Seven Easy Ways to Soothe Heel Pain
be extremely uncomfortable. In fact, millions of people experience problems with foot and heel pain related to conditions such as: sprains or strains, tendonitis, arthritis, bursitis, which is inflammation of the fluid-filled sacs that cushion the bones and joints, or plantar fasciitis, which is inflammation of the thick band of tissue that runs across the bottom of the foot.
Here are seven simple but effective ways to soothe heel pain.
-Rest. First and foremost, it’s important to stay off your feet as much as possible for a few days to give them time to recover. You could make the injury worse if you don’t give your body a chance to heal itself. A combination of rest and a few of the other solutions below, like OTC pain relievers and ice, will resolve most acute injuries without a trip to the doctor. But use common sense; if symptoms persist or drastically worsen, give the doctor a call.
-Take over-the-counter pain relievers. Try ibuprofen or acetaminophen, which will reduce swelling and inflammation to help your feet feel better.
-Ice it up. Ice will also help reduce swelling and inflammation. If you don’t have an ice pack, freeze a bottle of water, then roll it under each foot for a few minutes every day.
-Upgrade your shoes. Consider investing in a new pair of shoes that offers extra arch support or a memory foam footpad, or try slipping gel insoles into your shoes. Avoid going barefoot as much as possible, and don’t walk on any uneven surfaces as this can contribute to the pain.
-Stretch. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons suggests flexing and stretching your feet to help with pain relief. Stretching your calf muscles can also improve your heel pain. If you absolutely must exercise, try yoga, biking, swimming, or some other low-impact exercise.
-Lose weight. When you’re overweight, your legs and feet take on the burden of carrying that additional weight. This can lead to pain, discomfort, and other severe health issues. Losing weight through diet and exercise can ease discomfort by relieving the stress on your lower limbs and benefitting your overall health. Try some of the low-impact exercises mentioned above or talk to your doctor about adopting a healthy lifestyle.
-Consult a doctor. If heel pain persists for more than a few weeks, it may be time to see a doctor. Your primary care doctor may advise you to wear custom shoes, orthotics, or a special split at night. In some cases, the doctor may try a shot of cortisone to relieve the inflammation. He or she may also refer you to physical therapy or a podiatrist to further investigate the problem.
Heel pain can be debilitating, but with the correct steps it can also be treated. Take these steps into consideration to improve your overall health and, in turn, your life.