MEHPS: A Multi-Pronged Approach to Diagnosing Heel Pain

FootThere are many questions in life to answer. “Chicken or fish?” “Which college are you thinking of?” “Do you take so-and-so to be…?” Some questions are not as fun or exciting as these, but can have big impacts on your health and comfort. That’s why we use a questionnaire to help determine whether your heel pain comes from a simple case of plantar fasciitis, or maybe something a little more complicated, like MEHPS—Multiple Etiology Heel Pain Syndrome.

Plantar fasciitis has long been diagnosed as the most common form of heel pain. Newer research, however, is indicating that many cases do not actually involve any inflammation (the “-itis” of “fasciitis). Furthermore, while true plantar fasciitis tends to resolve relatively quickly on its own, more stubborn pain—the kind that’s more likely to send you to a podiatrist for help—often arises from a more complicated combination of factors. So while plantar fasciitis is still common, other causes of pain such as nerve entrapment, fat pad deterioration, and heel spurs, are sometimes missed.

A misdiagnosis often means receiving treatments that are not as effective as those that specifically target the problem. That’s why we dive deeper into investigating our patients’ heel pain with the MEHPS questionnaire, alongside a thorough physical examination. You will be asked to evaluate each foot separate for indicators such as when you feel discomfort, activities that cause pain, and if/when pain grows worse.

We take your answers and, along with a diagnostic ultrasound to get a better look inside your foot, use the information to better pinpoint the source or sources of your pain. Having more thorough information on your condition means narrowing treatment down to the methods that will most likely be effective for you.

Don’t worry: you won’t flunk this exam. For help handling heel pain from plantar fasciitis or MEHPS, call Parker Foot & Ankle at (281) 497-2850 to schedule an appointment with us today. You can also request a copy of our book, “When Your Heels Hurt… You Hurt All Over!” at no charge.

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