Was My Chronic Pain, Fatigue, Fibromyalgia Cured with a Pair Of Shoes? NO!

Depression ICD-9 296.3, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome ICD-9 780.71, Fibromyalgia ICD-9 729.1

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Ask the doctor, Dr. James Stoxen DC

Weather you have aggravated myofascial trigger points in the legs, sciatic nerve problems, a tight iliotibial band (ITB) or even cracking knees, it will not be cured with a pair of shoes.

I personally had Chronic Muscle Pain, Painful Arthritis, Stress and Fatigue, Fibromyalgia disease and lower back pain.  This was all at the age of 27.  Do you think a pair of shoes fixed any of this? I didn’t  and in this post I will explain why.


Unsafe Range vs Safe Range


Dr James Stoxen DC 1987

In 1987 I was training hard using the routines I read in powerlifting, bodybuilding and fitness magazines. A young doctor, ready to take on the world, I thought I knew everything. Still I wanted to test some of my theories out on myself.

When I first began a more intense routine I was about 160 pounds. I was able to squat 400 pounds for 6 reps and bench 300 for 8 reps.   In practically no time, I packed about 30 pounds of solid muscle onto my frame to reach a weight of 190 with 9 % body fat.

I looked great. But I suddenly began to tire easily and quickly slipped into a state of chronic fatigue.  I then developed chronic pain in my feet, legs, hips, lower back, between my shoulders, and neck pain.  Every weight bearing joint was killing me.  My ankles, knees, hips and back cracked with every step. I sounded like a cricket!  I couldn’t lift without severe pain afterwards.

I was a 27 year old doctor with chronic arthritis.

My father, Dr Paul Stoxen DC, an amazing chiropractor for 47 years, gave me two to three back adjustments a day. These would provide an hour or so relief but then the pain would return.

I tried orthotics but they only made me feel worse.

After four agonizing months, frustrated and disillusioned with chiropractic and natural cures, I drifted into a depression.

Growing up, I never took so much as an aspirin, yet I began to consider prescription drugs to ease my misery, if only for a day or two, I thought.

But fate stepped in with a better solution.

One day, a patient of mine, remarked, “How do you work all day on your feet in those Don Johnson style loafers? Don’t they make your feet hurt?”

He suggested I get more supportive shoes, which I did, and from the minute I put them on I felt relief.  I often wonder where I would have ended up without the advise of the salesman.

Who knows, maybe trapped in the cycle of chronic pain and an addiction to dangerous prescription drugs. Or worse.

My radical turnaround left me stymied.

How could this sudden onset of pain and misery happen to me, an otherwise healthy and fit doctor? I looked good and could lift heavy weights and I followed the guidelines of the experts.

Why did my seemingly well-trained body break down?

And what role did my new shoes play in my recovery?

I didn’t think the shoes cured me. They merely provided support, performing the job that certain muscles in my body were engineered to support but weren’t supporting.

Still, this perplexed me. I felt my options were to either send my patients to an orthopedic shoe store or build a training center to study the mechanics of the human foot and learn the secrets of its function.

I chose the latter and in 1991, built a training center in my clinic. There, I provided rehab and training to athletes and patients, developed new exercises and created a barefoot training program to strengthen and develop the foot muscles that I ignored.

I designed the exercise routine that was missing from my workout.

It was the first step to on my quest to understand and address the muscles that support the bodies impact resistance mechanism (What I call the spring mechanism).

The moral of the story is:

  • Do not neglect to exercise the muscles of your feet and ankles.
  • Train your feet and ankles as often as the other areas of your body for strength balance.
  • Train your feet without your shoes on to get full range of motion of the joints.
  • If you are going to be standing on your feet for long periods of time wear shoes with an extended medial counter support
  • Don’t think you know everything.  Have an open mind to advise.

Foot Inversion Bands


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