5 At-Home Treatments for Heel Pain
If you have ever suffered from heel pain, otherwise known as plantar fasciitis, you know all too well the excruciating and debilitating pain that is associated with the condition. You’re not alone; it is estimated that one in 10 people in America will develop plantar fasciitis, which is most prevalent in people between the ages of 40 and 60 years.
Plantar fasciitis occurs when the thick band of connective tissue that runs from your heel to the ball of your foot, also known as the fascia, becomes inflamed and causes pain in the heel, especially in the morning or after long periods of inactivity.
If you are suffering from heel pain and can’t immediately make it to a podiatrist for an evaluation, there are some at-home treatments you can do in the meantime to help alleviate the pain:
- Stretch Your Fascia: Sit on the ground, put your toes up against a wall and keep your arch and heel flat on the ground so the toes stretch. Hold this position for 10 seconds and repeat 10 times three or four times a day.
- Use A Frozen Water Bottle: Freeze a water bottle; then place it on the ground and roll the arch of your foot over the water bottle. Be sure to try this only after you have stretched your fascia because the tendon will not stretch when cold from the water bottle.
- Freeze A Golf Ball: Place a frozen golf ball on the floor and roll your foot over it. Start at your toes and work your way to the back of your heel. Be sure to apply pressure for 15 seconds before moving to a new area of the foot. Once you have massaged each part of your foot, roll the golf ball up and down your entire foot.
- Foam Roll All Muscles: Use a foam roller on all the muscles above your foot. Tight muscles in other areas of your body could be contributing to the problem. For example, tight shoulders can cause your arms to swing improperly, which can cause your hips to not align correctly and change your foot strike. Likewise, tight hamstrings and calves can shorten your gait and affect heel strike.
- Wear Supportive Shoes: Wearing shoes with adequate arch support can also help alleviate pain. But this doesn’t mean you’re stuck wearing sneakers; sandals with arch support are also a great option!
Sometimes at-home treatments heel pain don’t completely alleviate the pain and more aggressive treatment options are needed. When the at-home treatments prove unsuccessful, you should contact your podiatrist to have your condition evaluated.
At Triad Foot Center we have state-of-the-art technology to combat heel pain, called Extracorporeal Pulse Activation Technology (EPAT®). The FDA-approved, non-invasive technology uses acoustic pressure waves to stimulate cell metabolism, enhance blood flow and accelerate the healing process of the plantar fascia ligament.
EPAT® is the most successful treatment option for plantar fasciitis when compared to traditional treatment methods. There is minimal risk of complications and little to no required recovery time. The treatment is administered in the office, so hospitalization or anesthesia is not required.
Patients are also able to walk immediately after the treatment and can return to normal activities within 24-48 hours. Strenuous activity can resume after 4 weeks.
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