I have heel spur syndrome. I've been doing physical therapy for two months, but the pain hasn't gone away. What other treatments can I try?

A small percentage of patients with heel spurs don't get relief, even with physical therapy treatments. Doctors may prescribe additional medication, heel cushions, or possibly an injection of steroid medicine into the sore heel. If patients still don't get relief, surgery to remove the spur may be an option.

Doctors in Cuba recently reported on a less-invasive technique to remove heel spurs. These doctors use an endoscope--a small camera-like device--to find and remove bone spurs without making big incisions. Though this technique was only tried on 30 patients, the results were impressive. Within three months of surgery, all of the patients reported good or excellent results. One year after surgery, all but five of the patients were pain-free. (The five patients who did feel pain had been involved in sports and got relief after receiving physical therapy treatments.)

Patients in this study weren't operated on until they had tried other conservative treatments for five months, including two months of physical therapy. If your pain persists over the next few months, you may want to talk with your doctor about available options to help manage your symptoms.