Heel Pain Causes and Treatment

Heel Pain Causes (Plantar Fasciitis) Overview

Pain to the bottom of the heel may be due to many causes, such as: stress fracture, tendonitis, arthritis, systemic arthritis, neuritis (nerve irritation), skin pathology (callus, Porokeratosis), or bone tumors . The most common causes of heel pain is plantar fasciitis, a condition that is sometimes also called heel spur syndrome (image).  Because there are several potential causes of heel pain, it is important to seek medical attention to properly be diagnosed. A foot and ankle specialist is able to determine the cause of your symptoms.

What are some Causes:

  • Plantar fasciitis
  • Neuritis (nerve irritation)
  • Dermatitis (skin irritation)
  • Systemic arthritis
  • Equinus (tight calf muscle)
  • Bone tumor

What are Some Symptoms:

  • Heel pain in morning
  • Pain after activities or walking
  • Deep, achy pain
  • Sharp, shooting pain


Imaging modalities to evaluate heel pain can include:

  • X-rays
  • MRI
  • Ultrasound
  • Bone scan

What are Some Conservative Treatment Options:

This all depends on the cause of the symptoms. A foot and ankle specialist will determine the cause of the heel pain. The treatment plan may include:

  • Stretching Abductor hallucis muscle strain
  • Padding and strapping Abductor hallucis muscle strain
  • Custom orthotics Abductor hallucis muscle strain
  • Supportive shoe gear
  • Braces Abductor hallucis muscle strain
  • Walking boots Abductor hallucis muscle strain
  • Injections
  • Physical therapy
  • Medications
  • Topical pain relieving gel Abductor hallucis muscle strain

Surgical Treatment Options:

Surgical intervention of heel pain is recommended if a patient has failed conservative treatment options.  The specific type of surgical intervention depends on clinical findings of your condition.

Image of Heel Spur:

heel pain causes
Heel Spur