Wondering how to stop heel pain? In our Powder Springs, Georgia podiatry practice, a condition known as plantar fasciitis is one of the main causes of heel pain. But what is plantar fasciitis? To answer that question, you'll need to learn a little more about your plantar fascia, and how protecting this band of tissue is one of the best ways to stop heel pain. Let's dive in!
What is the Plantar Fascia?
Your plantar fascia is a ligament that runs along the bottom of the foot. Its conective tissue stretches from your heel to your toes. And it acts as a kind of shock absorber every time you take a step. Any time you walk or run, you can tug at this ligament, especially if your calf muscles are too tight. Then, if there's too much pressure on your plantar fascia, it can develop inflammation, or even small tears, both of which can trigger the heel pain of plantar fasciitis.
How to Stop Heel Pain: 5 Preventative Tips
The best way to stop the heel pain of plantar fasciitis is to prevent this overuse injury. Luckily, that's pretty easy to do, as long as you follow these preventative tips from Dr. Alvin Cowans, the Powder Springs Georgia podiatrist.
1. Keep Flexing
Anytime your calf muscles or Achilles tendon tightens up, flexing your foot becomes more difficult. When that happens, your plantar fascia will be subjected to more pressure. In turn, you'll be more vulnerable to plantar fasciitis. So, if you want to stop heel pain, take note of any limits on your foot or ankle mobility, and see us right away if you lose range of motion.
2. Take a Load Off your Feet
Standing for hours takes a toll on your plantar fascia by keeping the ligament in a constant cycle of contracting and stretching. If this becomes a habit, inflammation and heel pain will quickly become a problem. To stay safe, try taking frequent sitting breaks throughout your day.
3. Mix Up Your Workouts
Plantar fasciitis is often an overuse injury. That means the ligament gets damaged because it takes a daily beating as you go through the same motions. So, what's the key to working out without triggering heel pain? Embrace exercises that target different muscle groups. (Think running one day, and hitting the elliptical machine or a Zumba class the next day.) Finally, build rest days into your training schedule, top stop heel pain and prevent other muscle groups from overworking as well.
4. Invest in Custom Orthotics.
We mold these custom medical devices to fit your feet. As a result, they give you support exactly where your body needs it most. And that assistance takes pressure off your plantar fascia, helping prevent heel pain.
5. Stretch on the Daily
Just like your larger muscle groups, your plantar fascia needs stretching to stay healthy. Try this stretch, two to three times a day, as a way to stop heel pain before it starts:
Sit down and gently grab hold of your toes. Now, slowly pull them back toward your body, stopping and holding once your arch feels a stretch. Hold this position for 30 seconds or longer, repeating two or three times before switching feet.
How to Stop Heel Pain in Your Podiatrist's Office
If you already have plantar fasciitis, we're here to help. From stretching and icing, to custom orthotics and other minimally invasive treatments, we have so many ways to help resolve your heel pain. Simply reach out and schedule an appointment, to begin your heel pain consultation and treatment.