The foot is made up of 26 bones, 33 joints, and 100 tendons. The heel is the longest bone in your foot. Heel pain is a common problem for most of us. Heel pain triggers due to excessive use of the heel. Though it is not a serious condition, it can affect your day-to-day activities. There are various reasons for that.
Causes Of Heel Pain
The major cause of heel pain is due to any kind of injury. You will experience heel pain if you;
• Pound your feet with force on the ground or any hard surface.
• Excessive strain on the heel due to ill-fitted shoes.
• Any kind of injury like a sprain.
- Heel Spurs
If the lining that covers the heel is outstretched, it can cause a heel spur. A heel spur is a common heel pain often experienced by many. Heel spurs lead to the breakage of the heel lining. It is most common in athletes and obese people.
- Plantar Fasciitis
Plantar fasciitis is an inflammation of the tendons connecting the heel and the ball of your foot. Plantar fasciitis makes regular activities difficult. You face trouble in walking, running, and jumping. It is a common phenomenon in athletes especially joggers. Ill-fitted footwear can also cause plantar fasciitis. It is a common cause of heel pain.
- Excessive Pronation
Sometimes when you face an injury in your back and legs, you find difficulty in moving. In this condition, your heel is under pressure as your walking pattern changes. Your foot rolls backward and the tissues in the heels stretch. This condition is called excessive pronation which causes heel pain.
- Achilles Tendinitis
The Achilles tendon stretches along the back of your heels. Achilles tendinitis is an inflammation of the Achilles tendons which causes heel pain. Professional dancers, athletes, and active people often experience Achilles tendinitis.
Exercises For Heel Pain
There are some simple exercises that you can do to relieve heel pain.
- Morning Wall Stretch
Stand barefoot in front of a wall and push it with your hands stretched out straight. When you push the wall, bend your right leg forward and stretch your left leg outwards. This will put pressure on the tendons of your heel. Hold for 30 seconds and switch sides. This relieves heel pain.
- Freeze And Roll
Freeze a small bottle of water. Cover the bottle with a towel and place it on your foot. Slowly roll it on your foot. Continue this for 5 minutes and then repeat with the other foot. This will give you relief from heel pain.
- Rub It Out
Use both thumbs and apply pressure along the arch, heel, and calf muscles. Keep your movements slow and even. Continue it for a minute and switch sides.
Remedies For Heel Pain
The best treatment for heel pain is to give your feet lots of rest. If exert too much pressure on your heels then you definitely need rest. The exertion of feet is caused due to obesity, high-impact sports, and ill-fitting shoes. Elevate your feet upward on a platform and rest or 20 minutes. Do this simple exercise twice a day and you will be relieved of heel pain. You can watch TV or read a book, the main focus is to relax.
- Ice Pack
Ice has the property to release swelling and inflammation. Heel spurs and plantar fasciitis causes inflammation. An ice pack may not cure the disease but will help reduce the discomfort. If you do not have an ice pack, try wrapping a few cubes of ice with a cloth. Do not apply the ice directly as it may harm the tissues. An ice pack will soothe your numbness and provide relief from heel pain.
- Vitamins And Minerals
Heel pain can be caused due to a deficiency in your diet. It is important to maintain a balanced and healthy diet routine. The necessary minerals and vitamins present in your food can naturally cure your heel pain. You may also use supplements to add an extra dose of vitamins to your system.
- Fascia-Bar Treatment
The fascia-bar technology was developed by Art Smucker, a chief pedorthist. The design is specialized for orthotic support for plantar fascia patients. It has been successful in treating heel pain. The mechanism has the following advantages:
• It realigns the biomechanics of your foot.
• It gently lifts and stretches the plantar fascia tissue.
• It cushions your sore with supportive heel padding.
• It applies acupuncture techniques that stimulate the healing nerves.
Prevent Heel pain
Prevention is always better than cure. So, if you can identify the early signs of heel pain, you can prevent it. Taking a little care will relieve you from the hazard of heel pain. Here are a few tips to prevent heel pain:
• Obesity exerts extra pressure on your heels, so try and lose some excess pounds.
• The shoes you wear have a great effect on your heels. So, wear nice, comfortable, and well-fitted shoes.
• Warm up before venturing into heavy duty workout sessions to get your muscles habituated.
If the pain continues, it is advised to visit a doctor to know the best medication for heel pain.