Should you walk with Heel Pain (Heel Spur/Plantar Fasciitis)?
If you suffer from pain in the heel especially when you wake up in the mornings or when you stand after sitting it could be due to Heel Spur and/or Plantar Fasciitis. With pain in the heel it can be challenging to walk, especially for long durations. However we do need to stand up and walk for most of our daily activities at work or at home. In this blog we will discuss if you should walk with heel pain. We will also discuss some easy tips to manage the pain while and after walking with heel spurs and plantar fasciitis. 

Before we get into these answers lets briefly discuss these two conditions that can cause heel pain: Heel spur is a bony growth beneath the heel bone, usually seen as a thorn shaped bony protrusion from the heel on an x-ray. Plantar fasciitis is the inflammation of the Plantar fascia, which is a covering on the muscle that runs from the heel to the five toes, covering the whole sole of the foot. Though heel spurs and plantar fasciitis may be present on its own these two conditions usually co-exist. 

Watch this video for more information on these two conditions:

Those who suffer from heel pain know that walking can increase the heel pain but it is in fact a delicate balance between rest and activity. However if you are in the acute stages (just stared with heel pain) then try and rest your heel as much as possible and once the pain subsides gradually introduce walking short distances, slowly increasing the duration of your walks. 

Here are 3 tips for you to reduce your heel pain from walking:
Firstly do some gentle ankle-toe movements (up, down, side to side movement and clock and anti-clockwise circles at the ankle, move the toes up and down) right before you start walking. These movements can also be done before you put weight on the feet, example: getting out of bed, sit to stand, etc. They help to increase the circulation to the area and reduce the sudden pressure on the heel that comes from walking. They can also be done during small break during the walk.
Secondly apply a cold pack on the heel after walking as cold pack helps to ease the inflammation in the heel that is caused due to walking. 
Thirdly, get some good supportive shoes with arch support and cushioning on the inside to support the heel. Make sure your shoes are not too old and can support the feet well while walking and standing. If you have flat (pronated) feet you can get a pair of  insoles (these can be off the shelf or customised to your foot by an orthotist or podiatrist). You can also consider scooped out heels in your shoes to ease the pressure on the heel as it does not come in contact with the shoe. 

If you want to learn some easy solutions to manage your heel spur and plantar fasciitis, join my free community where we have done a free training on "Simple solutions to manage your Heel Pain" 

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