Thursday, October 22, 2009

Another accident - mirror therapy helps again

Yesterday I turned my ankle on a tree root on my way along my favourite beach track. I landed hard hearing a crack as I went. The pain was extreme and immediately my blood pressure dropped as nausea etc set in. Fortunately the crack was no more than a twig I stood on in an effort not to fall. The sound was the same as the crack last time when I tore my knee tendons and broke cartilage so the memory made me afraid I'd done some serious damage. However the incident caused sufficient pain and shock to immediately bring about a return to autonomic dysfunction. As soon as I got home I took vitamin C in the hope of preventing a return to other Complex Regional Pain Syndrome. In the few hours between the fall and seeing my doctor the pain escalated to the extent I had great difficulty putting my foot to the floor. My doctor used laser acupuncture on the area and Yamamoto New Scalp Acupuncture to help calm the autonomic symptoms.

I was in extreme pain again and really struggled on the trip home. I was very nauseous from the pain and at a loss what to do as I lay on the bed with my leg raised. I struggled to bear the pillow under my foot. I could no longer bear to move my toes or move my foot up and down. I was told this was because of swelling but I had my doubts.

Still convinced this was not CRPS but just my injury I remembered that I'd eased acute mouth pain using my version of mirror therapy. I had nothing to lose so sat on the side of my bed and positioned myself so that I could only see the mirror image of my good foot. This time I used the recommended method of moving both feet in the same way. I knew I could not wriggle my toes on the injured foot so that is what I watched myself doing in the merror. I tried to move the injured foot's toes in the same way. To my amazement I was able to curl them a little. I continued do this for about 30 seconds and then tried to move my foot up and down while I watched my other food doing this. Again amazingly I was able to move my painful foot, not as much but I moved it. I continued for about 30 seconds. Then I put my foot on the ground while watching the mirror image of my good foot doing the same. I did this only for a few seconds.
When I lay on the bed the pain was less intolerable and I could more comfortably rest my foot on the pilows.

I repeated this a few hours later and again this helped reduce the pain.

Today I did the mirror trick again. It helped again and I can now place my foot on the floor and walk with the aid of a crutch.

The pain went from extreme to bearable with mirror therapy.  Whether this pain has been wholly from the injury or from CRPS  from the injury I don't know. What I do know is that mirror therapy helped. I'll make a video shortly to show you what I did and will continue to do.

I will have Yamamoto New Scalp Acupuncture again tomorrow and next Monday and Wednesday. I'm really hoping that this will again correct the dyautonomia that has returned.

My husband and I are going to Vietnam in 9 days. I was getting fit, walking heaps and planning a short trek in the Highlands above Sapa near the Chinese border. This is a bit of a setback but I am confident I can recover by then using mirror therapy and with my GP's laser acupuncture and remarkable YNSA.


Alessea said...

You and me both. I have sympathetic symptoms from fracturing my wrist 9 weeks ago, mirror stuff and the ground knowledge I already have is what my hand therapist reckons has meant I still have a functioning hand. Had I just been an unsuspecting patient with the same symptoms she is sure things would be much worse by now.

I hope your prompt treatment enables you to enjoy your upcoming holiday and your ankle gets better fast!

jeisea said...


Were you also told to take vitamin c. Here's a link which explains including research.

I believe you should take the vitamin c for 50 days or for as long as you have pain.

I'm so happy to hear your hand therapist is so switched on and advises mirror therapy. After the "House" episode I hope more people are prepared to give it a go.

I just took a video of what I am doing with it now. I'll post it as soon as I get it processed.

Caf said...

Sorry to read about your setback! Brilliant that you have gotten stuck straight into treating it though as that's one of the most important things with pain managment. Wishing you all the best for happy healing xx

jeisea said...

Thanks heaps Caf. Do you do mirror therapy? I had a look at you blog and love your bags. I've started sewing and made some bags since last Christmas. It's been really great to do something creative.

Caf said...

Mirror therapy isn't really suitable for me because the CRPS is in all my limbs. It does help to do rehab aimed at similarly retraining the brain, though, trying to make my brain recognise each limb individual and convince it that it's functioning. Great to hear bout your bag project! I'm looking forward to getting back into it as I get well enough, was a great distraction :)

jeisea said...

Hi Caf

Don't be put off by whole body CRPS. That's what I was dealing with. I waited until I had a major flare in one limb and then used mirror therapy, a very little and often. As soon as that flare settled another took its place. This went on for weeks. Then one day I had a less pain day. This continued for a few days and then another flare. Over time the breaks between flares grew a little longer. It took a very long time but eventually I felt I was in control and was able at least to manage flares. It was such a huge relief. I went from very much out of control to managing my problems. Hang in there. There are many ways of retraining the brain. I'm so glad you have something to help.

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