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  • Chronic heel pain

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    Old 12-22-2001, 09:01 AM   #1
    SteveF
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    Unhappy Chronic heel pain

    About 7 months ago I started suffering from pain where my achilles tendon goes into my heel bone, which is mainly uncomfortable when I'm walking, and it still hasn't improved. I believe it was caused by wearing shoes which put a lot of pressure on that part (got rid of them now).

    I've been to the doctor a few times, firstly he put me on a course of ibuprofen (600mg, 3 times/day) which did nothing. Then I was put on diclofenac (50mg, 3 times/day) and had physiotherapy at the same time. The improvement was considerable, and at times it felt as though I'd fully recovered. But after I'd ran out of diclofenac the problem returned, so I went to a different doctor who prescribed me more diclofenac. He mentioned that a steroid injection was a possibility, but that it could result in an infection in my heel, and so taking the diclofenac for a bit longer would be safer.

    Has anyone else had this problem? If so, how did you get rid of it? I've read in a few places that a steroid injection is the usual treatment for this, so is there really much risk involved?

    Finally, most pain occurs first thing in the morning, so is there a position I should be keeping my foot in overnight that might help it improve?
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    Old 12-22-2001, 08:21 PM   #2
    gwibble
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    Steve - I think the problem needs to be handled a little differently and not just with drugs!! Drugs will only reduce inflammation whilst they are being taken and maybe for a short time after. I think you should go to a podiatrist for a full assessment of the biomechanics of your feet (how your bones are aligned and how they function as you walk) Generally these problems can be improved greatly by addressing the CAUSE of the pain which is most likely that something is not quite aligned correctly and is putting extra stress on the Achilles. The treatments that help can include rest, taping, yes anti-inflams and cortisone but at the end of the day I think you will need a heel raiser to reduce pressure from the Achilles and possibly orthotics (custom made arch supports) to support the feet better. Occasionally there may be surgery involved to clean up the tendon or even lengthen it, but i am fairly sure you can be helped a lot more than so far WITHOUT surgery. A cortisone injection is fine and no big deal, but this does not address the CAUSE. Also get your footwear assessed properly. Good Luck - I am sure if find a good podiatrist maybe in conjunction with a physical therapist (try and ask for one that is keen on sports injurues and Achilles rehab) that they will help you sort it out.

     
    Old 12-22-2001, 08:25 PM   #3
    gwibble
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    PS I wrote all this assuming that you meant the BACK of the heel which is where the Achilles inserts into the heel bone - if you meant the UNDERNEATH of the heel the answers are quite different so let me know if that is the case!! (Still go to a podiatrist!)
    Also, dont worry about anything at night, theres nothing really to do that way. Good Luck!!

     
    Old 12-23-2001, 03:01 AM   #4
    SteveF
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    Yes, it is at the back. I forgot to mention in my original post that I've got a heel lift which I use in all my shoes.

    Steve.
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    Old 12-24-2001, 05:14 AM   #5
    gwibble
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    Steve- I still think a combination of orthotics, a good physical therapist and a good podiatrist will be the answer long term - good luck!! Merry Christmas!!
    PS I assume the heel lift did nothing? Has the doctor strapped it? - the phys.th will do this or the pod. Can you rest or not really?

     
    Old 01-03-2002, 11:15 PM   #6
    McDee
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    Unhappy

    I have suffered with this pain for almost a year.
    Treatments incude;
    -painkillers
    -Mobicox (anti-inflamatory)
    -Vitamins
    -custom footware
    -Three Cortizone shots
    -I've been off work for 3 months(running up and down 20ft of stairs & conveyors for 12hrs in a factory.
    -Casts up to my knees with feet pointed down for three weeks(in a wheelchair)
    -months of Physio( Laser, Altrasound, I.F.C, massage & exercises).
    -and now they are talking surgery (cutting tendon in half at sheath?)
    I feel like I'm the only one with this problem and it feels like everyone(incuding some Doctors)think I'm faking the intensity of this pain!
    I'm only 29 years old and very depressed and scared this will not go away.
    If anyone has suggestions or comments please follow-up.
    Thanks, Wayne...


     
    Old 01-04-2002, 11:12 AM   #7
    SteveF
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    McDee:

    Well, I don't like the sound of that!

    Have you tried diclofenac? That's what I'm currently on and whilst I'm taking it I feel virtually no pain whatsoever and and walk and run around as normal, but as soon as I stop taking it I can hardly walk.

    I'm going back to my doctor soon to see if he can refer me to a podiatrist.

    [This message has been edited by SteveF (edited 01-04-2002).]
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    Old 01-04-2002, 09:17 PM   #8
    McDee
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    Thanks for the advice Steve, I will ask the Doc about that! Is it an inflamatory, painkiller?

     
    Old 07-23-2002, 04:23 AM   #9
    SteveF
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    Just thought I'd update you all on this problem. I've seen a podiatrist, who thinks some of the fibres in my tendon have been damaged somehow. He reckons the condition is also aggravated by my flat feet, and tight muscle groups in my legs. Anyway he fitted some custom soles to my shoes, and have me some stretching excercises to do.

    After several months of this, my heel has much improved. I don't need the diclofenac anymore, in fact the only time I can feel any pain is if I've been walking around for ages, or try to run too fast. Hopefully it should be pain free eventually. http://www.healthboards.com/ubb/dance.gif

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