Heel pain from an issue such as plantar fasciitis can leave you in extreme discomfort with each step you take. Every time your heel touches the ground or the floor, you can experience a sharp and burning pain that can be detrimental to your quality of life. The best thing you can do for heel pain is to visit a podiatrist. This foot specialist will be able to diagnose the exact cause of your discomfort, provide treatments including help with stretching exercises and even help you get fitted for custom orthotic inserts that you can wear in your shoes to keep your feet comfortable. If your first podiatry appointment has been scheduled but you're eager to help the situation, here are three things you can do at home.
Start Losing Weight
While weight loss isn't something that is immediate, there's a strong likelihood that your weight is contributing to your heel pain if you're overweight or obese. In fact, your podiatrist is apt to make this suggestion during your first visit, so it's beneficial to get started now. While you might be resistant to exercise due to your pain, you could try something without impact, such as swimming or using a stationary bike at the gym. Either way, focusing on reducing your daily caloric intake is an effective way to lose weight regardless of how active you are.
Avoid Going Barefoot
If you have the habit of walking around in your bare feet in your home and yard, it's time to give your sore heels some protection. Avoid being barefoot as much as possible. Whenever you go outside, wear shoes that offer soft, comfortable insoles -- those stylish flat sandals will probably have to find a home in your closet for a while. Indoors, make sure to wear slippers. Many conventional slippers' support is lacking, so an effective strategy is to clean the soles of a comfortable pair of running shoes and use them as indoor shoes.
Ice The Sore Area
Applying ice to your heel is an effective way to reduce your discomfort without the use of medication. You can either hold the ice on the affected area or gently massage the heel with an ice cube. The key to this practice is to avoid extensive exposure to the cold, as it could damage your skin. It's best to apply the ice for no more than 10 minutes at a time, but you can perform this treatment several times over the course of the day.
To get to the bottom of your heal pain, be sure to work with a podiatrist like Collier Podiatry PA.