The term “Achilles’ heel” originates from Greek mythology. In the myth, Achilles’ mother dipped his whole body into the River Styx, making him powerful and invulnerable, except for his heel. Later, the term is used as an idiom to describe a person’s weakest link or vulnerability. In reality, almost 80% of adults suffer from heel pain. The pain usually occurs behind the heel (called Achilles tendinitis) and under the heel (called plantar fasciitis).
Heel pain can happen because of several reasons. One common cause of heel pain is the person’s foot anatomy. For example, higher or lower than normal arches can lead to a swollen plantar fascia, the ligament from the heel bone, to the end tip of the foot. Another cause of heel pain is an external stressor or force, like an accident, a bad fall, or fatigue. It can also be a symptom of underlying conditions like TTS or tarsal tunnel syndrome, systemic arthritis, bone bruise, Morton’s neuroma, and poor blood circulation.
Severe cases can be solved by taking proper medications and undergoing surgeries. However, mild cases do not require such drastic actions. This article tackles some home remedies for mild cases of heel pain.
During busy days when a person is active and restless, the heels (just like the rest of the body) become sore. This is common among athletes who regularly do high-impact sports like basketball, football, boxing, and volleyball. A phenomenological study among varsity players showed that almost 90% of athletes experienced discomfort and pain in their legs, back, and heels after a long training day.
Heel pain due to overuse of the feet is not only limited to athletes. People with jobs requiring them to stand for long periods (e.g., flight attendants, models, surgeons, teachers) also experience heel pain. Heel pain can also occur after errands or simply walking using the wrong footwear. Whatever the cause of the pain is, the best thing to do is to rest.
Resting allows the body to recover, calm down, and focus on healing the inflamed or strained muscles and tendons. Refrain from strenuous activities for a few days to lessen the inflammation and discomfort.