Foot pain is not something you want to deal with on a regular basis. It can be frustrating and prevent you from doing the things you love doing. You need to first figure out the reason for your pain and then decide on a course of action for treatment. After that, there are a variety of home remedies for heel pain that can be effective in eliminating discomfort and getting you back to your old self.
What is Causing My Heel Pain?
The most important thing when dealing with foot pain is to pinpoint the root cause. With heel pain there can be a number of contributing factors. Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common reasons for you to experience heel pain. This condition happens when a thick band of tissue in your foot (the plantar fascia) becomes inflamed from overuse and excessive pressure. Most people experience pain that is worse in the mornings and becomes more tolerable throughout the day. Don’t let the fact that the pain lessens fool you, though. You have a legitimate health issue that requires attention.
Heel spurs are another cause of discomfort. These are growths on the bottom of the heel that develop as a result of abnormal gait. You can have heel spurs and not experience pain, but it is common to do so. A stone bruise will also create a feeling of discomfort in your heels. It usually happens as a result of stepping on something hard. You can also fracture your heel bone, which can certainly cause intense pain.
What Can I Do to Treat My Discomfort?
Many of these conditions can be treated with any of several home remedies for heel pain and discomfort. Ice prevents swelling in the event of a fracture (until you can get to a doctor). Alternating heat and cold treatments on the injured area can help promote healing. A mixture of hot water, vinegar (2 Tbsp), and Epsom salt (2-3 Tbsp) can also provide a soothing effect for aching feet. These remedies may help for general pain, but some conditions require specific therapy. If you have plantar fasciitis you will probably benefit from the use of a customized orthotic in your shoe. There are also stretches that can decrease your pain and strengthen your muscles. Heel spur pain can often be treated with protective padding and over-the-counter pain medication.
What If Home Remedies for Heel Pain Don’t Work?
Some conditions require a bit more attention and cannot be fully treated at home. If you have a fracture, you need a doctor’s attention. The impacted area should be immobilized with a cast or boot for a period of time so that the bone can heal properly. In extremely severe cases, you may even need surgery, like if the bone has punctured the skin. Plantar fasciitis may also require surgery if at-home remedies fail. You may also discover that physical therapy can treat your pain.
If your discomfort is tolerable, you can continue treating your feet yourself, but when it gets to the point where you cannot go about your daily activities without intense throbbing, then you should seek medical help.
Contact Your Local Podiatrist
Dr. Mitchell Wachtel, podiatrist North Andover, can help with your heel pain. Call (978) 794-8406 to make an appointment in one of our three convenient Massachusetts office locations. We will get you and your feet back to full strength in no time!
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