Ask the Doctor: Thyroid pain, poison ivy treatment, Achilles tendon repair & high heels

Published: Feb. 28, 2023 at 12:51 PM EST
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SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) - Dr. Bob Cassady from the South Bend Clinic joins us every Tuesday on 16 News Now at Noon to answer your medical questions.

Question #1 (from Kris): “My thyroid area has been very swollen, and I have been in a lot of muscle pain in my body. I’m very tired, but I can’t rest well from the pain. What should I do?”

DR. BOB: The thyroid is a gland that sits at the base of your neck in the front. Certainly, if you have a thyroid problem, it can cause muscle aches and overall fatigue.

However, that area of the neck is also home to a lot of lymph nodes, and if we are ill, those can get swollen.

It sounds like you are uncomfortable and really should be seen by your doctor to do an exam and decide if this is a thyroid problem or something else.

Question #2 (from Kelly): “What’s the best home treatment for poison ivy on the body that’s spreading? I’ve tried creams and oatmeal baths. It’s even near eyes.”

DR. BOB: Poison Ivy is an allergic reaction to the oils in certain types of plants. It can cause a severely itchy rash that can become widespread on the body.

Often, if the rash is limited to small areas of the body, topical steroid medicines like Hydrocortisone or other creams like calamine or oatmeal baths can be sufficient to relieve symptoms of itch while the allergy resolves.

Often though, the rash covers too great of an area, or gets onto the face. Many times in these cases, we will use an oral steroid such as prednisone to relieve the symptoms.

This is a higher risk treatment though, so you need to see your doctor to discuss whether it is right for you.

Question #3 (from Danielle): “Can you wear heels after having a torn Achilles tendon repaired?”

DR. BOB: I am not an orthopedic surgeon who repairs torn Achilles tendons, so you should direct your question to the surgeon who took care of you.

The Achilles is the tendon that is from the calf muscles into the heel of the foot. It allows us to extend or point our foot. Therefore, it is a huge part of walking a running.

Most of what I have read about fixing a torn Achilles tendon focuses on getting athletes back to playing their sport. With surgery and appropriate rehab high level, athletes are usually able to get back to playing.

This leads me to believe that if someone can play high level sports after this surgical repair, you should be able to wear heels without too much risk.

One complication of Achilles tendon rupture is chronic pain in that area. So, I would discourage wearing heels if it increases your pain.

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