7 Points to know if you suffer from heel Pain!
“Ouch, How will I step down!” Do you tell this to yourself with first step every morning?
If you feel every morning you are engulfed with apprehensions and fear of pain prevents you to place your feet on the floor then you must read the whole article.
Well, there is a huge list of causes of heel pain. Heel pain can be caused by various reasons like overuse, flat arches, a high arch or an abnormal pattern of walking. Work that requires spending long hours of standing or walking on hard surfaces. Ill-fitting footwear or worn out shoes are also a major cause of heel pain.
Being overweight also adds up a lot of stress on your heels. Vigorous athletic activities or a sudden change in fitness regime may also place a lot of pressure on your heel and attached soft tissues.
What to do now?
Physiotherapy, medicines and podiatric treatments can be used to treat heel pain. The most common physiotherapy measures are a complete assessment of feet and lower limb to determine the exact causative factor and work on an entire kinetic chain to prevent recurrences instead of just relieving pain for short time. Therapy is planned after thorough check up and may consist of stretching of the plantar fascia, leg muscles, electrical modalities like TENS, ultrasound, iontophoresis or other suitable measures. Dry needling or cupping may also be used if required. Depending upon the severity, night splints or corrective footwear may be advised. Specialists also practice joint mobilization, manipulation and tapping when indicated. Strength training is initiated once the pain subsides to facilitate daily activities.
Remember the following points that helped a lot of people relieve their heel pain:
1. Application of ice helps acute pain– Place a cloth-covered ice pack over the painful area for 15-20 minutes, 3-4 times a day or after painful activity. You can also ice cubes wrapped in a napkin to roll the ice over the area until the pain subsides. Gradually a contrast bath consisting of heat and cold application may be used.
2. Rest- Though complete bed rest is hardly needed, your feet need some off time from whatever is causing pain. Try to reduce the activity you feel might be prompting the pain and find means to modify it. Your Physiotherapist can always suggest you means to transform your working methods for long-term solution.
3. Select appropriate footwear– Avoid high heels, worn out shoes and hard sole shoes, chappals or sandals. Depending upon your foot-arch the sole can be selected and inserted in your current footwear if changing shoes does not suit you.
4. Lose weight and/or maintain a healthy weight– Lesser weight will minimize the stress that is placed on your feet and ankles.
5.Regular Stretching to the rescue! Walking on tiptoes to stretch the plantar fascia helps to relieve heel pain There are other effective means of stretching that you can learn from your physiotherapist.
6. Proper Rehabilitation is a must– Besides just reducing pain it is crucial to strengthen the muscles to prevent further loading on the heel. Custom made knee and hip exercises in addition to foot exercises as prescribed by your physiotherapist should be done regularly.
7.Massage. Gentle foot massage by rolling a tennis ball around under your foot, also helps The only thing to keep in mind is that the massage should never cause any additional pain, but should gradually relieve the pressure and pain.
If you are suffering from heel pain that makes it difficult to carry out your regular activities remember to consult your physiotherapist. They will examine your heels, ankle and overall alignment of the leg, assess your ailment, and together with you, determine the best course of treatment to not only treat your discomfort and pain but also offer long-term solutions to avoid relapse.