Do you get pain in your heel in the morning, or in the arch of your foot? Does the pain stop you exercising and wearing the shoes you love? If you suffer with plantar fasciitis, or heel spurs, follow our top tips to fix your heel pain forever, because unfortunately, it won’t fix itself.
Firstly, what causes heel pain? It is due to a condition called plantar fasciitis, sometimes also referred to as heel spur. The condition is caused by micro-tears at the origin of the plantar fascia, which starts at the base of your heel and is a very important part of the structure of your foot. Typically, plantar fasciitis causes discomfort at the base of the heel, but the tenderness can occur all the way along the arch structure.
What NOT to do:
- Do not leave this to ‘go away by itself’. The condition may worsen into a chronic state or may cause permanent damage leading to further issues.
- Do not stop exercising or wearing the shoes you love as this is very much a curable condition.
- Do not opt for any short-term fix, such as an injection or a needle around that area, as it will not fix the underlying cause of the heel pain.
When we talk about biomechanics, we are talking about the alignment of somebody’s body and how this affects their walking and standing posture, which can be a causative factor of heel pain. Calf muscles have an enormous impact on the plantar fascia and, as a result, on the pain associated with this condition.
What to do:
- Calves stretch: Find a wall and place your hands on it. Place one foot in front of the other so that the toes are pointing in the same direction and the feel are parallel. For the first stretch, bend the front knee and keep the back knee straight. Hold for 30 seconds. For the second stretch, bend both knees. Hold the stretch for 30 seconds. Repeat on the opposite leg. You should perform this stretch three times daily on both legs for three weeks.
- Toe crunches: This is a great exercise that will strengthen the arches of your feet. Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Roll your ankles out so that your weight is on the outside of your foot and your big toe is off the ground. Curl your toes as though you’re making a fist with them. Hold for three seconds. Repeat twice daily.
- If pain persists, get your feet assessed by a professional Don’t put it off. The sooner you can see someone about the pain, the easier it will be to resolve it and get you back on your feet.
If you do these exercises and follow these tips, but still have pain in your heels, you may need further help. Book in for an assessment at Alternative Foot Solutions by calling (02)
8072 7278 for the city clinic or call (02) 8896 9300 for the Manly Vale clinic.