Most pain is caused by inflammation, heel pain is no exception to this. Heel pain is more difficult to treat, because you are constantly walking or standing and applying pressure to the heel. Any time you apply pressure to an area of your body that is inflamed, it will hurt and do more damage to that area. It will also take longer to heal if you continue to put pressure on it.
It is important to determine if your heel pain is caused by plantar fasciitis. This is an inflammation of the fascia, or tissue covering of the heel. You can have heel pain that is not caused by plantar fasciitis. The treatments are different.
The best way to determine if you have plantar fasciitis is if your heel hurts worse in the morning when you first get up. As you sleep, your foot relaxes and the tissue is allowed to shrink. When you get up in the morning and stand on your foot, that tissue will stretch back out. It can be excruciatingly painful to stand on your heel when the fascia is inflamed.
If your heel hurts worse in the morning, it will be helpful to wear a heel splint. This will keep your foot in position as you sleep, so when you stand up, it will not hurt as much. Heel splints are not expensive. If you do not want to buy a splint, you can sleep with your shoes on. This will also keep the foot in place and not allow the tissue to relax.
Wear Shoes All Day
I recommend wearing your shoes all day. If you walk around the house all day with no shoes on, you are doing more damage to your heel. You will also find that wearing shoes with good arch support during the day will relieve pain on your heel.
Wearing shoes that do not provide good arch support is a common cause of heel pain and plantar fasciitis. Your foot is designed to have an arch, if your foot becomes flatter or the arch falls, the bones can be out of alignment and put excess pressure on the connective tissue, such as the fascia. Wearing shoes with good arch support all day is a great relief for heel pain. You will often feel better wearing shoes than going barefoot.
In addition to wearing a night splint and wearing good shoes all day, there are other natural remedies than can treat the underlying inflammation. When you take herbs and other supplements for inflammation, you do not have to worry about side effects. You will get relief from pain with long term healing.
Bromelain For Pain
Bromelain is an enzyme that is derived from pineapples. Enzymes are used to dissolve things. Your body makes enzymes to digest your food. It also uses them to repair damaged tissue. The problem starts when you do not have enough enzymes for your body to heal itself.
Your body can only make so many enzymes. Once your daily allotment is used, you cannot make more. If you eat food that is hard to digest, your body will use up all the enzymes it has to digest your meals. As you get older, there is also a natural decline in the amount of enzymes you make. That is one reason you have more aches and pains as you age. You need more enzymes to heal.
Take Bromelain on an empty stomach. It should be taken 20 minutes before a meal. If you take it with a meal, it will be used to digest the protein in the meal. You will still get some benefits, but it will not be as strong. When you use enzymes between meals, the enzymes go into your bloodstream and your body uses them to heal inflammation and resolve old scar tissue. It is truly one of the best natural remedies you can use.
Bromelain is measured in active units, not milligrams. The dosage of milligrams does not mean anything. Look for 2,000 units per tablet. It is common to find 600 active units per tablet. It is a lot less expensive, as well as more effective, to take pills with a stronger dosage. I find taking one tablet a day is often enough to relieve pain all day.
Another natural remedy for heel pain and plantar fasciitis is glucosamine sulfate. This remedy is used by your body to heel connective tissue. Your joints are made of connective tissue. When this tissue is inflamed, it is worn down and needs to be replaced. If you take glucosamine, your body can repair the damaged tissue faster.
The best type of glucosamine is glucosamine sulfate. This type is derived from shellfish, so if you have an allergy to this, please avoid it and take the other types. Glucosamine HCL is not as strong as the sulfate type, but it is not made from shellfish. You will often have to read the label to determine which type of glucosamine is used in the product. Most manufacturers do not put this on the front of the label.
When you take glucosamine, it will repair all your joints, so you get the benefits in your whole body. You will need to take glucosamine for a few months to give your body a chance to completely heal the tissue. You will often feel relief within days, but the tissue takes time to heal.
- Wear shoes all day to protect your heels and keep your arch protected
- Take Bromelain for natural pain relief
- Take glucosamine as a natural anti-inflammatory to heal your joints
Sarah Neil has been an acupuncturist for over 15 years. Other remedies can be found at heelpain.co