Heel pain treatments may vary depending upon the injury or condition that is the cause of the heel pain. In many cases, supportive shoes or orthopedic supports may work to correct problems that stem from poor posture, unsupportive shoes, or foot abnormalities. In addition to shoes and supports, medication and physical therapy may speed healing.
NSAIDS, corticosteroids, and pain killers may be helpful for relieving heel pain. These medications may reduce inflammation, which takes pressure away from the afflicted area in addition to temporarily relieving pain. These medications are often coupled with another form of treatment, such as physical therapy, application of heat or cold, and rest.
In some cases where the cause of heel pain is determined to be plantar fasciitis, heel bursitis, or heel bumps, a doctor may recommend a cortisone shot. A cortisone shot may be helpful in quickly reducing inflammation, but the shot is painful and can have dangerous side effects. Many patients that suffer from heel pain opt to find cortisone shot alternatives.
Heel Pain Therapy
Physical therapy can be extremely helpful to those suffering from heel pain. While doctors often recommend that patients stay away from activities such as distance walking or running while suffering from heel pain, mild exercises and stretches may help to speed recovery and prevent further injury. Physical therapy should only be done under the supervision of trained physical therapists. Physical therapists may show patients exercises which will stretch the plantar fascia and Achilles tendon. Patients may also be shown exercises and taping techniques that will provide more support for the lower legs and help prevent future injuries.
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Shoes & Support
Shoes and supports may help to stabilize the foot and correct posture so that the foot is no longer enduring the same trauma or strain that caused the injury. Wearing splints at night or during periods of inactivity may help to stretch the plantar fascia and Achilles tendon, which are normally lengthened during these times. Braces, bandages, and straps may also be used to provide additional support or to stretch or lengthen certain parts of the foot in order to reduce pressure or speed healing.
In some cases, lifestyle changes may be advised in order to treat the root cause of heel pain. If a patient’s heel pain stems from being overweight, losing weight may help to correct the pain and prevent further injuries. If a patient is employed at a job that results in overstrain or overuse injuries, the patient may be advised to find a job that does not hold such a high risk for heel pain injuries and conditions. If a patient’s heel pain stems from a condition such as type II diabetes that is being poorly managed, the patient may need to make lifestyle changes in order to better control the condition.
“Heel Pain.” Medline Plus. U.S. National Library of Medicine, 26 Feb 2014. Web. 16 Mar 2014. <http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/003181.htm>.
Tatli, Yusef, and Sameer Kapasi. “The Real Risks of Steroid Injection for Plantar Fasciitis, with a Review of Conservative Therapies.” PMC. 2(1).March (2009): 3-9. Web. 16 Mar. 2014. <http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2684947/>.
“There are 7 possible causes of heel pain.” Healthline. Healthline Networks, n.d. Web. 16 Mar 2014. <http://www.healthline.com/symptom/heel-pain>.
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