January 31st, 2006

red fairy

orthotics dilemma

So my physical therapist has slowly been picking away at items that are mis-functioning in my body.  We've gotten to a fairly nit-picky level, where mostly my sacrum is still rotating, causing other things in the neck to eventually go out.  We kept circling around various issues I was having with feet, knees, and ankles.  But the major crap of 2.5 years ago is not happening anymore.  (YAY for that.)

So, my PT had me visit her co-worker, who specializes in feet, ankles, and knees.  The verdict was that I needed some slight corrections with orthotics to overcome structural issues that will never go away, and that my body would never be comfortable with my feet facing strictly forward/parallel, and specifically to wear them when exercising.  I've been wearing them since Thursday, building up my time wearing them, so I don't whack my back out.

Then, I get to yoga class tonight.  And mention that I'll be needing to start wearing them in class.  And basically, the upshot is she won't teach me if I'm wearing them--bare feet only.  She says that you grow dependent on them, that I have to work harder to strengthen my muscles so that I won't need them.

As I didn't have any shoes I could really wear them in, I went barefoot tonight.  And I could feel it immediately.  My feet didn't want to go "all the way down" when they were bare.  Standing poses ached at the ankles because they didn't want to strain as far as they needed to in order to hold the pose correctly.  But my hips felt totally different, and one very stubborn clench seemed to be loosening.

My PT has not led me to anything that was bad for me yet, so I have a lot of respect for and trust in her.  And I also have a lot of respect and trust for my yoga teacher.  So my question to you, oh healthy people, is what is the conventional wisdom on orthotics and exercise like yoga?  Should I be finding a yoga class that will admit me wearing orthotics?  Practice on my own from now on?  Ditch the PT?  What's a girl who loves her yoga to do?