So yesterday's story ended with a decision: to accept the discomfort in my toes for help with my back or to do without the orthotics.
I chose to abandon the orthotics. Why? The decider for me was the fact the orthotics were affecting my good side as well as the side that hurt. I thought this was too much of a change. Having rejected the orthotics, I was given knee exercises to help reduce the flexion in my knees. This was a slow process.
(At about this I was also studying massage! So I was receiving a lot of "relaxtion time", a great feeling. In fact, this experience encouraged me to continue studying massage and
As the back remained an issue, I look at other therapies.
I tried the Alexander Technique which helped a lot. This technique made me aware of my body. I learned to "check" my body and ask "where is the tension" and "does it need to be tight?". (My first lesson, a paperback book was used as a support for my head. My thought was "this is going to be uncomfortable". How wrong I was. It gave just the right amount of support! My neck felt released.)
Pilates was another approach that was said to be great for back problems. It felt great to stretch and move the back! Some days, I definitely felt taller and the body certainly lighter! It was surprising how what simple moves could be hard to do. Getting muscles to work that hadn't worked in awhile can be hard.
Over time with these different therapies and exercises, the back has slowly recovered. I can't say exactly when it happened but my back is no longer an "issue".
So what have I learnt from this experience?
It is important to pay attention to your body. Be aware of your own body tension and how to release it. If one therapy or appraoch doesn't work for you, try another therapy - each has its own strengths. You are responsible for your own body. Only you know how it feels. Look after it!