Daily Tips for Managing Heel Pain
Heel pain — If you have it, odds are that you have it every day—likely starting first thing in the morning!
When it comes to persistent heel pain, the best course of action is to see a professional to determine and properly address the underlying causes. There are many different reasons for heel pain. Sometimes treatments overlap, but sometimes they do not, so accurately identifying the cause is key to building the building the most efficient treatment plan.
While we recommend coming in to see us for chronic heel pain, there are steps you can take and choices you can make every day to help reduce the severity of your heel pain. We recommend them as a part of some patients’ treatment plans.
If you suffer from heel pain, call us and then consider the following:
Take Your Footwear to Task
If you are spending your day in shoes that don’t fit properly and are not supporting your arches, you are doing your feet and heels no favors.
A good supportive heel-friendly shoe:
- The sole of the shoe should be supportive, and you should not be able to bend the middle of the shoe like a taco.
- Has a strong heel counter. The TEST: take two fingers and squeeze the back of the shoe that wraps around the heel together. It should be stiff with minimal movement.
- In the area of the ball joints the shoe should be slightly flexible, springy, like a spring diving board.
Devote Time to Stretching and Moving
It might seem a bit counterintuitive to be moving your feet if your heels are hurting but stretching and conditioning often go a long way toward reducing pain.
Many stretches that benefit your heels are relatively easy to perform and can be done in the comfort of your home—or often at your desk at work! Be sure to move and stretch within your ability and hold onto a wall or sturdy chair when you need stability. Here are a few you might want to try:
- Calf Stretching. Why calves? Because when calves are tight it will cheat motion out of your foot, your arche will over stretch and have negative effect on your heels. Stand at arm’s length from a wall, placing your hands against it.
Step your right foot straight back. Be careful not to let your hip rotate outward.
The TEST: make sure your 2nd toe forms a right angle to the wall. Slowly and gently bend your left leg forward, keep the right knee straight and right heel on the ground. Don’t hyper-flex the small of your back when doing this exercise.
Hold for 15-30 seconds, then repeat three times. Reverse the position of your legs and repeat.
- Toe Pulls. Sitting on a chair, cross the right leg over the left. Pull the right big toe gently toward you. Hold for 15-30 seconds for three repetitions, repeat with the opposite foot.
- Towel Pulls. Sitting on a chair, fold a towel lengthwise to make a strap. (An actual resistance band will also work). Place the strap under the arch of one foot. Grab each end of the towel to gently pull the top of your foot toward you while keeping the leg you are stretching extended. Hold 15-30 seconds and repeat three times. You can also sit on the ground and do both feet together if that is easier.
- To avoid that sharp pain when you stand after sitting for extended periods, warm your foot up first. Do this by flexing and extending each foot 20 times before you stand.
Cool Your Heels
Applying ice to aching heels can help decrease inflammation and reduce pain. Never apply ice for more than 15 minutes at a time, and do not ever have ice directly touching your skin. Wrap ice in a thin towel or other barrier first to help prevent skin damage.
If you want to get ice and a massage, take a plastic water bottle and fill it up with some room at the top (or pour a little out if it’s a new, full bottle). Stick it in the freezer and wait for it to ice up.
When you want to ice your heels, take the bottle out and roll it beneath each foot for a few minutes, slowly and firmly. It feels great, but make sure you keep the cap on and there’s nothing nearby you don’t want to get wet—just in case!
Don’t Be Satisfied with Small Results – Get the Full Help You Need!
These at-home tips can be helpful, but they might not provide you the complete results you need. Our goal is to resolve your condition and eliminate your heel pain as quickly as possible!
Never let your heel pain affect your life. Call our Carson City office at (775) 783-8037 to put the expertise of our team to work for you. In addition to the suggestions above, we can employ the use of more advanced techniques like custom Go4D orthotics, MLS laser therapy, Ultrasound directed Steroid Injection, and Ultrasound directed AminoFix injection. We are here to keep you doing the things you love to do!
If you prefer to contact us electronically, that’s cool too. Fill out our online contact form and a member of our staff will reach out to you during our standard office hours.