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Heel pain when bending down, and when flexing foot

Posted by Judy A on 12/12/02 at 09:20 (102806)

I have periods where I experience a sudden, burning. pulling pain in one or both heels when performing a bending movement ie to put on shoes or socks. The pain also occurs sometimes when I am doing a ham string stretch exercise in Pilates. ( ie lying on back, raising and extending one leg until it is at right angles to the body and then flexing the foot downwards until it is parallel with the body). Sometimes I cannot flex the right foot at all during the Pilates exercise because of the pain. The sharp pain sensation starts at the back of the heel on the lateral side and ends about two inches in - about opposite where the arch of the foot is. The sharpest area of the pain is 'just above ground level' at the back of the round part heel on the lateral side. Following one of these episodes, I often experience a dull aching pain in the underside of the heel for several days. If I am careful about bending and flexing the foot following one of these episodes, the pain and ache will gradually disappear. I have a flattening arch in the right foot and a bunion also on the right foot. I have no 'first step' pain in the mornings and no other foot pain - apart from 'burning' in the bunion occasionally. I am being treated by an osteopath for a back problem, and after also examining my feet she said that I had a heel spur on the right foot. I have looked at the calf stretching exercise photographs on this site, and these too are exactly the movements which I know would produce the heel pain. From reading this site, it does not seem to be plantar fasciitis, so does anyone have any theories?

Re: Heel pain when bending down, and when flexing foot

Dr. David S. Wander on 12/13/02 at 20:44 (103004)

Judy,

This may be a radiculopathy, which is pain in a nerve which is originating from your back. During your bending and/or stretching you may be irritating the nerve resulting in your discomfort. Ask your doctor about the possibility of a nerve related problem.

Re: Heel pain when bending down, and when flexing foot

Ed Davis, DPM on 12/13/02 at 20:50 (103007)

Judy:

By 'bending movement' do you mean pointing your toes and bending your foot downwards? Can you re-create the pain consistently with that motion? Is pain present if you raise to your toes from a standing position, particularly if you do it on one foot at a time? Does rolling your foot and ankle outward (as in an ankle sprain) cause any discomfort?
Ed

Re: Heel pain when bending down, and when flexing foot

Dr. Z on 12/13/02 at 21:40 (103016)

I need more information. It could be the achilles tendon, peroneal brevis or longus and there could be some lower back involvement at the L4 L4 S1
levels

Re: Heel pain when bending down, and when flexing foot also my right knee hurts.

teena m on 12/14/02 at 03:08 (103024)

yes i'm 32 and i have problems to walk sit and drive for long time.my feet are retaining alot of water.that want the doctors keep telling me.my joints hurt in my body.but most of all my right knee hurts i can't walk or bend my right leg.even my feet are killing me.i can't even find a job.what is wroug with me.please help me

Re: Heel pain when bending down, and when flexing foot

Judy A on 12/14/02 at 04:08 (103026)

Thankyou for your response Ed. None of the movements you describe create any pain. The only movements which do so are bending forward from a standing position without flexing the knees, and any movement which involves flexing the foot towards the shinbone - the photographs on this site which illustrate calf stretching exercises are the movements which cause pain in the heel.

Re: Heel pain when bending down, and when flexing foot

Judy A on 12/14/02 at 04:10 (103027)

Thank you for your reply. I have defined my back problems further in response to a further suggestion from one of your contributors. I will mention the possibility of a back-heel relationship to my osteopath!

Re: Heel pain when bending down, and when flexing foot

Judy A on 12/14/02 at 04:12 (103028)

Thank you for your help. My back problem has been defined as: overstrain of L4-5 and LS joints with underlying spondylosis and muscle spasm in lumbar erector and spinae and gluteal muscles. Does this help?

Re: Heel pain when bending down, and when flexing foot

Dr. Z on 12/14/02 at 11:41 (103077)

I would avoid these motion until it is determined exactly what the cause is. A complete muscle testing of the lower extremity would determine if it is in the foot and not in the back.

Re: Heel pain when bending down, and when flexing foot

Judy A on 12/15/02 at 07:09 (103169)

Thanks for your help.

Re: Heel pain when bending down, and when flexing foot

Ed Davis, DPM on 12/16/02 at 20:24 (103352)

Judy:

The information provided points toward your back. Consider a nerve conduction velocity test and/or possible MRI to check for possible disc protrusion in L4-L5 and L5-S1.
Ed

Re: Heel pain when bending down, and when flexing foot

Judy A on 12/17/02 at 03:58 (103373)

Thanks again for your comments which I will (tactfully!) pass on to my osteopath. Julie originally suggested to me that it might be back-related!

Re: Heel pain when bending down, and when flexing foot

Dr. David S. Wander on 12/13/02 at 20:44 (103004)

Judy,

This may be a radiculopathy, which is pain in a nerve which is originating from your back. During your bending and/or stretching you may be irritating the nerve resulting in your discomfort. Ask your doctor about the possibility of a nerve related problem.

Re: Heel pain when bending down, and when flexing foot

Ed Davis, DPM on 12/13/02 at 20:50 (103007)

Judy:

By 'bending movement' do you mean pointing your toes and bending your foot downwards? Can you re-create the pain consistently with that motion? Is pain present if you raise to your toes from a standing position, particularly if you do it on one foot at a time? Does rolling your foot and ankle outward (as in an ankle sprain) cause any discomfort?
Ed

Re: Heel pain when bending down, and when flexing foot

Dr. Z on 12/13/02 at 21:40 (103016)

I need more information. It could be the achilles tendon, peroneal brevis or longus and there could be some lower back involvement at the L4 L4 S1
levels

Re: Heel pain when bending down, and when flexing foot also my right knee hurts.

teena m on 12/14/02 at 03:08 (103024)

yes i'm 32 and i have problems to walk sit and drive for long time.my feet are retaining alot of water.that want the doctors keep telling me.my joints hurt in my body.but most of all my right knee hurts i can't walk or bend my right leg.even my feet are killing me.i can't even find a job.what is wroug with me.please help me

Re: Heel pain when bending down, and when flexing foot

Judy A on 12/14/02 at 04:08 (103026)

Thankyou for your response Ed. None of the movements you describe create any pain. The only movements which do so are bending forward from a standing position without flexing the knees, and any movement which involves flexing the foot towards the shinbone - the photographs on this site which illustrate calf stretching exercises are the movements which cause pain in the heel.

Re: Heel pain when bending down, and when flexing foot

Judy A on 12/14/02 at 04:10 (103027)

Thank you for your reply. I have defined my back problems further in response to a further suggestion from one of your contributors. I will mention the possibility of a back-heel relationship to my osteopath!

Re: Heel pain when bending down, and when flexing foot

Judy A on 12/14/02 at 04:12 (103028)

Thank you for your help. My back problem has been defined as: overstrain of L4-5 and LS joints with underlying spondylosis and muscle spasm in lumbar erector and spinae and gluteal muscles. Does this help?

Re: Heel pain when bending down, and when flexing foot

Dr. Z on 12/14/02 at 11:41 (103077)

I would avoid these motion until it is determined exactly what the cause is. A complete muscle testing of the lower extremity would determine if it is in the foot and not in the back.

Re: Heel pain when bending down, and when flexing foot

Judy A on 12/15/02 at 07:09 (103169)

Thanks for your help.

Re: Heel pain when bending down, and when flexing foot

Ed Davis, DPM on 12/16/02 at 20:24 (103352)

Judy:

The information provided points toward your back. Consider a nerve conduction velocity test and/or possible MRI to check for possible disc protrusion in L4-L5 and L5-S1.
Ed

Re: Heel pain when bending down, and when flexing foot

Judy A on 12/17/02 at 03:58 (103373)

Thanks again for your comments which I will (tactfully!) pass on to my osteopath. Julie originally suggested to me that it might be back-related!