Non Surgical Treatment of Heel Pain

Among the common reasons behind heel pain are heel spurs, plantar fasciitis, and Achilles tendonitis. There are certain activities that should be avoided or minimized because they can put undue strain on the feet. These include jumping, running, walking long distances, walking up or down hills, and standing for extended periods of time. In the treatment of heel pain, a combination of techniques may be needed.

Applying an ice pack over the painful area will help bring down the inflammation. Do this thrice a day for ten minutes each time. Anti inflammatory medications such as NSAIDs can be helpful in managing acute pain. However, these are not recommended for long term pain relief as they can have adverse side effects.

Using orthotics will support the foot arches and in turn can decrease heel pain. The orthotic devices can allow faster healing because they reduce tension on the plantar fascia.

Certain foot exercises can improve the flexibility of the plantar fascia. While resting or during sleep, the plantar fascia tightens and shortens. This is the reason why foot pain is usually felt as the first steps are taken in the morning or after prolonged rest.

It has been seen that majority of patients respond well to these combined therapies. However, in a small percentage, heel pain persists despite these fundamental methods of pain management.

In a small number of patients, corticoid steroids are given to alleviate symptoms. However, the problem with corticosteroid injection for heel pain is that it often requires multiple injections, which increases the risk for plantar fascia rupture.

If these heel pain treatments fail to give relief, surgery may then be recommended. Plantar fascia surgery is the most widely used heel pain surgery. This involves cutting the plantar fascia to release it from the heel bone. The result is reduced tension in the plantar fascia to relieve heel pain symptoms.

A revolutionary heel pain treatment that does not involve surgery is ESWT or extracorporeal shockwave therapy. ESWT utilizes painless but powerful energy waves to help heal a variety of chronic painful conditions such as plantar fasciitis and Achilles tendonitis. Because it is a non-surgical treatment for heel pain, it does not carry the risks associated with surgical treatments. The procedure of shockwave therapy for heel pain is quick and the process is completed in less than half an hour.

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