Let’s start with the good news: in most cases, heel pain is temporary and will go away naturally.
While your heels can recovery within ten months or so of the initial injury, this is probably far longer than you would like. A few simple routine exercises, however, can go a long way in speeding up your recovery, keeping the pain at bay, and helping you maintain an active and healthy lifestyle in the interim.
Which of these tricks has worked for you? And what other techniques would you suggest? Leave a comment for your fellow Starts at 60 readers below!
Stretch your heels every morning
First and foremost, it’s important to understand why your heels are aching. In the majority of cases, your plantar fascia is to blame. This is the thick band of tissue that stretches underneath your foot, from heel to toe, designed keep it strong and stable as you stand.When the calf muscles are tight, the plantar fascia will overstretch itself as a result. This can make the tendon to swell and weaken.
This means basic stretches can go a long way in minimising the pain over time. Health After 50 suggests sitting on a chair every morning and placing your sore foot over the knee of your other leg. Grab your foot by the base of the toes and pull it towards your shin. When you begin to feel stretching across the sole of your foot, hold position for ten seconds.
Repeat the same process ten times, then switch to the other foot.
Get creative with your toes
Dropped some clothes on the ground after a shower? Try picking it up with your toes! While it may look ridiculous, this extra flexing will give your plantar fascia a great workout.
Avoid running, hiking or power-walking
There are plenty of great exercises that can keep you fit without putting strain on the heel. Cycling and swimming are both great alternatives.
Rub out the tension
Hold your foot with both hands, using your two thumbs to knead deep into the tissue, and moving slowly from heel to toe and back again.
Reevaluate your shoes
Make sure your feet have all the padding you need to minimise tension on your feet. Consider extra padding if necessary; even seeing a podiatrist to arrange for a long-term, custom-made shoe insert.
Massage your own heel with a tennis ball
Simply sit on a chair, place the ball at your feet, and do what feels most comfortable.
One great alternative is to combine rolling exercises and cold relief by rolling your foot over a frozen bottle of water.
Have you ever suffered from sore heels? What tricks have helped you get through it? Share your ideas with the Starts at 60 community in the comments below!