I Struggled with Pain During Walking for Years, This Is What Helped

After a somewhat serious accident that caused me to break my left ankle, I was left with a constant pain in that foot, whenever I allowed it to support my weight. Even if all the doctors I saw during this time insisted that the X-rays showed nothing wrong, the pain was constant and wouldn’t go away.

Some of the most frustrating moments were those in which I was starting to encounter incredulity from the medical professionals I consulted or being labeled as ‘that patient’ that makes up pain for attention. I didn’t even want to get started on pain killers, so I really fail to see any reason to be met with such suspicion.

Still, after reading several articles that reported on the ways doctors tend to take the pain of female patients less seriously than the pain of their male counterparts, I guess it made sense, a bit.

But regardless of what I expected from my doctor and why the person fulfilling this role failed to deliver, the main issue was that I experienced pain that wouldn’t go away as it should have, after the bone healed and enough time had passed. Furthermore, it was a type of pain which no one could explain, and no one seemed to be able to ease.

Pain during walking

Photo credit: Health.Harvard.Edu.

The Complications Brought on by the Untreated Pain

Now, after my positive experience in finally overcoming pain, I know that I was suffering from antalgic gait. According to the experts from eChiro Practor, this condition can develop when your body develops an alternate walking pattern in order to cope with existing pain. In time, even if the initial source of discomfort subsides, the patient continues to experience pain simply because this change in gait and posture leads to further muscular-skeletal complications.

In my case, the issue was, at first, simply that my ankle took a longer time to heal after being broken. The nerves in the area were probably more receptive to pain than it tends to be with other patients, hence the source of the pain that the doctors kept telling me I shouldn’t feel anymore.

While I was waiting for this initial pain to pass, I began walking funny, without even realizing it. It’s a blunt way to put it, but it’s the truth and it comes naturally to any injured being: when a foot hurts, you will simply put less weight on it in order to avoid further pain.

Then, after developing the antalgic gait, my unbalanced posture began attracting other health issues of its own. My spine become asymmetrical, back pain also started as a consequence, and one doctor even told me I should be concerned with the state of my liver, which the awkward pose was compressing.

What Finally Helped Me Become Pain-Free

Even if the initial sensitized ankle eventually healed, it got harder for me to begin walking normally again due to all of these morphological changes which the antalgic gait brought on my body.

In the beginning, the modified walking pattern was hard to notice, especially by an untrained eye. What would have been obvious for a doctor was hidden to me and my family. If I would have gotten a proper diagnosis for the antalgic gait in due time, I would have been able to have an easier recovery.

Still, I managed to get my help back through a combination of visits to a massage physical therapist and a chiropractor. The crucial aspect of getting better, if you suffer from antalgic gait, is to find a chiropractor who really understands you. That, and an early diagnosis, of course.

I wish you the best of luck with your recovery and remember that even if you can’t see some symptoms with the naked eye, it doesn’t mean they’re not there! Go ask for a professional opinion if you experience persistent pain of any sort. It might be nothing, but you’re better safe than sorry.

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