Feeling Frustrated by achilles tendonitis, heel spur and equinus!
My pain started the end of March, 2012. The pain is behind my heel, not in the bottom. I had injured my heel in 2003 but ignored (I know, but I had a baby, a toddler and a 6 year old- I had no time to be off my feet!).
I went to the med center for the pain in March and was told anti-inflammatories, ice and stretching. I was told to keep up with regular activity so it did not tighten more.
After giving it over a month and I was still in pain with some swelling I went to my internist. He ordered an x-ray but had no other ideas. The x-ray showed a heel spur so they sent me to a foot and ankle specialist.
Specialist diagnosed me with Achilles tendonitis and equinus deformity of the foot. Apparently my large calves, wide feet and bouncing walk should have clued someone else in years ago but they did not. So I have had tight achilles for a long time. The specialist gave me one option- physical therapy. He also scared me- I was told that I could rupture my tendons at any time because they are so tight.
Went to physical therapist who measured my movement (which turned out to be less than 1%) and agreed I had very tight achilles. She told me to avoid being kicked in the leg or being hit from behind.
She started me on a stretching regime. After just 2 days I had a set back.
My heel began burning and was hot to the touch, I was unable to put any weight on my heel for 2 days. The PT was scaled back to just active stretches without any weight bearing stretches. She also recommended no standing for the weekend and lots of ice.
Now 4 days past the last set back, my heel is still very swollen. The past two days it has been so swollen that it feels flabby when I walk. There is a red mark exactly where the sore spot is. I have been icing it 4-5 times a day for 20+ minutes. I can now put weight on it but it still is painful.
I would love to know
1. How effective is physical therapy for my issues?
2. How long might it take before the pain and swelling subside?
3. Am I hurting myself more by continuing physical therapy- I am doing just what I am told but feel frustrated by the backwards slide rather than making it feel better.
Any suggestions, help, support- anything would be appreciated. I feel so alone in this as I don't know anyone else who has had this issue. I am feeling
Hi Kerry.1. How effective is physical therapy for my issues?
In general my response is always 'not very'. In your specific case, it's 'not very, obviously'.2. How long might it take before the pain and swelling subside?
Forever, unless you effectively reverse the problem.3. Am I hurting myself more by continuing physical therapy-
It depends on your definition of 'hurting'. Pain levels are up, yes.
Are you injuring yourself? Probably not. Are you irritating an already irritated dynamic? Absolutely.
Should your doctor be ashamed for telling you you could have a rupture at any moment? Yes. Your doctor has no way of knowing that.
When doctors say things like that, symptoms get worse. Funny how it works that way.
So. You definitely have Achilles Tendonitis
You have a Bone Spur
dynamic in place. The good news is, despite what doctors and PT's will tell you, bone spurs aren't the cause of pain etc. The forces that cause bone spurs are.
You're now afraid of a Achilles Tendon Rupture
Will stretching work? I doubt it. Stretching forces things apart, and, the things that are limber move, and the things that aren't limber don't, so you're really not targeting what you want to target.
This is relevant: Achilles Tendon Stretching:
Will icing for 20 minutes a time work? It may lower pain levels, but it's FAR less efficient than what you'll do when you learn How To Reduce Inflammation
Chances are very high that after and because of child rearing (among other reasons), you're definitely suffering from nutritional insufficiency/deficiency.
See: Magnesium for Tendonitis
As far as feeling along, I feel ya there. But do know that there are TONS of people in your basically the same situation. They're all alone too, going through the same doctor/pt scenario, and doing their best to get through the day.
There are answers and helpful things to do. This is a good place to start.
Update me what's been happening since you originally wrote this. ----------------------
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Joshua Tucker, B.A., C.M.T.
The Tendonitis Expertwww.TendonitisExpert.com