Heel pain has become a common problem around the world. It is said to define the pain around the heel and the area behind it, the location where the Achilles tendon is connected to the heel bone. In certain instances, it can also be said to imply pain in the side of the heel as well.
If you suffer from agonizing pain in your heel while walking, exercising, performing any sports activities, etc., you might be suffering from plantar fasciitis.
It commonly affects people who have a flat foot, wear shoes with poor fitting, engage in frequent exercising, and are overweight, etc. Plantar fasciitis affects the area under the heel. On the other hand, pain affecting the area behind the heel is Achilles tendinitis.
But there are effective ways to treat these conditions either by home remedies or with the professional assistance of a podiatrist. Podiatrists treat ailments related to the feet and have become very popular over the years. There’s a reason why the U.S. podiatry industry is valued at $6 billion.
This is why I’ve compiled 6 effective ways to help treat heel pain:
1. Give your feet adequate rest
The first and foremost effective way to treat heel pain is to give your feet adequate rest. Conditions like plantar fasciitis are caused when your feet are put through a lot.
Avoid engaging in running activities, constantly being on your feet, or walking on hard surfaces. These activities cause stress on the heels and can aggravate your condition.
When you let your feet rest, you are providing time for your tendons to heal faster. This will soon allow you to start performing activities that you love and are important to you.
2. Do stretching activities with your feet
Stretching your feet muscles and tendons is very important as they increase the blood circulation through that area. This will bring in more nutrients to this area and heal your heel faster.
Here’s one stretching exercise that’s very effective. Sit down, fold your one leg over the other and sit up straight in a manner where your big toe is still within the reach of your arm. Then, hold your big toe and pull it towards yourself until a stretch is experienced. Stay in this position for 15-30 seconds and repeat thrice for each foot.
3. Use ice pack regularly
Icing the muscles and tendons of the affected feet area helps ease the inflammation. It opens the blood vessels and helps carry more oxygen and important nutrients to the affected area.
You can use an ice pack or freeze a plastic water bottle – both will offer the same benefits. Keep the pack below your foot and keep it on the area that is painful. It will not only provide relief from the pain but also help it heal.
4. Take the help of pain relievers
While pain relievers aren’t a permanent and healthy solution, taking a few prescribed by a professional can help you manage the pain throughout the day.
It’s also recommended to take help from a podiatrist. They provide physical therapy, medications, steroid injections, etc. among other treatments. While home remedies are very effective, there are certain treatments that can only be prescribed by a podiatrist.
5. Use shoe inserts
Shoe inserts help relieve the pressure on your heel and are comfortable to wear. If you are finding it difficult to get a shoe insert of your choice, you can also get them custom-made. Wedges and heel cups also help alleviate heel pain.
6. Avoid wearing painful and uncomfortable shoes
There’s an urge to flaunt the cool shoes or the high heels that you recently bought for yourself and most of us often tend to give in to that.
But, what we fail to understand is that it can aggravate our condition. It’s best recommended to wear soft, comfortable footwear, that fits our feet properly.
Some people also prefer walking barefoot in certain places as it is important for healthy feet. But for people with heel pain, this can be helpful only when walking on soft surfaces. Walking barefoot on hard surfaces can be more damaging than beneficial. So, make wise choices.
Over to you…
The symptoms of heel pain often seem mild at first, but tend to it in the initial stages so that it doesn’t get worse. Go with a healthy combination of home remedies and professional assistance and soon you will start seeing positive results!