- Common Causes
Each step that we take applies a phenomenal load to the heel. Consider the fact that in a simple slow walk, the load applied to the heel can be more than twice our body weight. If we increase the speed of our walk, take bigger steps, or jump, the load applied to the heel at heel strike is significantly increased. This load may be more than three times our body weight, and consider how many times this loading occurs in the course of a normal day. Step after step, over and over again. The ability of the heel to sustain these loads without developing heel pain is quite incredible.
This page summarizes the common causes for heel pain and acts as a referral to specific articles on Myfootshop.com.
Plantar heel pain:
- Baxter's nerve entrapment - dull pain on the bottom of the heel
- Bursitis - dull, achy pain on the bottom of the heel that increases with the duration of time spent on your feet
- Plantar fasciitis - sharp, tearing pain on the bottom of the heel when first standing
- Heel spur syndrome - sharp, plantar heel pain
- Tarsal tunnel syndrome - a nerve entrapment of the medial heel
- Wart - lesion of the plantar heel
Posterior heel pain:
- Achilles tendonitis - sharp, posterior heel pain when first starting to run
- Bursitis - dull, achy posterior heel pain
- Calcaneal stress fractures - dull, achy heel pain that increases with the duration of time on the heel
- Gout - although more common to the forefoot, gout can strike the back of the heel
- Haglund's Deformity - posterior heel exostosis
- Sever's disease - heel pain common in 8-12 y/o boys
Other heel pain:
- Heel fissures - painful cracks surrounding the rim of the heel
- Peripheral vascular disease - ischemic heel pain
- Sinus tarsi syndrome - pain found in the body of the heel
When to contact your doctor
Heel pain that fails to respond to a reasonable period of conservative care should be evaluated by your podiatrist or orthopedist.
Author(s) and date
This article was written by Myfootshop.com medical director Jeffrey A. Oster, DPM.
Competing Interests - None
Peer Reviewed - This article is peer-reviewed by an open source editorial board. Your comments and suggestions to improve this paper are appreciated.
Cite this article as: Oster, Jeffrey. Heel Pain. http://www.myfootshop.com/article/heel-pain
Most recent article update: December 7, 2018.
Heel Pain by Myfootshop.com is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License.