Heel pain on the outside part

  • TallGWMvballe...

    Posts: 1925

    Aug 24, 2010 5:52 AM GMT
    HI RJers.
    I am hoping someone knows about this and what to do.

    For several years I occasionally have had minor pain on one heel... on the outside lower part but it has always stopped by itself.
    Now it has been constant for a month... gets much worse after playing (Volleyball) I was limping off the court last weekend after winning our Gold Medal. icon_smile.gif

    I DO stretch everyday and take a multi vitamin.

    I started rolling my foot on a raquetball ball ... that seems to help a little

    any suggestions?

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Aug 24, 2010 11:46 AM GMT
    You may have spurs in your heel bones. You should see a podiatrist ASAP, just to find out what's causing it.

    If it is spurs, you may be advised to get orthotics, which might help a lot. The podiatrist will likely do molds of both your feet from which to make orthotics suited specifically to your feet.

    I think many people find that they don't have to use the orthotics forever, but they're good to keep around in case the pain recurs.

    If you possibly can, stop playing volleyball until you get this looked into.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Aug 24, 2010 11:53 AM GMT
    Google "plantar fasciitis." From your brief description I can't be sure, but it sounds like this is your problem. Also called "heel spur", but this makes people think there is some kind of boney spur poking into the flesh with each step, which is incorrect.

    There is a ligament that runs from the ball of the foot back to the heel bone. When the arch flattens, this ligament pulls on its attachment point at the heel bone and that causes the pain. (Just by way of explanation, the pulling on the attachment point at the heel causes a horizontal calcification that shows up on xray as spur-like, which is where that name comes from.)

    Podiatrists treat this condition with Alieve (naproxen), custom arch supports (orthotics) and sometimes, direct injections of cortisone.

    I have the custom arch supports and I did have a number of cortisone injections back in the '80s. I have been pain free for most of 2 decades now.

    In my experience, the single most important thing is good arch support. This means never going barefoot, not even from the bed to the toilet. (The ligament shrinks overnight while you sleep, so the pull on the attachment point is expecially severe first thing in the morning.) Birkenstock sandals are a lifesaver because of the arch support design. My Podiatrist recommended them. He actually used to write out "prescriptions" so that people would be excused for wearing them at work. I keep my pair right beside the bed and slide into them as I get up to hit the can. I actually need to take baths instead of showers because of the no standing barefoot thing. In the summer, I use a pair of plastic Birkenstocks and an outdoor shower at the back of the house (beach community).

    Whether or not you decide to see a Podiatrist, you are going to need the Birkenstocks. Go to a Birkenstock store, where they will fit you properly for your first pair. The model I wear is called "Florida." It has three adjustable straps across the top of the arch. These things are expensive (about $100) but they last many years and the pain relief will be incredible.

    Custom orthotics crafted by a Podiatrist are really expensive. You might benefit from semi-custom orthotics where you stand barefoot on a diagnostic platform in a store and that reads out the orthotic that you need which you then pick up off a shelf. You've probably seen that TV commercial. I personally have not ever tried that. Email me with any additional questions.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Aug 24, 2010 12:06 PM GMT
    plantar fasciitis is a good thought if the pain is more on the bottom of the foot. if more on the outer edge, it's likely to be calcaneal periostitis. either way, a visit to your fp is in order. icon_smile.gif
  • fitartistsf

    Posts: 717

    Aug 24, 2010 12:15 PM GMT
    I had both areas in pain about 3 years ago. Whether in the arch or heel, the ligaments and muscles are the same. They wrap around the heel from the arch. The podiatrist told me it was Planar Fasciitis. I had to stop running, and wear bootie that had a Velcro strap that stretched back the toes, thus stretching out the ligaments and muscles of the arch and heel... to this day I still have occassional flare-ups of pain... it was the most painful, longest recovery I have had of a sports injury.