Heel pain is a very common, if not the most common, issue that is seen in our clinic. There are several reasons why you may have heel pain, here’s a list of some of them.

  1. Plantar fasciitis - The plantar fascia is a thick, fibrous band of tissue that runs along the bottom of the foot to help support the arch. Sometimes it can get inflamed and cause pain. It is usually most painful after you get out of bed in the morning or after a period of rest. Mainstay treatments include taping, stretching exercises, ice, supportive shoe gear, and shoe inserts – over-the-counter or custom orthotics. 

  2. Stress fracture – Stress fractures either occur from abnormal activity on normal bone or from normal activity on abnormal bone. They typically are an overuse injury and do occur in the heel bone on occasion. They usually are very painful if you squeeze the heel from side to side. 

  3. Nerve issues can cause heel pain – Sometimes nerves that innervate the muscles of the foot can get entrapped and cause more of a burning, tingling type of pain in the heel. If you have these types of symptoms, you could be suffering from Baxter’s neuritis or tarsal tunnel syndrome. 

  4. Plantar fascia tear/rupture – More rare than common, but it can happen and is not always obvious. It can occur as an acute injury or because of a chronic issue to the plantar fascia. 

  5. Systemic arthritis – This can be from underlying conditions such as lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, or psoriatic arthritis.

Sometimes heel pain resolves on its own with things like rest, icing, or by taking over-the-counter pain medication but if symptoms continue for more than a few weeks it’s best to be seen by your local podiatrist. The longer you wait to seek professional help the longer it will take for symptoms to resolve.