Heel Pain? Here's What To Do Before Your Podiatrist Appointment
Suffering from heel pain is no laughing matter as you contend with anything from a dull ache to a burning sensation with each step you take. Although you might be tempted to go online and try to diagnose the problem for yourself, a better option is to make an appointment with a podiatrist at a clinic like Accurate Foot & Diabetic Care. These experienced foot specialists will not only be able to figure out the cause of the problem, but also provide solutions to help you eliminate your pain and restore your quality of life. In the days leading up to your appointment, there are a handful of self-care steps you can take you ease the discomfort.
Take A Load Off
Your first priority when dealing with heel pain should be to get off your feet and allow the sore area to rest. Although heel pain can result from a wide range of causes, from plantar faciitis to a bone spur, the first step in treating yourself is to avoid walking on the painful heel more than is absolutely necessary. Some pain, such as irritation caused by a heel bruise, will go away in time, but reducing pressure to the area allows the healing process to be quicker and less uncomfortable.
Ice Is Nice
Applying a bag of ice cubes to the site of the pain can allow you to reduce some of the discomfort, but it's important to avoid leaving the ice on too long and possibly hurting your skin. The American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons recommends applying ice for 20 minutes at a time and then removing it. You can repeat this practice multiple times throughout the day when you need relief from the pain. It's ideal to wrap this ice in a cloth to avoid discomfort to your skin. If you find the bumpiness of a bag of ice uncomfortable, use an ice pack wrapped in a cloth and set your foot on it while you're seated.
Change Your Shoes
Although your podiatrist will be able to make some recommendations about the proper shoes to wear to help alleviate your pain, it's appropriate to take some action yourself in the days leading up to your appointment. Buy a pair of inserts that apply some gentle pressure to your foot arches and reduce the impact of your heel on the ground. While you're experiencing heel pain, avoid walking barefoot -- use comfortable shoes indoors instead -- and stay away from shoes that provide little support, such as flat sandals.