FootNotes: How to Heal Heel pain?

“You just know it when you have it “

Such is the nature of heel pain or foot pain. It’s like a splinter in your heel not allowing you to put your foot down. The slow dull aching pain that turns into a sharp menacing debilitating pain over passage of time.

What exactly is Heel pain ? Where does it come from? and Why does it cause so much trouble? Lets find some answers..

Feet are the first point of contact with the ground since we became Bipedal.

3363021505_7bed681c92_mFeet meant to protect are dense with fascia which form tough layers of padding underneath the bones, nerves, muscles and ligaments.

Feet absorb enormous forces like a shock mechanism and work like a spring to disperse it during movement.

The Spring is essentially the plantar fascia which connects the heel to the toes.

Over loading the fascia by strenuous and repetitive work or bad movement mechanics will lead to a strain reaction. It will cause inflammation and shortening of fascia

Strenuous or repetitive work like prolonged periods on feet, walking long distances, running etc in wrong bio-mechanical foot (see pronation/supination) and lower body positions can cause  trouble some condition called Plantar Fasciitis.


It is one of the conditions causing heel pain, the other being Heel spur.

Heel Spur is the out outgrowth of a the heel bone on the
underside. The exact reason why this happens is unknown and could happen due to a combinations of a variety of reasons like increased pressure on the heel, tight plantar fascia or bony structural abnormality.

A person having heel spur doesn’t necessarily have pain. Like wise having pain along with the heel spur doesn’t necessarily mean that the heel spur is causing it.

Heel spurs cause pain only when they rub against the structures beneath it causing friction during movement. This friction will overtime lead to irritation of the plantar fascia  and Plantar Fascitis.

There are many other reasons for heal pain .. Unrelenting heel pain might be due to inflammation of the bursa at the Achilles tendon.Sometimes Achilles or posterior tibial tendinitis or tendinitis might also cause a radiating pain down the heel.

You need an expert to help you differentiate and figure out the cause of your heel pain and also to get you walking without any pain.

I have treated loads of runners and general population with heel pain. On an average my patients had decrease in heel pain by 30-40%in the first 2-3 sessions itself.

Let me give you a few self pain management tips.

Picture1-300x225When dealing with a lot of heel pain it is recommended to wear cushioned shoes preferably sports shoes or  sneakers all day long» from the very moment you get up from your bed in morning to late in the night till before you sleep.


Next is cold therapy/ cryotherapy and contrast bath.  To begin with for a few days ice the painful region for          2-3 minutes,3-4 times a day. Once the pain decreases move onto contrast bath
alternate Dipping the painful foot in hot water 1.5 mins and cold 1.5 minutes go on for about  10 minutes and end with cold water.


Last is using a tennis ball. Sit down on a comfortable chair.Use a yellow tennis ball to slowly and softly massage the arch of your foot without causing any pain. With mild to moderate pressure. Continue for 15-20 seconds. Repeat 3 times.

Now that you have these methods at your disposal try them and leave a feedback of how they helped you out.

In case if your pain doesn’t relieve kindly consult a Specialist physiotherapist. Feel free to leave any questions you have regarding heel pain..

Move well, move pain-free..
Signing off for now~ Hemali

Published by hemaliphysio

Ortho & Sports Physio, The Movement Analyst

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