Home The Book Dr Articles Products Message Boards Journal Articles Search Our Surveys Surgery ESWT Dr Messages Find Good Drs video

need advice about trapped nerve in heel after 500 mile hike

Posted by LAR on 7/21/00 at 15:50 (023710)

During the month of May I walked 500 miles across northern Spain. During the last week of the walk, my left heel hurt just a tiny bit, but I used anti-inflammatory cream on it and it was fine. Three weeks later, back in the US and back at my stairmaster routine, my heel pain came back and got really bad. Diagnosis from the podiatrist - trapped nerve in the heel. Suspected causes were the hard orthodics I wear to correct some structural deformity or another, the fact that my left leg is shorter than the right, the fact that I have no flexibility in stretching my left calf muscle, and just the repetitive pounding of a month walking 20 miles a day. After three weeks in walking cast, Viatimin B-6, Vitamin E, anti-inflammatory cream, ibuprofin, there was just a little bit of improvement, but it still tingles and hurts to walk. For this three week period, he's put me on prednizone (?) for six days and has ordered two ultra sounds a week, plus a nerve conduction velocity test. This sounds like it's getting serious. He also mentioned a surgical alternative which sent me straight to the web. I've started reading some of the postings here, but don't know what EPF is or TTS or other terms that pop up in postings on nerves and heels. The podiatrist is very confident about the diagnosis, which he confirms by squeezing in certain places on my foot to produce tinglings and shooting pains in my heel. Assuming I have a trapped nerve, does this treatment sound sensible? I have stopped stairmaster/elliptical trainer completely and have been swimming and have not put any weight at all on my heel. But the visit to the podiatrist seems to have set me back, it hurts much more now that he's poked and jabbed at it. Should I just sit tight and be patient? Should I see another podiatrist for a second opinion? Any advice or shared experiences would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

Re: need advice about trapped nerve in heel after 500 mile hike

alan k on 7/22/00 at 17:25 (023742)

I would add self applied calf-massage, and firm pressure on any points that seem sensitive, in the calf. Don't aggravate the area that got aggravated by the doctor. Probably he is right about his TTS diagnosis, however it should be pointed out that not everything is known that needs to be about tts, and that surgery is not effective in many cases. You can try icing the aggravated region for up to ten minutes at a time, if it helps. Do a word search on tts here. Some of us here have tts and have managed to make progress without surgery. Most of us do not have clear cut causes like you do. Anyway, this is something worth investigating more, being conservative, and also important to realize that there is light at the end of the tunnel. So to speak.

alan k


Re: need advice about trapped nerve in heel after 500 mile hike

alan k on 7/22/00 at 17:25 (023742)

I would add self applied calf-massage, and firm pressure on any points that seem sensitive, in the calf. Don't aggravate the area that got aggravated by the doctor. Probably he is right about his TTS diagnosis, however it should be pointed out that not everything is known that needs to be about tts, and that surgery is not effective in many cases. You can try icing the aggravated region for up to ten minutes at a time, if it helps. Do a word search on tts here. Some of us here have tts and have managed to make progress without surgery. Most of us do not have clear cut causes like you do. Anyway, this is something worth investigating more, being conservative, and also important to realize that there is light at the end of the tunnel. So to speak.

alan k