When you are experiencing mild heel pain from a sports injury or just from long hours of wearing improper footwear, there are a few exercises you can try to expedite the recovery process. However, it is also important to acknowledge that there are plenty of exercises that you should not do when you are suffering from an injured heel. If you want to correctly heal your foot and protect it from further injury, take a look at these three exercises that you should avoid doing when you are experiencing heel pain.
- Running: Any kind of running, whether it is short bursts during a sports game, sprinting, or long-distance, is not a good activity when a person is suffering from heel pain. The pressure put on the joints will further aggravate and inflame the injured area and the pounding on the pavement that happens when running will add greater stress to the heel. This will not only make the recovery process take longer, it can cause more problems for your foot. Instead of running, look for other cardio activities that will still keep you in shape without compromising the health of your heel and the rest of your foot. Such exercises could include swimming, yoga, or high intensive weight training. Or you could ask your primary care physician or podiatry specialist what they would recommend for you to do until you can resume running.
- Jump Roping: While jump roping is an outstanding cardiovascular exercise as well as a muscle strengthening exercise, it should be avoided until you have fully recovered from your heel injury. Although you are bouncing on your toes in a repetitive motion and your heels never actually hit the ground, that bouncing motion can cause more stress on certain joints surrounding your ankle, thus affecting your heel area as well. The same bouncing motion is also seen in certain sports like basketball and tennis and other exercises such as jumping jacks. If you are an avid participant in any of these, you will want to rest your foot until your doctor tells you it is OK to continue again. If you ignore the pain that you experience by doing jumping exercises, you could be causing yourself chronic pain issues for many years to come. Opt for other energizing exercises such a cycling that would harm your heel.
- Mixed Martial Arts: Aside from the obvious risk of serious injury that goes along with combat sports like mixed martial arts, activities like muay thai kickboxing and jiu jitsu can be very harmful for your heel when it isn’t properly protected. Even if you just participate in a kickboxing cardio class that doesn’t require you to spar, you will want to avoid this workout if you have heel pain. Once your heel has fully recovered, you can slowly ease yourself back into this high intensity work out. But because sports like kickboxing will require you to lift up off of your heel and balance on your toes while delivering a kick, your heel will be under a lot of pressure, especially when this drill is practiced over and over again. Additionally, kickboxing is often paired with cardio exercises like jumping jacks and running. Until your foot has heeled, plan to stick to traditional boxing without the use of kicks and warm up with exercises such as squats and crunches in place of jumping jacks and jump rope.
Looking for more advice on how to address heel pain? Or are you in need of some other podiatry service whether it is related to wound services, a fracture, or infection? Don’t hesitate to contact us today with any questions that you may have.