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Diagnosing recent recurring pain in back/side of heel

Posted by James V on 12/21/03 at 08:01 (140465)

Over the past two years I've been having a number of recurring foot problems, all of them usually completely unrelated to a specific acute incident, ranging in pain from mildly annoying to nearly debilitating, and ranging in location from the the center of the ball of my feet, to the meat of my ankle on top, to the heel. The symptoms come without warning and disappear after a few days to a week of rest. I am 28 years old and have been overweight my whole life which no doubt severely aggravates these problems. These symptoms originated when I was 25 and started recurring every 5 or so months unexpectedly. Now they are recurring every 2 or 3 months.

At first, I assumed it was some localized injury that would go away and not return, but at this point, I'm wondering if there isn't a more chronic and recurring problem happening. Today, I have pretty severe acute pain in my left heel, but contrary to the descriptions of the location of the pain I see on this site in conjunction with heel spurs, my pain is located not on the bottom of my foot, but on the posterior. In anatomical terms, I would put it in the area of the posterior talocalcaneal ligament. This area is extremely sensitive to touch and hurts most when walking. It doesn't seem the typical location of pain for a heel spur. Gently stretching the achilles tendon produces some dull pain during the stretch, but drastically reduces the acute pain while walking after the stretch. It is a practice I do to reduce the severity of pain, but I imagine I could also be ignorantly reinjuring something. If anyone has contrary or supporting advice or experience, I'd be glad to hear it.

I am unfortunately self-employed working for a startup company and don't have healthcare at this time, but am at the point where I will pay out of pocket for treatments I can afford if there is an effective remedy or will apply for independant healthcare in order to assist treating this. My current regimen is chewing ibuprofen like candy and decreased activity and increasing vitamin and mineral supplements (pain is a great reminder). Due to reading this site, I will add ice to the therapy. Losing weight is also a part of my long term strategy, however, these incidents seem to increase in recurrance and duration when I step up my activity going to the gym, however, as I said, there is usually no DIRECT link between one specific activity and the resultant condition.

Any ideas or advice would be greatly appreciated.

James
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