Can a steroid injection help your heel pain?
ROSEMONT, Ill. (Aug. 19, 2016) – Nearly 10 percent of people have pain in the bottom of the heel at some point in their lives. The most common reason is plantar fasciitis, which can be caused by too much activity, ill-fitting shoes, flat feet or excessive weight. The plantar fascia is the thick band of tissue that connects your heel bone to your toes.
If you’ve been diagnosed with plantar fasciitis, you may know that treatment typically includes daily stretching and changing your activity to rest your foot. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications can also help, say orthopaedic foot and ankle specialists. If these treatments do not decrease pain, the next step can be shock wave therapy or steroid injections into the plantar fascia.
Not everyone can have plantar fascia injections. For those who can try an injection for their pain, an office visit with an orthopaedic foot and ankle specialist is needed. If an injection is performed a thin needle is used to inject the medicines into the foot. The numbing sensation will last for a few hours, and the steroid will relieve heel pain for several weeks to months. During this time, patients should resume foot stretching.
Injections will not cure plantar fasciitis, but they can relieve pain temporarily. Stretching remains the top recommendation of orthopaedic foot and ankle specialists. For a photo guide to plantar fascia stretching, consult the Plantar Fasciitis page at FootCareMD, the patient education website of the American Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society (AOFAS).
About Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Specialists
Orthopaedic foot and ankle surgeons are medical doctors (MD and DO) who specialize in the diagnosis and treatment, both surgical and nonsurgical, of musculoskeletal disorders and injuries of the foot and ankle. Their education and training consists of four years of medical school, five years of post-graduate residency and often a fellowship year of specialized surgical training. These specialists treat patients of all ages and perform reconstructive surgery for deformities and arthritis, treat sports injuries, and manage foot and ankle trauma.
About the AOFAS
As the professional organization of orthopaedic foot and ankle surgeons, the AOFAS supports the specialty and other health care providers through evidence-based and best-practice education and research. The Society provides leadership in foot and ankle surgery, serving as a resource for government and industry as well as the national and international health care communities, and promotes preventive foot and ankle care.
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