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

Chronic heel pain

Posted by Mar on 3/26/02 at 17:28 (077643)

My severe heel pain started in November. The previous March I had bunion surgery on the right foot. I have had pain in the ball of the foot ever since. In October the doctor misdiagnosed a stress fracture in the sesamoid bone. It was later found out to be an inflammed bipartite sesamoid and not a stress fracture. But in the meantime I walked on my heels to protect the supposed sesamoid fracture. That's when the severe pain started in my heels. I switched doctors. My new doctor is great but we cannot get rid of the dibilitating pain. I have custom orthotics, do unltrasound twice a week, acupuncture twice a week, stretching exercises everyday, ice every night, now I am using a TENS Unit. I cannot take antiinflammatories or pain killers. I also use homeopathic antiinflammatory drops and cream. I also had a nerve test which was okay. The doctor assumes it is Fasciitis. The pain is severe when I walk or stand and the more I do the worse it gets. Do you have any other suggestions? It has been 5 months with this awful heel pain and I am getting very depressed and frustrated and scared. Thanks for any help you can offer. Mar

Re: Chronic heel pain

Julie on 3/27/02 at 01:35 (077690)

Mar, I'm not a doctor, but would like to ask you some questions.

You say your new doctor 'assumes' your pain is due to plantar fasciitis. Is he a podiatrist? Have you had a full biomechanical evaluation?

Given your history, it's more than likely that walking on your heels to protect the misdiagnosed fracture was the cause, but your biomechanics could have contributed too. If all this seems to be a grey area (I guess I'm just suspicious of the word 'assumes'!) I'd be inclined to seek a second opinion.

Also: what stretching are you doing? The 'traditional' weight-bearing stretches, i.e. the wall stretch and the hanging-off-the-stair stretch which are usually advised for PF have proved counterproductive for many people here. If you give us more information, we may be able to help.

I would suggest that you read the heel pain book, an excellent overview of heel pain, its causes and the conservative treatments that are available. You should also investigate ESWT, a non-invasive treatment that appears to have a good success rate.

You might find taping helpful, and you'll find instructions and illustrations in the heel pain book.

Good wishes for your healing.

Re: Chronic heel pain

Mar on 3/27/02 at 05:29 (077700)

Julie --

Thanks for your response. Yes, my doctor is a podiatrist. I had a CT and an involved nerve test. Both the podiatrist and the nerve doctor, as well as the acupuncturist, say I have fasciitis. The podiatrist also feels that originally the heels were severely bruised/injured from the walking. The stretches I do are with a theraband, toe curls, and standing on the inclined board for 2 minutes at a time. The acupuncturist also does deep massage on the fascia and calfs. What is a full biomechanical evaluation? I will also investigate the ESWT. And yes I have printed out the heel pain book and read it at least 5 times! Thanks for your help.

Mar

Re: Chronic heel pain

Julie on 3/27/02 at 01:35 (077690)

Mar, I'm not a doctor, but would like to ask you some questions.

You say your new doctor 'assumes' your pain is due to plantar fasciitis. Is he a podiatrist? Have you had a full biomechanical evaluation?

Given your history, it's more than likely that walking on your heels to protect the misdiagnosed fracture was the cause, but your biomechanics could have contributed too. If all this seems to be a grey area (I guess I'm just suspicious of the word 'assumes'!) I'd be inclined to seek a second opinion.

Also: what stretching are you doing? The 'traditional' weight-bearing stretches, i.e. the wall stretch and the hanging-off-the-stair stretch which are usually advised for PF have proved counterproductive for many people here. If you give us more information, we may be able to help.

I would suggest that you read the heel pain book, an excellent overview of heel pain, its causes and the conservative treatments that are available. You should also investigate ESWT, a non-invasive treatment that appears to have a good success rate.

You might find taping helpful, and you'll find instructions and illustrations in the heel pain book.

Good wishes for your healing.

Re: Chronic heel pain

Mar on 3/27/02 at 05:29 (077700)

Julie --

Thanks for your response. Yes, my doctor is a podiatrist. I had a CT and an involved nerve test. Both the podiatrist and the nerve doctor, as well as the acupuncturist, say I have fasciitis. The podiatrist also feels that originally the heels were severely bruised/injured from the walking. The stretches I do are with a theraband, toe curls, and standing on the inclined board for 2 minutes at a time. The acupuncturist also does deep massage on the fascia and calfs. What is a full biomechanical evaluation? I will also investigate the ESWT. And yes I have printed out the heel pain book and read it at least 5 times! Thanks for your help.

Mar