At one point or another, most New Zealanders have dealt with heel pain. Sometimes it comes and goes over the day, for others it can be chronic and debilitating.
While it may feel like it's a normal part of us having to use our feet, heel pain isn’t something to suffer in silence. To help you deal with your pain, we’ve outlined what causes heel pain and how to treat it with the right products as per our online guide https://bauerfeind.co.nz/blogs/heel-pain
HEEL PAIN: WHAT’S CAUSING IT?
Heel pain can come from a wide range of issues, but there are some which are more likely to be the reasons. The two main causes are plantar fasciitis and Achilles strain, each one affecting one of the major tendons the runs from your heel in either direction. Usually caused by excessive strain or stress on the tendon (often from exercise or poor footwear), this can result in heel pain that strikes with each step.
These are by no means the only causes, with the following all issues that lead to heel pain.
- Weight, Heavier weight can cause strain
- Fracture in the heel area
- Improper gait
- Sports which are on hard surfaces (concrete, asphalt etc)
- Heel spurs
- Degenerative bone & soft tissues (Haglunds-deformity)
While the pain normally occurs when you’re on your feet, especially at the end of the day, it is really often a sign of an underlying issue. So it’s important not to ignore heel pain.
3 SIMPLE TIPS FOR TREATMENT
With heel pain affecting a majority of people, the best thing you can do is ‘slow down’, try to rest your feet or avoid excessive use/sporting activities. We’ve outlined three key ways you can treat, manage and prevent heel pain to get you back on the right foot.
THE SHOES YOU CHOOSE
When it comes to taking care of your heels, the footwear you choose is a very important factor. When looking at footwear to treat and prevent heel pain, there are two different things to focus on; Shoe type and insoles. Here’s what to look for in each to best take care of your heels.
Shoes: Whether it’s your running shoes for exercise or an old pair of work shoes, a cushioned sole with any kind of arch support is ideal. Check the sole on the underside of the shoe. If you’ve worn it out, get a new heel put on the shoe by a shoe repairer or use it as an excuse to buy a new pair of shoes. Ankle support in the shoe itself is also important.
Insoles: Insoles work to reposition the foot and redistribute the force of each step properly across the foot. Whether it’s a full heel insole like the Redux Heel 2 or a simpler cushion like the ViscoSpot, here at Bauerfeind NZ, we have a sizable range of insoles for your shoe or heel.
Positive lifestyle changes can help to improve the impact and healing of heel pain and other joint issues. Some simple examples of that are;
- Losing weight can certainly help reduce the strain and stress on the heels for the obvious reason that this relieves some of the pain and stress on your feet.
- When running, exercising or walking longer distances, avoid hard surfaces like concrete, asphalt and pavers.
- Focus on low impact exercise like swimming, cycling and yoga
This is the core of physical recovery. Rest, ice, compress and elevate. Each of these can be applied to heel pain to treat it and stop it getting too painful.
Rest: If you’re doing exercise or dancing the night away, try and break it up into smaller bursts between hard and soft surfaces. Make sure you sit or relax afterwards to let the heels recover from the pain.
Ice: When there’s pain in the heels, particularly after exercise, get a gel ice pack and press it against the heel, 20 minutes on, 20 off. This will help reduce any swelling and inflammation to relieve the pain and discomfort.
Compress: Normal compression isn’t as effective on the heel as it is elsewhere, but cushioning can give a similar effect. Or you can use a gel heel support to cool the area and create more comfort.
Elevate: Put your feet up and relax. Getting the blood to circulate can reduce any inflammation and swelling and takes pressure off the heels inside and out for faster relief.
Do you have private health insurance? Most of the insurance companies who provide health extras will cover Bauerfeind Products, check to see if yours is included. Bauerfeind Private Health Insurance Inquiry.
Bauerfeind NZ products are developed at our innovation and manufacturing facility in Zeulenroda, Germany. Based on years of scientific research, our award-winning braces and support garments are highly recommended by medical professionals and athletes worldwide.
For assistance selecting the right product for your needs, book a video consultation with a Bauerfeind expert: Book Video Call, or contact our NZ office on 098015660