Your heel is the most prominent bone in your foot as it supports your stance but can cause pain if you misuse or hurt it.
Plantar fasciitis, fractures, sprains, bursitis, osteochondroses, and reactive arthritis are the most common causes of heel discomfort.
While heel pain is a frequent problem for people of all ages, it can be challenging to deal with, so they must get treatment as soon as possible.
Whether you’re an active athlete or not, you’ll need to know how to cure heel discomfort to concentrate on your everyday activities.
Fortunately, the majority of occurrences of heel pain are moderated, which means they can be treated without surgery.
Additionally, various preventative strategies can be used to lessen the likelihood of this problem arising in the first place.
This post will give you six effective methods for preventing heel pain.
- Stretch Before Engaging In Strenuous Physical Activities
Stretching is a great strategy to avoid heel pain during and after high-intensity athletic exercises. It gently loosens your tendons and muscles, allowing you to work out with more range and flexibility.
Furthermore, stretching before a race improves blood flow and capacity of motion, improving overall performance and lowering the chance of heel pain.
So, even if you don’t have access to a physical therapist, here are three stretching exercises you may do at home:
- Calf Stretch with Your Back to the Wall: Stretch your calves by standing with your back and placing your hand on the wall.Then, to keep both feet parallel, step one foot behind the other and slightly lean toward the wall to keep your back heel on the ground.
After that, you must hold for at least 10 seconds and switch feet many times on each side.
- Ankle Inversion With Resistance While Sitting On The Floor: You must sit upright on the floor with your legs straight out in front of you when using an elastic workout band.Then slowly rotate your ankle inward as you return to the starting position, moving your upper foot away from the lower one. Complete two sets per foot and repeat the practice ten times every day.
- Stretching the Plantar Fascia While Sitting: This workout needs you to cross one leg over the knee and place your ankle on the other while sitting in a chair.Gently drag your toes backward with one hand holding your ankle and the other grabbing your toes until you feel a big stretch at the bottom of your foot.
Then you must stay in this position for around twenty seconds and then repeat for both feet three times.
Heel discomfort is a prevalent issue among patients, according to sites like https://www.easternidahofootclinic.com/heel-arch-pain and others.
The throbbing and terrible pain they experience is caused by either inflamed plantar fasciitis or an injured Achilles tendinitis.
As a result, you can avoid painful experiences by performing at least one of these stretching exercises before engaging in physical activity.
- Wear Correctly Fitted Shoes
Before going for a stroll or a run, ensure to wear the proper footwear for the exercise. Doing so helps you avoid discomfort while exercising and keep your feet in good condition.
This also includes adding extra cushioning to the inside of your shoes, like a great pair of shoe insoles that can help with a number of feet problems.
If your shoes are overly tight, your toes may distort, causing blisters between your toes and structural difficulties such as mallet toe and bone spurs.
Wearing a pair of shoes that is too big, on the other hand, might cause unnatural and dysfunctional issues, leading to significant foot difficulties.
If you don’t want to develop heel pain, it’s critical to locate shoes that fit you correctly so that you don’t have to deal with various foot problems.
That said, you should always try on shoes before buying them to ensure they’re worth the money. As a result, when standing up and walking in them, you should leave enough room at the end of each shoe for your longest toe to fit comfortably.
- Swap Your Blankets
Some patients have severe heel discomfort before, during, and after falling asleep, to the point where their feet cannot lay flat on a bed sheet. If this is one of your symptoms, you may have gouty arthritis, which causes your heel to become red, swollen, and hot.
This illness develops when uric acid builds up inside the body and urate crystals accumulate in the joints due to inadequate blood circulation and a colder environment.
To confirm a gouty arthritis diagnosis, you’ll need to seek advice from a medical practitioner who will take fluid from your joint and submit it to a lab for testing. You have gout if urate crystals in your body, which causes heel discomfort.
To manage this illness, you must adhere to rigorous dietary guidelines to lower your body’s uric acid levels and prevent joint injury.
Another option is to lay a sheepskin blanket beneath the heels to control the problem. You can also utilize specialized pressure-diffusing mattresses and blanket support created specifically for this mattress to keep your feet free of extra weight.
It would be best if you also made sure that these blankets are as light as possible and that you have something in the bed to prop up the bedsheet on the feet.
- Splints Should Be Worn At Night
A night splint is a particular type of sleeping device that allows you to relax your feet as you sleep, which helps relieve heel inflammation.
You can preserve the length of the plantar fascia when falling asleep, enabling muscle tone within the triceps surae to cause the ankle joint to take a plantarflexed position when at rest.
As a result, the plantar fascia and intrinsic plantar musculature shrink, relax, and adapt to a nonfunctional condition overnight, allowing maximum stretching of these crucial heel components.
Start by wearing a night splint for at least an hour, then gradually increase the time each night of the week. Wearing the device overnight for four to five hours is excellent since this allows the plantar fascia tissue to stretch and recover.
Furthermore, this healing tool is even more successful if you use the best-recommended brand on the market to achieve your desired outcomes and avoid developing heel discomfort in the process.
- Maintain A Balanced Nutritional Program
Diet is crucial to a person’s overall health, directly impacting their foot health. You can reduce your risk of unwanted health problems like stroke, diabetes, cancer, and heart disease by making good food choices in your diet.
When you eat unhealthy foods, your body responds with inflammation, leading to osteoarthritis and autoimmune illnesses, which exacerbate internal injury risks.
Inflammation causes foot pain, such as plantar fasciitis, which can be exacerbated by excessive eating of certain foods. Sugar, animal protein sources high in saturated fat, white wheat, and vegetable oils high in omega-6 fats are all examples of these foods.
When you eat these foods in excess, you risk developing other inflammatory disorders such as heel spurs, arthritis, and painful arches.
On the other hand, a well-balanced diet rich in vegetables and fruits, which minimize chronic inflammation, will help you avoid heel discomfort and stay healthy.
Whole grains, protein sources, omega-3-rich seafood, nuts and seeds, and lean meats are just a few of the nutritious foods available.
As a consequence, your entire body will appreciate you for including these healthy powerhouses in your diet, and you won’t have to suffer from continual heel inflammation.
- Maintain a Consistent Pace When Exercising
Pacing yourself during high-intensity physical activities is an excellent method to avoid burnout, overtraining, and injury. Aside from these advantages, this method is critical in training sessions to ensure you have the stamina to finish your workout.
If you’re training for a race or a fitness event, you can save enough energy to focus on your main goal without suffering too much discomfort.
To pace oneself during physical activities, start slower than you believe you should, then gradually increase the intensity during the session.
You may change your pace in real-time by just paying attention to the physical signs your body sends you to let you know when you’ve reached the ventilatory threshold (VT).
Based on your breathing and current heart rate, this widely used method can help you determine your workout intensity.
Consider how fast or slow you want to go for your next workout, based on the available time you have left.
If you usually perform a 30-minute workout, consider running for two minutes and then resting before continuing.
And to assist your pacing effectively on different training days, you can try switching workout intensities and monitoring your outcomes.
The Big Idea
Whether you’re a proactive athlete or not, you still need to take steps to avoid heel pain so you can focus on your regular tasks without discomfort. As a result, you should think about implementing these six measures to keep your feet from hurting all day.
As a result, you’ll be able to concentrate on your daily tasks or have a better chance of winning a competition because you will not be bothered by heel injuries.