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JoeDavola

Joe Davola's Strange Feet

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Hopefully that headline got your attention. Unfortunately this is not a dating related story involving my feet.

I wear shoes supplied by the NHS because of a few leg op's I had in the past - basically they're two slightly different sizes and one of them has a build up of 1cm in them as my legs are slightly different lengths. I've never really been happy with them because, since the NHS is skint there's never any actual gait analysis done, and I know that I'm not walking quite right - the right foot has a tendency to pronate, and the left knee has a very slight 'valgus' shape (I should include all this in my dating profile - getting wet yet, ladies?). I've spent years trying to tell the NHS this but they don't seem able to address it.

I am concerned that if things aren't 'set up' as well as they could be wrt my shoes, I might be making it more likely that I have joint problems down the road e.g. osteoarthritis from uneven wear on a joint. In addition to this, my current shoes are falling apart and the hospital have told me that there's a 4 month wait to even get measured for a new pair of shoes (4 month wait plus 4-6 week wait after once they're ordered) - so I'm fucked basically unless I go private.

So I guess the question is, what sort of professional should I be going to in order to sort this out? There's a kind of hierarchy I guess from Podiatrists to Physiotherapists up to Orthopedic Consultants, each of which get more expensive! I've tried a couple of podiatrists in the past for insoles at considerable cost and wasn't too impressed with the results; the thing is that this is about more than my feet, it's to do with the leg difference, the slight scoliosis that I have - figuring out what the best setup is taking all that into consideration and adding any other exercises that a specialist might see fit (more specific rehab type stuff than the more generic stuff I'm doing in the gym).

Well congrats if you made it this far; a bit of a rambling topic. But on the off-chance that anyone knows anything about this then any advice would be appreciated.

 

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My Osteopath told me to modify my shoes myself, which was a case of gluing packers inside my shoe under the heel. It does seem to have worked. I think he is exceptional in the sense that I have not received such effective treatment from any of the other chiropractors and osteopaths I have used in the last 20 or so years

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Just now, One percent said:

I can't help Joe but do hope you get it sorted. 

My uncle wears NHS shoes because of congenital foot issues. They are the ugliest things I've ever seen and look to weigh a ton. 

Thanks.

The shoes that I've been given by the NHS in the past I think actually made the problem worse; i.e. they reduced my mobility. Just because I had a few op's when I was younger doesn't mean that I want to resign myself to a life of limited mobility; I want to be as fit and healthy as possible and the NHS doesn't seem to take this into consideration.

They have a new supplier for shoes recently and the new ones are incredibly cheap and flimsy and fall apart very quickly if you're doing any amount of walking.

I was in the waiting room last time I was collecting shoes and there was a bloke in his mid-50's I got chatting to - basically he'd had problems as a kid, there has been no after-care, and by the time he was in his 50's the cartilage in his knees was fucked and the NHS response was basically "ah well, you're fucked - here's a pair of crutches". That's what I wanna avoid. I'm hoping the fact that I'm skinny and eat healthy will help as I age.

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Do you walk in mysterious circles?

:)

Sorry, cheap shot. I'm guessing you've heard that one countless times over the years. 

You're a gym goer/runner right? Start with a decent running shop to get your stride/gait measured. 

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2 minutes ago, JoeDavola said:

Thanks.

The shoes that I've been given by the NHS in the past I think actually made the problem worse; i.e. they reduced my mobility. Just because I had a few op's when I was younger doesn't mean that I want to resign myself to a life of limited mobility; I want to be as fit and healthy as possible and the NHS doesn't seem to take this into consideration.

They have a new supplier for shoes recently and the new ones are incredibly cheap and flimsy and fall apart very quickly if you're doing any amount of walking.

I was in the waiting room last time I was collecting shoes and there was a bloke in his mid-50's I got chatting to - basically he'd had problems as a kid, there has been no after-care, and by the time he was in his 50's the cartilage in his knees was fucked and the NHS response was basically "ah well, you're fucked - here's a pair of crutches". That's what I wanna avoid. I'm hoping the fact that I'm skinny and eat healthy will help as I age.

It's not good is it. You would think that the NHS would do everything possible to keep people Mobile. It must be cheaper in the long run 

another idea. As a kid, I had my shoe soles built up to correct a gait. Don't ask, have not a clue why.  Anyhow, I was bought ordinary shoes and then the NHS built up the soles. Would this be a possibility?

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Am I right in thinking you just need one shoe to be higher than the other?

In which case, would it be easier to buy a pair of shoes with 'lifts' ( I think Simon Cowell wears these) and then get a cobbler to reduce one heel?

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1 hour ago, Cunning Plan said:

Am I right in thinking you just need one shoe to be higher than the other?

In which case, would it be easier to buy a pair of shoes with 'lifts' ( I think Simon Cowell wears these) and then get a cobbler to reduce one heel?

Good point - will look into that.

Since the build up is quite small at 1cm I was wondering if the build up could be added inside a shoe - a quick google shows these:

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/footinsole-1-cm-up-Height-Increase-Elevator-Shoe-Insoles-Lift-Taller-Pads-Sho-/182639628285?hash=item2a862b8ffd:g:eQoAAOSw~XpZUhJe

They might be shite but it's a possibility.

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I would stay full posture and gait analysis is required as the condition impacts motion and all joints from ankle through knee and hip to lower back. A decent private physiotherapist should be able to that for you but it will probably cost you. Your case is a classic example of the accountants running the NHS being penny wise and pound foolish because if you do develop knee, hip or back problems later it is going to cost the taxpayer a lot more than a new pair of shoes.

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I think a chiropractor is worth checking out re your pelvis and how much out of alignment that is - it is amazing how a small misalignment there can result in a sizeable different in leg length between one and the other. I know that you have some more serious issues re your past ops but I think spending some money for a chiropractor to check the pelvis out would be worth the money.

Just get out of a car, stepping off a kerb or just standing up/sitting down can cause pelvis problems re alignment.

The procedure for correcting this is fairly simple. Often it needs to be checked once or twice a year.

Re the shoes, I was reading an interesting article this week about different leg lenghts causing problems for cyclists and how you can now get raisers, in different heights, to go inside cycling shoes or on the bottom of them - the cleats - in order to overcome this. I looked into this briefly and was fscinated to see that these are sold for both runners and cyclists on various sports / cycling sites. Might be worth looking into.

 

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6 minutes ago, The Masked Tulip said:

I think a chiropractor is worth checking out re your pelvis and how much out of alignment that is - it is amazing how a small misalignment there can result in a sizeable different in leg length between one and the other. I know that you have some more serious issues re your past ops but I think spending some money for a chiropractor to check the pelvis out would be worth the money.

Just get out of a car, stepping off a kerb or just standing up/sitting down can cause pelvis problems re alignment.

The procedure for correcting this is fairly simple. Often it needs to be checked once or twice a year.

Re the shoes, I was reading an interesting article this week about different leg lenghts causing problems for cyclists and how you can now get raisers, in different heights, to go inside cycling shoes or on the bottom of them - the cleats - in order to overcome this. I looked into this briefly and was fscinated to see that these are sold for both runners and cyclists on various sports / cycling sites. Might be worth looking into.

Thanks I'll have a think about that.

To be extra awkward my lower 3 or so vertebrae are fused apparently, but I'd be interested to see what a chiropractor said if they had a look at me. Just not sure if I trust them as a profession!

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3 minutes ago, JoeDavola said:

Thanks I'll have a think about that.

To be extra awkward my lower 3 or so vertebrae are fused apparently, but I'd be interested to see what a chiropractor said if they had a look at me. Just not sure if I trust them as a profession!

 

I have had fused vertaebrae all my life in my middle and upper back - I think a combination of things caused them. In recent years, partly through diet, supplementation and exercises targetting them, I have managed to free up /loosen a great many of them.

Fused vertaebrae in the lower back can be a sign of Ankylosing Spondylitis.

Only the UK has this ridiculous suspicion of chiropractors whilst, across Europe and in North America, they are considered vital parts of helping people to maintain health or recover from injury.

I find it ludicrous that Brits with no health problems rubbish chiropractors but I think it is the height of moronic thinking that Brits with muscular-skeletal problems rubbish them - especially when such people have usually been failed by the NHS for decades.

 

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1 minute ago, The Masked Tulip said:

I find it ludicrous that Brits with no health problems rubbish chiropractors but I think it is the height of moronic thinking that Brits with muscular-skeletal problems rubbish them - especially when such people have usually been failed by the NHS for decades.

Can't argue with you there. When I told the NHS shoe people I was trying private options they got angry, while simultaneously offering me no real help themselves. Go figure.

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16 minutes ago, JoeDavola said:

Can't argue with you there. When I told the NHS shoe people I was trying private options they got angry, while simultaneously offering me no real help themselves. Go figure.

 

Yes, the NHS is only good at certain things but, bizarrely, it sets out to rubbish those who offer alternatives.

For decades doctors rubbished and ridiculed physios and fought for decades to stop physios operating in the NHS - most people are not aware of this. Now, doctors as a professional body are equally opposed to chiropractors in the same way they basically tried to stop physios.

In many western countries it is common for people to bypass GPs and go directly to chiropractors when they have muscular-skeletal problems or to be referred to them by their GPs. But here in the UK many NHS doctors, at best, pretend that chiropractors do not exist, and, at worst rubbish them.

A GP friend of mine told me that one of the dirty little secrets about the NHS is that the NHS is rubbish at backs - the options offered are basically either "We can't do anything!" or "We will have to resort to dangerous potentially life-changing surgery". It really is a case of either or.

It is thus frightening that they do not refer patients to chiropractors. I believe that there are millions of people in the UK in constant pain, and going constantly back to their GPs for pain killers, who could have their problems solved by chiropractors.

But, hey, you can take a horse to water but you can't make it drink.

Edited by The Masked Tulip
typos

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A friend of mine is accutely deaf and he tells me how, for decades, despite being the largest purchaser of hearing aids in the world the NHS basically pretended that digital hearing aids did not exist. They continued to purchased old-fashioned analogue hearing aids, at ludicrous prices, long after digital hearing aids were commonly prescribed elsewhere in the West even though they could have negotiated cheap bulk prices for the digital ones.

The NHS is not always your friend if you have a chronic illness and, if a solution to your problems lies outside of their often dated and narrow mindset, then it will often rubbish, ridicule and pretend that alternatives do not exist.

NHS doctors get bugger all training in muscular-skeletal problems. Chiropractors train for several years specialising in this single area. Who do you think knows best?

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21 minutes ago, The Masked Tulip said:

For decades doctors rubbished and ridiculed physios and fought for decades to stop physios operating in the NHS - most people are not aware of this. Now, doctors as a professional body are equally opposed to chiropractors in the same way they basically tried to stop physios.

That is rather shocking. I wasn't aware of that.

I've got a mate who's a doctor, and a die hard 'skeptic' about anything that isn't 100% backed up by long term scientific research (but that really means things that aren't approved by and supplied by doctors). He has of course insulted chiropractors, but even goes as far as insulting anyone who are claiming to have cured autoimmune issues ect...by eating clean diets. Some people have achieved amazing things by changing their diet far beyond weight loss (e.g. elimination of arthritis pain), but he thinks that's all garbage as it's not 'science based'.

The irony is that his pooh-poohing of really healthy diets loses some gravitas when you take into account that he recently turned 30 and is already overweight....but...ya know...don't be eating a clean diet, just eat a bit of everything, cause....science ;)

Edited by JoeDavola

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9 minutes ago, JoeDavola said:

That is rather shocking. I wasn't aware of that.

I've got a mate who's a doctor, and a die hard 'skeptic' about anything that isn't 100% backed up by long term scientific research (but that really means things that aren't approved by and supplied by doctors). He has of course insulted chiropractors, but even goes as far as insulting anyone who are claiming to have cured autoimmune issues ect...by eating clean diets. Some people have achieved amazing things by changing their diet far beyond weight loss (e.g. elimination of arthritis pain), but he thinks that's all garbage as it's not 'science based'.

The irony is that his pooh-poohing of really healthy diets loses some gravitas when you take into account that he recently turned 30 and is already overweight....but...ya know...don't be eating a clean diet, just eat a bit of everything, cause....science ;)

 

Doctors are a cartel - arguably a medical mafia - who control the NHS and hence our health by keeping their control of basically everything that is in the NHS and, of course, keeping their numbers lows so their salaries are very high.

One of the main reasons why the NHS is the way it is is the shortage of doctors and it is British doctors themselves who ensure that British doctor numbers remain low.

Your mate sounds a terribl doctors but, hey, he will never be challenged. Job for life.

Anyhow, I told you what you need to do. Will you do it?

 

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18 minutes ago, The Masked Tulip said:

Doctors are a cartel - arguably a medical mafia - who control the NHS and hence our health by keeping their control of basically everything that is in the NHS and, of course, keeping their numbers lows so their salaries are very high.

One of the main reasons why the NHS is the way it is is the shortage of doctors and it is British doctors themselves who ensure that British doctor numbers remain low.

Your mate sounds a terribl doctors but, hey, he will never be challenged. Job for life.

Anyhow, I told you what you need to do. Will you do it?

Will see if there's a chiro nearby but will proceed with caution. 

The raises for running shoes sounds like something I should definitely look at.

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Are you sure your legs are really different lengths Joe? How severe is your scoliosis? One of my daughters has scoliosis and it also seemed one leg was longer than the other but after a thorough examination and x-rays it turns out that it's almost entirely down to the scoliosis curves. She does need to wear a pad in one shoe to even things up a little though. Since she's had the insole a lot of the pain she had has gone. The gymnastics and dancing she does helps with flexibility too. We do try to push her to do 20 minutes of stretching and flexibility exercises every morning and evening which is really good for her but it's an uphill struggle with a teenager.

Of course I suppose whether it's your back or leg that is the real issue is neither here nor there as an insole is probably the solution but it would be helpful to discover the source of the issue.

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59 minutes ago, the gardener said:

Are you sure your legs are really different lengths Joe? How severe is your scoliosis? One of my daughters has scoliosis and it also seemed one leg was longer than the other but after a thorough examination and x-rays it turns out that it's almost entirely down to the scoliosis curves. She does need to wear a pad in one shoe to even things up a little though. Since she's had the insole a lot of the pain she had has gone. The gymnastics and dancing she does helps with flexibility too. We do try to push her to do 20 minutes of stretching and flexibility exercises every morning and evening which is really good for her but it's an uphill struggle with a teenager.

Of course I suppose whether it's your back or leg that is the real issue is neither here nor there as an insole is probably the solution but it would be helpful to discover the source of the issue.

It's a bit of both.

My legs are different lengths; I had surgery to stretch one leg (google 'ilizarov frame' for more info) which made a big difference, but there's still a slight difference between them. 

The scoliosis isn't too bad I think - I'm hyper-sensitive about all this shite but it's not something that's really noticeable to the outside world, I'm just wanting to do everything in my power to keep everything working well.  

Good on you for encouraging your daughter to keep active - it's the right approach.

Edited by JoeDavola

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Check the way you walk. Surprisingly few people walk with toes pointed forwards. Most people walk with at least one sticking out. I used to with both. Till a physio pointed it out and said I should try and change. About 5 weeks of effort and that was that. 

Certainly will have an impact on how this feeds all the way up your body as you walk. 

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3 minutes ago, ccc said:

Check the way you walk. Surprisingly few people walk with toes pointed forwards. Most people walk with at least one sticking out. I used to with both. Till a physio pointed it out and said I should try and change. About 5 weeks of effort and that was that. 

Certainly will have an impact on how this feeds all the way up your body as you walk. 

Agree with this. I broke my ankle and the foot on that leg points to five past when I walk. Causes all sorts of problems. Now that I've strengthened the ankle muscles, I'm working on getting my foot straight. Hard work. 

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Just now, One percent said:

Agree with this. I broke my ankle and the foot on that leg points to five past when I walk. Causes all sorts of problems. Now that I've strengthened the ankle muscles, I'm working on getting my foot straight. Hard work. 

Yes it does take effort. If I now walk like I used to I feel like a duck !!

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