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How Do I Get Heel Pain Relief?

Ice packs may be used to provide heel pain relief.
A diagram of the Achilles tendon and common tendon problems.
Oral medication can offer relief from heel pain.
Article Details
  • Written By: M. DePietro
  • Edited By: W. Everett
  • Last Modified Date: 25 March 2014
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2014
    Conjecture Corporation
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Heel pain is a common condition that may have a number of causes. There are several things sufferers can do for heel pain relief. Reducing inflammation and preventing further injury are both important aspects of treating heel pain.

Plantar fasciitis is one common cause of pain in the heels. This condition occurs when the ligament that runs from the heel to the top of the foot becomes inflamed. One way to get heel pain relief caused by plantar fasciitis is by wearing heel orthotics, which provide arch support. The heel support helps distribute the pressure on the foot equally and absorb shock.

Stretching the Achilles tendon and the calf may also provide heel pain relief. If the pain is severe, staying off the foot and resting it as much as possible may help. Sufferers should limit high impact activities, such as running, while their heels are painful. Patients should consider switching to low-impact activities, which don’t put stress on the heel.

Heel spurs and Achilles tendonitis are two other conditions that may cause heel pain. Heel spurs are outgrowths of bone, which occur on the heel of the foot. They are caused by inflammation of the fascia in the heel and often occur along with plantar fasciitis. Achilles tendonitis is inflammation in the Achilles tendon. It can be caused by repeatedly doing exercises that put a lot of stress on the Achilles tendon.

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All three causes of heel pain do not usually require professional medical attention. Heel pain relief can usually be provided at home. Ice can be used to treat all three causes of heel pain. It may reduce inflammation and pain. Apply an ice pack wrapped in a towel to the heel for up to 20 minutes, three times a day.

Medication may also provide heel pain relief. Most pain can be controlled with nonsteroidal, anti-inflammatory medication, which is available without a prescription. The medication will not cure the cause of the heel pain, but it can reduce pain.

Corticosteroids may also provide heel pain relief, and may be used if over-the counter medications do not help. Corticosteroids are often given through an injection in the painful area of the heel. They help reduce both pain and inflammation.

Heel pain may take several weeks to resolve. If heel pain becomes severe and is interfering with daily activities, additional treatment may be needed. Physical therapy may be recommended to teach sufferers various exercises that strengthen and stretch the calf and Achilles tendon.

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