Hot Tips for Handling Your Heel Pain Problem
Some things are an inevitable part of your life, and there isn’t much you can do about them.
But as human beings in general, it can be pretty amazing how many things we decide to endure that we don’t actually have to—at least not to the degree we do. Heel pain is an extremely common example that we see in our Roselle Park and Princeton offices.
For many, the day starts with a sharp stab of heel pain as soon as feet touch the floor. For others, discomfort comes as an unwelcome “award” for a day of hard work or the effort of a workout.
Whatever the circumstances of your heel pain are, you do not have to simply accept that it’s a part of your life for now and forevermore. Almost all cases of heel pain can be significantly improved—if not eliminated entirely—if you approach them with the right methods of treatment. The key is in determining what your heels need!
Even if treatments you have tried in the past haven’t worked, that doesn’t mean there’s no hope. The experts at Associates in Podiatry can get to the root of the problem and set you on the proper path to relief. And in the meantime, you may also be able to help yourself with some handy heel pain tips.
Remember that not every tip may have a substantial effect on you, depending on your case, and the best treatment will likely come following a professional evaluation. But we also don’t believe you should wait on any sort of relief if you can find it!
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Check Your Footwear
Good shoes are designed to provide proper cushioning and support where needed—such as your arch.
If you are spending most of your day in high heels or flip-flops (although the latter sounds like a great gig!), you are spending your day in unsupportive footwear. If you can’t switch your footwear out entirely, at least moving to lower heels and more supportive, strapped sandals may help.
Footwear also isn’t supportive forever. The materials that keep you comfortable can wear out over time, and eventually even become more disruptive than helpful. If you have had your shoes more than a year or your treads are showing significant wear, it’s likely time to get a new pair.
But don’t throw out that old pair just yet! By inspecting the ways your treads have worn down, it helps us determine whether you have any structural or gait problems that might be contributing to your heel pain. Such problems can be better addressed via more especially supportive shoes or custom orthotics.
Take Time to Stretch and Exercise Your Feet
When it comes to some common causes of heel pain, such as plantar fasciitis, the worst pain comes from the affected tissue having to move again after a long period of inactivity. In other words, muscles, tendons, and other tissues can be “tight.”
By engaging in stretches and exercises that work these areas, however, these tissues can be better conditioned and “loosened up,” potentially reducing the pain caused when starting into action again.
One such stretch can be performed right in bed at night and in the morning, and only requires a towel. Start by sitting in your bed with your legs in front of you. Place the towel around the front of your toes and forefoot, holding one end of the towel in each hand (a belt or an exercise band can also work here). Gently pull the towel toward you, bending the upper part of your foot back, until you feel the stretch in the lower part of your leg—do not continue if you feel pain. Hold this position for up to 30 seconds, repeating up to five times.
Additional exercises can also have a significant impact on your overall comfort, and may include heel raises, foam rolling, and other maneuvers.
Actually, speaking of rolling…
Sneak Some Ice on Your Heel Pain
Icing can be a great way to relieve aching heels, but you don’t always have the best opportunities to whip out an ice pack.
If you work a desk job, however, there’s a convenient (and even kind of fun) way to get ice and massage against your foot.
All you have to do is fill a plastic bottle most of the way with water and freeze it. When you want to ice, set the bottle on the floor beneath your desk and roll it slowly beneath your foot.
Two things to keep in mind with this:
- Make sure the bottle has a tight seal or that you are able to safely get a little bit of water on the floor. Keep electric items clear!
- You might want to keep that bottle in a bag in the freezer, especially if other people are keeping their food there.
Do Not Neglect Professional Help!
If tips such as the above have an impact, great! And if they get rid of heel pain entirely, even better!
But if you are still experiencing consistent heel pain of any level, please don’t wait to schedule an appointment with us. You deserve as much relief as you can get for your heel pain, and Dr. Todd Stevens has the expertise to help you.
Heel pain relief can be achieved in nearly all cases without a need for surgery. Treatments from lifestyle changes to custom orthotics to MLS laser therapy can all have a significant and lasting impact on your comfort.
We have two offices in the area ready to see you. Call us at:
- (908) 687-5757 for Roselle Park
- (609) 924-8333 for Princeton
If you prefer to contact us electronically, we’d love to hear from you that way as well! Fill out our online contact form and a member of our office will get back to you.