Heel Pain Continues to Plague Adults

Friday, February 26, 2010 Medical PDA News J E 4

Foot and Ankle Surgeons: Best Defense is Early Treatment

LAS VEGAS, Feb. 25 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- If you are suffering from heel pain, you're not alone. According to foot and ankle surgeons attending the 68th Annual Scientific Conference of the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons in Las Vegas this week, heel pain continues to be the most common reason patients seek care. Surgeons advise the best defense to keeping pain in control is early treatment.

Heel pain can have many different causes with the most common being plantar fasciitis, an inflammation of the band of tissue (plantar fascia) that extends from the heel to the toes. Conference speaker and South Carolina foot and ankle surgeon Michelle Butterworth, DPM, FACFAS explains that patients who most frequently suffer with heel pain are those who spend the majority of their day on their feet. "Continuous standing or walking on a daily basis or even starting a repetitive activity, such as a new exercise routine, without proper shoes can put a lot of stress and strain on the ligaments in the foot, resulting in inflammation and pain," Dr. Butterworth says.

The good news is heel pain is treatable. "If treatment is sought early, all but a small percentage of patients suffering will experience relief with conservative therapies such as limiting activities, footwear modifications, anti-inflammatory medications, and stretching exercises," Dr. Butterworth adds.

"The key to success in eliminating the pain is early treatment; heel pain can turn chronic and debilitating if not cared for promptly by a foot and ankle surgeon."

When conservative therapies do not provide relief after several months, surgery may be considered. "New surgical techniques available now allow surgeons to easily eliminate or reduce pain with faster recovery times for patients," says Dr. Butterworth.  

For more information on heel pain, visit ACFAS' consumer health web site

The American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons is a professional society of over 6,000 foot and ankle surgeons. Founded in 1942, the College's mission is to promote research and provide continuing education for the foot and ankle surgical specialty, and to educate the general public on foot health and conditions of the foot and ankle through its consumer Web site,

Available Topic Expert(s): For information on the listed expert(s), click appropriate link.

Michelle L. Butterworth, DPM, FACFAS

Twitter: @FootHealthFacts

SOURCE American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons



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