Posted on: 30 August 2016Share
Heel pain is very common in people who spend a lot of time running, walking or standing. It is usually caused by plantar fasciitis, a condition where the fibres that connect the heel to the toes become strained. A telltale sign of plantar fasciitis is heel pain that is particularly bad first thing in the morning. The following tips can help to heal this painful condition, allowing you to walk without pain.
1. Stretch It Out
Many podiatrists recommend treating plantar fasciitis with daily stretching. Tight calves can increase the strain on your feet, so it's important to stretch them out every day. Face a wall and take a step back with your painful foot. Straighten your back leg while bending your front knee and lean forward, using the wall for balance. Hold the stretch for 30 seconds. Repeat the stretch every day to gradually loosen and lengthen your calf muscles.
2. Maintain a Slight Stretch At Night
When you fall asleep, your feet relax so that your toes are slightly pointed. This puts your plantar fascia in a shortened position. If the tissue heals in this position, it is likely to develop tiny tears the next time you stretch it out by standing, walking or running. You can force the tissue to heal in a lengthened position by wearing a night splint to keep your ankle bent while you sleep. Although the night splint can take a while to get used to wearing while you sleep, the reduction in heel pain in the mornings can make it very worthwhile.
3. Use Supportive Insoles
Insoles that support your arch and provide cushioning beneath your heel can help to ease your heel pain when walking or standing. Your podiatrist can help you choose insoles that are a perfect fit for your feet.
4. Stay Off Your Feet
Like all overuse injuries, plantar fasciitis needs rest to allow it to heal. If you're a regular runner, you need to cut back or pause your training until your heel no longer hurts. Try to cut down the amount of time you spend walking or standing. When you have to walk, even around the house, wear shoes with supportive insoles to protect your foot. By resting as much as you can, you can speed up your recovery from heel pain and bring forward the time when you can get back to exercising without discomfort.