This is How You Battle Heel Pain

Here at Westfield Foot and Ankle, LLC, heel pain is one of the most common issues we treat in our patients. The stories are always similar: a gradually increasing ache in their heel that gets worse and worse, spreading through the arch of their foot, and then making it tough to stand or walk. Every morning it’s a struggle to get out of bed, and getting up from the couch always begins with a wince.

Heel pain can be brutal. Luckily, our podiatrists have numerous ways to battle heel pain (also known as plantar fasciitis) at home. Try these tips:

  • Stop what might be causing the pain. It might be tough, but if you can pinpoint what’s causing the pain, try to give that activity a rest. For instance, if you are a runner or a basketball player, take a break. Try swimming for a low-impact aerobic activity to keep your heart rate up.
  • Wear a splint at night. You can pick up a splint that is specially designed to keep your plantar fascia – the ligament that runs the bottom of your foot – in place all night.
  • Switch your footwear. Shoes with a bit more support might be helpful here. If you are wearing flip-flops or rigid shoes, try to switch to a well-fitting shoe with good arch support.
  • Try over-the-counter pain relievers. Ibuprofen can help relieve pain and reduce inflammation.
  • Lose weight. If you’re carrying extra pounds, it puts pressure directly on your plantar fascia and can cause heel pain. We can help set you on a path towards weight loss if needed.

Podiatry experts are here too. If in-home treatment doesn’t help, Dr. David R. Sullivan can and will. Here are the most common treatment options for plantar fasciitis:

  • Stronger oral pain medication
  • Corticosteroid injections to taper the inflammation
  • Beginning a regimen of stretching exercises
  • A custom-made night splint.
  • A custom orthotics
  • Physical therapy

In the most extreme cases, surgery may be necessary to help rebuild the plantar fascia. This is typically only after we have exhausted other options or if you’ve been battling the issues for quite some time. It’s important to start your fight against heel pain early. Dr. Sullivan is a board-certified podiatrist who is on your side in this battle. If you need help fighting heel pain, or if you’re experiencing any other foot or ankle issues, contact us today. You can call our conveniently located Westfield, IN office at 317-896-6655.