[Analysis of the multi-factorial influence of heel pain from TCM perspective]
Heel pain is a common painful symptom that many people have experienced in their lives.
However, there is a misconception that heel pain must be caused by bone spurs.
From traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) perspective, there are several reasons of heel pain and bone spurs are just one of them.This article will explore the understanding of heel pain and factors that cause heel pain from TCM perspective.
[Bone spurs are not the only cause]
Although bone spurs are one of the common causes for heel pain, but they are not the only cause.
TCM believes that when diagnosing and treating heel pain, the patient’s overall health status including emotions, living habits, diet, exercise and other aspects should be considered. The following are some factors that may cause heel pain from TCM perspective:
1. Wind, cold, and dampness:
TCM believes that external factors such as wind, cold, and dampness can go into the human body then cause diseases. Heel pain is often related to dampness, which can easily stay around feet area, causing issue on muscles and bones and pain.
2. Qi stagnation and blood stasis:
Blocked circulation of Qi and blood is also a common cause of heel pain. TCM believes that Qi stagnation and blood stasis can cause pain and also cause pressure and inflammation around heels.
3. Long-term strain injuries:
For example: workers who need to stand or walk for a long time due to work. It is easier to cause muscle fatigue around knees or feet and even strain the joint ligaments. This can lead to knee or heel pain.
4. Trauma history:
Sprained ankle, heel or calf injury that was not properly treated. Over time, it will also be a common cause of heel pain.
[Tips to alleviate heel pain]
1. Hot and cold compress:
- Touch the painful area with the back of your hand and feel the local skin temperature. If the area feels hot and the pain becomes more painful when touched, you can apply an ice pack to the area for about 10-15 minutes to relieve the inflammation and reduce pain.
- On the contrary, when you feel the painful area and the temperature is normal and there is no obvious heat or if you feel very tight, you can apply hot pack for 10-15 minutes. The recommended temperature is not to exceed 50°C to avoid burns. Hot compresses can relax tight muscles and promote local blood circulation.
2. Rest and reduce load:
- Avoid overuse of the affected foot, especially if pain worsens. Reducing the load can help reduce pain and promote healing.
3. Appropriate exercise:
- It is recommended to take more strolls or slow-walking for 30-45 minutes to strengthen the muscle and promote blood circulation of calves and heels.
4. Develop the habit of wearing slippers at home:
- The floor temperature is cold, surface of our feet directly contacts to the floor for a long time, over the time, the blood circulation will be easily affected in and easily induce heel pain.
5. Proper footwear:
- You can choose shoes or sneakers with arch support and avoid wearing high heels and uncomfortable shoes.