Do you suffer from heel pain that seems to hurt worse in the morning or after periods of sitting? This is the classic symptom for heel pain, also called plantar fasciitis. This is caused by the inflammation of a fibrous band that connects the bottom of the heel and projects fingerlike bands to the toes. Ignoring heel pain can lead to compensation pain, affecting your ankle, knees and hips.
Here are some simple home treatments for plantar fasciitis:
- Perform daily stretching of the Achilles tendon and plantar fasciitis.
- Achilles tendon stretch: Stand on a step and gently drop the heel to get that deep stretch. Hold for 10 seconds, then relax. Repeat on each side for 1 minute.
- Plantar fascia stretch: While sitting with your legs extended and knee straight, grab a towel or shirt, wrap around the bottom of the foot, and gently pull the toes towards you. Hold for 10 seconds, then relax. Repeat on each side for 1 minute.
- Night splints are helpful if your Achilles tendon is tight.
- Not all orthotics (inserts) are the same. Ask about our medical grade orthotics that can easily fit into your shoes. These are only available in our office and cannot bepurchased online (beware of imposters!). They have a solid arch support and a soft top cover that is comfortable to wear all day and supportive enough to get rid of your heel pain.
- Freeze a half filled water bottle then place it on the floor. Roll your feet against the bottle to massage out tight and sore areas.
- Consider work modifications, especially if you stand or walk for long periods or are on concrete all day. Rest frequently and perform the above exercises.
- Changing out flimsy or old shoes for more durable ones that do not fold in half when you bend them. Shoes should be switched out every 6 months.
The good news is that conservative approaches will help the majority of people suffering from heel pain. However, if you continue to have pain, make an appointment with Dr. Tea to discuss other options and to make sure you have the correct diagnosis. Treatment may include:
- Steroid injections
- Shockwave therapy
- Custom molded orthotics
- Referral to physical therapy
- Minimally invasive surgery
Hear what others have said about Dr. Tea’s endoscopic approach to heel pain: