Treating Heel Pain
The best way to treat heel pain at home will depend on the specific cause of your pain, so it can be helpful to start by looking at the most common causes of heel pain. Plantar Fasciitis is the most likely culprit, but other issues like Achilles tendinitis or bursitis could be to blame.
While the specific cause may vary, heel pain is often the result of an overuse injury—which means you’ve put your body through more stress or punishment than you’re used to. This can happen due to long work shifts standing or walking, or spikes in training intensity—such as a runner who ups their distance suddenly, or someone who plays sports on weekends or only infrequently.
Giving your body proper rest is always a good way to promote healing. If your schedule allows it: Give your feet a break! Applying an ice pack to your heels for 10 or 15 minutes while resting and elevating them can also help by reducing inflammation and aiding circulation. Don’t apply ice directly to your bare skin, though. Wrap your bag of ice or ice pack in a towel or rag.
There are a variety of exercises and stretches for heel pain that you can do at home to prevent heel pain or alleviate the pain after an injury occurs. Start slow and steady, as jumping right into a full regimen can cause further stress and inflammation in the area. Many of these activities focus on strengthening and stretching your plantar fascia, as plantar fasciitis is one of the most common causes of heel pain.
Sometimes more intense medical treatments, like cortisone shots or even surgical procedures, can alleviate foot pain that is otherwise proving difficult to treat. Heel spurs are often thought to be a culprit for heel pain, but that pain is, generally, treatable without removing the spur. If a spur can be felt through the skin, or pain is resistant to other treatments, a doctor may counsel you to have a spur removed surgically.
Of course, avoiding injury in the first place is ideal. It’s important to stretch before exercising or even before (and during) a long shift standing or sitting. Take it slow and steady any time you are increasing your workout intensity or frequency.
Wearing shoes that fit properly can help prevent much of the impact and stress that leads to heel pain. Make sure you’re wearing the proper size in both length and width, and that you are getting the right amount of arch support for the shape of your foot.
Proper cushioning and support can relieve pain you are already experiencing, while also putting your body in a better position to heal. Many people turn to insoles or custom orthotics to cup and cushion the heel or support their arches. At KURU Footwear, we build that support right into each shoe we sell so you don’t have to worry about expensive custom equipment, or the hassle of moving them from shoe to shoe.