Most of the women who are in their fifties must be familiar with heel pain, I think. I too had been a victim of that ailment and let relate how I overcame it.

Those were hectic days, daughter’s wedding, her delivery and son’s wedding, all followed in quick succession with little rest to speak of for me. It was at this period that I began to feel an excruciating pain in the center of my heels. When the family excitements were over and calm prevailed I had ample time to take rest. But still the pain persisted. I was scared to go to hospital.

When I inquired the ladies of my circle I came to know that among the women who have passed menopause only a very few escaped from the clutches of this complaint. Everyone had her own explanation and therapy.

Weight gain was regarded as one cause. Is it not true that most of us realize that after the age of 40 weight control is something beyond our control? It was believed that decrease in estrogen level added to aging changes caused the heel pain. There was also an opinion that laying mosaic, marble and cement tiles for house floors instead of the brick tiles of the olden times could be the cause.

I tried keeping my feet immersed in warm water. I had maicrosil slippers made to my foot measurement and wore them at home. I used acupuncture slippers when I went out. I tried wearing special stockings called ‘anklets’ sold in medical shops. An array of oils came to my rescue: eucalyptus oil, Franch oil, ‘vethakodari thailam’ and so on. But all failed. The advice to put ‘erukkam’ leaf on hot brick and foment the heels with the leaf also turned useless.

I got scared by the surmise of some that it was bone growth which needed surgical correction. Some were of the sure opinion that it was nothing but the wearing away of the bones and there was no cure on earth for it. To a person like me who puts off taking tablets till it is utterly unbearable the statement made by some that steroids were the only option was enough to create panic.