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How to manage pain in the heel?

Q: I have been suffering from severe pain on my left heel for six months. I took medications three times and still it comes back when the medication is stopped. I had even injections on the heel to relieve pain. I do yoga and aerobic exercise. How can I get this cured? Can walking help to reduce pain? Is it related to arthritis or the type of sandals I wear?

A:You seem to have a condition called plantar fascitis. Therapy works in 90% of cases. This consists of oral painkillers, stretching of heel cord and wearing of special heel cups that protect the tender area on the heel. In patients with persistent pain some times ankle foot orthosis (AFOs) may be prescribed. Some people give steroid injections but that have their own drawbacks. In 5% of cases, surgical release may be indicated. You will need to be seen by an orthopaedic surgeon to make this decision.


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