Heel pain - plantar fasciitis

I often read websites offering podiatry care. Reading through all the accounts of misery (and extensive costs) described for heel pain is sad, to say the least. Often, I think the advice given is outdated and can definitely be improved upon.

In my experience, while the pain is felt most in the heel, the injury can often be in other areas of the leg. These are called hypersensitivity sites or trigger sites. By treating the trigger sites you can get to the cause of your heel pain. You can see the locations of the main trigger sites here - http://www.triggerpoints.net/symptom/heel-pain .

Here’s my 4-point list for treating heel pain :

  1. HEAT - For treatment of the heel pain, including the trigger sites, why not try heat rather than ice? Your muscles will usually respond much better to heat than they would with ice, so instead why don’t you apply heat using a simple hot water bottle or with a wheat bag? For best results you should remember to apply the heat to the muscles affected and not just to the site of pain;

  2. ​TAPE - Trigger sites can be released through manual therapy and dry needling. If the heel pain is severe then applying sports tape, such as rocktape. It can have beneficial effects like support and pain relief. Here is a video showing one way to apply sports tape to help with heel pain - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TWegHd8Sv2I ;

  3. MOVEMENT - Often, the best thing you can do is to simply moderate your exercise. In my experience doing heel raises only worsens the tight trigger sites;

  4. LISTEN - Lastly, orthotics (like arch supports) are often over-prescribed. If you have been prescribed them and you are finding them too uncomfortable, then listen to your body and stop using them!

I wish you a fast recovery from your heel pain!

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