Podiatrist (Foot and Ankle Specialist) Questions foot pain

I have a lot of heel pain in the mornings after going for a walk. What can I do to treat it?

I have started going for morning walks but my heels hurt a lot when I'm finished. What can I do to manage the pain better?

13 Answers

Stretching helps this problem. Ice is temporary relief. Stretching is long term.
You really need to go to a podiatrist, you would need orthotics tailored to your feet. Pain is always a sign that shows you there is a problem.
Loss of weight, Ice, Ibuprofen if you do not have high blood pressure and a Cortisone shot will give instant releive!
There are at home exercises that you can certainly do to help ease your heel spur pain. Although taking over the counter Motrin and Aleve is a good start, studies have shown that a combination of anti inflammatory medications along with stretching exercises for heel pain helps more. In addition to stretching, apply ice three or four times a day for about 10-15 minutes. Wrap an ice pack in a damp towel and place it on the heel.

Wearing an OTC night-splint at night might also help. The splint stretches the calf which in turn help reduce the discomfort.

Sometimes the best and quickest way to reduce heel pain is to change shoes. Wearing high heel shoes or narrow dress shoes increase pressure to the heel bone and plantar fascial ligament, which in turn, will cause heel pain. Changing your shoes is sometimes the quickest way to reduce heel pain.

If all else fails, it's best to follow up with your podiatrist for help. If it has become a chronic issue, then the next steps may be cortisone injections, custom orthotics and lastly surgery.
Evaluate your walking shoes: how long you have been wearing them? Check the insole for support. Shoes break down from the inside and can cause pain. Start using heel pads or shoe inserts, and if the pain is still there, see your podiatrist.
You can do some home treatment such as:

1. Stretching exercises. Exercises that stretch out the calf muscles help ease pain and assist with recovery. Avoid going barefoot. When you walk without shoes, you put undue strain and stress on your plantar fascia.
2. Ice: Putting an ice pack on your heel for 20 minutes several times a day helps reduce inflammation. Place a thin towel between the ice and your heel; do not apply ice directly to the skin.
3. Limit activities: Cut down on extended physical activities to give your heel a rest.
4. Shoe modifications: Wearing supportive shoes that have good arch support and a slightly raised heel reduces stress on the plantar fascia.
5. Medications: Oral non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen, may be recommended to reduce pain and inflammation.
Start by stretching before you put your feet down in the morning. Look up exercises for plantar fasciitis. Don’t walk barefoot. And most importantly see a podiatrist so they can perform a full foot exam, gait exam, X-ray evaluation to determine why this pain is occuring in the first place.
Do only the walking you must do until you get some treatment for the heel pain. In the meantime freeze a water bottle and roll it on your heel arch for 5 minutes at a time to help the problem
Getting orthotics or some type of rigid arch support can be beneficial in improving the mechanics and functioning of your feet.
You can try home treatments such as calf stretch exercises with the knee straight and heel on the ground and toes pointed inward held for 90 seconds, 15 times each leg, four times a day.
Ice massage
Night splints
OTC Anti-inflammatory medication such as Tylenol or Motrin
Heel lift 1/4” piano felt both sides
If that is unsuccessful, you need immobilization with boot cast and see a foot specialist as you have a potential for a tear or fracture. It is always better to get an accurate diagnosis before embarking on a treatment plan for best results.
The most common reason for heel pain due to overuse is plantar fasciitis. This is a repetitive injury of the broad band of connective tissue of the sole of the foot that helps statically support the instep. Contributing factors to this presentation is overuse with activity, being overweight, mechanical or structural issues of the foot and functional to include overtightening of muscle groups. Treatment for this is most commonly quite conservative to include activity modification, longitudinal arch support if identified as having overpronation or flatfeet, stretching exercises for the Achilles tendon and weight loss if indicated. Pain relief can be achieved with topical measures such as ice massage and is severe enough
medicine such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen if tolerated. Typically, this is a self-limiting process, but may require 6-9 months to fully recover. If pain becomes notably severe and does not demonstrate improvement, then an evaluation by foot and ankle specialist may be indicated.
Ice, calf stretching, arch support, antiinflammatories such as Motrin.
Hello, 80-90% of the time heel pain in the morning is plantar fasciitis. I tell all my patients to do plantar fasciitis stretching 10-15 minutes every morning, ice the heel three times a day, take an anti-inflammatory for 2-3 weeks, wear supportive shoes with OTC or custom orthotics and consider anti-inflammatory injections. Most patients respond well to conservative treatments. Thank you for your question. If you have additional questions please call the office.