One of the most common problems we see at Neuhaus Foot & Ankle is heel pain. Heel pain has many causes. Most people assume they have a "heel spur: if they have heel pain. The truth is, heel spurs rarely cause pain. The most common cause of heel pain is plantar fasciitis.
Most heel pain can be effectively treated. Here are 7 things you can do to treat plantar fasciitis. If you do these things and still have foot pain, you should see a podiatrist. It is likely you have a severe case of plantar fasciitis or something more serious. A podiatrist will be able to properly diagnose and treat your heel pain effectively.
7 Ways to Treat Heel Pain
1. Wear a supportive shoe or slipper around the house as much as possible.
Your foot needs support. Walking barefoot in the house, especially if you have hardwood floors, will aggravate an already inflamed plantar fasciitis.
2. Stretch your calf.
A tight achilles tendon can contribute to heel pain. Check out our stretching video here.
3. Replace worn out shoes.
Often, it is the favorite pari of old shoes that cause plantar fasciitis.
4. Use a shoe insert or orthotic (they are the same thing) to support your arch.
The over the counter supports Neuhaus Foot & Ankle recommends are Powersteps and Superfeet. You should not have to pay more than $50 for a quality shoe insert. You should also expect to pay more than the $10-$15 kind sold at pharmacies or big box retailers. Dr. Scholl's may feel comfortable at first, but you'll likely not get the support you need to address your heel pain.
5. Avoid stores that promise to fix your foot problems.
You wouldn't go to the mall for your heart condition, so don't fall prey to clever marketing from stores that promise "custom orthotics." If you want good, pain-free feet again, it's best to see a medical specialist, like a podiatrist to properly diagnose and treat plantar fasciitis.
6. Ice & Roll.
The doctors at Neuhaus Foot & Ankle recommend freezing a 16 oz water bottle and rolling it under the arch. The ice helps decrease inflammation. The motion of the bottle on the arch helps stretch out the plantar fascia.
Do this for 5-10 minutes a couple of times a day.
7. See a podiatrist for heel pain that lasts longer than 3-4 weeks.
Don't let the symptoms of heel pain create bigger problems down the road. The earlier it is treated, the quicker your foot will respond to treatment.
Treatment Options with a Podiatrist
When treating heel pain with the help of a podiatrist, you have several options. He or she may treat you with physicial therapy, a night splint, a custom orthotic, shock wave therapy, cortisone injection or a new procedure called, dry needling. Surgery is rarely needed for heel pain.
To learn more or for help evaluating the cause of your heel pain, call Neuhaus Foot & Ankle at 615-220-8788.
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