Heel pain is the most common problem seen by podiatrists. Heel pain affects people in all age groups from children to 80-year-olds. Most often, sufferers are between 30 and 60 years old, especially those who stand on their feet for many hours a day or are very active in the gym or in an exercise program.
Frequently patients tell me they saw a doctor for heel pain and the whole extent of the treatment was an injection of steroid and a vague shoe recommendation. Typically the injection gives relief for about a week or so and the pain comes right back.
An injection usually does not solve the problem because the real problem has not been addressed. The real problem is usually a tight plantar fascia or Achilles tendon, or a biomechanical problem with the foot and leg. If the doctor does not take the time to identify and treat the real problem, the heel pain will return. Treating heel pain with an injection to solve the immediate pain is sort of like turning off a warning light in a car without solving the problem – it just makes no sense!
My philosophy is to examine patients and determine the cause of the heel pain and address that cause. The treatment is almost always mechanical. Instead of injections, I tape the foot, cushion and balance the foot in the shoe, stretch tight muscles using a nightsplint and provide very detailed oral and written shoe and activity recommendations. These simple and painless treatments cure more than 85 percent of heel pain patients.
For those few people who still have heel pain we offer unique and technologically advanced noninvasive treatment options. Please see my blog “High-Tech Solutions for Resistant Heel Pain.”