Tips for Treating Heel Pain From Working From Home
For many people, 2020 has meant adjusting to a new routine – whether wanting to or not. Many of our patients have made a shift from working at the office to working primarily at home.
One of the more surprising outcomes of this shift for some people has been heel pain. For certain individuals, spending more time at home has been linked with new cases of heel pain, or making existing cases worse.
If either of the above situations sounds like you, don’t worry: persistent heel pain is highly treatable, and Omega Medical Group is here to help you! Whenever a patient comes to us with heel pain, we determine the root causes of the problem and recommend a treatment plan to address it directly.
There are also steps you can take at home right now to potentially help manage your heel pain. Here are a few you may find useful — although it’s important to understand that each case is unique, and professional evaluation may still be required to identify the most effective course of treatment.
How Much Time Do You Spend in Shoes?
When you think of all the changes between office life and working from home, you might not have considered how many fewer hours per day you might spend wearing shoes.
Good shoes provide effective arch support and cushioning. If you’ve switched to going barefoot most of the day, your feet may not be adjusting well to the added stress. This can be especially true if you have hardwood floors.
If you’re struggling with heel pain at home, try wearing your shoes indoors for at least part of the day and see if symptoms improve.
On an added note, if you have switched your workout routine to being largely at home, wear your workout shoes then, too. Exercising barefoot might be placing even more stress on your feet than walking through the day.
Give Yourself Some Stretching Time
Taking time to stretch your feet and calves during the day can help lessen stress on your plantar fascia and other potentially vulnerable areas that may be causing heel pain.
Many people may especially benefit from stretching first thing in the morning, especially if heel pain tends to be severe during the first few minutes after getting out of bed.
Here are a couple of simple stretches you can perform at home. The first can be performed right in bed.
- Sitting Strap Stretch. You will need a towel, belt, or resistance band to serve as a strap for this exercise. Sit up in bed with both legs out in front of you. Place the strap under the ball of one foot. While holding an end of the strap in each hand, gently pull back, flexing the top of the foot back toward you while keeping your knee straight. Hold for 15-20 seconds, and repeat 2-4 times per foot.
- Step Stretch. Stand on a bottom step, facing up the stairs. Make sure you have a sturdy bannister or wall to hold onto for support. Let your heels hang over the edge of the step, then slowly let them drop down as you relax your calf muscles. This should result in a gentle stretch along the bottom of the foot and up the back of the leg. Hold for 15-20 seconds, then tighten your calf muscles and slowly raise back up. Repeat 2-4 times.
Roll Out the Heel Pain
When you are looking for some quick relief, a rolling massage can help. You don’t need a foam roller or other special tool to get the job done, either.
Any sort of firm, rollable object – such as a tennis ball, golf ball, or bottle – can work just fine. Just slowly and firmly roll the object beneath your foot.
If you have a plastic water bottle, you can even add ice to your massage session! Fill it up about 75-80% of the way with water and put it in the freezer. You’ll soon have a cold, rolling massager when your heels need it! Just make sure you don’t roll anywhere that shouldn’t get wet, just in case the bottle leaks.
Find a Lasting Solution to Your Heel Pain
Don’t sit around and expect heel pain to simply get better with time. In most cases, the symptoms will only get worse unless you take action.
We are happy to help you, and have a wide range of traditional and advanced treatments for your heel pain as needed. Call our office at (305) 514-0404 to schedule an appointment. Both in-office and telemedicine options are available.