Heel pain can cause great frustration. It is something that many people suffer with needlessly. From plantar fasciitis to heel spurs, sometimes all you need is to wear better footwear to treat your heel pain. It is important to first figure out the cause of your affected heel and then get the footwear and treatment you need to stop suffering.
Why Is Your Heel Hurting?
The number one reason for a heel in pain is plantar fasciitis. This is when the tissue in the bottom of the foot becomes inflamed from too much pressure and overuse. You may find that you develop this condition if you are overweight, are very physically active (specifically, if you are a runner), or if you have flatfeet. These people exert more strain on their feet every day, and after awhile it may become too much. If you are experiencing pain, burning, or stabbing in your heels, especially first thing in the morning before you stretch the plantar fascia, this may be your problem. However, there are other reasons for heels to hurt. This may include heel spurs, stone bruises, heel bursitis, and more.
Choosing the Best Shoes for Heel Pain
Typically heel pain falls into two categories: pain behind the heel and pain underneath the heel. The type of pain you have will decide the shoe or orthotic that will work best. Shoes that have more padding in the heel are very beneficial for people with plantar fasciitis. They help alleviate the discomfort, but you will also need arch support in your shoe to prevent the ailment in the future. When choosing a shoe, grab it at both ends and twist. If it can easily be twisted, this is not a shoe that you want. The right footwear for heel pain will be made with stiff materials that resist this twisting motion. Make sure you get your feet professionally-fitted. Not all feet are the same and you want to ensure that you are getting the best fit possible. If you are going to be wearing an orthotic you should bring that with you. Also, remember that over time your shoes and orthotics will begin to wear thin. Do not continue to wear them if they are not serving their intended purpose.
More Treatment for Heel Pain
Your footwear can make an enormous difference in the amount of discomfort you feel in your heels, but sometimes it is not enough. Treating heel pain is typically something that can be done at home with minimal trouble. Aside from changing your shoes, one great thing to do is stretch. You will want to not only stretch your arches, but your calves as well. Calf raises are a great exercise to do as they stretch the whole area. If this does not seem to be making a difference, your doctor may administer corticosteroid shots or extracorporeal shock wave therapy.
Do not suffer silently with heel pain. Call Dr. Mitchell Wachtel at (978) 794-8406 to schedule an appointment in one of our three Massachusetts office locations. We can help you change your footwear and get you the treatment you need to be back on your feet free of pain.