If you experience pain beneath your heels every time you do aerobics or another type of exercise, you may wonder if there's anything you can do to ease the pain. Heel pain can occur in two places: behind the heels and beneath the heels. When the pain develops beneath your heels, plantar fasciitis is most likely the cause. Plantar fasciitis is a common but painful foot condition that develops in the long ligament (plantar fascia) that connects your heels to your toes.
You can injure the plantar fascia when you overstretch or strain it from many things, including when you do aerobics, run or perform another type of activity that places stress on your heels and plantar fascia. Standing, running or walking on hard surfaces for long periods of time may also overstretch the plantar fascia. The best way to treat plantar fasciitis is to see a podiatrist. Here's how a podiatrist helps you overcome your heel pain and what you can do at home to make your life more comfortable.
What Can a Podiatrist Do to Treat Your Pain?
A podiatrist may offer a number of treatments for your condition that may include prescribing custom-fitted orthotics, or cushions, for your shoes. The cushions may support your entire foot or just your heels. You may be tempted to purchase store-bought cushions to ease your pain. But you should avoid doing so.
Although store-bought cushions are said to support the foot, the appliances may not fit the diameters, lengths and shapes of your feet. In addition, one foot may not be the same size as the other and may require special adjustments for your orthotic cushions, as well as for the shoes you wear, to stop your pain. A podiatrist will generally measure both feet before designing your cushions.
A podiatrist may also assign physical therapy to you. Physical therapy is designed to strengthen the damaged ligaments in your feet through special stretches. The exercises may also work well for you if you experience tight calves. Tension in the calf muscles may pull on the tissues that connect directly to your plantar fascia.
You may need to refrain from aerobics until your treatment completes or until a podiatrist says it's okay to continue exercising. Until you can return to your exercise routine, you can take steps to protect your painful heels at home and work.
Be sure to:
- Get plenty of rest at night to help the damage tissues in your feet heal properly
- Avoid walking or standing on hard surfaces
- Report any changes in the condition of your heels to a podiatrist immediately
For the best results, practice the tips 1 and 2 above daily.
To learn more about heel pain or plantar fasciitis, schedule an appointment with a podiatry clinic like ETL Podiatry.