Our Long Island Foot Doctors Offer This Advice to Prevent Heel Pain While Traveling

It’s so exciting to explore a new locale or revisit a favorite destination. Whether it’s summertime at the shore or holiday market magic in Europe, you want to be able to see and do all you can, which is why heel pain prevention is important for vacation planning. Heel pain is caused by various issues, some of which can be easily avoided with the right information or expert advance care. 

At Massapequa Podiatry Associates, our board-certified Long Island, New York heel pain experts don’t want you to lose valuable time dealing with pain. We want you to have as much time as possible to enjoy great activities and make memories. Here are some tips to prevent heel pain while on vacation.

Do You Have These Common Causes of Heel Pain?

Plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendonitis, flat feet, and heel spurs are some of the conditions that frequently lead to heel pain. If you already have a diagnosis for one of these issues, it’s a good idea to see one of our heel pain experts before your trip so we can ensure that you have a personalized plan to avoid making your condition worse. 

If you don’t have a preexisting condition, here are some of our recommendations for maintaining healthy feet that are ready for any adventure. 

8 Tips for Preventing Heel Pain

Walking long distances, which many people do on vacation, can aggravate all of the conditions listed above, particularly if you’re not used to walking a lot in daily life and if you’re wearing incorrect footwear. Before you leave home, here’s what you can do to reduce the chances of developing heel pain on your trip. 

1.  Build up Your Stamina

Overuse injuries can often be avoided by slowly increasing your exercise over time instead of suddenly boosting your activity levels. This is true for new exercise regimens, as well as vacations.  

If you know you're going to be walking a lot more than normal during your travels, spend the weeks leading up to your trip gradually increasing how much you’re walking by no more than 10–15 percent each week. This might mean you start off by walking for 20 minutes or a mile one week, 30 minutes or two miles the next, and so on. This is also a great opportunity to break in any new footwear you’ll be using on your trip and determine if you need different shoes.

2. Choose the Right Shoes

Flip-flops might be the footwear everyone associates with vacations, but they don’t offer good arch support and leave your foot exposed to sharp objects and dirty surfaces. They also don’t cup your heel and move around more than most shoes, which increases your chances of tripping and spraining an ankle. 

Instead, choose shoes that offer good support, cushioning, and protection, while also providing plenty of wiggle room for your toes. Make sure to pack two pairs that you can rotate. Save sandals and high heels for special occasions that won’t require you to spend a lot of time on your feet. Remember to also check your child’s shoes, since kids often experience sudden growth spurts that leave their formerly comfortable shoes far too tight, seemingly overnight.

3. Build Rest Into Your Itinerary

There are probably dozens of things you want to see and do, but if you fear developing heel pain while on vacation, it’s a good idea to alternate sightseeing days with other activities that allow you to elevate your feet and rest. If you can’t make rest days happen, it’s helpful to switch up your interests so your feet have a break. For example, try a day filled with water sports or bicycling between substantial walking.

4. Consider Orthotics

Various types of insoles might help your feet be more supported and stable. They can also be moved between different pairs of shoes quickly and conveniently. Mass-produced orthotics may be purchased anywhere you buy shoes, or you can purchase custom orthotics designed specifically for your needs. These are generally more expensive, but also far more durable.

5. Use a Night Splint

These are devices that keep feet at a 90-degree angle during sleep, which prevents plantar fasciitis pain by gently stretching your calf muscles and foot arch.

6. Try Compression

Another preventative measure for heel pain is compression stockings. Because they help decrease swelling and increase circulation, many people use them while flying or put them on to help recover from a fun-filled day walking around.  

7. Stretch Regularly 

If you’re spending long periods of time without being able to walk around because you’re in a car or an airplane, it’s a good idea to stretch your feet a couple of times per day after you have reached your destination. Regular stretching exercises also help condition the muscles and tendons of your feet.  

8. Remember First Aid 

Throw some pain relievers, nail clippers, antiseptic cream, and blister patches into your checked bag so you can handle issues that might arise. All of these things are probably available at your vacation destination, but having them in your luggage may be more cost-effective and accessible.

Treating Heel Pain While on Vacation

Sometimes, your best efforts to prevent heel pain don’t work. So try these quick remedies to alleviate any discomfort. 


Freeze disposable water bottles and roll under your foot over them for 15-30 minutes as you prepare for the day ahead and again when you return. This may help with swelling and inflammation. You can also fill a bag of ice from a hotel’s dispenser or, at the very least, soak your feet in cold water in the bathroom sink or tub.

Take Over-the-Counter Pain Relievers

It’s important to take these medications according to packaging instructions to avoid gastric upset and other issues. Just because they’re available without a prescription doesn’t mean that they can’t create problems if taken incorrectly. Acetaminophen, aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen sodium all have different dosing recommendations within a 24-hour period.


Making changes to your plans due to heel pain may be annoying, but taking a break is one way to allow your feet to recover from overuse. Adding in a day by the pool or reading on the balcony might alter your schedule, but could also reduce your overall recovery time.

Call Massapequa Podiatry Associates to Schedule a Post-Vacation Appointment

If you have heel pain while on vacation, it may be a good idea to consult with our Long Island heel pain experts once you’re back in town or with one of our telemedicine appointments if you need to be seen even sooner. Signs that you need an examination include

  • Continuing to experience pain even after icing, resting, and medicating with pain relievers for several days
  • Heel pain that continues while resting
  • Experiencing other symptoms, including fever, numbness, or tingling
  • You have other conditions, such as an infection or diabetes 
  • You’re not able to bend your foot down or stand on tiptoe
  • You’re not able to engage in normal activities like walking, work, exercise, or hobbies because of pain  

How Our Long Island Heel Pain Experts Can Help

Our patients receive rapid and accurate diagnoses to facilitate effective treatment right away. We use physical examinations, imaging, gait analysis, and the information you provide to determine the correct cause of your pain. We combine traditional podiatry methods with new and advanced tools and techniques to maintain a 95 percent success rate in treating heel pain. We ensure that each patient has the customized treatment plan that’s most likely to address their needs. 

Here are some of the innovative treatment options available to you at Massapequa Podiatry Associates. 

Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy 

This advanced method is highly effective with soft-tissue injuries. Acoustic waves are directed into the injured tissue, stimulating the healing processes, reducing inflammation, and increasing blood flow. The result is faster recovery.


A small needle-like device is inserted into the injury through an incision. The device vibrates at an ultrasound frequency and helps to break down and remove damaged tissue so new tissue can develop in its place.

MLS Laser Therapy

This painless, non-invasive option has no side effects. Our doctors use an FDA-cleared laser to apply light and energy waves to the injured area, which increases cell production and improves circulation, to make healing faster.

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