Heel pain is common, but when it interferes with your sleep or makes it hard to walk, consider seeing a podiatrist for help. Rest can often help heel pain, but when the pain doesn't clear up quickly, you could need medical treatment. The first step is to find out the cause of the pain since a heel fracture and plantar fasciitis can both cause pain, but they're treated differently. Here are some treatments that might help.
Your podiatrist might recommend physical therapy for heel pain relief. The therapist can teach you moves to stretch the fascia along your heel and the bottom of your feet and to strengthen muscles in your legs and feet. You'll be able to do many of the exercises at home as a form of long-term treatment to help your foot heal and to prevent future problems with heal pain.
Your podiatrist might prescribe orthotics that you wear in your shoes to provide heel pain relief. For instance, you might wear a heel cup that pads your heel. They might also recommend wearing orthotics in your shoes to correct a gait problem that contributes to your heel pain. You may also need to wear a soft brace at night that keeps your foot stretched to reduce morning foot pain.
If your heel is recovering from an injury, you might need to wear a boot or cast to keep the bones stable while they heal. Since you may need to keep weight off your heel, you may even need to use crutches or a wheelchair to help you get around.
Heel pain could take several months to go away since it may take a long time for the bones or tissues in your foot to heal. During that time, you might need to manage pain with anti-inflammatory medications, pain relievers, or by using rest and ice. Even when you've resumed your normal activities, you might need to rest your foot periodically throughout the day to keep your pain from flaring until healing is complete.
If your heel pain doesn't get better by using orthotics, therapy, or medications, your podiatrist might want to try a medical treatment such as ultrasound treatments, shock wave therapy, or even surgery to remove damaged tissue or stabilize a bone while it heals.
While you may need to stay off your foot so it can heal properly, your podiatrist will probably want you to get active as soon as possible. The doctor may recommend some changes you need to make so your foot continues to heal once you start walking on it again. This might include continuing with your therapy stretches, changing the type of shoes you wear, losing weight if needed, and avoiding high-impact sports until your foot has healed completely.
For more information, contact a company like Atlantic Foot & Ankle Specialists.Share