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This started last Sunday, and has happened 4 times now. Whenever I put on my shoes, the toes on my affected foot "squinch" up. Not curling under, just not straightening properly.  Any ideas what I can do?

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I usually use half size higher for my shoes which helps it does not feel squish & also  shifting weight on it also helps straighten toes

 

Asha

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my physios all say toe separators (you can get soft ones that fit inside your socks). I find toes socks are easier, you get them at running stores.  Its supposed to reduce the feedback loop between one toe and the next. I find it helps but doesn't completely resolve it.
The real solution is stretching the muscle that runs from your toes to your ankle, through the sole of your foot. Before you put your shoes on,  dig your thumb into your arch just behind the ball of the foot, or step/stand on a small hard ball (tennis ball size but firmer e.g. hockey ball or cricket ball) until your toes stretch out. if it hurts like hell you've got the right spot.

It's one of those nasty reflexes usually triggered by sensations on the ball of the foot.  Try using a hard bristle brush on the ball of your foot and see what happens. if you can desensitize yourself that should help.

Good luck with it.  Which reminds me I need to try that desensitize trick again.

Heather

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Benni, My mother, who also had a stroke, had toes which did turn under on her affected foot, so that she was walking on the tops of her toes. Very painful. Her orthopedic doc said that the only way to fix the problem was to cut the tendons in her toes so that they always laid straight, and couldn't curl. Sounds extreme, I know, but it worked. I don't have that problem, but my affected foot sometimes swells so much that it pushes itself almost out of my shoe. My heel won't sit flat in my shoe when this happens. I do what Asha said, and get shoes 1/2 to 1 size larger. This works well for me. The only problem that I've had is that it works best when both toe and heel areas are closed in.   Becky

 

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I too, have curly toes. Some days are worse than others.

 

I can only wear fully enclosed shoes. I live in my Skechers. They are great as they are kind of soft and protect my toes if they are particularly curly.

 

The main problem I have with my toes is knocking them on things such as lips which divide different floors types, as I drag my foot a lot. 

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Thank you all! My shoes are like orthopedic shoes, plus I do get them a 1/2 size larger.

 

Asha, I do shift my weight and it usually relaxes within a minute.

 

Heather, I will definitely try the exercise!

 

Becky, yes that does sound extreme indeed!

 

Janelle, I have my AFO on all day so I don't drag my foot on the floor. At night, if I have to get up to pee (rare), I put a sock on it so it glides and I don't stub my foot.

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Oh Benni, all day! Wow you are a good girl!

 

I hate my AFO with a passion. 

 

It becomes very heavy if I wearit for too long.

 

It's carbon fibre and surrounds my foot and ankle. It has a steel bar at the back of my calf, then another piece of carbon fibre around the top of my calf. It has Velcro there to hold it together. 

 

I have to wear a shoe three sizes bigger to accommodate it. I can't wear a shoe that big on my other foot, so I end up buying two pairs of shoes in different sizes.

 

Because I have such a big foot, Euro 43 and 46 for my AFO; it can't have laces or a heel and has to be enclosed. 

 

Very very VERY frustrating to buy shoes!

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Wow, that must be a pain in the @&&!  Mine is just hard plastic (like Rubbermaid tupperware) and straps on with velcro around my ankle. Shoes 1/2 size bigger but not a problem -- also velcro straps -- easy on/off..

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That's what I would like Benni.

 

The other thing mine came with was a hefty price tag. 

 

I need to wear it more in order to justify one that's more foot/shoe friendly. 

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Yes, mine was $800! For plastic and velcro -- sheesh!

 

I've seen them sold online. Couldn't you do that?

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I could do...

I bought one on eBay that was a shocker. Hurt my ankle bone terribly. 

I need to research them seriously. 

 

Wow! As you say, plastic and Velcro...they know how to hit where it hurts.

 

I'm a bit scared to tell you how much mine was. It was custom made, and as I say it's carbon fibre. Was a very ridiculous price though.

The health insurance only covered about 1/3, because it didn't fit exactly in their boxes.

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I have a collection of custom made AFOs in my cupboard I should throw them out, but the cost so much money! I could not tolerate any of them they all rubbed me raw or triggered so much spasticity and cramping that I couldn't walk in them.  What I finally ended up using was the Bioness. $000s but it meant I could walk. and because it uses the muscles after a couple of years I was able to stop using an AFO altogether.  If I can now get these rotten toes to behave and get a little more ankle stability I might even get back into high heels ( i.e. more then 1 inch heels)

Janelle the ones they use in my running program might be worth investigating, I like the look of them, elastic webbing and velcro. My physio tried one on me the other day to see if the extra stability in the ankle would calm my toes (it didn't work)  I think it's this one or very similar https://www.mxstore.com.au/p/BioSkin-Trilok-Ankle-Brace/B53601-c?gclid=CjwKCAjw4NrpBRBsEiwAUcLcDHq8bfcaLUNckzUM2g4-C78v3gy2Me0a7ki3LgZK1lYnpqVrFBgwjxoCyBAQAvD_BwE  they also use one that hooks into the laces of the shoe to stop the toes dropping.  I think they have a specialist orthotics person they work with but thankfully I haven't had to see him/her.

 

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Most of you have heard this story before, and I apologize for repeating it, but it's priceless because it's absurdity is funny. The powers that be decided that my AFO wasn't working, and I needed a full-leg brace so that the problems I had with my ankle and knee were both addressed. It had to be custom-made and was very expensive. I had to have special shoes with it because the brace went over my ankle, and then permanently attached to shoes. Before I could take the brace with me, I had to go in for 2 additional fittings. At the first of these, I learned that my insurance co. had finally agreed to pay for the brace and shoe for my left, affected foot, but would not pay for a matching shoe for the other foot as it didn't need it. I guess they thought I could wear mismatched shoes, or go barefoot on 1 foot as it had no shoe! We were already paying the co-pays and didn't know if we could afford to buy a very expensive shoer too. But, found out at the next fitting that the brace people had decided to pay for the other shoe ( I guess they could write it off on their taxes). The brace worked beautifully. But, sadly, it took so long to get it because of the ins. co. that my therapy ended a short time later as I'd reached my Medicare ceiling. What I thought was funny was the ins. co's. refusal to pay for the other shoe. Were they hoping I'D CHANGE MY MIND AND NOT WANT TH BRACE WHEN THEY WOULDN'T BUY THE OTHER SHOE? Anyway, I highly recommend a full-leg brace for anyone with multiple foot and leg problems as I have. Not as effective as a Bioness, I'm sure, but close. And cheaper.   Becky

 

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Becky that is just too funny, rule one of wearing any orthotic device the "shoes" have to match or you end up lopsided which causes new/other problems!  It's actually about functionality not looks.

Trust the insurance company not to know that, or care.

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Oh Becky! Insurance woes! 

One day wearing mismatched shoes might be the In Thing, and you'll be right!

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22 hours ago, GreenQueen said:

 

 

Wow! As you say, plastic and Velcro...they know how to hit where it hurts.

 

I'm a bit scared to tell you how much mine was. It was custom made, and as I say it's carbon fibre. Was a very ridiculous price though.

The health insurance only covered about 1/3, because it didn't fit exactly in their boxes.

Mine was custom made, too. Insurance covered 80%. It fits great. I only wish it was an inch shorter. It comes just at the bend of my knee (in back).

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Having the AFO finish at the base of your knee must be difficult. Do you ever pinch your skin?

 

Sometimes I think the designers of these things need to wear them for a few days.

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>> I only wish it was an inch shorter. It comes just at the bend of my knee (in back).

 

Go to your local hardware store, find someone who looks sympathetic and ask if you can borrow a Dremell for 5 minutes.  Or come and visit in sunny Canada and I'll do it for you.  Unless, of course, this will invalidate the warranty or make it not work properly.

 

That's the typical male handyman approach -- just cobble something up, add some duct-tape and string, and you're good to go.  Or as they say in Oz, "she'll be good, mate"

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20 hours ago, GreenQueen said:

Having the AFO finish at the base of your knee must be difficult. Do you ever pinch your skin?

 

Sometimes I think the designers of these things need to wear them for a few days.

No, it doesn't pinch, and yes they should!

13 hours ago, PaulNash said:

>> I only wish it was an inch shorter. It comes just at the bend of my knee (in back).

 

Go to your local hardware store, find someone who looks sympathetic and ask if you can borrow a Dremell for 5 minutes.  Or come and visit in sunny Canada and I'll do it for you.  Unless, of course, this will invalidate the warranty or make it not work properly.

 

That's the typical male handyman approach -- just cobble something up, add some duct-tape and string, and you're good to go.  Or as they say in Oz, "she'll be good, mate"

Never heard Canada described as sunny -- hahaha! I'm in Newfoundland.

Hmmmm .... I'll think about that!

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You're right, Benni, "Sunny Canada" doesn't have quite the right ring to it. 














 

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I agree with Paul a Dremel is the go to device.  I've modified my AFO in the sun and it much more comfortable. Now just got to wear it more.  Stop my toes from curling also.

 

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Becky -- right!

 

Madade -- mine just started curling a couple weeks ago, after 3 years. I've found that if I flex them back and forth, with my good hand, (before putting on the shoe) they curl less. By the time I've taken about 20 steps, they're back to "normal".

Researching Dremel now.

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Benni we have a dremmel!

Wayne is a cabinet maker...We have everything!

 

I was told by the people who made it, I would void my warranty. 

 

Can't win!

 

And it's definitely sunny here...even in winter!

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I found out Hubs has a dremmel -- yay!

I know Australia IS sunny indeed!

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Glad you have a dremmel available to you Benni!

All the best with fixing your AFO!

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