Making Decisions About Home Care

What To Do About Sharp Pain In Your Heel

by Mae Ferguson

If you've been experiencing sharp, stabbing pains in your heel, don't just assume the issue will go away on its own. Here is why this pain may be happening to you, and what you should do about it to get your feet back to good health.

What causes heel pain

Heel pain is caused by a large variety of factors. If you wear shoes that are too tight, they can constrict your muscles and tendons, causing them to pull on your foot. This can result in the burning kind of heel pain. This pain can also be caused by lack of arch support, particularly when jogging, running, or other strenuous exercise that taxes the feet. When your arch is not properly supported, the intense pressure on your feet distributes to your heel, which can cause strain and inflammation in this area. Sometimes, heel pain begins for no reason at all, especially when you are resting your feet, and it disappears quickly on its own. Rarely is heel pain a serious issue that can affect your overall health.

What you can do at home

The best thing you can do for heel pain is to wear comfortable shoes that support your arch and heel. If your shoes are too tight, consider wearing thinner socks, or opting for a wider shoe that allows your heel to have more movement. Arch supports can also remove a majority of your heel pain by causing pressure on your feet to be more evenly distributed. Try massaging your heels at night, and raising your feet on a pillow as you rest to give your muscles a good stretch. These things can all help ease heel pain.

When you should see a foot doctor

If your heel pain persists or gets worse, it's time to see a foot doctor. You may have an underlying issue, such as a torn tendon, bruising on your heel, or even bones rubbing together. In some cases, your heel pain can be caused by bursitis, a common fluid-like inflammation that can occur due to repetitive motion. This is more bound to occur if you've suddenly taken up a strenuous activity, such as tennis, jogging, running, or a new training program that puts a lot of pressure on your feet. A foot doctor can help diagnose what is causing your heel pain and offer treatment to you so you can feel relief.

Heel pain is a common foot ailment that many people endure at some point in their lives. Talk to a foot doctor about what to do for a sharp or burning pain in your heel so you can get back to a pain-free condition faster.