Heel pain is a common problem for men and women of all ages. This pain can develop as the result of sports and other physical activities, but there are certainly other causes as well. Even growth spurts can result in heel pain during adolescence, as is seen in Sever’s disease.
The good news about this particular issue is that many preventative measures are rather effective. Better yet, they can address several root causes of heel pain at the same time. Achilles tendinitis prevention, for example, also lowers your risk for developing plantar fasciitis.
As you look to prevent heel pain and decrease your risk of injury, use the following measures:
- Wear proper shoes. Make sure that you have the correct footwear for any physical activity you perform. Even more importantly, shoes should fit well. Footwear that is too tight or too large cause many problems, some of which will leave you with painful heels. Your shoes should cradle your heels snuggly, have room for toes to wiggle, and offer cushioning and arch support.
- Warm up and stretch. Prior to exercise or physical activity, warm up and use dynamic stretches to prepare your body. Give careful attention to your calves, ankles, and feet. Warm up first with light jogging for a couple of minutes before stretching, as this is proven to be more effective at reducing injury risk.
- Ease into activity. Too often, patients experience heel pain after starting new activities at too high a level of intensity or duration. Start at an easy-to-moderate level and increase your efforts by no more than 10% every week.
- Cross-train. Running is a great exercise, but following a workout plan that incorporates a couple of different activities is even better. For optimal safety and the lowest possible injury risk, make those activities low-impact ones (like cycling, swimming, yoga, and walking).
Steps to prevent heel pain can make a big difference, but keep in mind it’s essentially impossible to completely eliminate all risk of developing a condition or sustaining an injury. In such instances, Sunshein Podiatry is here for you. Our caring staff is ready to provide the treatment you need to get back on your feet again!
Contact us online or call us at (937) 435-7477 to request an appointment with our Centerville, OH office.