Nail Clinic: Heel Pain


All day long we walk, stand, and lean on our heels. We subject our feet to stilettos, too-tight boots, and unsupportive flip-flops, then are surprised when they swell or ache. Change all that and actually be an advocate for your clients’ heels by keeping up with these key facts!

Where does heel pain comes from?
As it is the largest in the foot, walking puts large amounts of stress on the heel bone. Often times heel pain, however, is actually due to the plantar fascia, the band of tissue connecting the heel bone to the toes. You know this is the case if the pain begins after a period of rest (like first thing in the morning), comes and goes, is located on the bottom of the heel, and worsens over time. In other cases, thick calluses or pinched nerves may be the reason.

Who’s at risk?
In athletic clients, fluid-containing bursae sacs can develop that cause pain. Those who are obese may have pain because more weight is resting on their feet. Those with either very high arches or very flat feet will also have more trouble. If your client stands on hard floors all day for a living and fails to wear proper shoes, this also ups her chances of heel pain.

What can you do?
As a tech, you should always first recommend your client see a medical doctor who can then diagnose and treat the problem. However, mild foot pain can be helped greatly by a trip to the salon. Warmth from paraffin or footbaths can be soothing. Massage on the plantar fascia (from heel to toes on the bottom of the foot) can also help. Any skin-softening treatments in the area can reduce surface level pain as well. Just being off her feet and being pampered can help reduce pain for a client.

[Image: Thinkstock, iStock]

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