Heel pain can be very debilitating. It makes it hard to do the simplest of activities, and gets you down because you feel like you can’t walk even though the rest of you seems to be in good shape. Fortunately, there are some things you can do to help relieve your heel pain so you can get back to your life the way you want it, but first you’ll want to know what type of heel pain you have.
Possible causes of your heel pain:
Plantar fasciitis: Inflammation of the thick band of tissue that runs across the bottom of your foot, connecting your heel bone to your toes. Pain is most often felt in the morning when you take your first few steps and can return after standing for a long time or standing up after sitting. Plantar fasciitis is common in those who are overweight, in runners, or in those who don’t wear the right kind of shoes to support their feet.
Sprains and strains: A sprain is the tearing or stretching of a ligament that supports a joint. A strain is the tearing or stretching of a muscle or tendon. Both can be caused by repetitive movements or by injury. You might have a sprain or strain if you experience pain, swelling, or bruising.
Stress fracture: A stress fracture is a small crack or fissure in one of your foot bones or heel bones. It can be caused by an intense workout when you didn’t gradually build up endurance, not resting between workouts, exercising on hard or uneven surfaces, wearing shoes that aren’t right for your feet, a deficiency in vitamin D or calcium, osteoporosis, or trauma.
Achilles tendonitis: The Achilles muscle is the band of tissue that connects the calf muscles to your heel bone. Achilles tendonitis happens when you overuse your Achilles muscle and end up injuring it. Runners who have just started to run harder and longer or middle-aged athletes who play only once in a while are more likely to get Achilles tendonitis.
Bursitis: Bursitis can affect any joints throughout your body. Bursae are small, fluid-filled sacs cushioning the bones and tendons around your joints. Bursitis happens when the bursae are inflamed. It is most common to have bursitis on joints other than your heel, but you can also get heel pain from bursitis.
Ankylosing spondylitis: Ankylosing spondylitis usually only affects the spine, but other joints can also be affected. It is a condition in which the spinal joints (and potentially other joints) become inflamed because the immune system attacks healthy joints, leading to chronic pain. Pain from ankylosing spondylitis usually starts in males before they are 40 years old and the condition is genetic.
Reactive arthritis: If you have an infection in your body (your intestines, genitals, or urinary tract) it can sometimes cause reactive arthritis, swelling triggered by an infection. Reactive arthritis is not common and symptoms can come and go.
How to self treat some causes of heel pain:
If you experience severe pain, sudden pain, redness of the heel, swelling, or pain when walking go see your doctor for help. Never start any new exercise regimen without consulting your doctor first. If you think you might have any of the above conditions, consult your doctor to get the best treatment possible, but in the meantime, here are some things you could try for heel pain relief:
Maintain a healthy weight: Sometimes being overweight can put extra strain on the muscles in your feet. This is a common problem with plantar fasciitis and common strains and strains. Losing weight or simply maintaining a healthy weight can take some pressure off the muscles in your feet and can reduce heel pain. Depending on the individual, losing weight is sometimes one of the first things a doctor will suggest to help relieve heel pain.
Wear shoes with support: Sometimes with heel pain, your feet just want a proper home. If your shoes are too narrow, too small, not the same shape as your feet, or are high heels, you might want to invest in new shoes. There are many places that specialize in shoes for heel pain and other types of foot pain. If you want to walk without pain, those shoes might be a good thing to buy.
Try low impact exercises: Exercises like running or even walking can hurt someone with heel pain. Try cycling or swimming instead to avoid heel pain because these two types of exercise will both get your blood pumping (which promotes healing, no pun intended) and relieve pressure on your joints.
Cold therapy: Many of the most common causes of heel pain can be relieved with some good ol’ cold therapy. Try Chirp’s Cold Therapy Socks to numb pain, promote healing, and rest. When you wear the Cold Therapy Socks, take time to elevate your feet and relax. Sometimes just relaxing can be good for heel pain relief.
Stretches: Stretching muscles that connect to your feet can sometimes help reduce heel pain. First, try stretching your calf muscles. While it may seem like the calf muscle isn’t going to help reduce heel pain, it might be the perfect solution. Consider also rolling your foot on one of Chirp’s foot pain relief products like the Deep Tissue Spiky Massage Ball, the Myofascial Massage Balls, or the Dual Foot Massage Roller. All three of these products can stretch the muscles in your feet to help reduce foot pain. Consider trying other stretches like pulling your toes toward your body or using a towel to pull your arch in. Stretches like these can be great tools to relieve your heel pain.
Rest: One of the best solutions for heel pain relief is rest. Sometimes you might not have any condition at all, but you have simply been on your feet for too long. Resting will give your feet time to heal and simply sitting down will help reduce heel pain.
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