With heel pain, it is tempting to soak your feet in warm water or apply a heating pad to the area. This may help temporarily by increasing blood flow to the area. But this can also cause an inflammation to increase, which in turn will increase the pain. Ice is one of the most underused modalities for heel pain. In actuality, it causes a slight contraction of the tissue, including the blood vessels (arteries and veins), and cools the blood going to the heel which in turn decreases inflammation. It also affects the nerves on the skin surface to the area, acting as a topical analgesic, or pain killer, to temporarily relieve pain. So next time heel pain strikes, use ice instead of heat and your results will improve. Click here for videos on stretching and here for instructions regarding icing.
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