As I mentioned before, Dr. Gonzales is a Certified Active Release Techniques (ART) Provider. ART is a combination of examination and treatment. It involves evaluating the texture, tension, movement and function of muscles, fascia, tendons, ligaments and nerves. ART treats soft-tissue injuries by moving muscle fibers, tendons, and ligaments through a combination of motion and deep, targeted massage to release adhesions, smooth the movement of tissues, release entrapped nerves of blood vessels, and promote healing.
The purpose of this visit was three-fold. First, I wanted to get a second opinion on my right foot. I also wanted him to look at my left leg because lately I've been struggling with an unusually tight hip flexor and inner knee pain on that side. Finally, I needed him to loosen up my calves again. I also wanted to follow up with Dr. Gonzales on the results of my gait analysis but unfortunately, he informed me he had stopped using his video analysis resource.
Dr. Gonzales started with my left leg. He had me stand with my left leg straight and my right leg slightly bent with my right foot behind me. He instructed me to do a slow one-legged squat and then slowly straighten my leg back up. He observed that my knee was going inwards - just as it had in my gait analysis video.
He looped my left thigh through an elastic band and he actually pulled in the same direction my knee was going and told me to repeat the exercise. Instead of moving further inwards, my knee eventually started to resist and after a few iterations, it was noticeably straighter. He suggested I do this exercise once a day to reprogram my leg.
After he examined my leg movements, he did ART on my left hip to loosen it up. Once again, I had to focus on yoga breathing to endure the pain.
I let Dr. Gonzales know I'd made a lot of glute progress since our last session. After mentioning my glute weakness to my kickboxing instructor, he's made an effort to integrate butt work into every class - good for my glutes but maybe not so much for my Kickblast! popularity.
Dr. Gonzales mentioned I should also incorporate the Cook Hip Lift exercise into my glute work. He demonstrates this exercise in this video:
Next, he worked on my right foot. He said he didn't feel any tears in the plantar fascia so it was a relief to hear whatever damage I'd inflicted on myself didn't appear to be that significant.
He worked on my calves last. I focused intently on my breathing but it wasn't nearly as painful at the first time. I told Dr. Gonzales how much my calf tightness had improved and how they have remained considerably looser since my first ART session. He said he was surprised to hear this because he couldn't believe how tight they were but I assured him this was nothing compared to last time.
I felt really good as I walked out of his office. My left hip felt much lighter and my calves were all relaxed.