It can alter way you walk, stand, and move about throughout the day. It can make you dread having to stand up after sitting down for a while or driving, knowing the pain that will ensue with that first step. And then your whole demeanor can change, your ability to focus on what really matters at the moment is clouded by that sharp pain the stops you and makes you only think about the pain.
How can you rid yourself of this burden?
Before jumping to the end-game treatments of pills and injections and surgery, you must first access why this could be happening. What in your life has changed? Are there any new stresses that have occurred, financial, deteriorating health of family members, loss of loved ones, feeling that life is too heavy a burden, overwhelming responsibilities at work or at home. Have you slacked on you diet and gained a few pounds? Have you started a new work-out regimen?
Treating Heel Pain is much more complicated than the traditional medical treatments. Injections, pills, surgery are all short term solutions and can definitely help to alleviate the pain, maybe even for a very long time, but the inciting causative event must be addressed.
That's why I stress stretching, meditation, diet changes, and other life changes that must be instituted in addition to the traditional treatments.
I just treated a patient who has had six injections in each foot over the past year and still complains of pain. I asked him to show me the stretches that his doctor instructed him to do, and he told me that he was never instructed to stretch, never offered custom orthotics, never reviewed his diet or was told about the possible interaction between his chronic back problem and his foot pain. Only surgery was recommended, since the injections had failed to alleviate the problem.
This patient was in awe of all the treatment options I presented to him without injections, pills, and surgery. He has begun to change his exercise routine to include proper stretching techniques that were completely absent prior to seeing me. He has reassessed his shoes and inserts. He even said he will try to meditate in an effort to relieve his stress.
He should do very well and may even progress to full recovery, but it is a long road, an arduous journey through a maze of change that is not so simple. We are set in our ways and take for granted the way we walk and stand, our posture, our attitude toward life and how we react to the day to day stresses that confront us.
I will use injections and prescribe anti-inflammatory pills. I will perform various non-surgical treatments such as Extra-Corporeal-Shock-Wave Therapy and MLS Laser therapy. And I will refer a patient to the surgeon if all conservative treatments fail and there is a definite anatomical abnormality that can be addressed with the blade. But my main focus is to the guide the patient along the path to recovery with a multitude of tools that can be used by the patient outside the doctor's office. It is my job to teach the patient about the disease state, about the deforming forces that are the root of the pain. It is this knowledge that is the foundation of healing and finding the lasting cure.
Have you ever felt a sharp pain at the tip of your great toe, noticed it was a bit swollen, red, and angry looking? And then you'd chalk it up to tigh...