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    Stretching the achilles

    I've been trying to find people to talk to about my feet that aren't my annoyed coworkers listening to me whine that they hurt! My name's Autumn, I'm 23 and I've had foot pain since I began working when I was 16. I've never been able to stand for long periods and it has just gotten worse over the years. I started with insoles molded from foam and they seemed to work pretty well, but two years later I'm heavier and my feet are much worse than they were. It's to the point that I could nearly collapse after an eight hour day and the inflammation continues to worsen every day that I work. I lost my lost job because after four hours I'm reduced to hobbling around my job. About four months ago I talked to a podiatrist and she said that my achilles are too short. At first glance I also have very high arches. She says that I walk well but the tendon is not flexing and is highly inflamed. So I now have a four hundred dollar insole and EE shoes...She gave me a list of stretches to do and honestly I gave up on them very quickly and have just begun them again as I have a new job (fast food, of course).

    My question is just how much do I need to focus on the stretches, how vigorous should I be with them? Should I do them strictly three times a day and how long should it be before I expect results? I've begun exercise hoping that maybe if I lose the weight I gained I can get back to the lower amount of inflammation I had before...

    I guess I should also point out that the podiatrist recommended cortisone shots and suggests that I have my achilles lengthened, however, that does not sound pleasant.

    #2
    Do you have a spinal cord injury or other disability?

    If not, have you worn high heels for many years exclusively? This can lead the heel cord shortening.

    Do you also have plantar fasciitis? Some of your symptoms sound like this.

    It is extremely rare for an able bodied person to develop severe heel cord shortening without these other issues going on. Stretching and use of proper shoes and orthotics should prevent or treat most of this. Have you seen a good physical therapist? Why did you stop the stretching exercises prescribed?

    Surgery can be done, but shortening can develop again after surgery if you continue with the same habits that caused this, and the surgery is not a small one, with a long and painful recovery. I would never allow a podiatrist to do this type of surgery. Only an orthopedic surgeon should do it. Have you seen one?

    (KLD)
    The SCI-Nurses are advanced practice nurses specializing in SCI/D care. They are available to answer questions, provide education, and make suggestions which you should always discuss with your physician/primary health care provider before implementing. Medical diagnosis is not provided, nor do the SCI-Nurses provide nursing or medical care through their responses on the CareCure forums.

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      #3
      I don't have any defects that I'm aware of and I didn't exclusively wear high heels. My assumption was that my achilles are short because I'm only five feet tall. I do have plantar fasciitis, which is what led to me finding out about my calves. I stopped the stretches because I was only working off and on and my last job I was let go because I was inadequate and it was a temporary seasonal job.

      Honestly, I'm relatively certain that nothing I've done has caused it. The only thing that's ever been wrong with me is I developed rheumatic fever when I was in the fifth grade. I have not seen a surgeon, just a podiatrist. I don't have any insurance and barely enough money to see the podiatrist.

      Thanks for you reply. What kind of spinal injury is present in people like this?

      Edit: Also, I've never been able to wear uncomfortable shoes and all of my pain started from long days of standing up at work. I've never been able to walk properly, but I didn't think I was walking nearly on my toes like I apparently am.

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        #4
        I guess I also should point out that I've been doing half hour intervals on the elliptical machine and my feet have been going numb in the upper half. Today I haven't been doing anything and my feet keep intermittently tingling for no reason.

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