Archive for June, 2011

Levaquin and fasciitis

Levaquin. It’s a drug that can completely destroy your body’s connective tissue, and I am encountering more and more people who have taken it at some point in the past and now have what seems to be irreparable tendon and fascia damage. Tendon problems get the most press, but it’s a fact that the fascia are often affected as well. I intend to write a more in-depth post about this topic soon, but for now, if you are suffering from tendon or fascia pain as a result of taking Levaquin, well… the outlook unfortunately isn’t very good.

One technique might have some potential: lowering the intensity of the reparative exercises that are given in my book. The usual prescription is to exercise while trying for about a 2-3 on a scale of 0-10, 0 being no pain at all, but people who have taken Levaquin seem to do better if they just aim for a “1”, at least at the beginning of therapy. Given proper nutrition and exercise, and enough time, you may be able to strengthen your fascia and tendons even if they’ve been affected by this drug…but it’s going to take a while and you’re probably going to have to start out from a lower threshold than people who have not had this particular type of debilitation.

Say goodbye to the Food Pyramid

In a long overdue move, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has gotten rid of the famous Food Pyramid that for close to two decades was supposed to tell you how to eat. The new symbol is a plate-and-cup that will hopefully be easier to understand.

Michelle Obama, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Surgeon General Regina Benjamin got together to announce the new paradigm, but the message seemed to be a little contradictory. According to Ms. Obama, parents “don’t have time” to measure out portions of food…yet, according to Dr. Robert Post, Deputy Director of the USDA Center for Nutrition Policy, “We know that with proper planning, you can get enough protein” from a vegan diet.

Hmmm. I can tell you from personal experience that, once you have the scale, it takes about ten seconds to measure out a portion of anything. On the other hand, I know very few vegans who actually (a) combine plant proteins properly on a regular basis and (b) get enough overall protein into their bodies (which is probably why so many of them start looking gaunt and eventually go back to eating animal sources). I have nothing against any particular diet plan, so long as it’s healthy, but let’s be clear about the realities of eating. Weighing food takes almost no time at all, and there is no better way of coming to grips with the reality of what you’re putting into your mouth–it’s just that it’s a bit of a hassle.

Anyway, time will tell if this new plate-and-cup idea takes hold. Meanwhile, if you have long-term tendon or fascia problems in your feet, here are some food-based issues to consider:

If you are overweight, an obvious first thing to look at is losing the excess poundage.
If you are underweight, are you eating enough good fats?
For any American male, do you consume a large amount of red meat versus little in the way of fish and/or nuts?

Any or all of these can be (and probably are) contributing factors to your pain. Fixing them is one step toward having healthy tendons and fascia and preventing recurrences of tendonitis/fasciitis. For more information about nutrition and supplementation as they relate to having healthy tendons/fascia, check out my book Target Plantar Fasciitis and Posterior Tibial Tendonitis.