Sunday, 19 August 2018

You can ease most heel pain yourself at home

If it doesn't go away, see a GP.

How you can ease heel pain yourself
Try these things:

take ibuprofen or paracetamol
put an ice pack (or bag of frozen peas) in a towel under the heel for up to 20 minutes every 2 to 3 hours
wear shoes with a medium heel (2 to 3cm) – both men and women
gentle stretching exercises
try heel pads
put weight on the foot – avoid walking or standing for long periods
go barefoot or wear flat shoes
See a GP if:
you see no improvement after treating at home
the pain gets worse
you're finding it difficult to walk
What happens at your appointment
A GP will examine you to work out what's causing your heel pain.

Most heel pain is caused by plantar fasciitis. This is when the ligament that runs from under the heel along the sole of the foot becomes swollen over time.

Referral to a foot specialist
Your GP might refer you to a foot specialist (podiatrist or chiropodist) or a physiotherapist who can recommend things like exercises and the right shoes to wear.

NHS physiotherapy and podiatry may not be available everywhere and waiting times can be long.

You can also pay to see a podiatrist or physiotherapist privately.

Find a registered podiatrist

Find a registered physiotherapist

Go to a minor injuries unit or A&E if you have:
severe pain after an injury
your foot is a funny shape
a snap, grinding or popping noise at the time of injury
difficulty moving your ankle or foot
These could be signs of a broken bone or ruptured Achilles tendon.

Find a minor injuries unit

Common causes of heel pain
Your symptoms might give you an idea of what's causing your heel pain. But don't self-diagnose – see a GP if you're worried.

Main symptoms Possible causeIf you're feeling like you want to die, it's important to tell someone.

Help and support is available right now if you need it. You don't have to struggle with difficult feelings alone.

Phone a helpline
These free helplines are there to help when you're feeling down or desperate.

Unless it says otherwise, they're open 24 hours a day, every day.

Samaritans – for everyone
Call 116 123

Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) – for men
Call 0800 58 58 58 – 5pm to midnight every day
Visit the webchat page

Papyrus – for people under 35
Call 0800 068 41 41 – Monday to Friday 10am to 10pm, weekends 2pm to 10pm, bank holidays 2pm to 5pm
Text 07786 209697

Childline – for children and young people under 19
Call 0800 1111 – the number won't show up on your phone bill

The Silver Line – for older people
Call 0800 4 70 80 90

Talk to someone you trust
Let family or friends know what's going on for you. They may be able to offer support and help keep you safe.

There's no right or wrong way to talk about suicidal feelings – starting the conversation is what's important.

Who else you can talk to
If you find it difficult to talk to someone you know, you could:

call your GP – ask for an emergency appointment
call 111 out of hours – they will help you find the support and help you need
contact your mental health crisis team – if you have one
Is your life in danger?
If you have seriously harmed yourself – for example, by taking a drug overdose – call 999 for an ambulance or go straight to A&E.

Or ask someone else to call 999 or take you to A&E.

Tips for coping right now
try not to think about the future – just focus on getting through today
stay away from drugs and alcohol
get yourself to a safe place, like a friend's house
be around other people
do something you usually enjoy, such as spending time with a pet
See more tips from Rethink.

Worried about someone else?
If you're worried about someone, try to get them to talk to you. Ask open-ended questions like: "How do you feel about...?"

Don't worry about having the answers. Just listening to what someone has to say and taking it seriously can be more helpful.

Very bad pain taking first steps after waking or after period of not moving, difficulty raising toes off floor Plantar fasciitis
Tenderness and pain at back of heel and along Achilles tendon, pain in calf when standing on tiptoes Achilles tendonitis
Swelling, feels hot, pain on squeezing heel bone, hurts to walk and you've had an injury heel fracture
Pain at back of heel, can raise toes without pain bursitis
Numbness or tingling in foot when moving or resting peripheral neuropathy or tarsal tunnel syndrome

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