The sun is out, the temperature is up, and if you are like most Ashevillians, you are gearing up to start hiking and running around our beautiful mountains. Inevitably, we see more people in our clinic complaining of heel pain during the warmer months. Whether it is due to overuse or some other injury, here are some quick and easy stretches for heel pain you can take at home to potentially resolve the issue.
What is causing my heel pain?
The most common cause of heel pain is something called plantar fasciitis. The plantar fascia is essentially a band of tissue that stretches from the back of your heel to your toes. These tissues stabilize your foot. A significant increase in activity can potentially irritate this band of tissues causing pain and inflammation. This pain can be especially bad first thing in the morning. It can also be painful when you walk barefoot or in sandals.
What can I do about it?
Summer-sandal-lovers might want to look away, but we recommend a nice supportive shoe, especially if you are going to be really active. Aside from that, a self-massage works great with a lacrosse ball or an R3 roller. All you do is roll the lacrosse ball or R3 roller back and forth between your heel and your toes for 2 – 3 minutes at a time with moderate pressure. If you find a particularly tight spot, you can spend an extra minute there. Do this 2-3 times per day until the pain is alleviated.