Do you get pains in your feet when you take your first steps in the morning? Does the severe pain return after a short period of sitting or standing? You could have plantar fasciitis, and if so, you should get it treated as soon as possible. Ignoring it might cause changes in your walking pattern and lead to knee, hip, and back problems.
What is Plantar Fascitis?
The plantar fascia is a tight band of tissue that links your heel bone to your toes. Plantar fasciitis occurs when this tissue becomes inflamed. The most visible sign is a stabbing pain at the bottom of your foot near your heel, however this sensation may begin dull and worsen with time. Stretching your foot or pressing on your arch may cause pain. You’ll also most likely feel more achy after an exercise.
What is the Cause of Heel pain?
Walking and running are both excellent forms of exercise, but doing too much of either increases your chances of developing this sort of foot pain. Tight calf muscles, flat feet, and high arches all contribute to this. Being overweight, over 40, or having a work that requires you to be on your feet for long periods of time increases your risk.
Treating Heel pain
Managing persistent heel pain can feel like a full-time job. And whether you spend the majority of your waking hours at work, at home, or on the go, it’s not always simple to make time for frequent pain treatment.
Fortunately, there are several simple yet effective tips for fast heel pain relief that may be done almost anywhere and at any time.
If you are not much of a reader, we have got that covered. Here’s our video on Treating Heel-pain:
Tip 1: Take it Slow, Literally
The tissues in your foot are injured or torn if you have plantar fasciitis. Rest is an important component of healing; avoid activities that put a strain on your feet, such as running, walking (unless absolutely required), and aerobic classes. Instead, go for low-impact exercises such as swimming or biking. Reduce your walking speed and climb stairs slowly
Tip 2: Cool it Down
Try ice for pain alleviation. Crushed ice works well as adapts to the curve of your foot. Wrap it in a towel and place it on your foot twice a day for 20 minutes. (A bag of frozen corn, peas, or iced water packs will also suffice.) You can also freeze water in a tiny paper cup and apply it to painful areas with light pressure for a few minutes.
Tip 3: Soak it
A foot soak therapy is both relaxing and beneficial to one’s health and helps treat heel pain. Epsom salt, rock salt, or vinegar are the basic elements in a foot soak. Soak both feet in a tub of warm water with the salts for 15 mins twice a week. You can also add lemongrass oil, eucalyptus oil, or even camphor for added aroma effect.
Tip 4: Stretch those heelers
Tight muscles in your feet and calves cause plantar fasciitis and aggravate heel pain. Stretching exercises for your plantar fascia and Achilles tendon might help your foot feel better. Check out The Best Exercises to relieve heel pain you can do easily from your home.
Tip 5: Help your feet sleep
Some people find that wearing a splint at night helps them sleep better. While you sleep, this brace gently stretches your foot. A prescription is not required to purchase one from a medical store. You can also use athletic tape to support the arch on the bottom of your foot.
Here’s a video to help you with the Taping for your heel pain
Tip 6: Time for some Shoe Shopping
If you go barefoot or wear slippers or shoes that are too small, your plantar fasciitis can get worse. Wearing old shoes can do this, too, because they lose their ability to protect and support your feet over time. Your best bet is a new pair of running shoes with thick, well-cushioned midsoles. If you prefer sandals, get one with well-cushioned heel support, or buy a heel insole online (Search: Heel support for plantar fasciitis).
What are Heel Spurs?
Heel spurs are a small projection of bone from the heal which form when calcium deposits build up on the underside of the heel bone over a long period of time. They are typically related to plantar fasciitis. Strains on the foot muscles and ligaments, stretching of the plantar fascia, and recurrent tearing of the membrane that surrounds the heel bone are all common causes of heel spurs. A heel spur can stretch forward by up to half-inch on an X-ray.
When to See a Doctor for heel pain?
Visiting a doctor is essential if the above tips and Heel pain exercises have failed to give you relief. Consider consulting a doctor when the pain is for more than a month or severe pain affecting your daily activities. Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and examine your feet carefully. They may also want to do an imaging test such as an X-ray, ultrasound, or MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scan to acquire a more complete view and rule out other issues such as arthritis or a fracture. You might require one of the following treatment depending on the severity and chronicity of the pain:
1. Pain killers medicine
Analgesics or painkillers prescribed by the doctor helps to relieve your heel pain and inflammation due to plantar fasciitis. He may also prescribe Gastro-protective tablets (Such as Pantop or Rantac) to prevent any ulcers due to painkillers. The tablets might be taken twice a day for a week. Some collagen or supplements might also be prescribed if required.
2. Short-wave Diathermy
Short-wave diathermy is a painless physiotherapy treatement that is used to cure many joint and tendon related problems. It is an effective and costless way to treat heel pain. Check out to know more about Short-wave diathermy.
3. Steroid Injection
Good pain relief might be obtained by injecting steroid medicine into the painful area of the foot. The steroid act by decreasing the inflammation and pain at the site of pathology. As it is injected locally, they do not have general steroid related side effects. Sometimes To stimulate tissue healing, platelet-rich plasma derived from your own blood can be injected into the painful area.
4. Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) Injection
Sometimes to stimulate tissue healing, platelet-rich plasma derived from your own blood can be injected into the painful area to reduce pain and stimulate regrowth. However this technique is slightly expensive.
Only a small percentage of people with heel pain require surgery to remove the plantar fascia from the heel bone. It is often used only when other therapies have failed and the pain is very severe and for a long duration. It can be performed openly or through a tiny incision with local anaesthetic.
Avoiding Pain in the Future
You’ll need to do certain things to keep your feet healthy once they feel better. Maintain a healthy weight for yourself. Stretch your legs before you begin your workout. When your shoes become old and worn, replace them with a new pair that supports your feet. You might also discuss with your doctor the use of shoe supports, such as heel pads, to provide additional cushioning.
Special Advice for runners
Heel discomfort accounts for up to 10% of all running and cycling injuries. If you hit the road frequently, take precautions to prevent the recurrence of your plantar fasciitis. Make sure your running shoes fit your foot type, gradually increase your distance and effort, and avoid hard concrete, hills, or unstable ground like a beach.