Treating Heel Pain in Women
We’re sure this doesn’t come as a surprise, but men tend to wear more comfortable and practical footwear than women do! They don’t have to battle with high heels at work or for events, and generally speaking they have far comfier options available to them when it comes to everyday footwear.
As Podiatrists it would be easy to simply say cut the high heels and non-supportive shoes out – but we know this isn’t possible for everyone. Whether you’re wearing high heels because you love them, or because you need to for work, we know not everyone can comply with this advice!
So, instead we’ve compiled some handy tips when it comes to treating heel pain!
What are my options?
Heel pain is one of the most common foot complaints seen by our podiatrists. Unfortunately, however, there are NO magic bullets for most types of heel pain. The damaged tissue and torn fibres must completely heal for permanent pain relief to be realised, and that can be tricky.
It is essential first to find the underlying cause of your heel pain, which is why our patients are taken through a comprehensive foot and lower limb function assessment. We always do this before starting any treatment plan.
The most effective treatment plan includes orthotics to correct inefficient foot function and reduce the strain on the plantar fascia which allows the damaged fibres to heal.
Your footwear is another factor when it comes to heel pain and if it is possible to make some changes to your work and exercise shoes then great! However, if footwear changes aren’t on the table then we move to other treatment therapies.
Other treatment options available at Sole Focus Podiatry
Shockwave therapy: Shockwave is a non-invasive, simple and effective solution to treat heal pain. High-energy acoustic wave pulses are emitted to the injured area, which leads to a reduction in pain and inflammation, and increased healing.
Specific stretches and exercises: Stretching and exercises that are performed correctly are extremely beneficial. Your podiatrist will curate a tailored program for you to follow.
Acupuncture & Dry Needling: This works by stimulating the deep tissue areas. Needles are placed in specific locations to give the best response.
Padding & strapping: We often use custom strapping techniques to reduce stress and strain on the heel. This provides support to the injured area and can reduce pain immediately.
Arch support: If your footwear offers no arch support, we can easily add arch supports (also known as arch cookies) to your shoes as a temporary measure.
Hot/Cold Therapy: Alternate hot baths with cold baths (15 minutes intervals). If you are doing contrasting baths, end the hot baths by soaking your heels in cold water
Massage: Place a tennis ball on the ground and gently roll it under your foot for 3-5 minutes; this loosens the fibrous tissue of the plantar fascia and makes it less likely to become irritated.
Heel pain is not going to disappear on its own, so the earlier you treat the problem, the better the long-term results.