Is heel pain threatening to ruin your vacation plans?
Well, it’s time to show it who’s boss – and we are here to back you up!
Heel pain is more common than you might think. In fact, 29 percent of Americans today are dealing with this more-than-inconvenient foot condition (so welcome to the club!). But that doesn’t mean you have to keep pushing through the pain – especially when you are supposed to be enjoying your vacation. Fun and pain just don’t mix together.
And though you may feel like there is no hope for your painful heels, the experts at Capital Podiatry Associates are here to tell you differently. You CAN get rid of heel pain, and you CAN actually enjoy your vacation. Though there are many possible causes for your discomfort, there are just as many (if not more) treatment methods and preventative measures that will provide you with relief.
So if you want to be fully present and truly enjoy precious moments with your family and friends while on your trip, keep reading our blog to find out how you can make sure heel pain doesn’t embark on this journey with you.
What is Causing Your Heel Pain?
While heel pain isn’t a unique condition, each person’s pain is a little bit different, and it can come from a number of causes. Some people have experienced trauma to the foot, and this can lead to some lingering discomfort. Many women spend several hours of the day in high heels, and this puts unnecessary pressure on the feet. And sometimes heel pain is just an inevitable result of aging feet.
Some of the most common foot conditions that cause heel pain include:
- Plantar fasciitis. An inflammation of the plantar fascia, a strong ligament that runs the length of your foot, connecting your heels to your toes.
- Achilles tendinitis. An inflammation of the Achilles tendon, which runs from the bottom of your calf muscle to your heel bone.
- Flat feet. Sometimes called fallen arches, this condition is essentially the lack of proper arch.
- Heel spurs. Bony calcium deposits that protrude from the underside of the heel.
Regardless of what is causing your discomfort, traveling often requires a lot of standing and walking, and doing it all with heel pain can become a real challenge. So your best course of action is to come visit our office right away if your feet are giving you grief. We can zero in on the root of the problem and provide you with the best treatment plan to ensure your vacation is more enjoyable than you ever thought possible – without heel pain.
Better yet, get your feet checked and keep the following tips in mind to make sure your feet are happy and healthy for all your traveling adventures.
Choose comfortable shoes
Long lines at the airport, far walks to your bus terminal, and mad dashes to catch connecting flights – you should be prepared for all this when traveling. And flip-flops just aren’t going to get the job done. They might be convenient when going through security check points, but they also expose your feet to sharp objects and dirty surfaces, as well as increase your risk of tripping and spraining an ankle.
Instead, wear comfortable footwear that provides proper support and protection to your feet and ankles. The heel-cup should cradle the back of your foot and your toes should be able to wiggle freely in the toe box.
Wear custom orthotics
Wearing a pair of orthotics that is customized to address your exact condition can do wonders for your heel pain. Custom orthotics provide support for your arches and hug your heels to ensure comfort and stability. You can easily slide these devices in and out of most types of footwear, so alternating between shoes is fast and convenient.
No matter if you are walking on cobblestoned streets in Prague or simply strolling along the beachside stores in Miami, custom orthotics can significantly diminish your chances of experiencing heel pain – or even completely eradicate it.
Use a night splint
Even though it may take some time to get used to wearing one, night splints are a great way to get rid of heel pain – especially heel pain that is worst first thing in the morning.
As you sleep, night splints keep your feet at a 90-degree angle, thereby preventing the plantar fascia from contracting and stiffening throughout the night (the underlying reason why your heels hurt in the morning). So those first steps in the morning no longer have to be excruciating – you can wake up each vacation day putting your best foot forward.
Do some stretching
This is especially important if your drive or flight takes more than a couple of hours.
Once you arrive at your destination, make sure you also do some stretching exercises at least twice a day. Flex your legs and feet before you get out of bed each morning. Once you get to your feet, place both hands against a wall with one foot forward and one foot back to stretch your heel and calf muscles. You can also stand with the balls of your feet on the edge of a stair and let your weight push your heels down.
Apply some ice
An easy way to both ice and massage your painful heels is to freeze a disposable water bottle and roll it under your foot for 15-30 minutes. You can do this while watching TV, checking your email, or reading through the local tourist magazine.
This will help reduce any swelling or inflammation in your heels after a long day of walking through local villages and souvenir stores.
Take OTC medications
Now, if despite all your preventative measures your heels are still giving your grief, don’t let the pain keep you from visiting that wonderful museum or going on that shopping spree. Pain relievers, like ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, etc.) and naproxen sodium (Aleve) can help ease the pain and inflammation in your heels.
Of course, you should take OTC medications as directed. And if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to call our office – we can guide you in the right direction.
Find Expert Heel Pain Treatment at Capital Podiatry Associates
As you can see there are plenty of things you can do to steer clear from heel pain. If you proactively prevent this condition from developing in the first place, then your future will look even brighter – full of new travelling destinations and amazing vacation memories.
And if heel pain is still trying to take over your life in spite of all the precautionary measures available, then you can count on us to get to the root of the problem and make it a thing of the past.
Just call our Capital Podiatry Associates office today at (703) 560-3773 to schedule your appointment or fill out our handy request form online.