What is Causing My Heel Pain?

In Uncategorized by neurospi7 Comments

November 30, 2017

Anyone who has ever experienced heel pain knows just how uncomfortable and debilitating it can be. Heel pain can hit at anytime and completely change your day, mood, and level of productivity. According to the American Podiatric Medical Association, approximately 40 percent of Americans complain of heel pain every single year. There are many different causes of heel pain, from wearing the wrong shoes to repetitive strain and the natural aging process. Similarly, there is also a wide range of conditions that could be the culprit of heel pain.

The first step (no pun intended) to knowing what to do about heel pain is determining what is causing it. In some cases the sufferer experienced pain under the heel (usually a sign of plantar fasciitis) or just behind the heel (typically Achilles tendinitis), but there are other symptoms of heel pain that may not be quite as straightforward as a diagnosis. The good news about heel pain is that, even though it can be severe and even disabling at times, it is very rarely a health threat. The majority of heel pain cases we treat here at our Dallas foot therapy clinic are mild and disappear either on their own or with a bit of physical therapy.

About the Foot

The foot has 26 bones, of which the heel is the largest. This sturdy bone is designed to provide support for the rest of the body, which is a pretty hefty task if you think about it. Most of us don’t give our feet or heels much thought, until they start hurting, of course. The heel takes the brunt of action as we walk, run, partake in sporting activities, and so much more. According to experts, the stress placed on a foot when walking is likely 1.25 times our body weight, and nearly 3 times our weight when running. With this in mind, it should come as no surprise the heel is susceptible to damage and is plagued by pain for many of us.

Common Causes of Heel Pain

Now that we have a better understanding of what the heel’s job is and how much force it must withstand, let’s look at the most common causes of heel pain:

  • Plantar Fasciitis – The number one cause of heel pain for most adults is plantar fasciitis. A shocking 2 million people are faced with this condition every single year. Plantar fasciitis usually affects the bottom of the heel and maybe even the outer side of the arch. The plantar fascia is a band of tissue that runs alongside the arch of the foot, connecting a person’s toes to the heel. Repeated motion and pressure can cause the fascia to become inflamed, resulting in mild to severe pain.
  • Achilles Tendonitis – The Achilles tendon is the largest tendon in the human body, connecting the calf with the heel bone. Wear and tear on the calf, repetitive motion, standing for a prolonged period of time, and certain activities can cause inflammation in the tendon, resulting in pain in the heel. It should be noted that Achilles pain and injuries are some of the hardest to recover from.
  • Stress Fracture – People who suddenly pick up jogging or increase the amount the walk may put excess stress on the heel, which can result in bruising or a small crack in the heel bone, also referred to as a stress fracture.
  • Arthritis – Arthritis is a common condition of aging that causes inflammation of the joints, including your feet. Individuals with flat feet are at a higher risk than others of developing arthritis. Even though most people experience inflammation in the middle of the foot, it can affect the heel bone and surrounding joints.

If you are experiencing heel pain, please contact NeuroSpine Surgical Consultants today and schedule a consultation. Our experienced therapists will sit down with you and take a look at your feet and structure, working to determine what the underlying cause of your pain is and how to treat it effectively.


  1. Wow, it really stood out to me when you mentioned that the heel is the largest bone out of 26 in the foot. If you are dealing with foot problems, you are going to want to work with a doctor that specializes in feet. They will know about all of the different bones and how to fix the cause of the different problems someone might be dealing with.

  2. Hi there,
    I live in Australia so I cannot visit the clinic. However, I am hoping you might be able to shed some light on the pain I have which seems to be mostly coming from either side of my heel below the ankle bone. Best way to describe it is where a sandal strap would wrap around the heel if that makes sense.

    The pain is so bad after walking a lot. While I am sitting down and resting my foot up on my ottoman, I feel really intense pain around my heel/ankle area.

  3. During the night while I am sleeping soundly, my heel explodes with excruciating pain. There seems to be a spot on the bottom edge right hand side of my left heel that has evolved from an itchy feeling, to this pain that feels like my nerve endings are on fire. It only occurs in my left foot, has no regular pattern, but, over the past couple of years has increased, not only in pain, but frequency, although I can go a month with no symptoms, and then have a week or so with symptons two or three times a night, carrying over to my getting out of bed. No one can tell me what it is, or how to treat it, even how to help myself. I am on my third night of this pain wrenching me from a deep sleep to crying with this pain and I am so tired from broken sleep. Lying on my right side, I get this pain in my left foot, but if I turned over to my left side, the pain would immediately go away, now, the pain doesnt go away, no matter what I do, it comes in waves, growing stronger and stronger, and lasting longer and longer.
    Do you know what this pain might be?, I saw one Dr. here in UK, and he had no idea. I am desperate for knowledge, I need to know what this is and how I can stop it. Any information you, or your readers can give me would be greatly received. I must also mention that my left foot is always swollen to twice the size of my right, and goes “numb” quickly when I sit on it, and is sore comming back again.
    Apologies for the tome, I really am desperate for help.
    Kind regards
    maryon hanney.

    1. Hi Maryon..You are not alone in suffering with heel pain as you describe..I have the same problem but in my Right Foot..I am not a practitioner but a true sympathiser.
      The problem is the Foot is a complicated piece of anatomy that we’ve been using all our lives..at some stage the wear and tear leads to tissue deteriation resulting in nerve breakdown..whether its Plantar or Sural issues it’s very hard to diagnose..Age is a major contributor if to be honest but not the only cause..One possibility is poor circulation in the calf and thigh area..massage these frequently not forgetting the whole Foot.. we are meant to walk on our feet as a specie and so the feet are very robust and giving time, mild stretching,walking and care your problem will at least allow a better sleep pattern.Good luck and don’t forget to exercise the Toes..

  4. My pain started the morning after resting it on an ottoman while watching tv. I actually need crutches to get around the next day. What can I do and how long will this last.

  5. My pain started the morning after resting it on an ottoman while watching tv. I actually need crutches to get around the next day. What can I do and how long will this last.

  6. My heel pain is excuterating with any pressure on it.
    I did have my achelese cut 20 years ago.
    Would that have caused this acute pain ?

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