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Re: Any recommendations for heel pain?

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avatar Any recommendations for heel pain?
April 21, 2014 10:16AM
I tend to walk on my heels and have some shoes with fairly simple foam midsoles. Shoes like Nikes with air inserts or Merrel "Air Cushion" seem to provide decent protection against heel shock, but I got some shoes that I like other than poor protection in the heel. Four to five days even walking in Yosemite could be an issue.

I figure either a sole or just a heel cup. I've tried some in the past from Dr Scholl's, but those weren't that great. The ones from Spenco seem to be sold at REI and I haven't used my dividend yet.
Re: Any recommendations for heel pain?
April 21, 2014 02:39PM
It depends on what the source of the pain is. It could be a bone spur, or a bruised heel, or a wart under the callus. Or something else. In my case, I got it bad a few years ago, starting on a rapid descent of the trail from El Capitan. Over the following months, it just got worse and worse during any long hike. It turned out to be plantar faciitis, which is an arch ailment (though the pain is in the heel). There is a ribbon-like tendon that ties the forefront of the foot to the heel and keeps the arch from going flat. If that's what you have, you can pad heel all you want, and it will not help at all. I fixed mine, over a few months, by wearing high arch insoles with addition arch pads on top. Basically, I can feel them press on my arch whenever I walk. That takes the pressure off the tendon, since the arch is no longer trying flatten out when you put weight on it, so that tendon is no longer trying to fight that force. All my shoes now have extra arch supports, and I never stomp around the house barefoot.

The good news is that the problem has completely gone away. The heel does heal.

Your problem could be something else. But if it's plantar faciitis, you'll never solve the problem by cushioning your heel. You have to fix the arch.
avatar Re: Any recommendations for heel pain?
April 21, 2014 04:23PM
The shoes where I have the issue do sort of have low arches. I just assumed that the heel cushioning was the issue.

I remember I used to have nasty heel issues wearing leather Sperry Top Siders. I tried using heel cushions that partially relieved the pain from contact, but I'm guessing didn't solve the issue.
avatar Re: Any recommendations for heel pain?
April 21, 2014 04:54PM
I'll suggest that you go see a good podiatrist so you can get an accurate diagnose of what is causing your heel pain.

.
Re: Any recommendations for heel pain?
April 21, 2014 06:28PM
Quote
plawrence
I'll suggest that you go see a good podiatrist so you can get an accurate diagnose of what is causing your heel pain.

Exactly what I was going to suggest. I, too, had an experience about 5 or 6 years ago where I was coming home from work and it was a really beautiful day. There's an old canal that cuts through the middle of NJ very near my house that was turned into a state park several years ago so I stopped there on the way home and decided to go for a walk, even though I had pretty crappy (for walking purposes) shoes on (actually, IIRC, they were Sperry Top Siders). As you can imagine, it's a long, straight walk that goes on for MANY miles (44 miles from end to end). I lost track of the time and probably ended up walking for 90 minutes or so. By the time I got home, one of my heels was killing me and the pain just wouldn't go away. After several days of limping around, I went to see a podiatrist who immediately diagnosed plantar faciitis, gave me some ready-made inserts to tide me over (MUCH better than any over-the-counter stuff) and then fought with my insurance company to get them to pay for custom-made inserts. I've been using them in my every-day shoes ever since and have never had a recurrence of the pain. There are very few doctor visits I've made that even come close to the bang-for-the-buck of that visit to the podiatrist!

I'm not trying to diagnose your problem for you (i.e., you might NOT have plantar faciitis) but I would strongly suggest you see somebody who can diagnose it.

Good luck!
avatar Re: Any recommendations for heel pain?
April 21, 2014 06:45PM
My painful heel problem was an Achilles tendon that needed stretching. I was sure my hiking days were over the pain was so bad but after about a week of stretching all was better. Anyway there are several causes of heel pain.



Old Dude
Re: Any recommendations for heel pain?
April 22, 2014 07:07AM
A podiatrist, without delay. I delayed. A neuroma and two bunions later, I am struggling to get more than five miles in per day, where before I could manage 15 mile day hikes without issues.

The inserts I am prescribed cause pain to the neuroma but more or less fix the bunion pain. Shots in the top and bottom of the foot for the neuroma every few weeks and thrice daily applications of lidocaine ointment, insoles that give me instep blisters - this is ridiculous.

Bunion surgery usually doesn't really work. The neuroma is only moderately a problem when I'm actually walking - I wake up each night and am kept awake for hours with shooting pains through my toes, unless I stick to doping the foot.

You don't know what it is, so you don't know what to do. You can try all kinds of things that may or may not work. Find out what it is and get it fixed or mitigated before it gets worse. Don't do what I did.
avatar Re: Any recommendations for heel pain?
April 21, 2014 11:58PM
Quote
y_p_w
The shoes where I have the issue do sort of have low arches.

It's not the height of the arch inside the shoe that I've found to cause plantar fasciitis, but the lack of rigidity of the midsole and the weight placed on the foot.

If I press a shoe along its length, and it bends anywhere except at the ball of the foot, I don't consider it suitable for hiking or playing sports. If I can also twist the sole, like I'm wringing out a towel, it's even worse; many running shoes are like that.

Superfeet help provide rigidity.
Re: Any recommendations for heel pain?
April 22, 2014 08:05AM
Quote
wherever
It depends on what the source of the pain is. It could be a bone spur, or a bruised heel, or a wart under the callus. Or something else. In my case, I got it bad a few years ago, starting on a rapid descent of the trail from El Capitan. Over the following months, it just got worse and worse during any long hike. It turned out to be plantar faciitis, which is an arch ailment (though the pain is in the heel). There is a ribbon-like tendon that ties the forefront of the foot to the heel and keeps the arch from going flat. If that's what you have, you can pad heel all you want, and it will not help at all. I fixed mine, over a few months, by wearing high arch insoles with addition arch pads on top. Basically, I can feel them press on my arch whenever I walk. That takes the pressure off the tendon, since the arch is no longer trying flatten out when you put weight on it, so that tendon is no longer trying to fight that force. All my shoes now have extra arch supports, and I never stomp around the house barefoot.

The good news is that the problem has completely gone away. The heel does heal.

Your problem could be something else. But if it's plantar faciitis, you'll never solve the problem by cushioning your heel. You have to fix the arch.

Hi, 'Wherever' is right, the source of the pain is really important. I had plantar fasciitis which was painful from the heal and along part of the bottom of my foot. I struggled for months with it until I finally bit the bullet and went with these products that took away the pain almost immediately! and healed my plantar fasciitis within a couple of weeks. I found them from achillesblog.com but their actual site is http://www.kingbrand.com/Plantar_Fasciitis_Treatment.php?REF=75PV1 . I recommend investing in a pair. They have a 30 day money back guarantee too which is why I gave them a try, along with what people were saying at Achillesblog.

Best of luck!
Kyle



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/18/2014 06:01PM by Kyle47.
avatar Re: Any recommendations for heel pain?
April 22, 2014 01:45PM
Y_P_M,
I too am thinking this may be some sort of arch support issue. The arch area is known as the metatarsus and one private shoe company used to make shoes with a small round metatarsul support ring in every shoe to eliminate a host of foot and leg pain problems. Another distinct but weird possibility is simply not drinking enough water! In any event only a podiatrist can make the proper call.
Jim
Re: Any recommendations for heel pain?
April 24, 2014 08:51PM
I suffered from heel pain for months before going to the Podiatrist. He said get some really good insoles with good arches and replace the stock insoles the shoes come with. He said the soft gel or cushioned insoles don't provide enough support for the heel and arch. He recommended the brand "Sole" sold locally by REI. I bought two pair from REI, one thicker with more cushioning for my hiking shoes and a thinner one for my other shoes. They felt a little strange at first, but after 4 days no more heel pain. I couldn't believe how much time I had spent limping in pain when this is all it took.
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