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Ask Our Doctor About: Heel Pain & Plantar Fasciitis

The questions on this Website have been answered by Board Certified Foot and Ankle Specialists associated with OurHealthNetwork.com. The foot and ankle physicians and surgeons in this group have a combined 100 years of practice experience. The information and opinions expressed below should not be viewed as diagnoses and treatments, but rather as information to help you understand your foot or ankle related problem. All medical problems should be diagnosed and treated by a foot and ankle specialist in your state, or your family doctor.

Subject: Arch pain

"Is it possible to suffer from Plantar Fasciitis and only feel pain in the arch near the ball of the foot, rather than in the heel?"

Dr. Kasdan's response: "Yes. The plantar fascia extends from the ball to the heel, and pain can be felt anywhere along its length. The usual place that pain is felt is at the heel; however, pain can occur in the ball, arch, or heel and still be plantar fasciitis. For more information about plantar fasciitis, please click here."

Subject: Plantar Fasciitis

"I am 47 years old and have had plantar fascitis for 2 years. I have tried acupuncture, magnetic insoles and custom orthotics from a podiatrist, all with very little success. The podiatrist wants to do cortisone next, but my understanding is that it is a temporary fix. What is your opinion of cortisone? Also, the orthotic I have is very hard which I find to be very uncomfortable for a painful heel. Are your orthotics similarly hard or are they semi-hard? Any other suggestions? I am a professional photographer and resting my feet is not an option. Thank you! I just discovered your Web site today!"
Dr. Kasdan's response: "In my opinion, cortisone alone will not permanently relieve the pain of plantar fasciitis. Cortisone reduces the inflammation of the plantar fascia which is the cause of the pain; but, in order to prevent the inflammation and pain from returning, a pair of properly fabricated custom-made orthotics is needed. In 30 years of private practice I have seen many patients who were given rigid and semi-rigid orthotics for plantar fasciitis by other doctors. In my experience, they are too hard, especially in the area where the plantar fascia attaches to the heel. Our semi-flexible custom-made orthotics, which gently support the plantar fascia and protect the sensitive area in the heel has helped hundreds of people with plantar fasciitis and heel spur pain. Please click here to learn more about our custom-made orthotics."

Subject: Heel pain

"The very back of my heel hurts ALL day and with no relief. I stretch it by pulling my toes towards me throughout the day, but the heel keeps hurting. X-rays were taken and saw no spurs. I keep thinking I may have achillies tendonitis. Do you have any suggestions? It really hurts when I sleep; the back of my heel lays on the bed and the pressure from my blankets push it down more."
Dr. Kasdan's response: "Pain in the back of the heel may be due to: Achilles tendonitis (an inflammation of the tendon); an increase in the size of the top-back portion of the heel bone — not a spur, but an overgrowth of the bone (Haglund's Deformity); an inflammation of the bursa, or shock absorber between the heel and achilles tendon (Retrocalcaneal Bursitis); cysts or tumors; or muscle tears. To diagnose your problem accurately, you may need an M.R.I. or Ulrasound Study performed. I suggest that you discuss this problem with yoir family doctor.  Perhaps, he/she will suggest a referral to a foot and ankle specialist for a consultation.


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