How to cure heel pain at home
Yes, it’s true! By making a few simple changes, many people can reduce heel pain at home! 😀 Yay!
Heel pain can be horrible! From the first step of bed and the excruciating pain that can be associated with those first painful steps, to sitting down after lunch and rising again and your old nemesis PAIN is back. Some may find their pain increases with the amount of activity or exercise that they do. Heel Pain can look different for everyone
If you’ve read any of our my other blogs, you will realise that unlike many others in the field of foot doctoring or Podiatry, I will reveal that there are numerous types of heel pain! While both heel spurs and plantar fasciitis are the most spoken about, they are also the most commonly misdiagnosed and over-diagnosed conditions. If you have not read my other blogs on this topic, there will be a link below.
I am a Penrith Podiatrist, with a smidge over 20 years experience who sees anywhere between eight and 10 patients every day with varying types of heel pain. Yup, it’s a lot of feet!
At these appointments, we go into great detail on how to relieve heel pain. However, in this blog, I will list some very quick points to start your journey to relief.
How to prevent heel pain at home?
- Wear good quality, lace-up runners
I prefer quality brands like Asics and New Balance. If you are making a choice, I would look for Shoes in the neutral range, from these brands.
- Over the counter orthotics or insoles
People with flat feet, fallen Arches or those who have ankles that are “rolled in”. Will benefit greatly from using simple over-the-counter insoles or arch supports.
If you have very high archers or your ankles roll out, you can try these arch supports, but on most occasions, your feet generally require more cushioning rather than support so arch “supports” can often become an irritant. (Sorry, I can’t tell you over the Internet what foot type you have or where you fit.)
Brands I like;
- ReAlign – now available at most Rebel sports stores and some camping stores and other good quality running footwear outlets and podiatrists.
- Orthaheel – These orthotic inserts are available from most pharmacists, some department stores and some podiatrists.
- Formthotics – These are over the counter insoles, they often passed off by practitioners as custom made or customised devices. This is, in my humble opinion, nonsense. Let’s call them what they are, that is, “over the counter orthotics”. They have their place. These are mostly available at some podiatrists physiotherapist and chiropractor
We need to acknowledge The fact that over the counter insoles available from sports stores, chemists or even the ones available at physiotherapists or some podiatry clinics, are in no way the same as custom-made, prescription orthotics available from a qualified podiatrist.
There would be no way anyone would suggest that the reading glasses you can buy from the pharmacy or now some department stores are in any way the same as the prescription glasses prescribed by an optometrist. The same is true for prescription orthotics made by a podiatrist. They have very similar distinctions as prescription glasses. Please don’t send me messages about this, in my opinion, and it’s just silly to try to compare the two as similar.
Gel insoles or heel raises are not the same as over-the-counter orthotics and will in my experience create more problems in the long run, so stay away.
How to cure heel pain at home
- Rolling a frozen plastic ice bottle in your arch
Try softly rolling a frozen bottle of water in your arch. Make sure this bottle is plastic. You are best to place a towel over the frozen bottle as. A piece of advice I highly recommend is not pressing to firmly on this bottle as I have come across patients who have increased their pain to the area by doing so. This process works well if you gently roll the bottle in your arch for around 10 to 15 minutes – two or three times an afternoon or morning.
- Rolling soft tennis ball
Use a SOFT tennis ball! I regularly see patients who have again increased or irritated their heel pain by using Hard or Rigid balls in their arch, all on the suggestions of social media health guru. Lacrosse balls, golf balls, cricket balls should be left for the sport they were designed for originally. Again roll the bottle in your arch GENTLY! There is a great risk of irritating an already irritated area by doing this too firmly.
- Immobilise your foot
Many practitioners will tell you to wear an Aircast boot of some type or other. This is generally a bad idea as it completely reduces the movement in your foot. (Note BAD for you). You are much better using some type of laced up running shoe as advised above. You will need to wear these the majority of the time. Wearing these for two or three hours, of a fifteen-hour day, will virtually get you nowhere. It’s like wearing your reading glasses for three hours taking them off and wondering why your eyes get sore after another five hours of reading
What happens if this doesn’t work?
If your heel pain has persisted for longer than one month and you have tried all of the above measures, it’s time to visit someone like me (a Podiatrist). Heel pain can last for many many years; in fact, I had a patient who presented for the first time with me after suffering for heel pain for nine years. Yes, I know you’ve been told it will only last a few months and it will go away by its self. Someone needs to tell this lady because it most certainly did not.
It’s important to note that on many occasions as I said above this condition is misdiagnosed, and it’s essential to see a podiatrist like my good self who sees heel pain all the time! Not all Podiatrists do!
Yes, it’s time for the shameless plug here. I’ve been practising podiatry for over 20 years. In that time, I’ve literally seen thousands of patients with heel pain. These are patients from professional athletes competing at an international level, to young kids who are in excruciating pain. I seemed to have developed quite a knack at helping those with painful, ongoing heel pain.
I also work with a terrific team of highly qualified Foot Doctors. Yes, all qualified Podiatrists who, like me, regularly see the tricky bits of podiatry that most podiatrists don’t get to treat or don’t have as much experience in seeing.
Our team of Western Sydney podiatrists have patients who travel from all over New South Wales to be assisted. From Griffith, Dubbo, Mudge and up to Port Macquarie in the north or near Batemans Bay in the South! We even get people from the North Shore or Eastern suburbs of Sydney!
If you’re interested, please contact our uber helpful, front desk team who will run through what you have tried and what is going on for you right now. We’ll be able to advise you on what is the best appointment or package for you to get you the best relief. Our team can be contacted on 9673 2987, or you can use one of the contact us forms on our website.
I hope that helps. Make sure you head to our information below and our links to look up more information about heel pain, foot types, and other sports injuries. We look forward to making you happy, healthy and active.
Have you tried our Heel Pain Calculator?
Want more information? That’s fantastic! There’s stacks of videos that we’ve made. Look down below. There’s most likely a link there, or check us out on YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, etc., all the normal socials because we’ve got stacks of educational videos on heel pain and all the other conditions that we look after. Thanks and stay happy, healthy and active.
ABOUT DR BRENDEN BROWN
Founder of A Step Ahead Foot + Ankle Care in Sydney, and former president of the Australasian Podiatry Council, Dr Brenden Brown, Podiatrist (A.K.A Dr Foot) is a wealth of knowledge on how to take care of your feet, including how to find the best shoes.
* No medical treatment can guarantee 100% success. Registered medical and health professions in Australia are by law not allowed to guarantee success. This comes as a result of all human bodies reacting differently to treatments. Patients should thoroughly consider all treatment options available to them.