By Hearty Soul
Heel pain is a common type of pain experienced by athletes, people who are overweight or who have jobs requiring them to stand all day, and those who just have a genetic disposition towards it. Heel pain is generally caused by plantar fasciitis. This is a condition that effects the plantar fascia, a ligament that supports the arch of your foot.
When you put a strain on this ligament, it becomes irritated and inflamed, which is the cause behind heel pain. It can also result in a build up of calcium on the heel, otherwise known as a bone spur, which can cause further pain and can also require surgery. This is why I’m going to show you the best ways to reduce this heel pain before it can lead to further complications.
Massaging can be a simple and easy method to quickly relieve yourself of heel pain. Although it is by no means a “cure” for plantar fasciitis, it can offer short term relief for the pain that is being caused by it.
For this type of massage, you will be focusing on the bottom of the feet, and you will basically be stretching your plantar fascia ligament. Place your thumbs on the base of your heel, which is where the plantar fascia meets your heel bone, and massage it in a circular motion. You can also massage the bottom of your foot lengthwise along the plantar fascia from the ball of your foot down to the base of your heel bone.
If you find that you can’t put enough pressure massaging with your hands or it is hurting your wrists, do the same movements using a tennis ball or a water bottle.
Since the main source of heel pain is caused by inflammation of the plantar fascia, one of the most effective ways to treat it is by consuming a variety of anti inflammatories. Most doctors will prescribe common, over-the-counter anti inflammatory drugs such as Aspirin or Ibuprofen, however these all come with many unpleasant side effects.
Instead, try adding natural, healthy anti-inflammatories to your diet. Some of the best foods to eat for reducing inflammation include turmeric (obviously), cherries, fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel and sardines, olive oil and tomatoes. Also make sure to avoid foods that cause inflammation such as refined carbohydrates (white bread, pastries, pasta), fried foods, soft drinks, red meat and margarine.
Another way you can naturally, and immediately, reduce inflammation and swelling is by soaking your feet in ice water or placing a cold water bottle or another type of cold compress on the base of your heel.
One of the most common causes of heel pain is poor health. Although it is common in people who do vigorous physical activity, such as athletes or soldiers, it is much more common in people who are physically inactive. Being overweight can put a ton of stress on your plantar fascia, and years of being inactive can make it weak and more prone to injury. This is why it is incredibly important to eat health and exercise.
Although exercise can irritate your plantar fascia, completely avoiding it can cause further complications that can result in extreme pain and surgery. Try doing forms of physical activity that don’t put too much pressure on the feet, such as riding a bike, using elliptical machines, swimming or cross country skiing.