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Pain in heel of foot – Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis better prevention & Treatment

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Pain in the heel of the foot. Pain in the heel of the foot can occur underneath the heel or behind it where the Achilles tendon is connected to the heel muscle. Plantar fasciitis causes heel problems most commonly. Pain can also impact the lining of the heel/foot. Causes might include arthritis, infection, or neurological problems. At first, it’s usually mild but can get severe and sometimes debilitating.

It usually disappears without treatment but sometimes it can persist to become a chronic problem. We include all of the products which we think might be helpful. If you click the link we may make a small commission.


Pain in heel of foot – Why do my heels hurt?

The most common cause is plantar fasciitis, the diagnosis in roughly 4 out of 5 heel pain cases. Take for a quick anatomy lesson. The plantar fascia is a long, thick ligament that runs across the bottom of the foot and joins the heel bone to the metatarsal bones near the bottom of the toes.

Heel pain diagnosis

Heel pain can have many causes. If your heel hurts, see your doctor directly to work out why and obtain treatment. Tell him or her exactly where you’ve got pain and the way long you’ve had it.
You’ll be asked to steer, stand on one foot, or do other physical tests that help your doctor pinpoint the explanation for your sore heel.


There are two main conditions that cause heel pain mainly: pain beneath the heel and pain behind the heel.

Pain under the Heel

If the pain is under your heel, you have one or more conditions that inflame the tissues on the rock bottom of your foot:

  • Stone bruise. once you step on a tough object like a rock or stone, you’ll bruise the fat pad under your heel. it’s going to or might not look discolored.
  • Plantar fasciitis (subcalcaneal pain). Doing an excessive amount of running or jumping can lead to the swelling of the tissue band (fascia) connecting the heel bone to the bottom of the toes. There is pain under your heel and it can mild initially but flares up once you take your first steps after resting overnight. you’ll get to do special exercises, take medication to scale back swelling, and wear a heel pad in your shoe.
  • Heel spur. When plantar fasciitis continues for an extended time, a heel spur (calcium deposit) may form where the fascia tissue band connects to your heel bone. Your doctor may take an X-ray to ascertain the bony protrusion, which may vary in size. Tontar fasciitis is the treatment: You sleep until the pain stops, do some stretching exercises and wear heel pad shoe inserts.

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Pain Behind the Heel

If you’ve got pain behind your heel, you’ll have inflamed the world where the Achilles tendon inserts into the heel bone (retrocalcaneal bursitis). People often get this by running an excessive amount or wearing shoes that rub or dig the rear of the heel.

Pain behind the heel may increase slowly over time, causing the skin to swell, become red, and thick. you would possibly develop a bump on the rear of your heel that feels tender and consider the touch. The pain flares up once you first start an activity after resting. It often hurts an excessive amount to wear normal shoes. you’ll need an X-ray to ascertain if you furthermore may have a bone spur.

To treat this, rest from the activities that led to the pain, do special stretching exercises, use pain medicines, and wear open-back shoes.

  • Your doctor may advise you to use a 3/8″ or 1/2″ heel insert.
  • Stretch your Achilles tendon by leaning forward against a wall together with your foot flat on the ground and heel elevated with the insert.
  • Use nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug medications for pain and swelling.
  • Consider placing ice on the rear of the heel to scale back inflammation.

What Is Plantar Fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis is a swelling of the band of tissue (the plantar fascia) that extends from the heel to the toes. In this condition, the fascia first becomes irritated then inflamed, leading to heel pain.

Heel pain causes.

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plantar fasciitis treatment

Heel pain has many causes. Heel pain is usually the result of faulty biomechanics (walking gait abnormalities) that place an excessive amount of stress on the heel bone and therefore the soft tissues that attach thereto. the strain can also result from injury, or a bruise incurred while walking, running, or jumping on hard surfaces; wearing poorly constructed footwear (such as flimsy flip-flops); or being overweight.

Common causes of heel pain include:

Heel Spurs: A bony growth on the underside of the heel bone. The spur, visible by X-ray, appears as a protrusion which will extend forward the maximum amount as half an in. When there’s no indication of bone enlargement, the condition is usually mentioned as “heel spur syndrome.”

Heel spurs result from strain on the muscles and ligaments of the foot, by stretching of the long band of tissue that connects the heel and therefore the ball of the foot. repeating of tearing away of the liner or membrane that covers the heel bone. These conditions may come from biomechanical imbalance, running or jogging, improperly fitted or excessively worn shoes, and obesity.

Plantar Fasciitis:

Both heel pain and heel spurs are frequently related to plantar fasciitis, an inflammation of the band of fibrous animal tissue (fascia) running along rock bottom (plantar surface) of the foot, starting on the heel ending at the ball of the foot. it’s common among athletes who run and jump tons, and it is often quite painful.

The condition is a result of the plantar fascia being strained over time beyond its normal extension, causing the soft tissue fibers of the fascia to tear or stretch at points along its length; this results in inflammation, pain, and possibly the expansion of a bone spur where the plantar fascia attaches to the heel bone. The inflammation could also be aggravated by shoes that lack appropriate support, especially within the arch area, and by the chronic irritation that sometimes accompanies an athletic lifestyle.

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Resting provides only temporary relief. once you resume walking, particularly after a night’s sleep, you’ll experience a sudden elongation of the fascia band, which stretches and pulls on the heel. As you walk, the heel pain may lessen or maybe disappear, but it will be just a false sense of relief.

Excessive Pronation:

Heel pain sometimes results from excessive pronation. Pronation is that the normal flexible motion and flattening of the arch of the foot that permits it to adapt to ground surfaces and absorb shock within the normal walking pattern.

As you walk, the heel contacts the bottom first; the load shifts first to the surface of the foot, then moves toward the large toe. The arch rises, the foot generally rolls upward and outward, becoming rigid and stable to lift the body and move it forward. Excessive pronation—excessive inward motion—can create an abnormal amount of stretching and pulling on the ligaments and tendons attaching to the rock bottom back of the heel bone. Excessive pronation can also contribute to injury to the hip, knee, and lower back.

Achilles Tendinitis:

Pain at the rear of the heel is related to Achilles tendinitis, which is inflammation of the Achilles tendon which runs behind the ankle and inserts on the rear surface of the heel bone. it’s common among people that run and walk tons and have tight tendons.

The condition occurs when the tendon is strained over time, causing the fibers to tear or stretch their length, or at its insertion onto the heel bone. This results in inflammation, pain, and therefore the possible growth of a bone spur on the rear of the heel bone. The inflammation is aggravated by the chronic irritation that sometimes accompanies a lively lifestyle and certain activities that strain an already tight tendon.

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Other possible causes of heel pain include:

  • rheumatoid arthritis and other sorts of arthritis, including gout, which usually manifests itself within the great toe joint;
  • a swelled bursa (bursitis), a small, inflammed sack of fluid; a neuroma (a nerve growth); or other soft-tissue growth. Such heel pain could also be related to a heel spur or may mimic the pain of a heel spur;
  • Haglund’s deformity (“pump bump”), a bone enlargement at the rear of the heel bone within the area where the Achilles tendon attaches to the bone. This deformity is sometimes the result of bursitis coming from pressure against the shoe and is worsened by the peak or stitching of a heel counter of a specific shoe;
  • a bone bruise or contusion, which is a swelling of the tissues that cover the heel bone. A bone bruise may be a sharp injury resulting from the direct impact with a hard object or surface on the foot.

Symptoms of Plantar Fasciitis

The symptoms of plantar fasciitis are:

  • Pain on the rock bottom of the heel
  • Pain within the arch of the foot
  • Pain that’s usually worse upon arising
  • Pain that increases over months
  • Swelling on the rock bottom of the heel

People with plantar fasciitis often describe the pain as worse once they rise within the morning or after they need been sitting for long periods of their time. After a couple of minutes of walking, the pain decreases because walking stretches the fascia. for a few people, the pain subsides but returns after spending long periods of your time on their feet.

Diagnosis of Plantar Fascittis

To reach a diagnosis, the foot and ankle surgeon will obtain your medical record and examine your foot. Throughout this process, the surgeon rules out all possible causes for your heel pain aside from plantar fasciitis.

plantar fasciitis symptoms
plantar fasciitis symptoms

In addition, diagnostic imaging studies, like x-rays or other imaging modalities, could also be wont to distinguish the various sorts of heel pain. Sometimes heel spurs are found in patients with plantar fasciitis, but these are rarely a source of pain. once they are present, the condition could also be diagnosed as plantar fasciitis/heel spur syndrome.

Nonsurgical Treatment

Treatment of plantar fasciitis begins with first-line strategies, which you’ll begin at home:
Stretching exercises. Exercises that stretch out the calf muscles help ease pain and assist with recovery.
Avoid going barefoot. once you walk without shoes, you set undue strain and stress on your plantar fascia.


Putting ice gain your heel for 20 minutes several times each day helps reduce inflammation. Place a skinny towel between the ice and your heel; don’t apply ice to the skin.
Limit activities. hamper on extended physical activities to offer your heel a rest.

Shoe modifications.

Wearing supportive shoes that have good support and a rather raised heel reduces stress on the plantar fascia.


Oral nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug drugs (NSAIDs), like ibuprofen, could also be recommended to scale back pain and inflammation.

If you continue to have pain after several weeks, see your foot and ankle surgeon, who may add one or more of those treatment approaches:

Padding, taping and strapping

Placing pads within the shoe softens the impact of walking. Taping and strapping help support the foot and reduce strain on the fascia.

Orthotic devices

Custom orthotic devices that fit into your shoe help correct the underlying structural abnormalities causing the plantar fasciitis.

Injection therapy

In some cases, corticosteroid injections are wont to help reduce the inflammation and relieve pain.

Removable walking cast

A removable walking cast could also be wont to keep your foot immobile for a couple of weeks to permit it to rest and heal.

Night splint

The best thing to do is to Wear an evening splint that will take care of an extended stretch of the plantar fascia while sleeping. This might help reduce the morning pain experienced by some patients.
Physical therapy. Exercises and other physiotherapy measures could also be wont to help provide relief.


A variety of steps are often taken to avoid heel pain and accompanying afflictions:

  • the best shoes to wear are those shoes that fit well front, back, and sides and have shock absorbing soles, rigid shanks, and supportive heel counters
  • Wear the right shoes for every activity
  • Do not wear shoes with excessive decline heels or soles
  • Prepare properly before exercising. Warm up and do stretching exercises before and after running.
  • Pace yourself once you participate in athletic activities
  • Value your body’s need for rest and good nutrition
  • If obese, slim down.

Home Remedies for Heel Pain and Heel Spurs

Use these 3 easy home remedies for heel pain: Ice, massage, and stretching. use both thumbs to massage your heel and apply a massage and delicate pressure to the area of the foot that is painful to help with relieving the pain.

You also can integrate ice and mild rub down via way of means of freezing water in a water bottle and rolling your foot over it. Perform this for approximately 5 mins at a time. Rest and hobby amendments also are beneficial domestic remedies. Night splints at domestic, even as you sleep, also can assist with heel ache.

Some people additionally have had fulfillment the use of Strassburg Socks at domestic even as they sleep. The RICE protocol is crucial for the restoration process. Rest, ice, compression with socks, and elevation above your coronary heart. Rest is a part of the RICE Protocol for Heel Pain

What are Home Remedies that Treat Plantar Fasciitis?

Find out below the heel pain causes and home remedies. Stretching your calf muscle tissue may even help with relieving heel ache due to the fact the 2 calf muscle tissue (the gastrocnemius and the soleus) come collectively into the Achilles tendon and join the heel bone. You can stretch those muscle tissue standing, seated or with a towel, or on an incline board. Perform as soon as with the affected leg immediately and one with the affected leg bent even as preserving the heel at the ground.

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Try to keep for one minute at a time. Stretch each facet you damage on the alternative side. A night splint is worn as you sleep also can be very beneficial. Stretching the plantar fascia may be carried out via way of means of pulling upward at the offer a stretch withinside the backside of the foot as proven underneath. This is an exceptional home cure for heel aches.

Modalities consisting of ice, heat, and a clinical laser also can come up with a few alleviations out of your ache. Heel Pain Exercises Stretching physical activities earlier than getting out of bed Many people with plantar fasciitis have excessive heel ache withinside the morning, once they take their first steps upon getting out of bed.

This ache comes from the tightening of the plantar fascia that takes place in the course of sleep. Stretching or massaging the plantar fascia earlier than status up can frequently lessen heel ache.

  • Stretch your foot via way of means of flexing it up and down 10 instances earlier than status.
  • Use a towel to stretch the lowest of your foot (towel stretch). Other steps can assist lessen heel ache whilst you are taking your first steps upon getting out of bed. You can:
  • Wear a nighttime splint even as you sleep. Night splints keep the ankle and foot in a function that continues the Achilles tendon and plantar fascia barely stretched.
  • Massage the lowest of your foot throughout the width of the plantar fascia earlier than getting out of bed.
  • Always put on footwear whilst you get out of bed, despite the fact that it’s far simply to visit the bathroom. Quality sandals, athletic footwear, or every other snug footwear with suitable arch helps will paintings. Stretching physical activities need to create a pulling feeling. They need to now no longer reason ache. Ask your bodily therapist or health practitioner which physical activities will paintings first-rate for you. Exercises to do every day Stretching and strengthening physical activities will assist lessen plantar fasciitis. It’s first-rate to do every workout 2 or three instances a day, however you do now no longer want to do all of them at as soon as.footnote1
  • Use a rolling pin or tennis ball. You must roll the rolling pin or ball with the arch of your foot while seated. If you’re able to, development to doing this workout even as you’re status up. o Toe stretch o Towel stretch o Calf stretch o Plantar fascia and calf stretch o Towel curls for strengthening o Marble pickups for strengthening

When to Visit a Podiatrist

I ache and different signs and symptoms of infection—redness, swelling, heat—persist, restriction ordinary everyday sports and speak to a health practitioner of podiatric medicine.

What is a Podiatrist?

A podiatrist is a health practitioner of podiatric medicine (DPM), a doctor and health care provider who treats the foot, ankle, and associated systems of the leg.

Why Should I See a Podiatrist?

Feet are complicated anatomical systems, all-in-one stabilizers, surprise absorbers, and propulsion engines that might be instrumental to basic fitness and well-being.

They require professional care. Be positive you’re seeing the maximum certified fitness-care expert to deal with your toes via way of means of seeking out the letters “DPM” after his or her name. The DPM manner a doctor has finished years of rigorous foot and ankle education in podiatric clinical faculty and medical institution-primarily based residency education, making her or him uniquely certified to take care of this a part of the body. Find an APMA member podiatrist close to you.

How Are Podiatrists Trained?

Podiatrists’ entire 4 years of education in a podiatric clinical faculty and 3 years of medical institution residency education. Their education is much like that of different physicians. Podiatrists may fit on to finish fellowship education following their residency. Podiatrists have wide knowledge in many fields, including surgical treatment, sports activities medicine, wound care, pediatrics, and diabetic care.

Are Podiatrists Board Certified?

Podiatrists can earn board certification with superior education, scientific experience, and via way of means of in the long run taking an exam. The American Board of Foot and Ankle Surgery and the American Board of Podiatric Medicine are the certifying forums for the field.

When Is Surgery Needed?

Although maximum sufferers with plantar fasciitis reply to nonsurgical remedies, a small percent of sufferers can also additionally require surgical treatment. If, after numerous months of nonsurgical remedy, you still have heel ache, surgical treatment may be considered.

Your foot and ankle health care provider will speak the surgical alternatives with you and decide which technique might be maximum useful for you. Long-Term Care No relies on what form of remedy you go through for plantar fasciitis, the underlying reasons that brought about this situation can also additionally remain.

Therefore, you may want to maintain with preventive measures. Wearing supportive footwear, stretching and the use of custom orthotic gadgets are the mainstay of long-time period remedies for plantar fasciitis.

Foot Care Tips

  • Holiday Foot Care You can be doing plenty of walking, dancing, status and sitting in a single function at some point of the vacation season. Learn a way to take care of your toes as a way to convey you thru all the ones seasonal celebrations and chores.
  • Pedicure Pointers Whether you want to get a pedicure withinside the nail salon or at domestic, observe those smooth suggestions to maintain your toes searching and feeling their first-rate.
  • Summer Foot Care Get suggestions for shielding your toes from the summer time season heat.
  • Winter Foot Care It’s crucial to attend to your toes all wintry weather long. Get suggestions for preserving toes wholesome in numerous not unusualplace wintry weather scenarios. Footwear Selection Tips
  • Avoiding a Sandal Scandal This tip sheet will assist you keep away from a seaside blunder this summer time season via way of means of addressing all of your shoes woes.
  • Balance-Boosting Footwear Tips for Older People Good bodily stability can assist older people keep away from the debilitating and doubtlessly life-threatening headaches of a fall. Follow those suggestions to pick out footwear to enhance your stability.
  • Buying Children’s Footwear Several suggestions on shopping for again-to-faculty footwear to your child, in addition to a simple “1,2,three Test” to decide the protection of any shoe.
  • Choosing Shoes for Sports Sport-precise footwear can without a doubt have an effect on the manner you play. Avoid a few severe ache and lift your recreation via way of means of finding out the first-rate footwear for every sport.
  • Flip-Flops Avoid foot ache and different flip-flop fiascos with those crucial suggestions on searching for and sporting flip-flops.
  • Footwear for Teenagers Advice for young adults on a way to get exceptional becoming footwear.
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Which Running Shoe is Right for You?

One of the primary steps to wholesome going for walks is sporting supportive going for walks footwear. APMA has facts that would possibly assist decide which athletic shoe is proper to your foot type.

Your toes have to ultimate a lifetime. Regular foot care can ensure your toes are as much as the task. With right detection, intervention, and care, maximum foot, and ankle troubles may be lessened or prevented.

Use the foot fitness facts pages underneath to examine extra not unusual place foot situations and treatments. Arthritis

  • Arthritis

Arthritis is infection and swelling of the cartilage and lining of the joints, typically observed via way of means of growth withinside the fluid withinside the joints. Each foot has 33 joints that may be stricken with arthritis.

  • Gout

Gout is a shape of inflammatory arthritis due to a buildup of uric acid crystals withinside the joints which can cause sudden, excessive ache. Diabetes & Cardiovascular Disease

  • Charcot Foot The time period “Charcot foot” describes a sample of bone and joint harm that outcomes in weaknesses.
  • Diabetes Today’s podiatrist performs a key position in assisting sufferers control diabetes efficaciously and keep away from foot-associated headaches.
  • Diabetic Wound Care A diabetic foot ulcer is an open sore or wound that takes place in about 15 percentage of sufferers with diabetes and is normally positioned on the lowest of the foot.
  • High Blood Pressure High blood strain is likewise called high blood pressure. Your podiatrist is vitally involved approximately high blood pressure and vascular ailment (coronary heart and circulatory troubles).
  • Peripheral Arterial Disease PAD is due to a blockage or narrowing of the arteries withinside the legs whilst fatty deposits (plaque) increase. The buildup of plaque reasons the arteries to harden and narrow.
  • Peripheral Neuropathy Peripheral neuropathy is harm of the peripheral nerves—the nerves to your ft and fingertips. In the United States, the maximum not unusualplace reason of peripheral neuropathy is diabetes. Foot & Ankle Injuries
  • Bursitis Bursitis is infection and swelling of fluid-stuffed sacs known as bursae.
  • Puncture Wounds A puncture wound is a demanding damage to the foot.
  • Sprains, Strains, and Fractures The toes and ankles paintings collectively to offer guide and mobility to the body. A foot or ankle sprain is a tender tissue damage. A fracture is certainly a damage withinside the bone. Muscle & Tendon Problems
  • Haglund’s Deformity Haglund’s Deformity is a bony growth of the again of the heel bone. Sometimes it is known as “pump bump” due to the fact the deformity frequently takes place in girls who wears pumps.
  • Heel Pain The heel bone is the most important of the 26 bones withinside the human foot. Like all bones, it’s far challenge to outdoor affects which can have an effect on its integrity and reason heel ache.
  • Tendinitis

Tendinitis is the infection of a tendon. Achilles tendinitis, or an infection of the Achilles tendon, is one of the maximum, not unusual place reasons for foot or ankle ache. Skin Disorders

  • Athlete’s Foot

The athlete’s foot is a pore and skin ailment due to a fungus. It maximum normally assaults the toes due to the fact footwear creates warm, dark, and humid surroundings that encourage fungus growth.

  • Corns and Calluses

Corns and calluses are regions of thickened pores and skin that broaden to shield that region from irritation. They are typically due to rubbing or extra strain towards a part of the foot.

  • Psoriasis

Psoriasis is due to the faster-than-ordinary turnover of pores and skin cells. In people who have psoriasis, the brand new cells pass to the floor so swiftly that the lifeless cells increase at the floor in dry, whitish-silver patches.

  • Skin Cancers of the Feet Skin

most cancers can broaden everywhere in the body, together with withinside the decreased extremities. Most pores and skin cancers of the toes are painless, and frequently there may be records of recurrent cracking, bleeding, or ulceration.

  • Sweaty Feet

Excessive sweating of the toes is known as hyperhidrosis. People whose toes sweat excessively frequently additionally have troubles with immoderate sweating of the palms.

  • Warts

Warts are one in every of numerous tender tissue situations of the foot that may be pretty painful. They are due to a virulent disease and might seem everywhere at the pores and skin. Toe Joint & Nerve Disorders

  • Bunions

A bunion is a growth of the joint at the bottom of the huge toe that paperwork whilst the bone or tissue on the huge toe joint actions out of place. If you think you’ve got got a bunion, discover a podiatrist!

  • Hammer Toes

A hammertoe is a contracture or bending, of the toe at the primary joint of the digit, known as the proximal interphalangeal joint. This bending reasons the toe to seem like an upside-down V whilst checked out from the side. It is from time to time written as one word, hammertoe or hammertoes.

  • Neuromas

A neuroma is a painful condition, additionally known as a “pinched nerve” or a nerve tumor. It is a benign boom of nerve tissue regularly located among the 1/3 and fourth toes. Toenail Problems

  • Ingrown Toenails

Ingrown toenails, the maximum not unusual place nail impairment, are nails whose corners or facets dig painfully into the gentle tissue of nail grooves, frequently main to irritation, redness, and swelling.

  • Toenail Fungus

Toenail fungus is contamination under the floor of the nail resulting from fungi. The ailment is characterized by an innovative alternative in a toenail’s first-rate and color.


  • Prescription Custom Orthotics and Shoe Inserts

Shoe inserts are any form of non-prescription foot help designed to be worn interior a shoe. Custom orthotics are specially-made gadgets designed to help and luxury your feet.

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