5 Tips for Treating Heel Pain at Home

Recent events have led to a lot of “audibles” called on all of our parts. It’s never easy to find the elements of your work, communication, and other routines rather suddenly upended.

But while change can be difficult, we are also adaptive and resilient creatures. Perhaps you’ve been cooking more while staying at home, or you have set up your own small office or workout area.

But what can you do if heel pain has been flaring up in your current day-to-day?

Well, for one, you can certainly still come to us for help. Our office remains open to care for patients with needs such as pain, and we are taking extensive measures to create a safe, sanitized, and low-risk environment to see us in. We are also offering telemedicine appointments so you can consult with us over videoconferencing—a perfect choice if you’re seeking an initial consultation or expert answers to some questions.

But, while we always recommend seeing us as soon as possible for addressing persistent heel pain, we also understand that you may be rather tied up at the moment, or wish to try measures you can do right now, in your own home, to provide yourself at least a bit of relief.

That’s why we have five at-home heel pain relief tips for you here today. Keep in mind that these may not provide full relief from your problems, as the best treatments for heel pain come once we determine what exactly is causing the condition. However, they may at the very least help take some of the edge off until you have an appointment with us.

Stretch it Out

In many cases of heel pain, such as plantar fasciitis, certain tissues are under stress or strain. Working on a stretching regimen can help condition these tissues (or other tissues that are pulling on them) to help relieve pain.

If you get sharp heel pain as soon as you get out of bed in the morning, try some stretching before you even get out of bed. One good example is a towel stretch (which you can also do with a belt or resistance band, if you have one).

  • Sit upright on your bed, with legs out in front of you.
  • Place whichever strap you are using around the ball of one foot, keeping an end of the strap in each hand.
  • While keeping the upper half of your body as straight as possible, gently pull back on the strap to flex the upper part of your foot back. You should be using your arm strength and as little foot power as possible.
  • Hold the position for 20-30 seconds, then repeat on the other side.

Whatever flexes and stretches you perform, always stay within a comfortable range of motion. If anything you are doing starts to hurt, stop doing it immediately!

Roll it Out

Massage and ice can also help with pain and inflammation in the heels, and there’s a clever way to give yourself both benefits at once.

Simply take a sturdy, plastic water bottle and fill it about three-quarters or four-fifths of the way with water (you do not want to fill it to the brim). Then cap that bottle off and stick it in the freezer.

When it’s fully frozen, remove it from the freezer and firmly roll it beneath each foot. It’s an easy way to get some relief while sitting and watching TV, or getting some work done at the computer—just make sure you are not rolling anywhere you wouldn’t want to get a little wet, just in case the bottle breaks or starts leaking (around electrical cords is a big no-no).

Also, to help prevent potential cold damage to your feet, never roll barefoot and do not roll for more than 15 minutes at a time.

Stay in Your Shoes

We know that you may be staying in your house more often and don’t want to mess up your carpet, but part of your heel pain flare-ups might be the fact that you’re just not spending as much time in supportive shoes as you once did.

If your shoes have been providing support for an arch or gait abnormality (and especially if they contain custom orthotics), then your change in routines may be causing this support to be lacking.

Try wearing your shoes through part of your day—cleaning them first if you need to, of course. You might find it soothes your pain.

Be Heel-Friendly Outside

If you have been taking up running or jogging during this time, then first: good for you! However, not taking proper steps beforehand can contribute to heel pain.

Make sure you are wearing a good, well-fitting pair of running or walking shoes, and not just going out in whatever old, broken-down shoes you’ve found in the back of the closet. Increasing your step count increases the cumulative stress on your feet, and having the right supportive footwear helps.

Second, pace yourself, starting off slowly and gradually increasing intensity. If you’re running every other day and your body isn’t used to that workload yet, you are more likely to suffer sports injuries such as stress fractures and Achilles tendinitis. Be patient, work up slowly, and take rest days so your body has time to recover and rebuild—that’s how you get stronger.

Try Pain Relievers

Although they certainly aren’t a permanent solution to any heel pain problems you may have, over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as aspirin, ibuprofen, or naproxen can help reduce discomfort until more ideal measures are taken.

Please consult with us or your primary care physician if you have any questions or concerns about what types of drugs you should be taking, and always follow recommended dosage instructions.

Help for Heel Pain When You Need It

Our offices in Roseville and Carmichael remain open and ready to help you—either with a preliminary telemedicine appointment (which is incredibly easy to do, by the way) or an in-office appointment.

Call us at (916) 961-3434 or fill out our online contact form to reach out to us. We’ll be happy to hear from you!

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Carmichael Office

6620 Coyle Avenue,
Suite 202

Carmichael, CA 95608

Roseville Office

576 N Sunrise Avenue,
Suite 230

Roseville, CA 95661

Phone: 916-961-3434

Fax: 916-961-0540

Hours: Monday - Friday, 8am-5pm

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