Heel pain can be uncomfortable and distracting. In many cases, heel pain can be treated at home and symptoms can be reduced by following some simple steps. Discover what causes heel pain and how to ease discomfort here.
What is Heel Pain?
A common condition, heel pain is when an intense ache can be felt when using the heel. Often the pain is on one heel, however it can occur on both heels.
Heel pain usually builds up gradually and gets worse over time. The pain can be severe and only occurs when you place your weight on the heel.
Causes of Heel Pain
Heel pain can happen for several reasons. The most common cause is from Plantar Fasciitis, this is where there is inflammation of the plantar fascia (the ligament on the bottom of the heel).
Other causes of heel pain include:
- Ligament sprains
- Bone Spurs
- Tendonitis - when a tendon swells
- Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome – The trapping/damaging of the nerves in the ankle.
Treatment for Heel Pain
To treat heel pain when symptoms first occur, take some paracetamol and think RICE:
R - Rest and raise your heel when you can.
I - Ice pack your heel for up to 20 minutes every 2 to 3 hours.
C - Cover your heels and ankle with a bandage or sleeve for extra support.
E - Elevate your heel when you can.
For longer term treatment, ensure you wear wide comfortable shoes with a low heel and cushioned insole. Also avoid high heels, pointy shoes or slip ons as these can aggravate the pain further.
Another solution is to invest in soft insoles or gel pads to offer cushioning and shock absorption to the heels.
Other options include losing weight, gentle stretching exercises and avoiding standing for long periods.
If you are experiencing arch pain and unsure of the cause, seek professional help for treatment.