Achilles heel pain is extremely common in those who walk a lot or who are athletes. The strain of walking or running can put pressure on your heel or cause a strain that results in this pain. If you have recently felt some pain or discomfort, there are a few ways you can treat the condition at home. If home treatments do not help, the pain continues, or the pain worsens, you will want to see your doctor or a podiatrist. Here are a few of the ways you can manage Achilles heel pain at home.
Stretch Your Foot and Calf Muscles
If you have Achilles heel pain, the pain can extend into your foot and calf muscles. As such, your first instinct may be to not use these muscles. While it is important to refrain from doing any heavy exercise or any more walking than you need to in an effort to rest these muscles, it is equally as important to lightly stretch them. Your muscles can get stiff and tight when they are not in use. This can cause you more pain. As such, do foot exercises, such as pointing your toe and rolling your ankle, to stretch out these muscles and keep them loose.
Ice Your Heel Area
If you are experiencing Achilles heel pain, take the time to ice your heel area. It is recommended that you ice the area for 15 to 20 minutes every four to six hours. This can help to decrease the pain and decrease swelling. It is not recommend that you use heat to decrease your pain in this area.
Elevate Your Foot
If you are experiencing any swelling in the heel, foot, or calf area, elevate your foot. Elevating your foot helps the swelling to go down. This also relieves the pressure that the added fluid from swelling puts on the tendons and muscles in the area, which can decrease your pain. Your foot should be elevated when you sleep and also any time when you are able to rest or sit on the couch.
Take an Over-the-Counter Anti-Inflammatories
Lastly, take over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications. These help to relieve swelling and inflammation, while also helping to minimize your pain. Decreasing swelling and inflammation can relieve some of the pain and tightness you are experiencing, helping you to stretch your heel and calf muscles and relieve your pain.
If you experience pain in the Achilles heel area, chances are you have a minor strain or sprain. At-home treatments will help to heal the discomfort you are experiencing. However, if the pain continues or does not improve, you will want to see a doctor; you may have Achilles tendinitis or other conditions, such as heel spurs, that can mimic the symptoms of Achilles heel pain. A doctor can diagnose and properly treat your pain, helping you to resume your normal activity level once again.
For more information and help with your pain, visit a podiatry clinic, such as Advanced Foot & Ankle Centers of Illinois.