44 responses

  1. Kieren Geaney
    November 12, 2012

    Thanks again for another good article. I have completely dissected the site and used your articles to identify (at least I hope) the source of my ankle injury. I just had one question, from something I read somewhere else but can’t find the link.

    The article was basically about the the lack of research that was done in the past against cortisol and estrogen – because, for sports performance research studies are heavily biased towards the finding body. It said cortisol and estrogen do play an important role and they are not ‘bad hormones’ so long as their is balance. It mentioned that higher estrogen levels lead to increased flexibility – essentially preparing a womans body for child birth. 90% of the women I know seem to be a lot more flexible than men in the same peer group. I was wondering if you might expand on this – maybe in another article?

    • Sock Doc
      November 12, 2012

      Yes estrogen can do that and so can the hormone relaxin which is produced at the same time in the woman’s cycle – both affecting connective tissue “flexibility” you might say. It’s all about what is normal – that’s a grey area. All women are going to have different levels of these hormones – there’s no “you have to have this level on this day” to be normal, it’s a wide variance. But when balance is off, for so many reasons, then symptoms exist followed by problems (injuries perhaps). So “increased” flexibility is okay as long as that increased level isn’t too much causing imbalances.

  2. pkadams
    November 13, 2012

    Hey Doc, about the proprioception, I had an odd experience in a half marathon last weekend. It was a big race, 25K runners. While running, I began to have the sensation that I could stop moving my legs and just float along with the runners. I literally had to tell myself , in my head, to keep stepping. Would you consider that a proprioception issue and what should I do next time? Thanks.
    By the way, I am also suffering from estrogen dominance, water retention, but also dehydation. I use progesterone cream and take supplements. I am 48.

    • Sock Doc
      November 14, 2012

      Yeah you can consider a lot of things like that to affect proprioception; you probably had several muscles imbalances which made you feel that way.

  3. greengirlrunning
    November 16, 2012

    This is a fantastic article! So useful and just makes so much sense. When I look back on the injuries I’ve had with this info in mind, it’s so easy to see that things were out of balance in my body. Thank you for continuing to put information out there that takes into account the whole person…so few actually do this. I take my children to a very unique pediatric practice that combines holistic and “conventional” medicine and preventative care. Your approach to health, wellness and injury prevention/care reminds me so much of my kids’ pediatricians. You’re awesome Sock Doc!

    • Sock Doc
      November 17, 2012

      Thanks Green Girl!

  4. Cate
    November 18, 2012

    Hi there, just linked to you from MDA. Was wondering if you’d heard of the Russian ‘Scenar’ device, and its affect on strained/sprained tendons and ligaments.
    (I sure don’t work for them.. but.) I bought one last week after months of humming/hawing and have only used it once so far. Pretty amazing IMHO, very old back sprain (lat.dorsi) pain literally gone, but interested in your opinion on it if you had one.
    Really enjoyed your article.
    : )

    • Sock Doc
      November 18, 2012

      Hi Cate, I have never heard of that device before. Glad you like the article, thanks!

  5. Liz
    November 19, 2012

    Love this article! Quite an eye opener! I have been in a wheelchair for several months after doing a round of in vitro where they pumped me full of hormones. I already had bi-lateral plantar fasciitis, but could still crossfit. Now I get around in a wheelchair because I have bi lateral tarsal tunnel/baxters entrapment. I also have symptoms of Erythromelalgia. Now my hormones are probably way off. I haven’t felt the same since the in vitro.

    • Sock Doc
      November 19, 2012

      Oh that’s not good; unfortunately more common that what you’d think – and what people are told.

  6. Yad
    November 21, 2012

    Hi, Doc. When my period is coming, at least I have low of energy, pain everywhere, water retention. I need to eat more fat? (protein) and take Complex B and magnesium? I starting eating green juice extrac to get antioxidants and iron. What do you think Doc.
    Blessing from Panama

    • Sock Doc
      November 21, 2012

      If you’re not eating enough protein and fat that could be contributing, but more won’t help if you’re eating enough. B6 and magnesium are the two most common nutrients needed for estrogen breakdown, and sometimes vitamin E (mixed, natural tocopherols) for hormonal balance too.

      • Yad
        November 21, 2012

        Thanks Doc. Do you know a specific suplements for that? any brand that you suggest?

      • Sock Doc
        November 21, 2012

        I can’t give specific supplement advice for that via on-line, and I’m sure you have different brands in Panama.

  7. michaelplaceres
    November 22, 2012

    Hey Doc,
    I am new to running and started minimalist and barefoot. I started having a pain in my right ankle area on the outside of the leg. It ran from the middle of the ankle bone up approximately 3 inches. It will get better with time but comes back. It now has started on the left side and hurts like you know what. I do recovery drinks and plenty of protein as we eat Paleo. I have been told numerous things to do and nothing seems to help. Any ideas?

  8. Jayisk
    November 30, 2012

    Hello Doctor,
    I’ve dislocated my left ankle 3 times in the last 10 years playing basketball, I have also had an on going issue with my right shoulder which makes me think that I might a hormonal problem witch your article points out. In relation to my ankle injuries, in all instances it was because I had landed on another person’s foot :(
    After reading your article, I was just wondering 2 things. (1) Is there is any way I can find out my current hormone and nutrients levels and (2) what should they be at for a 30yr old male.

    I’m currently taking zinc and using topical magnesium before reading your article and will consider also using the other nutrient that you have suggested. I’m also taping my ankle when I play basketball now as a recent visit to a physio suggested that the interior ligament in my left ankle is completely gone due to a previous injury.

    Ideally i would like to play the sport I love without having the slight pain in my ankle when I to jump or exercise.

    Thank you for your insightful article.

    • Sock Doc
      November 30, 2012

      1. There are lab tests available but they aren’t the best way to figure this stuff out. Look for a doc there in AUS who practices applied kinesiology and works with soft tissue problems.

      2. The levels are variable and not just a “high”, “low”, and “normal” but also how they are in balance with each other.

  9. Zach Hulce
    November 30, 2012


    I was told I have a lordotic posture because I have chronic back pain and I’ve been strengthening my abs and stretching my hip flexors like I was told, but I also have heel pain, shin splints etc… My question is does lordosis cause plantar fasciitis, foot problems things like that or is it strictly muscles restrictions in your calf muscles? if I correct my lordosis will the foot pain eventually subside as well?


    • Sock Doc
      November 30, 2012

      Usually those problems are a different symptoms from a same cause (though could be individual). I’ve never seen lordosis CAUSE PF, but it could contribute. You should look for a doc who knows how to treat a whole body.

  10. clive quinn
    January 4, 2013

    Hi sock doc. I am regular visitor to your site and really appreciate the effort you put into it. I am also an avid reader of Phil Maffetone’s books and training procedures which seem to be in tune with your advice also.
    Basically i am in rehab phase of recovering from 2 disc herniations (thankfully they were only protrusions). I am running again but taking it slow. I have some slight pain in the ankle(medial ankle). It is slightly sore to touch. This is the right ankle and most of my disc protrusion sciatic like pains i was getting was on the right side. Thankfully an osteopath manipulated my pelvis to level it which removed most (if not all) of my pain. My question – What to do with the medial ankle pain ? Could this be a symptom of disc bulges i have ? I walk and run in minimal shoes with 1mm sole thickness and zero drop(barefoot at times in the summer). I have been told many times i am an overpronator and i need orthotics etc. Obviously i dont buy into this as i read your site. My diet is pretty good now (from reading this site and maffetones books). Obvioulsy i have stresses like every other man but i try keep it in check. Any tips on how to firstly diagnose medial ankle pain ? Trigger points – where should i look.
    Any help much appreciated and happy new year.

    • Sock Doc
      January 4, 2013

      Hi Clive – for medial pain the most common muscle issue there would be the tibialis posterior. You can read about that is 3 videos – the Foot Pain, Plantar Fasciitis, and Shin Splints Videos. Sure it could be linked in some way to your disc issues, but from what you tell me here, I’d say (guess) probably not. A weak tib post will make you an “overpronator” too.

  11. Clive quinn
    January 5, 2013

    Fantastic thanks for that. So what is the best way to strengthen tibialis posterior? Lots of websites show pointing ankle up down left and right etc Any sock doc tips?

    • Sock Doc
      January 5, 2013

      Trigger point work of the muscle itself and the lower calf. Check out the Sock Doc videos.

  12. Clive quinn
    January 11, 2013

    Thanks again sock doc. Went to my physio yesterday and he looked at my ankle and he found some tightness there but he then looked at my lower leg and done some deep tissue work and told me that my tibialis posterior was probably causing all my problems.

  13. Lisa Quenon
    January 11, 2013

    Hi Doc. I severely tore ligaments in my right knee over 2 years ago. Primarily have treated with hot/cold, swimming, walking and a ton of Ligaplex II, in addition to other supplements. I have not had my hormones tested, I do not think…at least for several years. The western doc always wants me to take Synthroid…except I do not wish to. For the last 6 months I have been self-treating for adrenal healing with Thymus, dessicated Adrenals, DHEA and other supplements plus intentional rest and much barefoot walking in the grass, doing art and other enjoyable pursuits. Last year I had about 4 months solid of bronchitis that culminated with a hospital stay for pneumonia. I have also cut all sugar out of my diet and significantly changed my eating. So far, these past 6 months, seem to be somewhat better. The pain in my right knee is somewhat better…many days not troublesome at all. (A surgeon looked at the MRI and immediately said surgery…I opted not.) How do I learn about the hormones or have them tested? I have a western doc who I think will do tests – at least most of them – that I might request. I do not have an alternate doc right now. I did rub the thymus area and, yup, really sore…will continue rubbing it. Thank you, Lisa Q

    • Sock Doc
      January 11, 2013

      You’ll have to find a holistic doc in your area to help you with that.

  14. Jennifer Logan
    February 4, 2013

    Very insightful reading having suffered ankle and knee ligament trouble for the last 3 years. I have under active thyroid treated by thyroxine and also had surgery for carpel tunnel syndrome. I’m a 41 year old female and am convinced that my injuries are hormone related.

  15. Neal
    February 19, 2013

    Hey Doc. You have any advice on treatment for tarsal tunnel syndrome please?I may have had it for a year.

    • Sock Doc
      February 19, 2013

      Same advice as I give for plantar fasciitis as it has to do with the tibialis posterior muscle. So check out the PF video and Foot Pain video too.

    • Michele
      June 15, 2013

      I definitely have Tarsal Tunnel. I’m only 45, got Shingles in my right foot at 42, then at 44 did a really bad ankle inversion when jumping down. I feel the pain in my inner ankle and sligh numbness, tingling in toes. Doc said possible surgery. I watched videos but I’m walking barefoot most of the day and have been able to pick things up with my toes like a pro. Maybe something I’m missing – the hormones and stress? Get hormones checked maybe?

  16. Beth
    March 1, 2013

    Hi Doc,

    I stumbled across your site today would like advice. I suffer from lax ligaments over most of my body, have had ankle surgery to “tighten” the ligaments, suffer from chronic back pain, and I have one hip that all the muscles around it get so tight it literally gets about 3 inches higher than the other and the muscles feel like concrete. What sort of doctor should I look for that would be able to address these issues? I live in the Metro DC region if you know anyone out my way. I have previously been to chiropractics before and I would have short term relief (<2 weeks at a time) but would like to have longer relief.


  17. Aileen
    March 8, 2013

    I can certainly attest to the fact that my back went haywire during perimenopause. One week a month I pretty much couldn’t run. However I don’t think you’ve covered menopause itself. My rheumatologist specialist blithely said women have lots of problems after menopause. I am having lots of problems – in fact going to my sports med doc on Monday about my hip! Is there a place for HRT for joint problems? Can we simply cast them off as old age? I really hate being stereotyped when I am in fact fit (I do heavy weights and run), not overweight, not prediabetic……………..But I also hate feeling increasingly decrepit!

    • Sock Doc
      March 8, 2013

      We don’t use “old age” as an excuse on this site (or in my practice) and MDs are always going to blame common problems on your gender, age, or now your menopause. Find a natural doc who may be able to help you out. There is some more hormonal information on my drgangemi.com site.

  18. jonathan niles
    April 19, 2013

    I have spained my ankle a couple of times in my life, like 4 or 5 times and about a year or so ago i had an ankle surgery to clear out bone spurs. I know only have about 8 degrees of dorsiflexion. This i think is given me forefoot pain, in that foot. how do i get that to 12-15 degress for optimal running and walking without stretching. i was thinking about gettting a EMPI advance dynamic ROM streching splint i dont really know what else to do. Every morining when i wake up and evening before i go to bed i use a trigger point roller and ball on my calves and feet, just wondering what else to do.

  19. Eva
    June 8, 2013

    Dear Sock Doc,

    I have recently come down with a number of health problems, which I’ve always thought were related but your site is the first opinion I see that seems to agree with me in this respect!
    I have been on birth control pills for 20 years continuously (since I was 17), with only a few months break here and there. I always felt much better on the pill — it gave me more energy, made my periods predictable and it evened out my PMS symptoms.
    My problems started in early 2012 with mild bilateral plantar fasciitis, joint stiffness in the morning and general fatigue, which intuitively led me to quit the pill in August. A few weeks later the plantar fasciitis was gone but my ankles started rotating inwards and the pain spread to the inside of the ankle. A podiatrist diagnosed me with posterior tibialis tendonitis. At the same time I became extremely fatigued, developed a painful lump in my breast, had really bad constipation, developed a hemmorhoid, and had stomach cramps several times a day. I had to cut back on exercise and work hours to be able to cope.
    Doctors said my bloodwork was fine (FSH, TSH, vitamin D, FCS, differential white cell counts were all in range) though I had slightly elevated anti-TG anitbodies (56 IU/ml) and cholesterol (5.68nmol/l, HDL 2.42nmol/l), also close to the limit were my CRP<0.6mg/L and erythrocyte sedimentation 7mm/h. An MRI of my foot showed some fluid buildup (peroneus longus tenosynovitis) but no other abnormality. Everyone looked at me funny when I said I thought something was up with my hormones.

    By December 2012, I couldn't walk or stand, couldn't wear shoes and I lost feeling in the right big toe. A podiatrist told me I had tarsal tunnel syndrome and I should take NSAIDs. Not knowing what to do, I went on vacation for three weeks and didn't wear shoes. In that time I tried taking diosmin/hesperidin, which not only made a big difference to my hemmorhoids, but also helped my fatigue and my feet slightly.

    I recently had a metabolic profile done, which showed low linoleic/linolenic fatty acid levels, increased need for Q10, B1, increased need for aminoacids, particularly glutamine. I have increased my protein intake and now take aminoacid complexes, omega 3-6-9, glutamine, D3 and Calcium/Magnesium supplements.

    Although my symptoms have slowly started to become milder by March/April this year, none of them are gone completely, and I still can't run or jump without pain. My diet is very healthy and naturally high in omega 3/6/9 and protein so I think there must be more going on than not getting enough nutrients from my diet and I would like to find the root cause. I am looking into saliva hormone testing and trying to find a doctor here in the UK who could help me interpret the results. I was wondering if you agree that that's a good way forward and if you have recommendations for any other avenues I could explore or tests/supplements to try?

    • Sock Doc
      June 9, 2013
      • Eva
        June 10, 2013

        Thanks for taking the time to respond, Sock Doc! I have read most articles on your site but I’ll keep digging. Just wanted to say I agree with your philosophy on diet and stress reduction and have been doing most things you recommend before I came to your site either because I grew up that way or because they always made me feel better (low carb, no preservatives, low sugar diet, lots of organic eggs/seeds/fish/veg, reduced work hours, getting lots of sun, always running around barefoot). I am a dancer/yogini so I also get plenty of anaerobic exercise.
        It is very scary that none of the western healthcare professionals I saw so far (including doctors who prescribe the pill!) have agreed with me that my symptoms could be due to a hormonal imbalance. It feels like being stuck in a no man’s land where your site is a breath of fresh air.

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