Help for Your Heel Pain at Home
The world seems to be changing faster than ever. Unfortunately, that doesn’t always necessarily mean matters like heel pain may change at all.
If you had been spending much of your day in a standard work environment and are now usually at home, you might be surprised to find that your heel pain has remained constant, or potentially even become worse!
A recent blog discussed some of the “whys” of this type of situation, particularly when it comes to arch support. Now we will focus on some simple steps you can take at home that may help you find some added comfort.
Support, Not a Substitute
It is important to note that none of the tips below are intended to act as a full solution to most cases of heel pain. If you are expecting these steps to make your heel pain vanish for good, you may be disappointed.
The best way to find lasting solutions for heel pain always starts by determining the root causes of your condition. That is where we excel, and we highly recommend scheduling an appointment with us to get the care you need.
The tips below should be considered relatively basic measures, and not all of them may be very effective depending on your case. However, knowing what works and what doesn’t can be a significant help in getting to the source of your pain!
Get Back in Your Shoes
We briefly touched upon this in our previous blog, but it is well worth expanding upon.
A change from a work environment to a home environment typically means a change from wearing shoes most of the day to… not.
This can be a relatively good thing if your work footwear was horrible. But if your shoes were providing good support (and especially if they included custom orthotics), your feet are no longer receiving that benefit – and that can end taking a significant toll.
If your heel pain has stuck around, gotten worse, or even emerged anew in the last few months, try wearing your shoes at home and adding that support back into the equation.
Just make sure you clean off your shoes before walking around your living room, of course.
Roll Against Your Heel Pain
It helps to have a go-to technique when you want some direct relief, and massage can be an effective tool. There’s an easy way to get this for your heels at just about any time of day.
Rolling items against the underside of your foot is a simple maneuver, and you don’t need anything complicated to do it. Feel free to use a foam roller if you have one, but you can also get results with a tennis ball, golf ball, or even a can of soup. As long as you can roll it easily and it places firm pressure against the underside of your foot, it can work!
Even better than some massage therapy is adding cold therapy to the mix. You can easily do this if you have a sturdy, plastic water bottle with a reliable cap.
Fill your bottle with water about three-quarters of the way. (You’ll want to save some room in the bottle for the water to expand into ice.) Keep the bottle in your freezer, and just take it out and roll it underfoot when your heel pain starts acting up. Please wear socks while you do this, as touching the ice directly can damage your skin.
Please keep in mind that you should not use the water bottle anywhere that you wouldn’t want things to get wet, just in case it leaks. This especially includes anywhere near electrical cords and equipment! Freezing some golf balls is a suitable alternative for these circumstances.
Start with a Stretch
If heel pain hits you especially hard as soon as you get out of bed in the morning, then plantar fasciitis is a likely culprit. This condition involves strain and aggravation of the thick band of tissue running along the underside of your foot, and it can be especially painful at this time because it is being forced to move after a long period of rest.
Performing some simple stretching first thing before starting with your day may help take the edge off that morning heel pain. Here are a couple simple exercises you can try right in your bed.
- Towel Stretch. You will need a rolled towel, a belt, or a resistance band for this stretch. Sit up in bed with your legs out in front of you. Place the strap you are using under the ball of your foot and hold an end of the strap in each hand. Keeping your knee straight, gently pull the towel back toward you, flexing the top of your foot back. Hold for 15-30 seconds and repeat 2-4 times per foot.
- Toe Stretch. Sit up in bed and bend your knees upward, bringing your foot in close enough that you can easily grasp your big toe. Gently and slowly pull your toe up and back, toward your ankle. Hold this position for 15-30 seconds, repeating 2-4 times with each foot.
There are other stretches and exercises that may be effective for you, performable either in bed or at other times of the day. We would be happy to help you determine a regimen that would have the best results for your needs.
Get the Comprehensive Heel Pain Help You Need
Stopgap tips can be helpful, but a treatment plan that fully understands and addresses the causes of your condition will always be better.
Whether you are spending more time at home or working out in the world, heel pain is something you do not have to just grit your teeth and endure. Our office remains open to help patients using CDC-recommended guidelines for cleaning and low exposure risks, and don’t forget we are also conducting consultations and check-ins via telemedicine appointments as well.
Give our Scottsdale office a call at (480) 629-5903 or fill out our online contact form to reach out to us. We’ll be happy to hear from you.