Quick Tips for Lessening Heel Pain at Home

Jul 18, 2022

Do your heels have twinges of pain every time you go for a gentle stroll? Perhaps your heels are starting to impact your ability to walk around the office or meet up with friends? If so, you’re not alone. Heel pain represents one of the most common complaints podiatrists encounter – and you do not have to be an elite athlete to experience it!

Heel pain can spring up for a wide range of reasons, including ill-fitting shoes, overuse, and structural abnormalities in the foot. The best way to find the source of your problem is to visit come visit our office for a professional evaluation. We will diagnose the reason for your heel pain and will come up with an effective treatment plan that considers your physical limitations, lifestyle, and fitness goals. 

Once you have booked your appointment, you may be wondering how to alleviate your pain in the meantime. To help you stay mobile and active, we have listed a few effective self-care tips below.

Quick Tips for Lessening Heel Pain at Home

1. Keep Your Shoes On

While it may seem a little counterintuitive to keep your shoes on indoors, they can help support your heels and prevent further damage. Naturally, you will need to wear shoes with plenty of supportive features, including shock absorption (think running sneakers or orthotic sandals). 

Ideally, you should clean your shoes every time you wear them indoors or purchase a specific pair for home. Your carpets will thank you later!

2. Ice It Up

Icing by itself is only effective for the first 48 hours to help alleviate acute pain and swelling. Use an ice pack if you’ve got one on hand, or a frozen bag of peas will work just as well. Make sure you wrap the ice pack in a small towel before placing it on your foot to prevent “burning” of skin. Or you can just keep your socks on to provide this ice barrier.

After 48 hours, contrast baths are more effective in treating throbbing pain.  One minute in ice water followed by one minute in warm water, repeating this cycle five times.

3. Roll the Pain Away

If your pain is more of an ache or a deep bruise feeling at the end of the day, massage the bottom of the feet by rolling them over a round or cylindrical object such as a foam roller, soup can, or tennis ball. 

For best results, apply heat therapy using a microwaveable heating pad, before rolling. This step will increase blood flow to your feet, making your massage more effective. 

Person using a ball to massage heel pain at home

4. Stretch It Out

A common reason heel pain ruins the start of your day is the contraction and “cooling down” of the plantar fascia (the band of tissue that runs from the heel to the ball of your foot). When the fascia is inflamed, stretching it out too quickly in the morning can cause a sharp jolt of pain.

To avoid this unwelcome shock, we recommend trying a couple of simple exercises to “warm up” the fascia and lessen the sharp pains in your foot, including:

The Loop Stretch

You’ll need a belt or resistance band for this exercise. Once you have one on hand, sit in bed with the affected leg stretched out in front:

  • Loop your band around the upper half of your foot, with one hand on each side of the band.
  • Gently pull your band, flexing your toes upward towards your ankle (stop if you feel pain).
  • Hold this position for up to 30 seconds and repeat two to three times for each foot.

The Toe Stretch

For this exercise, you should be sitting in bed. Then:

  • Bend your knee, bringing it to your chest. Place your foot in front of your body on the bed.
  • Hold your big toe with one hand, gently pulling it upward toward your ankle (again, stop if you feel pain).
  • Maintain this position for up to 30 seconds, repeating between two and four times for each foot.

Banish heel pain for good!

If your heels are disrupting your life, don’t suffer in silence! We’re on hand to diagnose and treat your heel pain, offering permanent and affordable solutions. To find out more and schedule an appointment, get in touch with us at (252) 638-4700 or complete our online contact form. One of our friendly team members will get back to you.