For some of us, spending all day at home doesn’t exactly come naturally. When circumstances dictate that we have to do so—whether we are working or not—it can leave us out of sorts.
On the other hand, some of us have been all-day masters of our domains for some time, and the thought of spending every day somewhere else just doesn’t sit quite right.
We all find comfort in different ways, but heel pain can create discomfort for us all. It doesn’t matter where you spend your time—heel pain can make things miserable. And if that happens to be at home, wouldn’t it be great to be able to do something about it?
If heel pain is hitting you close to home, we have a few tips on how you can help keep it at bay. But before we go into that, there is something important to note.
Persistent Heel Pain Needs Professional Treatment
If you have had heel pain for a long time, some of the tips we will relay here may help take the edge off, but will likely not provide you with lasting relief.
While most causes of chronic heel pain are treatable—usually by non-surgical methods!—we have to know exactly what is to blame for it. Only then can it be addressed in the best and most productive way.
The longer chronic heel pain goes without properly treating it, the greater the risk that it can become worse or more permanent. Do not take a mere reduction in pain to mean that everything has been done to help you. We would be more than happy to discuss your heel pain treatment options with you.
With that said, let’s go into the home-spun advice.
Reserve Time for Moving
Hours can fly by while you’re working at home in front of your computer. You might even end up moving less than you normally would at the office due to meetings being conducted through video conferencing instead of the meeting room down the hall.
For certain types of heel pain, sitting still for a long time can mean pain when you start to flex your feet again. This is particularly common for those suffering from plantar fasciitis, who often get a few minutes of sharp heel pain as soon as they get up in the morning as well.
When certain tissues (such as the plantar fascia) are at rest long enough, they will “cool down” and tighten. Moving again causes these tissues to start stretching from a resting state, making any small injuries or aggravations flare up again.
By taking some time each hour to move, you are helping keep these tissues limber and relaxed, reducing spikes in pain. We recommend spending a few minutes walking around the house every 30-60 minutes (and if you can step outside a moment, that’s even better!). Moving is not only great at limiting heel pain, but also helps your circulation and stress.
Stretch it Out
Focused stretching is something you can incorporate as part of your “moving around” time, as well as during mornings and evenings.
Certain stretches can condition connected parts of your feet, ankles, and lower legs. This can help certain areas reduce existing strain and increase their durability and injury resistance.
Calf stretches are a good example. When calf muscles are too tight, they can pull excessively on the heel bone and plantar fascia, causing distress. Here’s one stretch that may help:
- Lean your hands against a wall in front of you, so your palms are pressing against the surface.
- Place one foot out behind you, keeping it straight.
- With both feet fully on the floor, gently bend your other leg (your front leg) forward. You should feel it in the opposite leg you are still holding straight.
- Keep this position for about 15-30 seconds before releasing, switching leg positions, and repeating.
Another stretch—and one you can perform in bed—involves the use of a towel or resistance band. Sit with legs straight, then place the towel beneath one foot, keeping an end in each hand. Gently pull the towel, flexing your foot back until you feel a stretch. Hold for 30-45 seconds and repeat 2-3 times per foot.
Additional stretches are out there for different situations. We would be happy to discuss what kinds would be most effective for your case.
Roll While You Work (or Rest)
Ice can be effective at relieving heel pain. So can massage. So why not have both!
Take a water bottle and fill it about ¾ of the way with water. Stick it in your freezer and let it turn to ice.
When you want to use it, take the bottle out and roll it beneath each foot. Massage and ice therapies all in one!
We do recommend that you not do this with bare feet. You should never expose your skin to direct cold. Also, make sure there is nothing where you’re rolling that would get damaged if it gets a little wet, just in case. We’re mainly talking about cords under your desk or tables.
Find Lasting Heel Pain Solutions for Wherever You May Roam
Whether at home, at work, or at play—no matter where life takes you, you deserve to experience it without heel pain constantly undermining your enjoyment.
Our El Paso podiatry offices have helped a great many patients overcome their heel pain, finding a great deal of relief and even complete elimination. We can help you get to the roots of your problem and find the best routes to relief for your particular situation as well.
Call us at either of our offices to schedule an appointment.
- Sierra Tower Building – (915) 533-5151
- George Dieter Drive – (915) 856-3331