Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Case Study: The Long-Term Effects of Kinesio Tape on Hallux Valgus - Week 0

This past weekend I took the final of three courses in Kinesio taping.  A couple of weeks from now, I will hopefully have taken and passed the test for certification.  (Which means I can add "CKTP" behind my name.  Not gonna lie, I'm kind of excited about that.)

Over the course of the weekend, I decided to do a case study/experiment with the taping.  I'm excited that the subject of my study!  (There's gonna be a great deal of excitement in this post...)

I have weird toes.  They've been this way as long as I can remember.  My big toes point outward instead of straight ahead.  See?

The technical term for this is "hallux valgus," which I more commonly refer to as "crooked toes."  I don't know if I inherited this trait, or if it's a combination of being a toe-walker and running around barefoot my whole life.  (I can safely say it's certainly not from wearing too many tight pairs of high heels.)  They don't really cause me any problems, except some occasional soreness after running longer distances.  But I could eventually end up with painful bunions, which does not sound all that exciting to me.

Anyway, I'm going to see if Kinesio taping my toes for a length of time will correct and reverse the crookedness.  The instructor of my course told about some women with this same condition who managed to change the bone structure of their toes after only two months of taping, which they evidenced by x-rays.  I don't expect a complete correction of my toes, but I do wonder if I can permanently alter the valgus angle by a few degrees.  Here comes the technical information:

11/21/11 - Starting Measurements

Left (L) metatarsophalangeal (MTP) joint:  35 degrees valgus
Right (R) metatarsophalangeal (MTP) joint:  30 degrees valgus

Taping Technique

Measurements After Taping

L MTP:  15 degrees valgus
R MTP:  20 degrees valgus

It just now dawned on me that this will be the most boring blog post some of you have ever read and that not everyone shares the same happiness over seeing my toes taped.  I apologize.  I'm posting anyway.

Anyway, if you happen to still be paying attention, you will have noticed that the tape decreased the valgus angle of both toes.  Not enough to make them completely straight, but enough to make a significant difference in the joint alignment.  I'm hoping that, over the course of a few months, my foot muscles will be retrained enough to hold my toes in a slightly better position and maybe even change the bone structure.

Enough geeking.  I'll try to post an update every few weeks for your reading pleasure...or non-pleasure.  Mostly it's just more fun to blog about it than to write up a boring research paper.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Overdue Confessions

I have some 'fessin' up to do.  Remember that one post I wrote back in January?  (Maybe you don't remember me.  Hello, my name is Elizabeth and I used to write.)  I made some non-resolutions for 2011, one of which involved me losing forty pounds by the end of August.  Well, August has come and gone, and I've been a little preoccupied in the meantime, so here's my long overdue update.

I did not meet my goal.

I hate to say that, because now it's going to draw your attention to my body next time you see me, and quite frankly, I prefer to pretend that no one ever notices my physical flaws.  (Kind of like putting my hands over my eyes and playing the if-I-can't-see-you-then-you-can't-see-me game.)  But part of the reason I announced my plan to lose weight in the first place was to have additional accountability.  If I tell you I'm going to do something, then I'd darn well better get it done, even if you never say another word about it.

The eight month weight loss journey was quite amazing in itself, primarily because of the Spirit working in my heart through Lysa Terkheurst's book Made to Crave.  It's an incredible book, and I highly recommend it to any woman who struggles with identity and self-worth.  Anyway, by the beginning of August I had lost twenty-five pounds.  Not that close to my goal of forty, but certainly nothing to be ashamed of.

Unfortunately for my bathroom scale, I let life get the best of me and haven't been able to keep up with my new eating lifestyle.  As a result, I've gained back some of that twenty-five pounds.  However, I can't tell you how much exactly, because (fortunately for my bathroom scale) I've been too afraid to step on to assess the damage.  My pants still fit, so I know I'm still ahead of where I was at the start of the year.

The dust around me is settling just a bit, and I'm hopeful that I can soon pick up where I left off.  The challenging part is examining my motives behind losing weight.  I want to do it for purely selfish and cosmetic reasons.  God wants me to do it because I am to honor Him through obedience and the decisions I make, including the choice between eating a cookie or an apple with my lunch.

Don't hear me wrong - I'm not saying God has pre-ordained every single bite I'm supposed to eat or that I'm only allowed carrot sticks and water (ew).  But I do believe that the quiet decisions I make regarding my food - even cookies vs apples - matters in how He is glorified in my body, which He created for His desires and purposes.  He gave me this body to look after and tend to while I'm on this earth, just like He has given me a job to work at with all my heart (Col 3:23).  It's my job to take care of it to the best of my abilities so that I can offer it back to Him as my living sacrifice (Rom 12:1).  I want to give Him my best.


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