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Sore area on bottom of heel

KylieGirl Community member Posts: 12 Connected
Hi there,

This is such a long story and I'm really hoping someone can help me!

For a few years now, I've had a lot of foot pain, particularly my right heel. It's gradually started to happen in my left foot as well. After many podiatry appointments, a scan that was negative for plantar fasciitis but I have all the symptoms, and numerous different insoles and anything else possible to relieve heel pain, I'm still struggling and coming to the end of my tether.

As well as the plantar fasciitis symptoms, I have a sore area on my right heel. District nurses say that it's not a pressure sore, but I should still rest it, GP says it could be so rest it and a family member who is training to be a nurse having worked on ward's as a care assistant for many years, says it looks like a grade 1 pressure sore so I need to keep a very close eye on it.

Thing is, my husband and I are desperate for respite, and we have just been granted 4 weeks a year, fully funded. This is fantastic news for us but I know that it's going to mean much more time in my wheelchair, which is what is the most uncomfortable thing and makes the sore area much worse. I get so anxious about it, right now writing this I feel like crying because I just don't know what to do.

I just wondered whether anyone here has come across anything like this, or has any ideas of anything I can do. I have AFO's, but because of the PF pain, and the soreness, it's virtually impossible to wear them.

With understanding, 



  • northwestmum2
    northwestmum2 Community member Posts: 57 Contributor
    Definately sounds like Plantar fasciitis to me!- i speak from very painful experience!! Mine began with a new boot rubbing a bit- but though i stopped wearing them a day later by this time my heel was completely inflamed and now 8 mths later i still cant put my whole weight on it- and other heel began with same symptoms too as id been putting more weight on that side.Nurse at A&E(yes it was THAT painful)and my own gp,AND the locum,and the physio all said plantar fasciiitis is what these symptoms are.the gp&physio both reccomend ' stretching' the feet by pointing the toes and pulling the foot towards me-& side to side when pressing down my leg.and gp suggests also soaking feet in salt water.over time this is all helping a little- but at end of day they can still be quite sore.Gp says can take 9 months or more to show any improvement :/
  • northwestmum2
    northwestmum2 Community member Posts: 57 Contributor
    I was told a scan or xray cant really show a diagnosis of plantar fasciitis- but all the symptoms pointed to this being what it is(in my case,anyway.)Everytime i began recounting my symptoms to different medical people they each said "plantar fasciitis"! before i finished speaking!
  • Richard_Scope
    Richard_Scope Posts: 3,638 Scope online community team
    Hi @KylieGirl
    I'm sorry to read that you are in such discomfort at the moment. I cannot give you a diagnosis as I'm not medically trained but I would strongly agree with the advice to rest your foot. 
    A foot spa would also help I think. The warm water will help your foot to relax. As for when you are are using your wheelchair, I would buy a pair of thick walking socks. The sock should cushion your foot from the footrest.

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  • Pippa_Alumni
    Pippa_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 5,790 Championing
    I'm so sorry to hear about your pain, @KylieGirl.

    I'm just tagging in @Jean_Scope in case there's anything else she can suggest here!
  • Jean_OT
    Jean_OT Community member Posts: 513 Empowering

    Hi @KylieGirl /Zoe

    Thanks to @Pippa_Scope for inviting me to join this conversation.

    I must point out that I trained as an Occupational Therapist (OT) and your query relates more to the remit of podiatry/orthopaedics/physiotherapy. Also, I certainly can’t offer individual clinical advice in the context of this online community, you really do need to be assessed and advised by an appropriate medical professional who can see you face to face.

    However, there are several points in your post that I would like to comment on:

    1. plantar fasciitis symptoms

    2. potential pressure sore on heal

    3. Uncomfortable wheelchair


    “Plantar fasciitis symptoms”

    Obviously, it is impossible for me to know if what you are describing as “plantar fasciitis symptoms” is actual plantar fasciitis or not, and you seem to have received conflicting advice about the actual diagnosis. Plantar fasciitis is a very common condition in the general population so it would be understandable if people jumped to the assumption that pain/tension in your plantar flexor muscles (those muscles that work hardest when we point our toes) was due to plantar fasciitis but there could be other explanations.

    Our feet are mechanically very complex and it doesn’t take much to ‘go wrong’ with the bones or muscles to cause pain and or loss of function. Many people with CP have tension with the plantar flexor muscles as part of their condition.

    I appreciate that you have already had some exploration of the cause of your pain and tried several different remedies without success. However, clearly the problem is persisting and seriously impacting on your wellbeing, so referral to a Consultant may well be appropriate.

    I have no idea what is happening for you as an individual or what treatment may be appropriate, however your post did remind me of something else that I have read. There is some clinical evidence to suggest that ‘shockwave therapy’ is effective in reducing tension in plantar flexor muscles of children with CP (see: https://www.cerebralpalsyguide.com/blog/shock-wave-therapy-cerebral-palsy-30314/ ). Shockwave therapy is available in the UK privately and in some cases on the NHS. You can read more about Shockwave here https://shockwave-therapy.co.uk/ If your health care professionals are unable to find anything else that relieves the pain/tension in your foot it might be worth discussing Shockwave therapy with your GP/consultant to see if a referral for NHS treatment would be appropriate.


    Potential pressure sore on heal

    I am concerned to hear that you potentially have a pressure sore developing. This should be taken seriously as pressure sores can be really problematic. Prevention is always better than cure! Do follow the advice you have been given by the District Nurses and GP to rest the area from avoidable pressure. More information about pressure sores can be found here: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/pressure-sores/

    You might want to try to make yourself more comfortable by obtaining a ‘gel heel sleeve’ or a ‘fleece heal sleeve’ if you think they would be appropriate for you. If this problem worsens or fails to respond to rest please do speak to your GP again.


    Uncomfortable wheelchair

    Your wheelchair absolutely should not be so uncomfortable that the thought of spending more time in it means that you can’t look forward to your respite break. Clearly the wheelchair and/or the cushions are not correct for you. I suggest that you request an urgent reassessment at your local NHS wheelchair clinic to try to get this sorted. Make sure that they are aware of the potential pressure sore.


    Hope this helps


    Best Wishes


    Jean Merrilees BSc MRCOT

    You can read more of my posts at: https://community.scope.org.uk/categories/ask-an-occupational-therapist

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