Atlanta Acupuncture Center

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Acupuncture Help Heel Pain

Li Hua, D. Ac. TCMD


Heel pain is not big health problem. But it can ruin your feeling and make your life inconvenient. Some people feel heel pain after they are sick for long time. This is because they reduce to do exercise, especially physical exercise, when they are sick. They stay in bed long or sit on sofa more. The heel skins become soft, the fat fiber pad get thin, heel bone slightly decalcify, so the heel is tender when walking. But when time is passed, after recovering from sick, and walking more, the heel get stronger and function better, the symptom disappears.

Some people have constantly heel pain. If walking or just letting heel tough the floor, heel pain can be felt. There are three main kinds of heel pain except external injury. First, heel pain getting worse when standing or walking. But the heel not red, swollen and hot. Traditional Chinese Medicine thinks it may be caused by kidney deficiency. Second, heel get pressure or is attacked by wind and cold lead to the inflammation of heel fat fiber pad or tendonitis. It characters that heel is tender and swollen. If the inflammation reaches to heel bone, periosteum or bursa, the deeper tender may be felt. Third, heel spur may grow on one or two sides of the heel. The size of the spur can be long big or short small. But it does not decide the pain level. The short small spur may have the severe pain, and the long big spur may have no symptom.

Heel pain can be treated by many ways according to its cause. Acupuncture is one of the effective therapies to relief the heel pain. Acupuncture not only unblocks the meridians that are Chi (vital energy) channel, but also improve the local blood circulation and strengthen the muscle and tendon. If heel pain caused by the kidney deficiency, Chinese herbs may be combined to gain better result.

To prevent heel pain, I suggest soaking feet with hot water (you may add sea salt or apple vinegar in the hot water) every day. To do exercise on schedule, such as running, walking, Tai Chi Qi Gong or Yoga. To lie on bed and have a hard board standing nearby the feet to step on it several times a day to strengthen the heel skin and heel fat fiber pad to avoid the heel pain. To select comfortable shoes or put special shoes pad to support the heel. To eat high calcium food which I have suggested before in my article “Osteoporosis”