Heel pain is a common complaint among people, such as those who are active or whose occupations require them to be on their feet for long periods of time. Even those who are sedentary or spend most of the day sitting down can also suffer from heel pain. It’s an affliction that can be caused by many factors such as overuse, poor footwear choices, and plantar fasciitis.
At home, there are several steps you can take to help relieve your heel pain. Here, we give you 12 tips for heel pain relief:
1. Wear the Right Shoes
Wearing shoes that fit properly is essential for providing support to your feet and relieving heel pain. Look for shoes with good arch support that provide cushioning in the heels, so they don’t rub against your skin when walking or running. Be mindful of your foot’s structure, which should be factored into your choice, and always look for comfort and flexibility. Avoid wearing high heels or flip-flops, which do not offer any support at all.
2. Stretch Your Feet
Stretching helps keep muscles flexible, which reduces tension in the feet and provides relief from heel pain. Tight calf muscles and Achilles’ tendons can contribute to heel pain, so it’s important to stretch these areas regularly. Look up calf stretches, Achilles tendon stretches, toe stretches, and plantar fascia stretches, which are easy to do at home. However, always consult your doctor or physical therapist to be on the safe side.
3. Use Ice Packs
Applying ice packs directly onto the sore areas of the foot can help reduce inflammation and provide temporary relief from symptoms associated with chronic heel pain.
4. Use Pain Relievers
Over-the-counter pain-relieving medication, such as anti-inflammatories, may be helpful in relieving heel pain. Topical treatments like creams or gels containing menthol or capsaicin can provide temporary relief for heel pain, too. These treatments work by numbing the nerves in the affected area.
5. Get Orthotics
Custom orthotic inserts may be prescribed by doctors for heel pain relief. These devices provide cushioning and extra arch support, providing better alignment to the feet, while providing extra shock absorption during activities like running or walking.
6. Use Heel Pads
If you don’t want orthotics but still need additional cushioning underfoot,try using gel heel pads instead. This will give extra padding along pressure points where most aches occur over a time.
7. Exercise or Play Sports with Proper Form
Proper form is essential to avoid heel pain because it can help reduce the strain and pressure on the feet, especially on the heels and arches. When we walk or run with improper form, our feet may hit the ground harder and at awkward angles, which can cause undue stress on the muscles, ligaments, and bones in the feet.
8. Change Up Activities
Cross-training is essential to avoid heel pain, because it can help reduce the repetitive strain on the feet that can occur with certain types of exercise or activity. When you engage in the same types of exercise or activity day after day, you can develop overuse injuries such as plantar fasciitis or Achilles tendonitis, which can cause heel pain.
Cross-training involves varying your exercise routine to incorporate different types of activities, such as cycling, swimming, or weightlifting. This can help reduce the strain on the feet by engaging different muscles and reducing the impact on the feet and joints.
9. Rest More Often
Taking breaks throughout the day whenever possible is an important part of managing heel pain. It allows your foot to rest and avoid aggravating the underlying condition that is causing it.
10. Massage Sore Areas
Gentle massages on the feet help stimulate blood flow, improve circulation, stretch, loosen, and relax tense muscles, and release built-up tension, which causes spasms and can further worsen heel pain. There are specific massaging techniques aimed at relieving heel pain, and it is best to consult a specialist to help you achieve optimal results.
11. Invest in Night Splints
Night splints are often recommended as a treatment option for heel pain, especially plantar fasciitis. They are designed to keep the foot in a neutral position while you sleep, which helps to stretch the plantar fascia and Achilles tendon, preventing them from becoming tight and causing pain.
12. See A Podiatrist
Last but certainly not least, visit a podiatrist to receive specialized care for your heel pain. A foot and ankle doctor can provide an accurate diagnosis and a comprehensive treatment plan for your heel pain.
You may not go very far if you just guess what could provide you with relief from your heel pain. A podiatrist is a foot and ankle doctor who can give you personalized heel pain treatment. This is your sign to finally make an appointment with an expert for the proper treatment.
Board- Qualified and Fellowship-Trained Foot and Ankle Surgeon in Naples, FL
Dr. Cody Togher is our podiatrist at Joint Replacement Institute in Naples. Dr. Togher received fellowship training at the prestigious Orthopedic Foot & Ankle Center in Columbus, which means you will have a highly qualified foot and ankle surgeon to treat your foot issue. Dr. Togher specializes in the treatment of foot and ankle issues from sports injuries and is trained in the latest techniques in foot and ankle surgery.
To schedule an appointment with Dr. Togher, call our office today at (239) 261-2663 or use our convenient online request form.