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very severe pain in both heels and the feet

By Anonymous December 23, 2010 - 4:13pm
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hi i'm 40yrs.old and i've been experiencing this pain for over almost two years.it started one morning when getting out of bed i could not stand on my feet the pain has gotten worst.my heels and feet are so tender sometimes i can't barely walk on them.can you tell me what this is?

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HERWriter Guide

Anon - Thanks for your question and for looking out for your health. While we are not able to diagnose medical conditions, we can assist you in helping yourself.

One of the conditions that I would advise you to consider is plantar fasciitis, which is one of the most common causes of heel pain. It involves pain and inflammation of a thick band of tissue, called the plantar fascia, which runs across the bottom of your foot — connecting your heel bone to your toes.

It causes stabbing pain that usually starts with the morning's first steps. After the foot limbers up the pain usually decreases.

Treatments include the following:

Rehabilitation Measures to Reduce Plantar Fascia Irritation

* Avoid running and other activities that may worsen pain.
* Apply ice or a cold pack to the heel and arch for 15 to 20 minutes, 4 times a day to relieve pain. Wrap the ice or cold pack in a towel. Do not apply the ice directly to your skin.
* Night splint—A special splint that will hold your foot in a neutral position while sleeping.
* Orthotics—Special shoe inserts provide support for the mid-arch region of your foot.
* Stretching exercises to lengthen the Achilles tendon and plantar fascia as recommended by a health care professional. This is usually done when the acute pain has resolved or improved.


The following medications can relieve pain and inflammation:

* Ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil)
* Naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn)
* Acetaminophen (Tylenol)
* Aspirin


Corticosteroid injections are controversial, but may be an option in some cases (may be given by a doctor). In certain cases, a new special type of sound wave called, extracorporeal shock wave, may be appropriate (also under the care of your doctor). At this time, this is generally a treatment for chronic, refractory cases.

In a few cases, basic treatments don't help, and surgery is performed to cut the tight, swollen fascia. Heel spurs have not been proven to cause plantar fasciitis, and they do not need to be routinely surgically removed.

You can find more information in our plantar fasciitis section:

Ignoring plantar fasciitis can result in a chronic condition that hinders regular activities and results in foot, knee, hip or back problems because of the way plantar fasciitis changes a person's walking motion.

This information is provided to assist you but does not take the place of getting proper medical care. It would be in your best interest to see your personal healthcare provider or to see a podiatrist, a doctor who specializes in the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of diseases of the human foot. This link leads to a directory of podiatrists.

Let us know what you learn after you see your doctor, and we hope you will be out of pain in the very near future.

December 23, 2010 - 5:37pm
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