There are few things more frustrating than chronic heel pain. When you feel pain in your heels on a regular basis, every activity can be a challenge. From standing to walking to participating in any kind of physical activity, heel pain can limit your ability to enjoy life. Heel pain is often caused by a condition called plantar fasciitis, which is the straining and inflammation of the tendon on the bottom of the foot that connects the toes to the heel. It can be caused by a number of things, including obesity, physical activity, flat feet, and aging. Fortunately, there are things you can do to relieve heel pain. Here are a few effective strategies:
The RICE method. The RICE method is often a simple and effective strategy for dealing with any kind of chronic muscle or tendon pain. RICE stands for rest, ice, compression, and elevation. The combination of these activities can reduce inflammation and pain. Take any opportunity to rest your foot. Ice it regularly, at least once a day. Also, if you can wrap your foot and provide pressure, that can help with the inflammation. Finally, elevate your foot in the evening as you relax. If you stick to this routine, you should see immediate results.
Lose weight. Obesity is one of the common causes of heel pain. The reason is simple. Your feet have to support your entire body weight. As you add weight, your feet are under more pressure, and they may eventually strain. Losing weight is a great way to relieve the pressure on your feet and reduce your pain.
Of course, losing weight may be difficult if you can't engage in many physical activities. Look for exercises that don't put tremendous pressure on your feet. Running is clearly not a great choice. However, swimming or cycling may be achievable. Also, consider using an elliptical machine, as they often provide a great cardio workout without the constant pounding that comes from running.
Physical therapy. If the RICE method and weight loss aren't effective, you may need physical therapy. In physical therapy, an experienced and knowledgeable therapist puts your foot through a series of stretches and exercises. These activities are specially designed to relieve the strain in the tendon and build up strength. Often, the therapist will teach you stretches and exercises during a session and then ask you to also perform them at home. Intensive physical therapy can often accelerate healing and pain reduction.
For more information, visit your local podiatrist. They can help you determine the best treatment strategy for your pain.Share