Medical Matters > Heel Pain

ME Essential Spring 2017

Question

I’ve been suffering from quite a lot of pain in the heel area of my right foot over the past few months. It’s often worse when I wake up. The left foot is OK. I also have muscle pain but don’t have any joint pain.

Could this be related to ME/CFS?

Answer

You don't say if you have been to see your GP about your heel pain — which you ought to do because there are a number of reasons why this can occur. The most common cause of heel pain is a condition called plantar fasciitis, which causes pain that is often worse in the morning on waking up. The pain tends to lessen after walking around but may then increase during the day after walking or standing.

Plantar fasciitis is caused by thickening of a band of fibrous tissue under the sole that connects and all the bones of the foot. If this what is causing your heel pain, there are various things that can be done to help. Management is summarised on the NHS Choices website:

http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/heelpain/Pages/Causes.aspx

There is no evidence that plantar fasciitis is linked to ME/CFS, or is more common in ME/CFS. However, heel pain is something that people with fibromyalgia sometimes report. This would be relevant if there is a fibromyalgic component to your ME/ CFS.

If this is the case, management would still be very similar to that for plantar fasciitis.

MEDICAL DISCLAIMER

Medical Matters is for information purposes only. The answers provided by Dr Shepherd and the ME Association’s other expert advisers should not be construed as medical advice. We recommend that any information you deem relevant is discussed with your GP as soon as possible. It is important to obtain advice from a GP who is in charge of your clinical care, who knows you well, and who can consider other likely causes for symptoms. Seek personalised medical advice whenever a new symptom arises, or an existing symptom worsens. Don't assume that new or worsened symptoms are a result of having ME/CFS.

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