Preventing Heel Pain

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.

Given the time of year, there’s a pretty good chance you’ve already started buying or making gifts for loved ones and friends. Or perhaps you’ve already crossed every name off your “gift list” and now it’s just a matter of wrapping them up in seasonal giftwrap.

Either way, make sure to give yourself a gift this holiday season!

Not sure what to give yourself? Well, you don’t want to run the risk of picking up something a loved one or friend is planning on giving you, so you need to make sure this gift is unique and cannot possibly be bought in a store – something like the gift of pain-free heels.

Talk about a gift that is always the right size!

Heel Pain

Now, it’s virtually impossible to completely prevent any medical problem—such as those responsible for heel pain—from happening, but there are measures you can take to lower your risk. Some of the best ways to do this include:

  • Stretch every day. If you only take 10-15 minutes, you can stretch out the muscles and connective tissues—calf muscle, Achilles tendon, and plantar fascia—responsible for the most common sources of heel pain.
  • Wear proper shoes. Always make sure you’re wearing appropriate footwear for any activity you are performing. Further, your shoes need to fit properly and be well-constructed. Stick to models that feature robust arch support, solid heel counters, and adequate cushioning under the heel.
  • Ease into new activities. Won’t be long now until everyone is embarking on his or her New Year’s resolutions. If you are going to give yourself a second gift in the form of improved physical health by taking up running or starting a new workout program in 2018, you need to start at low levels of intensity and duration, and then gradually ramp them up as your body becomes more accustomed to the new routine. (Also, consult with your primary care physician and come see us first!)
  • Maintain a healthy body weight. Speaking of resolutions, losing weight is a very common one. There are certainly other reasons to do so, but lowering and managing your weight takes pressure off your hard-working heels!
  • Wear your orthotics (if you have them). Remember, custom orthotics are great for treating and preventing medical issues, but—much like with eyeglasses—they only work if you actually use them.
  • Don’t push yourself too hard. If you’re tired, rest. Instead of running five or six days a week, mix it up and run for three and then cross-train with low-impact activities (cycling, swimming, yoga, and even walking) on the other days.

In the event your preventative efforts are successful—and it’s impossible to eliminate all injury risk—come see us for professional care. The good news is that we may be able to treat the problem with conservative care.

If you would like additional information on heel pain prevention, take a moment to contact our Houston office. Call us today at (281) 497-2850.

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