Can I try home therapy for heel pain?

Many patients ask me around Worcester when I meet them different places in public, “Well, I have heel pain. What can I do to get myself better at home?” The quick and easy way is to focus on the three aspects that are involved with treating heel pain. To make it very simple, you have to reduce the inflammation, loosen up the back of the calf, and stabilize the heel. So what you can try at home to reduce the inflammation is taking a bottle of water, putting it in the freezer and rolling it on the bottom of the heel to reduce the inflammation. Also, take anti-inflammatories like ibuprofen or naproxen if it is not contraindicated from your doctor. That’s a good way to reduce inflammation. If that doesn't work, then a cortisone injection done by your physician could help you. The second aspect is to reduce the tightness in the back of the calf. That can be done with some types of stretches you can find online, but I really like it when people use the trigger point tool therapy, which is either with a foam roller or the trigger point tools for the back of the calf that can penetrate deep into the back of the calf and reduce the adhesions in there and help them to feel better. If that’s not enough then you have to get a prescription for physical therapy from your physician. The third aspect is to stabilize the heel position.The best way is to throw out your old shoes or don’t wear your old shoes and get a new pair of either Asics or New Balance. I don’t recommend going cheap when you buy your shoes. Get something that’s good and stable and don’t just go for looks. I try to avoid the stylish shoes and go to something that’s going to be more comfortable. I always tell the women, this is for now, it’s not forever. So you’re going to be wearing some special shoes that are more athletic shoes for the time being until the inflammation gets better. If that doesn't work, you have to see your physician to get a custom orthotic that’s going to help correct your heel position. Make sure when you get an orthotic you don’t just get an over-the-counter one, but you need something that’s going to hold everything in the proper position.

To Your Health,
Dr. Donald Pelto