Heel pain is a fairly common complaint, but that's not much consolation when you're in so much pain you can barely walk. Heel pain has several causes and often it clears up on its own with rest. Other times, you'll need the help of a podiatrist to heal your foot, control the pain, and prevent further injury. Here are some suggestions for dealing with heel pain.
Uncover The Cause
Sometimes, you can figure out what caused your pain. If you're normally sedentary all week long and then push yourself to run long distances on the weekend, this can cause heel pain from overworking your feet when they haven't had time to build up strength for running. Adjusting the frequency and intensity of your running sessions could be all that's needed to stop further pain once your heel has recovered.
You can also have chronic heel pain that you can't figure out how to control. If you have to stay on your feet all day due to the type of work you do, then you may need the help of a podiatrist to figure out what part of your heel is under strain and the treatments that can help.
Heel pain is often made worse by swelling. In the case of plantar fasciitis, the tissue on the bottom of your foot becomes inflamed and sore. Ice is often beneficial for controlling swelling. Rest as much as possible with your foot elevated on an ice pack. It's possible to have heel pain in both feet at the same time, and in that case, you may need more effective anti-inflammatory treatments since one foot can't bear all the weight to stop pain in the other foot. Your podiatrist might consider injections in the heel that reduce inflammation. You might also be given anti-inflammatory medications or be advised to use over-the-counter products that help with inflammation and pain.
Try Stretching Exercises
While resting your heel gives it a chance to mend, your podiatrist might also recommend stretching exercises. If your pain is caused by plantar fasciitis, stretching often helps. The pain can actually get worse when you have long periods of rest. By doing stretching exercises while seated at work, you might ward off the pain that usually follows once you get up and start walking again.
Change Your Shoes
The shoes you wear are important for daily use and for running. If you're on your feet all day at work or if you walk or run frequently for exercise, then you need high-quality shoes. Good running shoes offer support while acting as shock absorbers when your feet pound against the ground as you run. The insoles of the shoes and the soles on the bottom should always be in good shape and not worn down.
Your podiatrist may even recommend wearing inserts that pad and elevate your heel. When you have problems with foot pain, it's a good idea to get professional help with choosing your shoes. Match the shoes to your activity and make sure they are a perfect fit. Also, replace them when they show signs of wear or your foot pain may return.
For more information, contact a professional like Collier Podiatry PA.