T Nation

A Physiological Mess! Help

I understand that what im about to present to you seems overwhelming, and the immediate response is going to be �??get some ART�?? and a professional. However, those options are unfortunately impossible because i am in med school (hence currently a very poor student and in debt) and to make matters worse, its in Budapest, Hungary.

I have visited some some sports physicians, orthopedes in Canada, but they didnt even know where to begin. Since all i have is myself, i need all the help i can get…
Backround: I have flat feet, with the left being much worse than the right. Very athletic as a child; played high level rugby and played on the youth national waterpolo team for Canada throughout highschool.

Problems began with shoulder from too much swimming, i had what was diagnosed as �??probable�?? severe bicipital tendonitis with periodic lack of circulation to my arm/hand. I quit waterpolo and began lifting weights, and this is where the story begins…

I have not been able to do any lower body work (including cardio) for over 1.5 yrs now and no upper body work for 1 year. I cant stand reading and reading about fitness and not being able to do shit! Please help.
From Bottom Up…

OVERACTIVE/OVERDEVELOPED
Left Side: Proximal Hamstring, Gluteus Maximus, Rectus Femoris, Vastus Lateralis, Obliques and Upper Traps.
Right Side: Adductors , Vastus Medialis, Psoas, Pectineus,all aspects of Deltoid. Hamstrings are overactive if i try and activate glutes.

INHIBITED/UNDERDEVELOPED
Left Side: Atrophied and weak calf, Vastus Medialis, Oblique, Deltoid.
Right Side: Hamstring, Gluteus Maximus, Oblique and Upper Trap.

                 Side Notes

Lower Body: In addition,I have extremely poor flexion/extension/abduction/adduction in my right hip to the point where i feel my deep flexors and adductor spasm and tighten when i walk. I also have snapping hip syndrome in both my hips and also something snaps in my right posterior hip if i try and contract my glute while walking. I also have very poor dorse flexion in my left calf probably due to my very flat foot.

Upper Body: Oddly, i cant activate my right upper trap and it is underdeveloped resulting in my right shoulder sagging quite a bit and a very loose sternoclavicular joint which grinds and clicks excessively if i roll my shoulder. I also have very poor shrugging range of motion in my shoulder.

The deltoid is very overdeveloped due to the fact that it takes the the brunt of the weight during any elevation/pushing movements.
I understand that this pattern of muscular inhibition/overdevelopment makes no sense what so ever as i have not come across any literature to prove me otherwise.

I have spent countless hours reading and trying to fix myself but things just seem to get worse and worse. I know this is an intense list but imagine for a second not wanting to walk up stairs as u know you will be encouraging a severe unsymettry by activating all the wrong muscles… it sucks!!!

And here i am dreaming of doing deadlifts of a box when i cant even squat to parallel without my hip feeling like its going to explode. Yet i still have the feeling that I just need to know where to start as I cannot fix one problem without fixing the other. Thank you and sorry for the headaches.

So you don’t exercise at all right now? I’d say go for a long walk everyday. Don’t focus on activating the proper muscles - you’re not supposed to use your higher motor control centers for walking. Just walk. Tight muscles will relax and weak/inhibited muscles will strengthen. Barefoot would be best, but any thin-soled, flexible shoe will be fine.

And what do i do about the tibial internal rotation due too flat feet? That alone would be enough to throw everything off, not to mention the fact that due to severe imbalance my walking technique is probably wrong. I need help…

Once you strengthen your leg musculature you should have more of an arch. Or you could become more deconditioned and atrophied to the point of no return. As a doctor, would you ever clear someone to deadlift off of a box if they couldn’t even walk?

You need to break the pain cycle. You need neural input to retrain your muscles. You will never find the perfect treatment. But, if you did, being more conditioned will give you a better prognosis.

You also sound depressed - taking action will help your mood tremendously.

Sounds like a myofascial pain syndrome.

I had a problem like this that traveled from head to toe, mostly on my left side. My piriformis had such a bad trigger point that the proprioception in my feet was all screwed up.

This sounds like trigger points in your pec minor and scalenes, which can cut off circulation and nerve conduction through the brachial plexus.

I’d get this book, a tennis ball, and a lacrosse ball and attempt to treat yourself:
http://www.amazon.com/Trigger-Point-Therapy-Workbook-Self-Treatment/dp/1572243759/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1204313708&sr=8-1

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Depressed… not quite, but close. The human body fascinates, the oppurtunity to continually develop and mould my own into whatever I want is the most desireable thing to me in the world. Its not that i havent been taking action, its quite the opposite. I have been trying so many things and nothing is working, and i just cant find anyone who can help. I have orthotics but apparently they havent helped much.

And as for strengthening my leg musculature… here is an example. If i do any unilateral work on my left side my glute will grow disproportionatly fast and i already sit on a tilt to a hypertrophied glute caused by simple walking and going up stairs.

If i do any sort of leg extension (TKE, modifed sissy squat) my rectus femoris and lateral quad will continue to grow and further take over as the prime knee extensors even more severely inhibiting my Vastus medialis. By the way, I appreciate the responses more than u know… Thank you sincirely.

You got the shaft when it comes to genetics…Get a doctor.

[quote]Kato wrote:
And what do i do about the tibial internal rotation due too flat feet? That alone would be enough to throw everything off, not to mention the fact that due to severe imbalance my walking technique is probably wrong. I need help…[/quote]

I agree with Horatio.

You can’t worry about everything that is wrong. Even if your walking biomechanics aren’t perfect, walking is better than not walking. Walking is not going to hurt you, and it’s probably going to help a lot.

I also think walking on uneven terrain is even better.

I have had a laundry list of imbalances and believe that isolated stretches and strengthening exercises did little to help. Instead, it was more complex movements that made a big difference, a combination of stuff from Pain Free by Egoscue, Maximum Mobility sold on this site, Low Back Disorders by McGill, and trigger point work also mentioned above.