Treatment of Heel Pain
Visit a Podiatrist:
We have a internationally acclaimed podiatry clinic based in Birmingham, United Kingdom. Many patients from the UAE visit for specific advanced treatment option for Heel Pain.
If you would like to book an appointment or if you have any queries please get in touch and we will only be too pleased to help. You can contact us by:
Telephone: +44121 285 1367
Rest: If you are experiencing heel pain it’s important that you cease current activities and rest. It may be difficult to abstain from your favourite activities but this is an important step in preventing an escalation of inflammation or injury. Care must be taken that the muscles do not atrophy during the rest period and it should be noted that heel pain can occur as a result of a sedentary lifestyle, in which case light activity will have to be gradually introduced into the recovery period.
It should be noted that when injuries occur to the soft tissues of the body it can take 12 to 36 hours for peak levels of soreness to develop; this makes it difficult to isolate the exact activity that caused the discomfort in the first place. If you are unsure what may have caused your injury it’s best to avoid exercises such as squats, and if your discomfort is severe you may wish to stick with ‘safe’ activities such as swimming or deep water sprints.
Ice: Applying ice to injuries that occur in the soft tissues is one the most effective treatments recommend by doctors and sports trainers throughout the world. If doctors and athletes are using ice to treat inflammation then weekend warriors should have great success with it as well.
Getting ice on an irritated tendon or injury as soon as possible is important; if you aren’t carrying an ice pack you should stop what you’re doing and at very least get yourself some regular ice and wrap it in a t-shirt before applying it. Here’s a great tip for a DIY ice-pack: peel the label off of a can of soup and keep it in the freezer; not only is it reusable but it won’t melt and cause those annoying drips of cold water that end up splashing everywhere. If you must apply an ice compress directly to the skin make sure you keep it there for a maximum of 5 minutes at a time—any longer can cause tissue damage.
Keeping inflamed tissue at a cool temperature for 48 hours after injury is the best way to help it heal. If you ice the injury down in intervals but are unable to keep it consistently cool it reduces the benefits of the cold by 50%, but it will still help with your recovery and is still worth doing.
Applying ice helps to prevent scar tissue from developing inside muscles and tendons, and it remains one of the most reliable ways to reduce inflammation but care must be taken that damage does not occur to the surface of the skin. If you feel severe discomfort or you notice a waxy or blue discoloration developing in your skin stop what you are doing, let the skin warm up and return to a normal colour, and alternate one minute of ice with forty-five seconds of ‘rest’, where the ice is completely removed from the skin.
Have tight and inflexible calf muscles causes heel pain because it puts too much stress on the foot muscles in general and it usually causes inward pronation of the feet as well. Over-pronation of the feet is one of the most common causes of plantar fasciitis and heel pain. The good news is that many people who suffer heel pain as a result of tight muscles find relief by stretching the calves four or five times day.
Athletic tape reduces tension on the planter fascia when properly applied; this in turn reduces foot and heel pain discomfort without the sufferer having to decrease their level of activity.
This type of orthotic is readily found in most pharmacies, and arch support is one of the top treatments used by doctors and podiatrists to relieve heel pain.
This may be one of the most difficult treatments to implement but it’s also one of the most important, and not just for reducing heel pain either; it will benefit your overall health and quality of life as well. If you have foot and heel pain and you recognize that you are overweight ask your doctor for help, find a good nutritionist, and/or join a community support group; the results will be worth the effort.
Modify Your Footwear:
There’s a lot of foot wear out there that looks fantastic but fails to provide adequate support to the arches or adequate cushioning and ‘lift’ to the heel. Many shoes are also too rigid—which requires much more flexibility of the calf muscle to avoid injury— or they bend in the middle of the shoe instead of at the toe. Both of these situations require that your tendons overcompensate for this lack of flexibility, but unfortunately, we are simply not flexible enough and foot and heel pain and injury are all too often the result of wearing inefficiently designed footwear.
Heel pads provide extra ‘lift’ at the back of the foot, and this relieves excess tension on the calf muscles, which is especially important if they are tight. Heel pads also function as a secondary barrier between the heel of the foot and the ground.
Runners and Walkers Beware:
If you run or you like to take long walks you will need to take special care to avoid injuring yourself again or aggravating old sore spots. It’s important that you always warm up before starting your exercise, and you should also shorten your stride and stay from hills and unforgiving surfaces. You should also invest in a really good pair of shoes and stretch thoroughly after every outing. Icing down your feet after running or walking is a good idea as well.
There is absolutely no question that you will have to take a hiatus from squats, step aerobics classes, and using benches or stairs to perform exercises that involve stepping onto a higher surface.
Aspirin or Ibuprofen are designed to reduce discomfort caused by inflammation; Tylenol is not, so don’t waste your time.
Some people swear that anti-inflammatory creams and gels are the best thing that’s ever happened to them; if you can find them, try them. They may not be available at your pharmacy, which means you may have to stick with elevation and compression, both of which are surprisingly effective at reducing inflammation.
Heel Pain in the Morning:
Plantar fasciitis is the most common culprit behind morning heel pain. Taking a few moments to warm up and stretch the calf muscle has proven effective in many cases of heel pain. While it’s possible to purchase an orthotic splint to keep the muscles stretched while sleeping, results are inconsistent at best and it can be uncomfortable, so it should go last on your list of treatments.
Another step that often provides relief is to put on well constructed shoes with good arch support and heel cushioning when you first get out of bed; going barefoot is not recommended.
If you are suffering from heel pain it probably won’t just go away on its own; you will have to rest and experiment with treatment options until you find the combination that works best for you. Be sure to give yourself sufficient time to heal before returning to your former frequency and intensity of activities; foot pain can be chronic and can return intermittently, so care needs to be taken even when you’re not actively experiencing heel pain. This is especially true if your job requires a lot of standing or moving around on unforgiving surfaces.
If you feel that your doctor is not taking your heel pain seriously make an appointment with a podiatrist; feet are their specialty and they will be more than happy to help you through your recovery.