Your feet take you everywhere you want to go. In return, you have to take care of them. Heel pain is exceptionally uncomfortable—of the 150 bones, muscles, tendons, and ligaments that make up your feet, the heel is the biggest one. It takes the brunt of every step, since it hits the ground first, before passing your weight around the side and up to the big toe. Here are a few tricks for keeping them in good working order.
Diet and Exercise
A healthy lifestyle seems to be one of the cures for almost anything, including heel pain. Keeping the tissues and bones strong and limber helps prevent pinched nerves and pulled muscles. Conversely, being overweight can instigate some conditions, like plantar fasciitis. This occurs when the plantar fascia, the tissue that stretches from the back of the heel to the base of the toes wears out over time, resulting in small tears where it connects to the heel bone. And those conditions in turn can lead to more severe problems, like bone or heel spurs.
Taking it Easy
While exercise keeps you strong and fit, many heel injuries occur to athletes, or people who just love running and jumping. The stress these activities put on the feet can cause serious damage. This doesn’t mean you can’t ever run again. Just don't skip the warm up phase, and focus on your feet when you do it. Include foot stretches in your cool down, too. And don’t push yourself beyond what your feet can handle.
Make sure you’re wearing the right kind of shoes for the right kind of activity. Obviously, going for a hike in high heels is a bad idea, but it can be equally damaging to go for a jog in flip flops. There’s no arch support, no balance, and nothing to take the shock of your steps. If you know you have problems with your feet, like arch malformations, find shoes that are made for that. Additionally, if your shoes are starting to wear out, especially in the heel, get new ones.