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Steroid injections

BMJ Group Medical Reference

We don't know if steroid injections improve heel pain, because there hasn't been much research. You may feel less heel pain in the first few weeks after an injection into your plantar fascia (the band of tissue connecting your heel to the ball of your foot). But there hasn't been enough good research to say for certain whether or not they work.

Steroid injections usually contain one of these steroids: methylprednisolone, hydrocortisone, or triamcinolone.

An injection into the heel of your foot can hurt, so the steroid is usually combined with a local anaesthetic.

Some studies have found that a combination injection that contains steroids and a local anaesthetic reduces heel pain more than other treatments ( heel pads or the combination injection plus a heel pad). But it's not clear how helpful this will be to people, as the difference between treatments may be only slight. [2]

There is a risk that your plantar fascia will rupture (burst) if you have a steroid injection. [16] [17] In one study, this happened to 1 in 10 people. [17] The rupture might happen suddenly or come on gradually. It can take up to one year to occur. The rupture may relieve your heel pain, but you'll probably get other long-term foot problems.

You may get other complications from a steroid injection, including infection, change in skin colour, nerve injury, and muscle damage. [18]

Glossary

local anaesthetic

A local anaesthetic is a painkiller that's used to numb one part of your body. You usually get local anaesthetics as injections.

For more terms related to Heel pain

Citations

For references related to Heel pain click here.
Last Updated: March 02, 2011
This information does not replace medical advice.  If you are concerned you might have a medical problem please ask your Boots pharmacy team in your local Boots store, or see your doctor.

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