Healing Heel Pain Naturally
This is about Plantar Faciitis. The heel hurts as if it is on fire. You suddenly can not stand for long. You dread getting on your feet when you wake up in the morning.
I first had plantar faciitis in 2015. And it took me a whole year for it to heal completely. At first I feared that I would end up crippled but the doctor reassured me that I will recover with time and indeed some few months later I woke up one morning and it hit me that it had been a while since I felt pain in my heel. It left just as suddenly as it came.
First of all I have no medical training. This is just an article about how I treat my heel anytime Plantar strikes. I live with it. Even now my heel has a mild pain but I know how to manage it. My intention is to share tips that could help you avoid something drastic like surgery. Heel pain can be very excruciating. And if it's Plantar, healing it naturally is the only sure way. There's really no drug you can take to cure it. Just painkillers maybe. But painkillers are just a temporary solution.
So, what causes Plantar Faciitis?
1. Being Overweight
Your feet are trying to tell you that they cannot carry you anymore and you are feeling it in your heel. The first signs of being overweight are body pains that really don't make sense. Suddenly your back is in pain, your heel hurts...
2. Suddenly bursting into intense activities while on your feet
Maybe you are fed up with a sedentary life and you now want to be active, or you want to lose weight so you wake up one morning and just burst into a serious sprint. Good move at wanting to change your lifestyle and body weight but your heel will object. You should warm up first. Stretch your heel. Prepare your body. Start with a walk but not a very long walk. Not very fast walking either. You start slow then gradually increase the intensity.
3. Running or walking on a hard surface
Like a cemented floor. Or tarmac. Your heel will be shocked. Anytime you step down hard on that surface you are hurting your heel. Run or jump on natural ground. Nature never hurts.
4. Bad shoes
Your shoes should do a lot more than just covering your feet- they should support and protect your feet too. Wear shoes that have been cushioned with proper insoles. Shoes that have firm soles. Once they are worn out, replace them fast.
5. Not wearing shoes at all while exercising
A disaster! Don't skip rope while barefoot, a day will not pass without you having heel pain if you do. Some people can comfortably run barefoot and feel no pain but not you, newbie. If you see someone running barefoot try finding out how long they have been running like that. They will talk about years running barefoot not just a day like you. Arise and start running barefoot one day then stay in bed nursing your heel for months.
Straining your heel
Walking on your heels definitely strains them. The right way to walk is to step down with your toes first then the rest of your foot. Most Plantar sufferers step down on the heels first. This is a posture issue that you should be keen on. Keep as little pressure as you can on your heel.
You probably want a permanent solution. Waking up just thinking of how painful your heel is can be a nightmare. You do not want to sit down for a long time because another nightmare will be waiting for you when you step down. You cannot stand for too long because your heel can't stand that, literally. You cannot live on painkillers. Here are the natural options that you should consider;
Think of Plantar as a wound. It will definitely go away if you rest. You might try challenging it by keeping on with your exercise, well, if the exercise is easy on the heel you can continue doing it, for example swimming.Or walking. But if it's running, jumping and sprinting you will soon face a surgeon. The heel should rest. I once rested a whole year and got my heel cured - but I added weight. A lot of weight. So the next time Plantar struck I stopped running and started walking. I'd rather lose some weight no matter how little. I'd rather maintain weight than add some more. That will make Plantar worse.
- Lose Some Weight
Very tricky. Your heel hurts and you have shelved away most or all of your exercise routines because it should rest yet you still should lose weight. Remember your heel hurts because your feet are trying to tell you, "We can't carry you anymore". There's a limit to how much weight a person can comfortably walk with beyond which ailments like Plantar will strike. You can lose some weight by checking your diet. Sometimes you just need to lose some few pounds to send that heel pain away - depending on how heavy you are. Try lifting weights. Swimming. Any exercise you can do without adding pressure on that heel. But your best bet is checking your calories. Enjoy less calories and say goodbye to heel pain.
- Wear Good Shoes
Get shoes that support your heels properly. Throw away those torn shoes that you have been running with for years. The insoles should protect your feet. Nice cushioning. This is not the right time to walk around the whole day in high- heels. You shouldn't wear very flat shoes either. Keep your weight from the heel as much as you can. When your heel gets better you can try on those sexy shoes but for now we just want to heal the heel.
- Roll it out ~ massage
Get a golf ball. Or a cylindrical wood or metal. Step on it. Massage your heel so deep until you feel some tears. Massaging that heel provides temporary relief although it is also a major contributor towards permanent heeling. When Plantar has just set in it is usually very painful. At that point I always roll out my heel at any chance I get. Find any cylindrical object and roll it out. Sometimes I step on my deodrant tubes. Roll it out as hard as you can. Keep rolling hard as if that heel doesn't belong to you.
- Ice it
Just for some relief. Heel pain can be very painful and unfortunately it wil not heal overnight so you have to find ways to cope with it for as long as it persists. Get some ice and place it on your heel.
- Give it time
After you have lost some weight, rested, iced, massaged it now the only thing left is to let nature take over. Be patient. It may take months. But the important deal is to keep it away from the surgeon. You also want to keep that heel less damaged. Most importantly you want to completely heal it. And one morning you will wake up and step down without Plantar on your mind. And days will pass. Then one day you will think of it like it never happened - " Once upon a time my heel used to hurt like hell."