Question:

Dear TAI Experts:

I have chronic pain on both the inside and outside of both heels (insertion) which is painful to touch most of the time. I do sprint triathlons and run through the pain. Rest does not help. I naturally supinate. I have tried orthotics, pt, a million different shoes, etc. Any other suggestion? I am 55 years old, but have had this problem since I played basketball in my late 20’s.

Answer:

Without doing a physical examination it would be difficult to speak to your specific condition. A physical therapist (PT) who is board certified in orthopedics would be best suited to evaluate your condition. I would recommend a thorough evaluation of the entire lower half of your body, including your low back based on the duration of your symptoms and that you have symptoms on the right and left heels. Foot and ankle problems can be driven by structures higher in the leg or even come from the low back. There may be one or more contributing factors to your symptoms that could be addressed by a physical therapist. If you have not had a physical examination in recent months by your physician, I would recommend a check up that includes a blood panel. In the meantime, a decrease in the level of activity might be best given that it aggravates your symptoms. You could consider using ice to control pain and inflammation if you have not already tried it.

John R Nielsen PT, DPT