Do You Have Persistent Heel Pain?
Heel pain is, sadly, a problem you are unlikely to solve on your own. It is usually caused by a combination of issues and will require some investigation to get down to the source of the problem and tackle it. This can be done by making an appointment with your podiatrist, but do not despair if you haven’t yet made an appointment. There are certain, simple techniques you can try at home to help alleviate the problem somewhat and be more careful in your choice of footwear.
These techniques do not require any specialist equipment or indeed much time either. So why not give them a try and see if they help?
The Wall Stretch
Try standing facing a wall, lean forward slightly and place both palms flat against the wall. Keeping both feet flat on the floor, bring one foot in front of the other. Then slowly bend your knees until you can feel the lower part of one leg stretch. Hold for around 15 seconds and then repeat, first swopping the feet over so the other leg is in front. Repeat several times.
Here’s a video of the wall stretch that we found online.
The Resistance Stretch
Using something that creates resistance, such as a wide belt, resistance band, long towel or similar, sit on a chair and hold the item at both ends. Place the centre of your band over the ball of one foot and, keeping the leg straight at the knee, gently pull your foot back towards you, tightening the muscles of the front of your leg. Hold this position for 10 seconds. Release and place the foot back on the floor. Swap to the other leg and repeat. Do this for around 5 to 10 minutes per foot.
The Heel Raise
Stand on a step with your toes and balls of your feet on the step and the heels hanging over the edge. Use a handrail or wall for support. Slowly, raise yourself up onto your toes and then back down again until your feet are level on the step and you are back to the starting position. You should feel a stretch at the back of the ankles and in the calf muscles. Repeat 10 times for three sets, with a short break in between each set.
One of the most fun and most effective techniques you can try is a simple foot roll. Again, no specialist equipment is needed, although you can use a proper rolling device if you wish. If not, a ball (tennis ball size) or water bottle will do just fine.
Sitting down, remove your shoes and simply roll the object under your foot with steady, even pressure. This is a therapeutic massage for your feet and will feel great. It is a great help, too, if you suffer from plantar fasciitis.
In hot weather, a method of getting further relief using this technique is to freeze the bottle first. Fill it almost to the top with water, leaving a gap to allow for expansion, and once frozen, you can use this for some cooling therapy. This is a great way to relieve tired, aching feet. But be careful not to have any electrical items near the bottle or expensive rugs or carpets, just in case a leak should occur.
For all the above methods, please remember that you should listen to your body. If you experience any pain or discomfort that you were not expecting, then please stop.
Finally, a further consideration for painful heels is to consider your footwear. Strained arches can cause painful heels, so consider leaving behind the high heels or the very flat sandal or flip flop and instead opt for a shoe with decent arch support. A sandal that keeps the heel slightly raised above the ball of the foot and is well-cushioned or a good pair of running shoes or trainers are ideal for outdoor wear. Indoors, consider going barefoot for a while.
Remember, we are here
These techniques are designed to help alleviate your discomfort, but for effective treatment, remember to give us a call so we can really get down to the root cause of the problem and provide lasting relief. This may involve treatments you cannot provide for yourself at home, so getting those feet checked out is important.