The best heel pain remedy is often anti-inflammatory medication. Heel pain is sometimes caused by plantar fasciitis, which is an inflammation that causes severe discomfort and sometimes renders the sufferer immobile. Typically, anti-inflammatory medications, such as ibuprofen and aspirin, decrease inflammation and pain. In cases where these medications are ineffective, the physician might recommend prescription analgesics. Although prescription pain medications are a very effective heel pain remedy, they can cause side effects such as confusion, dizziness, and drowsiness.
Typically,those who suffer from heel pain can benefit from visiting a doctor who specializes in podiatry. Podiatrists are foot doctors who can diagnose and treat not only heel pain, but other conditions of the foot and ankle. Heel pain can also be caused by a heel spur, a painful condition in which a piece of bone forms abnormally on the heel.
Rest is often recommended, as any pressure on the foot or heel can cause extreme pain. Ice is also an effective heel pain remedy because it also decreases inflammation and soothes pain and irritation. Arch supports, shoe orthotics, and foot splints can help relieve pressure and offer support during an acute phase of heel pain.
To diagnose the source of heel pain, a physician will perform a physical examination of the foot, looking for areas of swelling, redness, and pain. In addition, the patient might be required to flex and move his foot in different positions to determine if a pain response is elicited. The patient might be required to get an x-ray of the foot. Although x-rays only show bone abnormalities, and not conditions of the soft tissue, non-bone-related conditions might not show up. Still, common causes of heel pain such as bone spurs will show up on x-ray, as will stress fractures and chips in the bone.
Sometimes people cannot tolerate the side effects of anti-inflammatory medications, such as stomach upset and fluid retention. In these cases, over-the-counter pain relievers such as acetaminophen can be substituted and work well as a heel pain remedy. Individuals should be warned, however, that those who have liver or kidney problems, or who consume alcoholic beverages should consult their health care providers before taking acetaminophen-based analgesics. These medications can causes further organ damage and can even promote liver failure. In extreme cases of heel pain, surgical intervention may be a necessary heel pain remedy.