Help wanted. Bone spurs in feet. Podiatrist. CW or???
History: I'm struggling with bad feet which according to the doc are a result of my genetics (not age, weight, activity, etc). A few years ago I had pain on the top of my feet. Went to a podiatrist, xrays confirmed bone spurs. Expensive custom orthotics made and worn, problem solved...until this summer (guilty of not wearing orthotics in summer). Severe pain in the back of my heel -- back to the podiatrist. New bone spur against the Achilles. New expensive custom orthotics made worn and now terrible lower back pain that seems nerve related, not muscle related. (I've been through the adjustment period before, this is different).
Question: I'm at a loss. Orthotics seem to alleviate the bone spur pain (and I do NOT want any kind of foot surgery) but now they seem to be causing significant lower back pain. I'm going back to the doctor but I just wonder - we question so much of the CW in other medical fields, but I haven't heard much "primal" (for lack of a better word) thoughts in this field. Are there other options which ideally prevent pain and future bone spur development and don't cause back / hip pain?!
Anyone have any similar experience and found a solution?
Are you a runner? Im not really buying the genetics pitch. Id recommend rest.
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No not a runner - never been a runner. He showed me my xrays -- saw where my the bones of my toes come in at an angle vs straight on a "normal" foot. My fourth toe, on both feet, are visibly curved and the xrays reflect that curvature as well. That was from birth as I've always noticed that. I have extra bones in my right foot that aren't there in my left -- though they don't bother me at all. My brother has an extra vertebrae in his spine -- so I do tend to believe we are genetically weird (helps explain a lot more than our skeletal structure too - but that is another post altogether)
I tore my soleous muscle a few years ago and recently discovered that forms into the Achilles -- that was the same leg that now has the painful back-of-heel spur. I wonder if that injury / healing caused it to become eve tighter and rub, thus forming the spur? I have genetically, or naturally if you prefer, large tight calf muscles too. I should stretch more and exercise more ... story of my life.
One thing I do question, is he said I could never stretch my Achilles (as I did ask if stretching more would help prevent / ease this type of thing) basically saying how my foot is structured, I have no hope of relieving that tension. I'm not sure I buy that which is why I'm heading for a second opinion as well. Regardless, still wondering the non-CW opinion / treatment options on these types of things
I use this DCT Proflex product for stretching shins, calves, and feet. I have used it for 3 years, am a DCT practitioner, and have trained with the creator. It works wonders for relieving tension in the whole leg.
I do know a DCT practitioner that has worked with a client with a large bone spur in the hip that docs said surgery was the only option. By resetting the tension and taking the pressure off the affected area, the spur is shrinking and the client has been able to increase and perform daily activities that were previously painful. I would think that resetting the tension in the calves/shins/feet, would help to take the pressure off the spur, allowing it to shrink.
Just a suggestion from a non CW standpoint.
Thanks so much Kim -- I will definitely check it out!
I would suggest you use an anti-inflammatory diet - like Primal, do lots of stretching, get some physical therapy/massage, and ditch the orthotics.
Biased ex-massage therapist here. Orthotics often just reinforce bad postures/body mechanics which later show up as pain elsewhere in the body. A good remedial therapist can address multiple causes of the problems. If you are female, I can just picture the tight hip flexors, overstretched hamstrings and tight calves, excessive lower back arching to compensate for the tight hip flexors causing tight glutes. Usually topped off with a bit of forward slump in the shoulders. And you probably think your tummy protrudes more than is fair.
Typical remedy is to drop the heels if you wear them, go for trousers and sensible flat shoes with a sole that bends at the ball of the foot. (Hold up your shoe and bend the heel toward the toes - if the first place it flexes is right where your arch goes, the shoes are making your feet worse).
Google some videos for self massage for Plantar Fasciitis and work through your calves thoroughly. Do lots of hip flexor stretches, such as lunges, Warrior pose, Pigeon pose (yoga). Watch your form. Cobra Pose or Updog type poses to make sure the upper back is good. Try to make it a habit to pull your shoulders back every time you sit down. Self massage the top of the glutes - work a line from your spine out to each side just on and under your pelvic bone. You'll feel where it is sore. Do some ab strengthening work - basic crunches are better than planks until you get your mechanics improved.
Stop running for a bit to give your body time to heal, but see how you go with slow controlled bodyweight squats to make sure your quads are strong.
The bone that shows up on the x-ray does not necessarily result in the pain that you feel. Get your mechanics right, and even though the bone is still there you may not feel the pain (*individual results can and do vary).
If the pain is bothering you in the meantime consider taking a mild anti-inflammatory regularly for a few days until the physical work starts to have an effect.
A good therapist will work through all this sort of stuff with you, but this will get you started until you can find a good person.
I agree to ditch the orthotics.. I strongly believe that the best thing you can do for your feet is free them. Free them from conventional regular shoes and try minimalist/barefoot footwear! Its a good possibility that wearing shoes your whole life contributed to the degeneration of your feet. Bone spurs can be created by your body to compensate for improper movement and functioning of your joints. Buy some lacross balls and roll around on them to help loosen up and mobilize your tissues that are tight and junky. check out mwod.com, it has made a tremendous difference in my life to learn how to move properly and work on problem areas with different teqniques and stretches. hope this helps
Originally Posted by Bifcus
Down right spooky how incredibly accurate that description is!!! That is definitely me, though I doubt I could have expressed it that accurately!
Thank you so much for the great advice. I've never heard of a remedial (or DCT) therapist before. Definitely going to research all of this wonderful new information (as well as checking out mwod.com -- thanks Lionhart!)
Fortunately I gave up heels LONG ago and have always worn flats. I go barefoot all the time indoors, always have -- not a fan of shoes period. But can't get away with that outside the house (work, shopping, etc) And then there is that whole winter / snow thing.
Feeling hopeful now for the first time in quite awhile - thanks everyone!