Steroid injections for plantar heel pain might work for one month only

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plantar heel pain, painful sole, foot arthritis, arthritis information, arthritis digest, arthritis magazineLocal steroid injections may slightly reduce pain for up to one month in people with plantar heel pain (painful soles of heels) according to a new review of the evidence.

What is plantar heel pain?

Plantar heel pain is usually noticed when a person takes their first steps after being inactive or after weight bearing. Sometimes the pain gets better without treatment but in other cases it can last for months. As well as local steroid injections, current treatments include painkillers, arch and heel supports, exercises and shock wave therapy.

What does the new study show?

Experts have now reviewed the evidence from studies assessing the effects of injected steroids for treating adults with plantar heel pain compared with fake treatment (injections of salt water) or no treatment.

A total of 39 studies that involved 2,492 adults were included in the review.

“There is low quality evidence that local steroid injections may slightly reduce heel pain up to one month but not subsequently,” the experts conclude. “Although serious complications relating to steroid injection were rare, these were under-reported in the included studies and more cannot be ruled out.”

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