Being a podiatrist over the years I’ve seen more plantar fasciitis and heel pain cases than probably any other injury. If you have it I can almost guarantee you know somebody else whos had it. Heel pain, if not treated properly, can stick around for years. So, before you see a health professional. Preferably a podiatrist. Heres 5 heel pain treatment home tips to get you started.
Heat in the mornings
As you know, with plantar fasciitis, it tends to be worse in the mornings, or after long periods of rest/sitting. This is because the facia (a thick band of tissue)is cold and tight. The same way your body ceases up when it’s cold. We, therefore, need to warm it up. Get it to relax, so it’s not so tight. The heat not only allows it to relax off, but it also helps bring blood to the area. Blood is essential for healing. So… Grab yourself a hot wheat pack, a hot water bottle, a hot footpath. Place your foot in it for 10 minutes, in the morning and lunchtime. It’s important not to add heat in that evening. This is the first heel pain treatment of the day for you.
The reason for the injury in the first place is due to the fascia not being strong or conditioned enough. Like any other injury, we need to add a strength component. Doing calf raises helps put a load through the fascia, helping it to get stronger. Depending on your level of strength and injury you can perform either double leg or single leg calf raises, and progress onto hopping. You wasn’t to be able to progress your exercises to optimize your heel pain treatment plan
Hip and glute strength
Hip and glute strength is extremely important in creating stability within the foot. It’s often something that’s missed when treating painful heels. Your hip and butt muscles are essential for an efficient gait. Creating more stability from the hip can help stop the foot from being as unstable. This, therefore, helps stop the overuse of the fascia along the bottom of the foot. This allows for the area to recover and heal a little more.
Balance for heel pain treatment
It sounds silly but a lot of people suffer from poor balance. It’s not as if you’re practicing your balance when your walking, standing or sitting. So, unless you do an activity that involves balancing, the truth is your probably not good at it. When you walk you place one foot on the floor and the other leg swings. You balance on one foot for a short period of time. If your balance is not good it will make that grounded foot very unstable. This can make the fascia in your foot, work overtime, and increase its risk of injury. Performing simple 1-foot balance exercises daily can help with this.
Wear GOOD shoes
Wearing just any shoes will not help. In fact, wearing the wrong shoes can make it worse. Sticking in a good sports shoe that has been prescribed to your foot type by a podiatrist is the best thing you can do. Stay away from very soft shoes. Soft shoes will give you short term relief but the long term will make it worse. This is a huge part of your heel pain treatment. When you get out of bed get straight into your shoes!