We understand that life can be difficult. There are things that will arise that you can’t really do anything about, and the best path is simply enduring them and continuing onward with a stiff upper lip.
However, heel pain is not one of those things!
Heel pain may have been a consistent accompaniment to your day for months or years now. You might consider it a “consequence” of your work (which might unfortunately be something else you feel you’re forced to endure).
But regardless of time and circumstances, believing there is nothing you can do about your heel pain is a sucker’s wager. Even if you have tried one or two methods in the past that haven’t worked, we still have high confidence that something can be done.
Why? Because there are a multitude of options for treating heel pain, and nearly all patients find significant improvement—if not full relief—through one of them.
The Right Tools for the Job
Now, this is not to say that treating heel pain is a matter of throwing everything against the wall and seeing what sticks.
When receiving help for heel pain, you should never feel like a guinea pig in some grand experiment. If you have tried some previously unsuccessful treatments off a store shelf or your aunt’s Facebook feed, you likely already know how disheartening this is!
The reason why there are so many different routes to take for heel pain treatment is that there are so many different ways heel pain can develop. Not every method of treatment will be the best for each particular cause, and some will not even be effective at all.
To determine what treatment is best for you, we need to get to the bottom of what is actually causing your discomfort.
“Heel pain” is too nebulous to work with.
“Heel pain from plantar fasciitis” is better.
“Heel pain from plantar fasciitis caused by an abnormal foot structure” is really going places.
At Advanced Foot & Ankle, we get to the root of the problem on a fundamental level, using modern tools and years of expertise. From there, we can begin to craft a treatment plan—but we can still use more information.
An effective course of treatment must not only address the problem at hand; it must also do so in a way that works as well with a patient’s lifestyle as possible. There may be some necessary adjustments, yes, but a treatment should interfere with what you love and need to do in your life as little as possible.
What Types of Heel Pain Treatment Options Are Available?
A heel pain treatment plan can consist of simple, time-tested methods or new technologies. It can even contain a mix, depending on the circumstances.
While we will go over a number of different forms of treatment, it’s important to once again note that this isn’t a menu to just pick and choose as pleased. We must conduct a full evaluation and review your individual needs before making recommendations of the treatments that are most likely to have an effect.
- Rest, ice, and elevation. You might recognize these methods from the “RICE” protocol for treating a sports injury, and it remains good advice in certain situations. Sometimes, the best treatment for an aching heel is giving the body opportunity to recover on its own.
- Changes in footwear. If your shoes are not providing the type of support you need, a change to more accommodating footwear can make a huge difference. This may mean reducing the height of your heels, or switching to athletic shoes that are designed for better controlling the mechanics of your feet and ankles.
- Custom orthotics. There are times when a change in footwear may not provide enough cushioning and support for a patient. Custom orthotics are inserts that can be prescribed exactly as a patient needs for their foot structure, providing much more direct and personalized support and relief.
- Physical therapy. These can come in the form of exercises and stretches that can strengthen certain tissues or condition muscles to exert less stress on strained areas.
- MLS laser therapy. When some conditions include injuries to soft tissues such as tendons, ligaments, and muscles, MLS laser therapy can be an effective means of accelerating the body’s natural healing and pain relief capabilities. Laser therapy sessions would be conducted over a scheduled series, and the results of the treatment tend to stack over time, providing greater and greater effects.
- Changes in environment. When possible, a change in the world you have to stand in can also provide some support. If you spend all day on the job standing in one place, for example, we may suggest taking a few minutes each hour to move, or placing a cushioned anti-fatigue mat beneath your feet for some stress relief. Of course, this may heavily depend on the demands and policies of your job.
Some suggested plans may include only one of the above options, or several.
Also keep in mind that surgery might become a consideration if the above methods would fail to provide the results you need. This happens only in rare circumstances, however. In most cases, conservative treatments such as those above have served their purposes well, providing significant relief and recovery.
Find the Right Treatment for Your Heel Pain
Providing treatment for heel pain is not a process where we just hustle patients through and throw something at them to try. It’s something we want to get right the first time whenever possible. Sometimes the human body still manages to throw surprises our way, as they do all professionals; but when they do, we strive to adjust and revise treatment quickly.