Whether we are walking, running, or jumping, it is our heel that first makes contact with the ground. This means that it bears the full impact of the shock as well as carry the entire weight of our body. So it is not surprising that many people will experience heel pain at some time in their lives.
Mild heel pain should be gone overnight. But it could easily worsen with prolonged standing or walking. If you have yet to visit your podiatrist at Oakton Foot and Ankle Center here in Fairfax, VA, Dr. Steven Vetter or Dr. Jugal Dharia, here are some easy guidelines to alleviate your symptoms.
Simple Home Treatments for Heel Pain
- Rest and Stretch. When the cause of the pain is overuse or over fatigue, resting the affected foot may suffice. Combine resting your foot with stretching exercises to prevent pulling and tightening of the plantar fascia.
- Proper Footwear. The simple case of wearing proper fitting footwear that supports the biomechanics of your foot will be a big help in relieving heel pain. This prevents stressing the tissue at the bottom of your foot so it won’t get stretched and irritated.
- Wearing a Splint. Bracing the foot and ankle stretches the plantar fascia to alleviate pain and maintains its proper position while sleeping.
- Healthy Weight. Maintaining a healthy weight is another way to relieve heel pain.
When Heel Pain Continues
Regardless of whether these home treatments work or not, the moment the pain continues or becomes chronic, it is time to visit your podiatrist in Fairfax, VA. There will be some procedures or treatments that your podiatrist can recommend to relieve heel pain. These might include a mix of the following:
- X-ray or MRI. An X-ray or magnetic resonance imaging will ensure that the cause of the pain is not a stress fracture or spur.
- Prescription pain relievers may be given for pain and inflammation.
- Physical Therapy and Orthotics. Physical therapy that includes stretching of the Achilles tendon and plantar fascia will be taught to strengthen the lower leg muscle. This may be accompanied by the use of custom-fitted orthotics so that the pressure on the feet can be distributed more evenly.
- Steroid medications can be injected into the tender areas to relieve pain.
- Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy. Sound waves are used to stimulate healing of the pain associated with chronic plantar fasciitis.
- Usually the last resort of podiatrists, surgery may be needed to relieve heel pain.
Contact Us for More Information, Questions, or Concerns About Heel Pain
Set an appointment with your podiatrist, Dr. Steven Vetter or Dr. Jugal Dharia, here at Oakton Foot and Ankle Center in Fairfax, VA, by calling (703) 352-8888.