Ankle pain and worried about hip pain from gait change.

by Josh renner
(San Diego ca. USA )

Hello there.

I was diagnosed with a protruding disk l5-S1 initially, almost at the same time as tendinitis in both Achilles from bursitis/ bone spur in heel area on both feet; that was in 2010.

My back hasn't flared up too many times, except for the last month or two. One heel/Achilles area is pretty good, but the other seems to have progressed to where I feel as though I have a sprained ankle for close to a year now.

The doctors initially said I would have to have my Achilles detached and reattached for surgery and that it would be a long recovery. They said if I could deal with the pain, surgery should be avoided.

I tried physical therapy, orthotics and motion controlled shoes; although painful it is bearable most of the time, but I believe I am getting some random hip pain occasionally from altering my gait to compensate.

Is it possible that all of these things stem from my back, or possibly my feet? Does any of this sound familiar?
Flat footed

I am a weightlifter but only started that to help my back which it did.

Hello Josh,
The pain in your feet and ankles is unrelated to your lower back problem by the sound of things. Whilst there may be old injuries there, this is of course, as you know, I'm sure, simply your body complaining about all the extra pounds your feet are having to bear.

With a BMI of 32.1 it's not sore feet; you are at serious risk of much worse, especially at your age.

My advice is to forget the word diet, but learn the meaning of 'glycemic index'. Simply by avoiding high GI foods the weight will slowly come off, the best way, and without too much pain. White rice, potatoes and high GI bread are often the fiends that do this to you.

The hip pain could indeed be a knock on effect from your gait, or from your lower back or sacroiliac joint. Or it could be that your hip is now also starting to complain about the extra pounds it is having to carry. A thorough examination of the hip is needed.

I suspect this is not something new to you; others will have told you. The Dutch have a nasty little saying: "Those who will not hear, must feel." And so it is.

Consult a dietician, get those unwanted pounds off, and you'll probably find these pain will either go away of their own accord, or at least by halved.

Good luck,

Dr B

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