Got Heel Pain?
Here’s How to Find Some Relief

Got Heel Pain? <br />Here’s How to Find Some Relief

Heel pain is undeniably annoying, inconvenient, and really frustrating—especially if it persists. In many situations, heel pain feels like a stabbing sensation on the bottom of your foot. This pain may feel worse first thing in the morning, as well as worsen after sitting or standing for long durations.

And if the above sounds familiar, you might be experiencing plantar fasciitis. So, let’s explore this topic a little bit further. What is plantar fasciitis? Is it causing your heel pain? And most importantly, what can you do about it?

What is Plantar Fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis is the inflammation of the connective tissue that runs from your toes to the heel of your foot. Usually, this connective tissue supports your feet. It helps absorb shock when you walk, run, or jump. However, when it becomes inflamed and irritated, pain results.

This condition usually arises after repeated micro-traumas or small tears in the tissue. For instance, wearing improper footwear for lengthy durations may result in a sore heel. Additionally, excess weight can place stress on this part of the body, leading to irritation.

You might also be more prone to plantar fasciitis if you work an occupation where you’re frequently standing or walking.

Most notably, pain in the back of the heel might come on gradually. You may struggle to pinpoint exactly what caused it for this very reason. So, what can you do about it?

Heel Pain Treatment & Solutions

Unfortunately, long-term and untreated plantar fasciitis may lead to foot spurs. These calcaneal spurs result due to the stress placed on this part of the body. Your brain notices this additional stress and signals for your body to lay down more bone as another layer of protection.

While many people don’t experience symptoms caused by heel spurs, sometimes, pain does occur. This pain is very similar to the pain felt from plantar fasciitis. Interestingly, similar treatments and solutions can help, including the following:

1. Wear Proper Footwear

Plantar fasciitis frequently arises due to wearing improper footwear or having inadequate foot support. The fix? Always ensure you wear the right footwear for the activity you’re participating in. For instance, if you know you’ll be walking a long distance, wear those walking shoes!

Additionally, you should never walk barefoot (as this can place stress on your exposed heel). You may further benefit from using insoles. These can help ensure proper biomechanics, supporting your feet in the best way possible.

2. Apply Ice

Regular ice application can help reduce pain and inflammation, helping you get back on your feet. For proper icing, ensure you place a wet cloth between your skin and the ice pack. Ice for about 15-20 minutes at one time, with at least 45 minutes in between each application.

3. Strengthen Your Calves

Performing calf raises can help strengthen around the irritated area, relieving some discomfort and accelerating healing. For properly performing a calf raise, do the following:

  • Find a step or stair to stand on. It can also help to hold onto a railing or wall nearby for support.
  • Put your heels at the edge of the stair or step so that only your toes remain on the ground.
  • Slowly lift your heels up, then slowly lower them down (going both ways as far as you comfortably can).
  • Repeat this for 10-15 repetitions and 2-3 times a day.

Additionally, stretching the calves and the plantar fascia can help relieve tension and pain.

4. Consider Orthotics

Orthotics are custom-made supports that go into your shoe and help alleviate aches and pains, as well as prevent injuries. If you frequently experience heel pain from walking or running, discuss your options with your doctor. They can help you determine what’s best for you and your situation.

5. Visit a Podiatrist

Podiatrists are experts when it comes to foot health. They can identify any imbalances and weaknesses, as well as eliminate them. In turn, this can reduce pain and prevent future injury. A podiatrist may further offer advice on healing solutions, such as durations for walking or what constitutes proper footwear and prescribe appropriate exercises.

6. Take Over-the-Counter Pain Medications (if needed)

For initial pain and discomfort, anti-inflammatory pain medications can help you find some relief. However, these should not be used for any lengthy duration. These types of medications are associated with unwanted gastrointestinal side effects, such as heartburn and ulcers. Thus, they shouldn’t be taken longer than 10-14 days.

7. Use Heel Pads

Heels pads are similar to orthotics in that they provide your feet and heel with a bit more support. Heel pads reduce tension in the back of the foot, as well as provide additional cushion. Consequently, you are less likely to experience heel pain.

What About Heel Spur Treatment?

Surprisingly, heel spur treatment involves very similar methods to plantar fasciitis. Along with the above treatment options, common advice for heel spurs involves resting when pain arises.

Overall, heel pain doesn’t have to become your norm. In fact, walking with heel pain is never a good idea and will often result in a worse situation (such as the development of heel spurs or increased pain). Instead, use the above bits of advice to alleviate your pain and get back to the activities you love. While heel pain is aggravating, it is entirely possible to prevent and treat.

Heal your heels—start today! For quality innersoles or heel pads, trust PodiMe for all your foot care and orthotic needs.