There are options other than surgery that treat heel pain, which are effective in 90 percent of cases, according to Medscape. The options include limiting stress impact to the heel, alleviating inflammation, stretching the triceps surae muscle, reducing body weight, and using soft insoles or cushions.
Sports such as cycling and swimming are non-impact activities that help prevent stress and inflammation in the heel, according to Medscape. Using heel cushions, arch supports and custom molded orthopedic inserts aids in shock absorption. Those suffering from heel pain should try rolling the foot over a tennis ball to stretch the plantar fascia, which is also known as the arch of the foot. With hands leaning against a wall, they should keep one knee straight with the other bent while keeping both heels on the floor to complete the stretch.
Another stretching exercise involves holding onto a stair railing while standing on a step with the front of the feet and stretching the back of the legs. The next step is to pull the toes toward the shin while firmly pressing and massaging a closed hand into the arch of the foot, as explained by Medscape.
To reduce heel pain, Medscape explains that pain suffers can wear a posterior night splint that holds the ankle in dorsiflexion to maintain proper ankle positioning. With proper and consistent management as well as treatment in the form of exercise and aid from certain devices, around 90 percent of heel pain cases can be managed without surgery.