How to Avoid Heel Pain and Plantar Fasciitis
The most common cause of heel pain is plantar fasciitis.
- Take care of the plantar fascia. The plantar fascia is a ligament that consists of a thick band of tissue that runs from the heel bone to the toe area.
- The plantar fascia ligament provides support for the natural arch in your feet.
- Injury to the plantar fascia is the primary reason for heel pain. Plantar fasciitis is caused by damage to the ligament, causing it to become swollen, weakened, and irritated or inflamed.
- Wear shoes that are supportive. Select shoes that fit well all around, have shanks and solid heel counters built in, and provide good support.
- A shank is a supportive strip that runs along the bottom of the shoe. It is not visible, so it is difficult to tell if the shoe manufacturer included a shank in the design. If the shoe is flimsy, and easy to bend in the middle, then it probably does not have a shank.
- The heel counter is also not visible, but the presence of a solid heel counter can be determined by pressing inward on the middle, upper area of the back part of the shoe. If it easily collapses to the inside, then the heel counter is not very strong. The more rigid and supportive the heel counter is, the more difficult it will be to push the upper back part of the shoe toward the inside sole.
- Apply ice. At the first sign of pain, apply ice to the bottom of your foot and heel.
- One method to apply ice to the bottom of your foot and heel area while standing with support is to gently roll a frozen 12 to 16 ounce water bottle along the bottom of your foot.
- Avoid constant walking or standing on concrete. If your job requires constant standing, take measures to provide anti-fatigue matting to help prevent heel pain and take care of your plantar fascia ligaments
- Get enough rest. Elevate your feet if possible, especially shortly after exercise, to prevent fluid accumulations and allow your feet to rest.