The most common cause of heel pain is plantar fasciitis. This inflammatory condition affects the plantar fascia, a ligament that connects your heel bone to your toes. When the ligament becomes inflamed due to overuse or stress, it causes disabling and chronic pain.
Other, less-common causes of heel pain are:
It’s important to get an accurate diagnosis so your treatment plan works for your condition.
Heel pain from plantar fasciitis is often most noticeable first thing in the morning when you step out of bed or get up after a long period of sitting. When you use your foot often during exercise, or at a job that requires a lot of standing, the pain may subside somewhat. But later, when you rest, the pain may return with a vengeance.
Heel pain commonly happens due to overuse. Runners and people who tend to overpronate, or turn their foot inward, are vulnerable.
A sudden increase in daily activity is often the cause. If you’re a runner who ups their mileage suddenly or starts a lot of hill and speed work at once, you’re at risk of developing heel pain.
People who wear unsupportive shoes like flip-flops and sandals may also develop heel pain.
The sooner you start treatment for heel pain, the better your chance of a quick recovery. When you avoid treatment for six months or longer, you invite the pain to possibly become chronic.
Treatment may be conservative at first, consisting of pain medications, shoe recommendations, custom orthotics, and rest. Specialized night braces stabilize your foot while you sleep to minimize inflammation.
More aggressive treatments for heel pain include nerve decompression therapy and extracorporeal shock wave therapy (ESWT) to break down heel inflammation and scar tissue.
Have your heel pain evaluated at Alpine Foot and Ankle right away. Call to make an appointment or use this website to schedule a visit.