Whether you are an avid skier for pleasure or you work on the slopes as a ski instructor or ski patrol, one thing that can make you miserable on the slopes is painful heels. Here's what you need to know if wearing ski boots causes you to have pain in your heels and what you can do to prevent pain in the future:
Plantar fasciitis is a common cause of heal pain
There are several different things that can cause heel pain. However, since your heel pain occurs from wearing ski boots, you probably have plantar fasciitis. This is a common cause of heel pain and occurs due to the inflammation of a band of tissue that connects the bone of your heel with your toes. It's what is supposed to act as a shock absorber so you can hit those moguls without any discomfort.
This ligament can get tiny tears in it where it connects to the heel bone. Plantar fasciitis can happen when the arches are not properly supported inside ski boots and other footwear. Another cause to consider is whether or not you tighten your boots too much, which could put downward pressure on the top of your foot. This would make the tendon stretch too much which, in turn, can easily result in tears that will cause heel pain.
Seek treatment from a podiatrist
It's important to seek treatment from a podiatrist for heel pain and, more importantly, to make sure that it is plantar fasciitis instead of something else. If plantar fasciitis is indeed diagnosed, treatment can include over-the-counter pain-relieving medication, physical therapy, day-time orthotic devices, and night-time splints.
When these types of treatments do not work, other treatments may be necessary to help relieve the heel pain, such as steroid injections, shock wave therapy, or surgery. Of course, the longer it takes to treat the heel pain, the longer it will be until you are able to return to the slopes.
Have your ski boots professionally fitted
Getting your ski boots professionally fitted is crucial in keeping your feet healthy, especially for people who are on the slopes constantly for employment. After your heel pain has healed, take your boots into a professional fitting service to have the insoles modified and remolded.
The reason why you want to wait until after your heel pain is gone is that any slight inflammation can cause a difference in the finished product. Also, pain in your heel may cause you to flex or extend your foot differently from your natural form.
Contact a company like Cortez Foot & Ankle Specialists for more information and assistance.