One of the most common causes of heel pain is plantar fasciitis. The plantar fascia is a thick band of tissue that runs from the heel to the middle foot bones. Pain and inflammation occurs when the plantar fascia is strained. Plantar fasciitis is a common running injury, but can also be caused by standing on hard surfaces for a long time, high arches or flat feet, and wearing shoes that don't or lack support.
If your heel hurts as soon as you get out of bed in the morning or you suffer from lots of pain at night, there are some things you can do for relief. First things first - rest. If you stay on your feet, this stress will make the pain and swelling worse. Put ice on your feet to reduce inflammation and pain.
When you have to walk around, wear shoes that have lots of support, cushioning and shock absorption. Shoes with great arch support can also help. You can even use shoe inserts to add some extra comfort and protection.
Compression socks and sleeves can also help ease the pain. These Sockwell Plantar Ease ankle socks for women are made from cashmerino wool, which is naturally antibacterial and thermo-regulating fabric. These soft, stretchy ankle socks provide 20-30 mmHg of compression at the arch of the foot to sooth and minimize pain, while increasing circulation to reduce swelling. These socks are also designed with a seamless toe to prevent irritation and fit comfortably into your normal shoes. These ankle socks provide a more subtle look for plantar fasciitis than a foot sleeve.
To help speed up the heeling process, try doing a couple of exercises each day to help stretch the plantar fascia and achilles tendon. These stretches are particularly good to do in the morning for flexibility and strength.
Once you've finally healed, be very careful to avoid plantar fasciitis in the future. Make sure you are always wearing comfortable, well padded shoes - especially when running or walking long distances. You should also stretch the plantar fascia and Achilles tendon regularly, whether or not your are exercising. Also try to avoid walking or working out on hard surfaces as to not cause irritation.