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Ralph asked...

Hi there,
A few months ago I snapped a tendon in my finger. (this is now healing well) At about the same time as the injury I noticed stiffness & tenderness in other tendons/muscles in other parts of my body.
After sitting for a while, when I stand up I have discomfort in the tendons at the back of my ankles, this makes me walk gingerly for a minute or two until the stiffness passes. I visited my GP about this as I also noticed a lump on the left Achilles tendon. (My GP prescribed an ibuprofen gel & referred me for a scan but this was over three weeks ago & I've still heard nothing from the hospital)
My main worry now is a pain in the muscle on my left forearm, this has been getting gradually worse over the last two months. I'm now struggling to even hold a plate because applying pressure with my fingers gives me pain in my forearm and elbow.
I just wondered if these symptoms could be related & if so is there anything you would recommend. (I am a member of Axa PPP through my employer)

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The Answer

Dear Mr Harding,

If the arm pain is in the same arm as your finger injury this may be related and could suggest a nerve injury or complex regional pain syndrome, which does resolve in time but this can take 12 – 18 months to resolve. It may be helpful to see a hand specialist to have this reviewed.

The tightness of the ankle tendons especially after periods of rest do suggest plantar fasciitis, this is where the plantar fascia in the foot becomes thickened and inflamed, management includes, resting your heel , try to avoid walking long distances and standing for long periods , regular stretching, stretching your calf muscles and plantar fascia , pain relief,  using an icepack on the affected heel and taking painkillers, such as ibuprofen, wearing good-fitting shoes that support and cushion your foot – running shoes  are particularly useful, using supportive devices such as orthoses (rigid supports you put inside your shoe) or strapping. You can be referred to a podiatrist if this persists.

Swelling on the Achilles tendon usually indicates inflammation of the tendon. Ibuprofen gel, applied regularly at the site of the swelling does help, but resolution of this can take several months, and if you can avoid climbing stairs and cycling, as these activities put more strain on the Achilles tendon. Scan results should be back within 10 working days, if you have not yet heard anything I suggest you contact your GP to chase the scan.

To see a specialist you will need a referral from your GP and then contact your personal advisory team once you have this, from there your personal advisor will open a claim for you and give you an approval number for this. Hopefully this will help you.

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