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Jogging & Running/Heel spur/plantar faciatis

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Question
Nick
A few years ago I developed plantar faciatis. The exray also showed a heel spur. I was able to resume running, but recently it has gotten so bad I had to stop.
I am 55, good health. My doc said it is best to avoid surgery and treat the condition other ways. I lost weight, used orthotic inserts, a 'night sock', voltaren, nothing has worked. Actually, the faciitis has improved, but I can almost feel the spot where the heel spur is digging into my heel/tendon. I want to get this removed, and I called around and there are surgeons here that will do this. Do you think I should get the surgery or continue trying non surgical methods? Do you know what the recovery time is from surgery if I get it? Thanks and have a great XMAS!

Answer
Good questions Barry.

I've treated people with plantar fascitis that also had heel spurs and have been able to get rid of the pain. I've also had it where I wasn't able to get rid of the pain.  

Prior to surgery I recommend seeing a physio who will perform a talocrural distraction thrust manipulation. I find these to be beneficial often. A few other manual therapy techniques directed at the ankle and foot can be helpful as well.  I know it seems like treating the joint won't help the heel spur, but you'd be surprised at how often it improves pain significantly.

I also recommend having an acupuncture needle inserted onto the calcaneal tubercle and any other symptomatic areas on your heel. This isn't comfortable, but definitely beats surgery. (Physios and acupuncturists can both do this.)

If you try both of these then surgery may be warranted. 85% recovery typically takes about a month.  Please let me know what questions you have or if I can direct you further.  

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Nick Rainey

Expertise

I can answer questions about pain and training program. If there is a question about running that I don't know then I'll do some research and make sure I provide you with an answer.

Experience

I'm a Doctor of Physical Therapy. I'm a track and cross country coach. I train clients throughout the year. I've helped prepare athletes for their NFL Pro Days. I've written articles on running. Finally, those that I work with have less pain and run faster.

Organizations
American Physical Therapy Association- Sports Section

Publications
The 6 Week Workout Program- I'm the author of this book Research Made Simple for Physical Therapists- I'm the author of this Kindle book

Education/Credentials
Board Certified Clinical Specialist in Orthopaedic Physical Therapy Doctor of Physical Therapy BS in Exercise Science NSCA- CSCS and CPT USA Weightlifting Level I NPI- Certified Posture Specialist Total Motion Release Level II Certified Dry Needling

Awards and Honors
National Posture Institute's International Perfect Posture of the Year Award 2011 Clinical Excellence Award- Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions Aegis Therapies Scholarship recipient

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