Heel pain is rather debilitating, and it can affect your everyday life. We all know someone who has had problems with their heels, and we know what it feels like. So, what can you do to get rid of this pain?
First, let’s go through its causes.
Heel pain doesn’t strike overnight. It develops gradually, and it’s worse in the morning. Do you know what causes this type of pain? Your flat shoes. Yes, you read that one right.
Injuries, sprains, fractures, pinched nerves and tears on the heel pad are common causes of this ache. Sometimes it occurs when you pound your foot on hard surfaces. It’s also common in obese and individuals whose shoes don’t match their feet.
Heel pain sometimes occurs as a result of a medical condition, such as Achilles tendinitis, bursitis, fibromyalgia, gout, heel spurs, plantar fasciitis, arthritis, tarsal tunnel syndrome and tendinitis.
It causes severe pain and discomfort, but doesn’t harm health and isn’t considered as a life threat.
Home remedies work best when it comes to treating heel pain. You should also consider improving your lifestyle habits, as it’s the only way to relieve the symptoms.
Consult your doctor or podiatric physician if the pain becomes unbearable and affects your normal walking.
We give you the top 10 ways to treat heel pain naturally:
Cold compresses are probably the best remedy for heel pain. Cold temperatures numbs the area, thus controlling the pain and inflammation.
Ice can also help you relieve pain caused by foot dentonitis, plantar fasciitis and bone spurs.
- Put crushed ice into a plastic bag, and wrap it in a cotton towel. This is your very own cold compress. Apply it on the sore area, and let it work for 15 minutes. Do this several times a day or more if necessary.
- You can also freeze a bottle of water, and roll it against the sore area for 10-15 minutes. Repeat if necessary.
Caution: Don’t apply ice directly on the sore area, as it may cause frostbites.
It’s super simple and easy. Everybody can do it. Massage may not be considered as a long-term option, but it can definitely give you a quick relief.
Enjoy a massage to relax your muscles, release any pressure, reduce the stiffness, and stimulate your blood circulation. Massage your sore heel every time you feel pain.
You can do this before every jog, after your workout or before you go to bed. For optimal results, use oil, and olive, coconut, sesame and mustard oil are your best options.
- Warm the oil, and apply it on your heel.
- Carefully rub it against your sore heels for a few minutes.
- Massage your sole for 10 minutes.
- Do this several times a day until your pain disappears.
Ask for professional help if you can’t do it on your own.
Stretching exercise relieve pain and promote your recovery. Strengthening the muscles and tendons in your foot can also prevent pain.
Have you ever tried the “standing wall stretch”?
- Take your shoes off, and stand several feet away from the wall. Stand against the wall facing it.
- Press your hands against the wall.
- Put one foot forward, and lean. You should feel the stretch along.
- Hold your body in this position for 30 seconds.
- Switch legs and repeat.
- Do 10 repetitions on each side for instant relief.
4. Epsom salt soak
Epsom salt baths do miracles, especially if you’re dealing with heal pain. Magnesium sulfate crystals have the power to relieve the pain, swelling and inflammation. Warm temperatures relax muscles.
- Add 3 tablespoons of Epsom salt to your bath.
- Soak your feet in for 15-20 minutes.
- Pat dry your feel, and apply your regular moisturizer.
- Massage your heels for 5 minutes.
- Do this 2-3 times a week until your pain disappears.
Turmeric is one of your best alternatives when it comes to natural healing. It’s powerful and healthy. Curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric, is an excellent painkiller, and it also reduces inflammation.
According to a 2009 study published in The International Journal of Biochemistry & Cell Biology, turmeric has strong anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving power.
- Simmer a cup of milk and a teaspoon of turmeric powder for 5 minutes. Add honey once the golden liquid cools a bit. Enjoy your golden milk 2-3 times a day to relieve your pain.
- Turmeric supplements also work well. Take 400-600 mg, 3 times a day. Consult your doctor before taking supplements.
6. Fish oil
If your heel pain occurs as a result of arthritis or bone spurs, consider trying fish oil. It’s abundant in eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, making it powerful in the treatment of heel pain. Fish oil also relieves muscle stiffness.
Omega-3 fatty acids are a much safer alternative to nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) when it comes to treating arthritis pain.
This was confirmed in a 2006 study, and the results were published in Surgical Neurology.
Sufferers are adviced to take up to 3 grams of fish oil with at least 30 percent EPA/DHA twice a day. Make sure you consult your doctor first.
Caution: Don’t use fish oil if you’re taking blood-thinning or diabetes medication.
Ginger works great in cases of pain caused by muscle strains. Ginger relieves muscle pain triggered by eccentric exercise, as confirmed by a 2010 study published in the Journal of Pain.
The spicy root offers anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving effect, meaning it relieves pain and reduces inflammation.
Gingerols, a type of compounds in ginger, stop the production of pain-triggering hormones. Ginger also stimulates the flow of blood throughout the body.
Try the following remedies:
- Take ginger tea three times a day, and add raw ginger to your meals. Use 5-6 ginger slices for one and a half cup of water. Simmer you tea for 5-10 minutes. Add fresh lemon juice and raw honey to enhance its taste.
- If you decide to go for supplements, use 1-2 500 mg ginger supplements three or four times a day. Don’t forget to consult your doctor fist.
- Use ginger oil to massage your sore area several times a day.
8. Apple cider vinegar wrap
Apple cider vinegar wraps also work great when it comes to relieving heel pain. This vinegar has strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effect which makes it an excellent choice for those struggling with heel pain.
- Heat up one and a half cup of water and a quarter cup of apple cider vinegar.
- Soak a clean gauze or cloth in the solution, and squeeze out the excess liquid.
- Apply the compress on you heels, and cover with a dry and clean towel to lock in the heat.
- Let the compress work for 15-20 minutes.
- Do this 2-3 times a day, and repeat when necessary.
9. Cayenne pepper
Capsaicin gives cayenne pepper its pain-relieving power. It works great in treating heel pain caused by muscle strains, joint/lumbar pain, etc.
- Add a tablespoon of cayenne pepper in a quarter cup of warm olive oil. Apply the spicy oil on your sore heals, and let it work for 15 minutes. Rinse well, and repeat 2-3 times a day until you pain disappears.
- Capsaicin-enriched creams can also help you. These over-the-counter products sometimes give better results than any other medication.
10. Alkaline diet
Pain won’t go away on its own. You have to help your body to fight the ache, and alkaline diet is something you should definitely follow. Alkaline foods regulate the pH level in your body, and reduce the inflammation.
These foods can also help the body break down calcium buildups, known to be one of the main causes of heel spurs.
- Eat more fresh fruits and veggies.
- Drink warm lemon water to make your body alkaline (use half a lemon to a cup of water)
- Use Himalayan pink salt instead of your regular table salt.
- Drink 3-4 cups of green tea every day.
- Limit your intake of calcium-rich foods, including dairy.
- Avoid animal products, sugar, processed foods, caffeine, alcohol and refined grains.
- Rest your heels every time you feel pain.
- Exercise less if your heels hurt.
- Don’t walk barefoot, as this habit puts additional stress and strain on you heels.
- Wear fitting shoes, and use heel lifts or shoe inserts if necessary.
- Lose weight if obesity is your problem.
- Stretch your body before every exercise.
- Rest every time you feel tired or you muscles hurt.