Andy. I've thought of doing something similar, but never got around to it. You have inspired me to draft a similar letter. Thanks for sharing.
  3. shmps

    shmps Peer Supporter

    I sent a similar note to my PCP and the link to ABC 20/20 youtube video on Dr. Sarno.. never got any response back LOL
  4. Andy Bayliss

    Andy Bayliss TMS Coach & Beloved Grand Eagle

    I never got a reply either, except verbally by a practitioner who saw me dancing on hard wood floors, and expressed his surprise. I guess they just figure I am a complete anomaly, rather than someone who represents many/most of their patients!
  5. Andy Bayliss

    Andy Bayliss TMS Coach & Beloved Grand Eagle

    Ellen, I am glad you're going to do this. I feel I owed it to the physicians, or at least to their patients;).
    karinabrown and Ellen like this.
  6. Kittyruns

    Kittyruns Peer Supporter

    This is amazing! I ran a marathon back in 2012 and have struggle with the same kind of arch pain since then....but I just ran a half marathon a week ago and no pain whatsoever! Dr. Sarno is to thank! Loved your story. thanks so much for sharing! So happy for you.
  7. em1981

    em1981 New Member

    Than you for sharing this. My story is a bit shorter than yours (pain only started about 18 months ago) but remarkably similar in the progression from podiatrists (also PF diagnosis) with taping, injections, etc. to chiropractor to orthopedist to neurologist and finally to Sarno. It's very reassuring to know that someone else has been there with a similar set of symptoms and come out the other side.
  8. Marinedad

    Marinedad Well known member

    Same issues here for the last 8 years ...No relief yet but I am hopeful.

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