Fitting Exercises for Heel Pain into Your Work Day

Dr. Robert Parker
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Dr. Parker is a podiatrist and surgeon in Houston, TX who has been helping patients for more than 40 years.

Heel pain is very common. If you are experiencing problems in the back or bottom of your heel, you might benefit from exercises. This is great, but what if you’re at work during the day? How can you fit your stretching exercises in? Well, we have some ideas, but let’s first look at why heel pain is so common and how conservative treatments can help.

There are, of course, several different root causes of heel pain, but the most common we see in our patients is plantar fasciitis. For adolescent patients, Sever’s disease tends to be more prevalent. Other sources of pain in the heel area include heel spurs, bursitis, Achilles injuries, and fractures.

Heel Stretches at Work

Home care for plantar fasciitis and other sources of heel pain often begins with rest. Taking time off from excessive physical activity gives the body a chance to recover and prevents further damage. Pain relief is important, so the use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) is rather beneficial. Be sure to contact our office for dosage recommendations!

Rest is essential, but so too are exercises. Now, we don’t mean high-impact activities, but rather stretches that improve the flexibility of the calf muscles and plantar fascia. We will provide specific exercises for you. Fitting these stretches into a workday, however, can be a bit tricky. Here are some tips to help you stretch out while you’re on the clock:

  • Walk and talk when you make and take phone calls. No matter if this means using a wireless headset or a mobile phone, this is an easy way to stretch out your Achilles tendon and plantar fascia.
  • Stand at meetings and take turns (subtlety) standing on one leg at a time. In addition to standing at meetings, you should ask your HR department if it’s possible to get a standing desk.
  • Instead of sending an email, actually walk to a colleague’s desk.
  • Take a couple of minutes every hour to get up and move around. In the morning, people understand if you’re grabbing a cup of coffee. In the afternoon, switch to tea breaks to keep your tissues limber.
  • Use your lunchtime for more advanced stretches. Moving around a bit whenever you can is great, but even better is to perform dynamic stretches. Taking your lunch break to do some eccentric heel drops on a step or a calf stretch against the wall will provide even greater benefits.

For more information on both the stretches and exercises you should do and how to fit them into your work day, contact our team at Parker Foot & Ankle. Give us a call today at (281) 497-2850 and request an appointment!

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