That sharp pain that you always feel every morning when you make your first step might be a sign that you have heel pain. Anyone who experiences it knows just how painful it can be and in some instances, one has to rest for a few minutes because the pain makes it impossible to walk. If you have foot issues in the morning, the chances are that you have heel pain which is among the most well-known foot problems.
Although this condition can sometimes be disabling there is no scientific evidence to show that it has any severe health implications. For most people, the pain will go away after their first few steps in the morning, but it is also possible for it to become a long-term problem. It might not be a threat to your health, but it is hard to live with pain. And this makes it imperative to know about the causes and the best heel pain treatment options.
Common Causes of Heel Pain
Contrary to what most people tend to think or believe, heel pain is not a result of an injury or twisting your foot. Although in some cases these factors might also contribute to the pain there other common causes and they include the following four.
1. Plantar Fasciitis
Plantar fasciitis is the most common cause of heel pain, and it is a condition that results in the swelling of the plantar fascia which is a bowstring-like ligament running from the heel to the front of the foot. Overstretching the plantar fascia causes inflammation of its soft tissues, and this is more so where it attaches to the heel. And this is what results in the pain that follows an extended rest or when you wake up in the morning.
2. Stress Fracture
This cause is a result of repetitive stress on the feet, and in most instances, it is a result of sports, strenuous exercise, or heavy manual work that causes a lot of stress to the feet. Runners are more prone to these fractures, and this is not always because of their running style but also because the feet go through a lot of stress for long durations and regularly.
3. Achilles Tendonosis
Achilles Tendonosis or tendonitis is a chronic foot problem that experts associate with the natural degradation of the Achilles tendon. Sometimes it is also a result of microscopic tears in the muscle that affects its functioning and ability to heal or repair naturally. In the long run, the tendon thickens and weakens which is what makes it painful
4. Heel Bursitis
Landing hard on your heel or awkwardly can lead to inflammation at the back of the heel which is a condition that medical experts refer to as heel bursitis. This problem can also be as a result of pressure from shoes, and the pain can be at the back of the heel or deep inside. The pain tends to get worse with time, and it might require some medical attention.
Check Your Symptoms and Signs
The main symptom of heel pain is a sharp pain that comes without any injury in the affected region. For most individuals, it is a result of wearing flat shoes or those that do not offer the back of the foot enough support. The wrong choice of footwear will cause an overstretching of the plantar fascia and hence the pain that comes after a long rest.
Another symptom is inflammation of the foot around the heel area, but it is only in some rare cases. Stiffness and tenderness around the heel or on the entire foot are the other common symptoms that come with this condition. It is also worth knowing that in most cases it will only affect one foot.
Five Natural Remedies for Heel Pain
Heel pain can ruin your morning and hence the rest of your day, and if the condition becomes chronic, it might be necessary to undergo surgery. However, before it gets to that point, it is important to know that there are natural home remedies for heel pain that are useful in giving you some relief. These treatments include the following five.
Ice is one of the items that you should always have in the house if you suffer from heel pain as it is very useful for relieving the pain and getting you going for the day. The freezing temperature has a numbing effect on the heel that helps to control the pain and reduce inflammation. You can make a cold compress by crushing ice and putting it in a plastic bag or freeze a bottle full of water and roll it over the painful part of the heel for about ten minutes.
2. Salt Soak
Soaking the sore foot in Epsom salt will offer you an almost instant relief. Magnesium Sulfate crystals help to ease the pain and swelling while the warm water promotes relaxation which is just what you need to forget about the pain. When using this remedy, you should mix three tablespoons of salt in warm water and soak your feet for at least a quarter and hour. You should do the soaking at least three times a week until the pain goes away.
3. Stretching Exercises
Stretching exercises can also come in handy for individuals with heel problems because they can promote quick recovery and healing. Also, these exercises will strengthen the tendons and muscles in the foot which are vital for the prevention of future injuries. There are numerous stretching drills that you can do but always be careful to avoid further injuries to the heel.
4. Proper Footwear
Once you realize that you have heel pain, the first and most important thing is to review your footwear. If you have anything with a flat sole, you should avoid it as it might be the cause of the problem and it can also make it worse. To deal with the problem, you should go for the best shoes for plantar fasciitis that offer excellent support and a perfect fit. There are some special shoe types for people with heel problems, and they are very useful for relieving the pain, and they also help it to heal faster.
5. Massage and Rest
Massage is a simple and natural treatment for a painful heel as it provided instant relief. It is also helpful for releasing the pressure, relaxing muscles, reducing stiffness, and also improves the circulation of blood. Rest will also be vital, and so you should avoid standing for long durations, walking on any hard surfaces, and also avoiding any activities that can stress the heel.
Heel pain will not just ruin your day, but it can also make it impossible for you to engage in your favorite activities such as running and playing sports. But it is possible to deal with it, and with the natural home remedies for heel pain above in mind, this should be easy for you.