Heel pain is a common condition that we treat several times a day, partially because there are many different things that can cause it. Sometimes, for example, this type of pain can be a direct result of a heel spur, which is a bony growth on the underside of the heel bone. These spurs come from strain on the muscles and ligaments of the foot, which can result from biomechanical imbalances. Other times heel pain can be from excessive pronation as you walk. Too much inward motion can pull at the tendons and ligaments that attach to the bones in your feet, which causes those tendons and ligaments to become inflamed and painful. Most commonly, heel pain is caused by inflammation of a band of tissue known as the plantar fascia. This tissue connects the heel and the ball of your foot, and when it’s stretched beyond normal extension, it can tear and stretch, causing significant pain.
If you are experiencing heel pain, schedule an appointment so we can properly diagnose and treat your condition and help you on the road to recovery. There are in-office treatments for heel pain that can help with immediate pain relief, and there are also long-term treatment plans we can help you with. Until your appointment, you may find the following at-home tips helpful:
• Wear shoes at all times, preferably ones with supportive soles. I recommend a good pair of running shoes, which will give you the appropriate amount of support. As a podiatrist in Encinitas, I hear a common response that people prefer to go barefoot instead of wearing shoes. If you are suffering from heel pain, going barefoot will not give your feet the appropriate amount of support.
• Do heel lifts to stretch your Achilles tendon. This will, in turn, stretch the plantar fascia and offer pain relief.
• Apply ice to your sore heels. A good way to do this is to freeze a water bottle and roll your heel over it. It will both ice and massage the plantar fascia, and help relieve your heel pain.
• Massage your heels. This will give you pain relief along with relieving the tightness of your plantar fascia.
• Take ibuprofen or another anti-inflammatory drug. This type of medication is both an anti-inflammatory drug and a low-dose pain killer.
It is my hope that these tips will offer you temporary pain relief until you can make an appointment to see me.Heel pain doesn't have to be part of your life. Call the office today, and get on the road to ending your foot pain.