Thanks to the way our incredible human bodies are built, everything is connected to everything else. And within our bodies there are certain “hubs” that seem to do a lot of the heavy lifting in our day to day movements. One such area is the heel, where leg becomes foot. It’s a complex organization of muscles and fibers, so the areas in which pain are felt can be anywhere from the back of the heel to the bottom, to the arch.
Because this area of our bodies is so hard-working, injuries are common. Pinched nerves, sprains, bone fractures and everyday wear and tear are just some of the more common causes of heel pain. It may also be brought on by bursitis, fibromyalgia, gout, bone spurs, plantar fasciitis, tendinitis, arthritis, and more.
Though it’s hardly ever an imminent health threat, heel pain is, well, painful. But the good news is that there are some effective at-home remedies out there that are worth trying. You may find that relief from your heel pain is a simple thing to attain. Here are a few simple ideas to try, but as with any medical concern, if you are in severe pain or have trouble putting any weight on it at all, see a podiatrist or medical doctor right away.
Though the whole R.I.C.E (rest, ice, compression, elevation) regimen is a great idea here, focusing on ice is a fine start. Looking at that list of ailments above that can cause heel pain, you might notice an awful lot of “itis”. This is an indication of inflammation. “Itis” suggests that there’s some heat in the area, and ice is a perfect way to tell that itis to just cool its jets.
You can use a therapeutic cooling wrap, or just put some ice cubes in a bag and wrap a towel around it. Never, ever stick your foot straight into ice, however. That’s a great way to get frostbite!
The bottom of your foot is also called “plantar fascia”. Fascia is basically a strong web of connective tissue, mostly collagen. Sometimes it’s nice to really get in there and release some of the pressure that builds up there. It’s not a long-term solution, but luckily it is a very accessible one. Grab yourself a tennis ball and roll your foot around on it. This will help release that pressure, reduce stiffness for at least a little while, and improve blood circulation to the area.
These “hubs” in our body really need some extra love. Stretching the bottoms of your feet, and the backs of your legs, can go a long way toward instant pain relief and long-term healing too.
To stretch the bottoms of the feet: come to hands and knees, on all fours. Tuck your toes, and keeping your hands where they are, simply push your hips back toward your heels. Pressing your hands down and forward will adjust the level of stretch on your feet.
To stretch the backs of your legs: stand facing a wall, about an arm’s length away. Press your hands into the wall and step one foot backward. Send the heel toward the ground. For more stretch, step the foot further back and ground the heel more firmly down.
With the addition of a few therapeutic moves, it may be quite easy to manage your heel pain. But it bears repeating: if the pain persists, or becomes debilitating, get to a medical professional to find out why.
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Some of you may already know, years ago, I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis.
I can still recall what it felt like to have my life change overnight…
I went from an Executive Director of a non-profit organization, running marathons, rock climbing, hiking canyons and kayaking to being completely bedridden and staring at a wall for 15 hours a day.
Of course, I went to see many doctors but unfortunately I didn’t find the help I needed. So, I had to set off on my own journey to learn my true path to healing.
I’d pretty much turned-over every rock trying to find relief for my pain, sleep issues and a myriad of other symptoms…
Fast-forward 18 years.
I was determined to climb one of the true wonders of the natural world, Machu Picchu, the mystical home of the Incas in Peru.
It was there, after a grueling day when my feet, knees, legs, and lower back hurt so bad, that I thought I would have to abandon hopes of our next climb which was Rainbow Mountain! That night I pulled out a little spray bottle of “aceite de magnesio” that a friend had given me before I left on my trip.
What the heck, I thought. I was desperate. And I applied it all over my body before bed.
Because of the grueling day, I woke up expecting to be immobilized, but instead we were off to climb Rainbow Mountain and…I was totally pain-free!
I know it sounds impossible, but it’s 1000% the truth.