Mar 10, †Ј The diagnosis and treatment of heel pain: A clinical practice guideline Ч Revision Journal of Foot & Ankle Surgery. ;S1. Wilkinson JM (expert opinion). Heel pain is one of the most common complaints of patients with foot and ankle disorders. The pain commonly occurs at the undersurface of the foot called the .
Medically reviewed by Drugs. Last updated on Jan 22, Heel pain is a common symptom that has many possible causes. Although heel pain sometimes is caused by a systemic body-wide illness, such as rheumatoid arthritis or gout, it usually is a local condition that affects only the foot.
The most common local causes of heel pain include:. After you have described your foot symptoms, your doctor will want to know more details about your pain, your medical history and lifestyle, including:. In addition to examining you, your health care professional may want to examine your shoes. Signs of excessive wear in certain parts of a shoe can provide valuable clues to problems in the way you walk and poor bone alignment.
Depending on the results of your physical examination, you may need foot X-rays or other diagnostic tests. How long heel pain lasts depends on the cause.
For example, heel pain that is related to obesity should improve gradually as you lose weight. If your heel pain is related to a specific sport or exercise regimen, a period of rest may bring relief. Once your heel is pain-free, you may need to modify your training program to prevent your pain from returning. Most heel pain goes away in a short period of time, either on its own or after treatment.
You can help to prevent heel pain by maintaining a healthy weight, by warming up before participating in sports and by wearing shoes that support the arch of the foot and cushion the heel.
If you are how to build an eco friendly home to plantar fasciitis, exercises that stretch the Achilles tendon heel cord and plantar fascia may help to prevent the area from being injured again.
You also can massage the soles of your feet with ice after stressful athletic activities. Sometimes, the only interventions needed are a brief period of rest and new walking or running shoes.
Make an appointment to see a health care professional if you have significant heel pain that does not improve within a few days. Although the outlook depends on the specific cause of the heel pain, most people respond to conservative, nonsurgical therapy. Heel pain may return if you return too soon to your previous level of exercise or sports participation. Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information how to grow biceps quickly on this page applies to your personal circumstances.
Heel Pain Medically reviewed by Drugs. Health Guide What is Heel Pain? The most common local causes of heel pain include: Plantar fasciitis Ч Plantar fasciitis is a painful inflammation of the plantar fascia, a fibrous band of tissue on the sole of the foot that helps to support the arch. Plantar fasciitis occurs when the plantar fascia is overloaded or overstretched.
This causes small tears in the fibers of the fascia, especially where the fascia meets the heel bone. Plantar fasciitis may develop in just about anyone but it is particularly common in the following groups of people: people with diabetes, obese people, pregnant women, runners, volleyball players, tennis players and people who participate in step aerobics or stair climbing.
You also can trigger plantar fasciitis by pushing a large appliance or piece of furniture or by wearing worn out or poorly constructed shoes. In athletes, plantar fasciitis may follow a period of intense training, especially in runners who how to spell curriculum vitae themselves to run longer distances.
People with flat feet have a higher risk of developing plantar fasciitis. Heel spur Ч A heel spur is an abnormal growth of bone at the area where the plantar fascia attaches to the heel bone. It is caused by long-term strain on the plantar fascia and muscles of the foot, especially in obese people, runners or joggers. As in plantar fasciitis, shoes that are worn out, poorly fitting or poorly constructed can aggravate the problem.
Heel spurs may not be the cause of heel pain even when seen on an X-ray. In fact, they may develop as a reaction to plantar fasciitis and they can also be found in people without pain or problems in the heel.
Calcaneal apophysitis Ч In this condition, the center of the heel bone becomes irritated as a result of a new shoe or increased athletic activity. This pain occurs in the back of the heel, not the bottom.
Calcaneal apophysitis is a fairly common cause of heel pain in active, growing children between the ages of 8 and Although almost any boy or girl can be affected, children who participate in sports that require a lot of jumping have the highest risk of developing this condition.
Bursitis Ч Bursitis means inflammation of a bursa, a sac that lines many joints and allows tendons and muscles to move easily when the joint is moving. In the heel, bursitis may cause pain at the underside or back of the heel.
In some cases, heel bursitis is related to structural problems of the foot that cause an abnormal gait way of walking. In other cases, wearing shoes with poorly cushioned heels can trigger bursitis. Pump bump Ч This condition, medically known as posterior calcaneal exostosis, is an abnormal bony growth at the back of the heel.
It is especially common in young women, in whom it is often related to long-term bursitis caused by pressure from pump shoes. Local bruises Ч Like other parts of the foot, the heel can be bumped and bruised accidentally.
Typically, this happens as a "stone bruise," an impact injury caused by stepping on a sharp object while walking barefoot. Achilles tendonitis Ч In most cases, Achilles tendonitis inflammation of the Achilles tendon is triggered by overuse, especially by excessive jumping during sports. However, it also can be related to poorly fitting shoes if the upper back portion of a shoe digs into the Achilles tendon at the back of the heel.
Less often, it is caused by an inflammatory illness, such as ankylosing spondylitis also called axial spondylarthritisreactive arthritis, gout or rheumatoid arthritis. Trapped nerve Ч Compression of a small nerve a branch of the lateral plantar nerve can cause pain, numbness or tingling in the heel area. In many cases, this nerve compression is related to a sprain, fracture or varicose swollen vein near the heel. Symptoms The heel can be painful in many different ways, depending on the cause: Plantar fasciitis Ч Plantar fasciitis commonly causes intense heel pain along the bottom of the foot during the first few steps after getting out of bed in the morning.
This heel pain often goes away once you start to walk around, but it may return in the late afternoon or evening. In others, heel spurs appear to cause pain and tenderness on the undersurface of the heel that worsen over several months. Calcaneal apophysitis Ч In a child, this condition causes pain and tenderness at the lower back portion of the heel.
The affected heel is often sore to the touch but not obviously swollen. Bursitis Ч Bursitis involving the heel causes pain in the middle of the undersurface of the heel that worsens with prolonged standing and pain how to become a chef at home the back of the heel that worsens if you bend your foot up or down.
Pump bump Ч This condition causes a painful enlargement at the back of the heel, especially when wearing shoes that press against the back of the heel. Local bruises Ч Heel bruises, like bruises elsewhere in the body, may cause pain, mild swelling, soreness and a black-and-blue discoloration of the skin. Achilles tendonitis Ч This condition causes pain at the back of the heel where the Achilles tendon attaches to the heel.
The pain typically becomes worse if you exercise or play sports, and it often is followed by soreness, stiffness and mild swelling. Trapped nerve Ч A trapped nerve can cause pain, numbness or tingling almost anywhere at the back, inside or undersurface of the heel.
In addition, there are often other symptoms Ч such as swelling or discoloration Ч if the trapped nerve was caused by a sprain, fracture or other injury. Diagnosis After you have described your foot symptoms, your doctor will want to know more details about your pain, your medical history and lifestyle, including: Whether your pain is worse at specific times of the day or after specific activities Any recent injury to the area Your medical and orthopedic history, especially any history of diabetes, arthritis or injury to your foot or leg Your age and occupation Your recreational activities, including sports and exercise programs The type of shoes you usually wear, how well they fit, and how frequently you buy a new pair Your doctor will examine you, including: An evaluation of your gait Ч While you are barefoot, your doctor will ask you to stand still and to walk in order to evaluate how your foot moves as you walk.
An examination of your feet Ч Your doctor may compare your feet for any differences between them. Then your doctor may examine your painful foot for signs of tenderness, swelling, discoloration, muscle weakness and decreased range of motion. A neurological examination Ч The nerves and muscles may be evaluated by checking strength, sensation and reflexes. Expected Duration How long heel pain lasts depends on the cause.
Prevention You can help to prevent heel pain by maintaining a healthy weight, by warming up before participating in sports and by wearing shoes that support the arch of the foot and cushion the heel. Treatment Treatment of heel pain depends on its cause: Plantar fasciitis Ч Most doctors recommend a six- to eight-week program of conservative treatment, including temporary rest from sports that trigger the foot problem, stretching exercises, ice massage to the sole of the foot, footwear modifications, taping of the sole of the injured foot, and acetaminophen Tylenol or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs NSAIDssuch as aspirin or ibuprofen AdvilMotrin and others for pain.
If this conservative treatment doesn't help, your doctor may recommend that you wear a night splint or a short leg cast, or he or she may inject corticosteroid medication into the painful area. Surgery is rarely necessary and is not always successful. Heel spur Ч Conservative treatment includes the use of shoe supports either a heel raise or a donut-shaped heel cushion and a limited number of local corticosteroid injections usually up to three per year.
As in plantar fasciitis, surgery is a last resort. Calcaneal apophysitis Ч This condition usually goes away on its own. In the meantime, conservative treatment includes rest and the use of heel pads and heel cushions.
Bursitis Ч Treatment is similar to the treatment of heel spurs. Changing the type of footwear may be essential. Pump bump Ч Treatment is similar to the treatment of bursitis and heel spurs. In rare cases, the bony growth at the heel may need to be removed surgically. Local bruises Ч Heel bruises can be treated by applying an ice pack for the first few minutes after injury. Trapped nerve Ч If a sprain, fracture or other injury has caused the trapped nerve, this underlying problem must be treated first.
In what happened in woolwich today cases, surgery may be done to release the trapped nerve. When To Call a Professional Make an appointment to see a health care professional if you have significant heel pain that does not improve within a few days.
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Sep 24, †Ј The heel is the largest bone in your foot. If you overuse or injure your heel, you may experience heel pain. This can range from mild to disabling. ItТs possible youТll need to have a doctor or. Feb 05, †Ј Heel pain is a common foot problem. Pain usually occurs under the heel or just behind it, where the Achilles tendon connects to the heel bone. Sometimes it .
Heel pain is a common foot and ankle problem. Pain may occur underneath the heel or behind it. Many conditions can cause pain in the heels, including:. Heel pain can make it difficult to walk and participate in daily activities.
Most painful heel conditions improve with nonsurgical treatments, but your body needs time to recover. More than 2 million Americans experience heel pain every year. The problem affects people of all ages and genders. You might experience pain, soreness or tenderness anywhere in the heel. You typically feel heel pain:. Anything that puts a lot of pressure and strain on your foot can cause heel pain. The way you walk foot mechanics and your foot's shape foot structure are also factors.
Your healthcare provider will assess your symptoms and perform a physical exam. You may also get X-rays to check for arthritis , bone fractures , bone alignment and joint damage.
Rarely, you may need an MRI or ultrasound. Heel pain can interfere with your ability to get around, work, exercise and complete daily tasks. When it hurts to move, you can become sedentary. An inactive lifestyle can lead to weight gain. Untreated Achilles tendonitis can cause the tendon to break down tendinosis. In time, the Achilles tendon can tear or rupture. This problem may require surgery. Most problems that cause heel pain get better over time with nonsurgical treatments.
Therapies focus on easing pain and inflammation, improving foot flexibility and minimizing stress and strain on the heel. These treatments include:. You should stretch regularly and wear properly fitted, supportive shoes. Runners are especially prone to heel pain. You can prevent running injuries by covering fewer miles and running on softer surfaces.
Heel pain typically goes away with nonsurgical treatments, but recovery takes time. You need to be patient and give your body time to mend. If you return to your usual activities too quickly, it can set back your recovery. In rare situations, you may need surgery. Heel pain often improves over time with nonsurgical treatments. Your provider can also show you stretching exercises and recommend orthotics and other methods if needed.
Many people try to ignore heel pain and continue with activities that make the problem worse. Otherwise, you may develop chronic heel pain that sidelines you for an extended time. Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services.
Heel Pain Many conditions, including plantar fasciitis and Achilles tendinitis, cause heel pain. A sore heel is a common foot and ankle complaint. Rest, orthotics and stretching ease pain over time.
If you ignore and don't treat heel pain, you may develop chronic problems that require a longer recovery. Heel pain rarely needs surgery. Many conditions can cause pain in the heels, including: Plantar fasciitis.
Bone spurs. Stress fractures. Inflamed tendons. How common is heel pain? Where does heel pain develop? You typically feel heel pain: Behind the heel. Beneath the heel. Within the heel bone itself. What causes pain behind the heel? Several problems can cause pain to develop in the back of the heel: Achilles tendinitis: The Achilles tendon is a fibrous tissue that connects the calf muscle to the heel bone.
Runners and basketball players are more prone to Achilles tendinitis. This overuse injury inflames the tendon. Tendonitis causes pain, swelling and stiffness in the back of the heel. Bursitis: Bursitis occurs when fluid-filled sacs called bursae plural of bursa swell. These sacs cushion joints, allowing for fluid movement.
You may have a tender, bruise-like feeling in the back of the heel. Bursitis typically occurs after you spend a lot of time on your feet. Shoes with higher heels, such as pumps, can make the bump and pain worse. Kids who participate in activities that require a lot of running and jumping are more prone to this problem. The increased athletic activity irritates the growth plate in the back of the heel. What causes pain beneath the heel? Problems that cause pain underneath the heel include: Bone bruise contusion : Stepping on a hard, sharp object can bruise the fat padding underneath the heel.
You might not see discoloration, but your heel will feel tender when you walk. Plantar fasciitis: Plantar fasciitis is by far the leading cause of heel pain. It occurs when the fascia, connective tissue that runs along the bottom plantar surface of the foot, tears or stretches. People who run and jump a lot are more likely to develop this painful condition.
Treadmills and hard surfaces such as concrete for exercise or work are common irritants. Heel spurs: Chronic plantar fasciitis can cause a bony growth heel spur to form on the heel bone. What are the risk factors for heel pain? You may be more likely to develop heel pain if you: Are overweight have obesity. Have foot and ankle arthritis , flat feet or high foot arches.
Run or jump a lot in sports or for exercise. Spend a lot of time standing, especially on concrete floors. What are the symptoms of heel pain? Heel pain symptoms vary depending on the cause. In addition to pain, you may experience: Bony growth on the heel. Discoloration bruising or redness.
How is heel pain diagnosed? What are the complications of heel pain? How is heel pain managed or treated? These treatments include: Injections: Steroid injections can ease pain and swelling.
Steroid injections should rarely, if ever, be given for a tendon problem but may certainly help for plantar fasciitis and bursitis. Orthotic devices: Over-the-counter or custom-made shoe inserts orthotics can take pressure off the heel. Some people find relief by wearing a splint at night, especially if they get morning pain. A walking boot may be necessary for more severe symptoms.
You may also need to switch to more supportive shoes for everyday wear and exercise. Physical therapy: Massage, physical therapy and ultrasound therapy can break up soft tissue adhesions. These treatments may reduce pain and inflammation. Stretching exercises: Your healthcare provider can show you how to do heel stretching exercises for tight tendons and muscles.
Taping: You can use athletic or medical tape to support the foot arch or heel. How can I prevent heel pain? What is the prognosis outlook for people who have heel pain? When should I call the doctor? Pain that makes walking or movement difficult. Severe foot or heel swelling, inflammation or stiffness.
What questions should I ask my doctor?