Overcoming Heel Pain

If you are one of the many Houston, TX runners in our community, it’s awesome to know you can choose from so many different road races all year-long. Even better, these runs are often used to support worthy causes like Girls on the Run, the MD Anderson’s Breast Cancer Research and Prevention fund, and the Texas Gulf Coast Arts Festival.

It doesn’t actually matter if you are an elite runner or a newbie when participating in a “fun run” – the goal is to raise money for a charity. That said, if you have pain in the back of your foot, come see us for heel pain treatment long before lacing up your running shoes (you do have proper running shoes, right??) and pinning on the bib that has your designated racing number.

When we discuss nonsurgical treatment options for heel pain, we are talking about:

  • Rest. Your body needs time to conduct natural healing processes, so it is a wise idea to avoid or limit high-impact activities for a while. To maintain your physical conditioning, swap out exercises and sports that feature running on hard surfaces and frequent jumping (like basketball) for low-impact ones. Swimming, cycling, and yoga are all great options.
  • Ice. Besides relieving pain, an icing regimen can help to reduce swelling in the area. For optimal benefit, apply ice or an ice pack wrapped in a thin towel (to protect your skin) 20 minutes at a time, a handful of times throughout the day.
  • Medication. Make sure you consult with our office first—we will steer you in the right direction when it comes to types and dosage recommendations—but over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications can be quite beneficial for both pain relief and inflammation control.
  • Stretching. Plantar fasciitis and Achilles tendinitis are common sources of heel pain, but a regular stretching program can both treat an existing case and prevent these soft tissue injuries from happening in the first place.
  • Orthotics and inserts. Depending on the cause of the heel pain, you may find that a pair of shoe inserts or custom orthotics will provide the relief you need. We may recommend certain kinds of shoe inserts that cushion the heel and provide arch support, or prescribe orthotic devices that are customized for your unique feet and gait pattern.

You can practice certain conservative heel pain treatment methods in the comfort of your own home, but be sure to come see us first. Houston Foot Specialists will create a plan based on your injury, give you specific instructions, and answer any questions you have. For more information on treating heel pain, or to schedule an appointment with our Houston office, simply call (713) 467-8886. If you’d prefer, take advantage of our online form to request your visit today.

Categories: Heel Pain