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What Are the Causes of Heel Pain?

Heel Pain

What Are the Causes of Heel Pain?

Heel pain occurs on the back or underside of your heel. There are a number of causes, all of which require proper treatment to resolve. Knowing the symptoms of the various causes ensures that you can alleviate your pain.

Achilles Tendinitis

Achilles tendinitis results from overuse and the Achilles tendon connects the hell bone and the lower leg. This is most often seen in runners who quickly reduce the duration and intensity of their workouts. This condition can cause the following symptoms:

  • Stiffness and tenderness, especially during the morning hours
  • Pain that starts as a mild ache
  • Pain gets worse with stair climbing, running or sprinting
Archilles Tendinitis


There are bursa sacs in the heels and they work to cushion the tendons, muscles and bones in this area of your foot. They can become inflamed, resulting in bursitis. Repetitive motion is typically what results in this condition. The symptoms can include:

  • Feeling stiff or achy
  • Redness and swelling in the area of your heel
  • Pain worsens when you press on your heel or move your foot

Plantar Fasciitis

As one of the most common heel pain causes, plantar fasciitis is seen most often in runners and overweight people. The plantar fascia connects the toes and heel bone. It runs along the bottom of the foot. When you have this condition, you can experience:

  • Stabbing pain near the heel on the bottom of the foot
  • Pain is worst first thing in the morning

Stress Fracture

Stress fractures in the heel are common and are seen most often in track and field athletes. Overuse that causes the repetitive application of force results in this type of fracture. They are tiny cracks in the bone. The symptoms can include:

  • Pain that worsens with time
  • Tenderness in a specific area
  • Rest tends to reduce the pain
  • The painful area might be accompanied by swelling

Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome

Tarsal tunnel syndrome occurs when a nerve in the foot that runs from the foot to the inner ankle is compressed. An ankle injury, fallen arches and diabetes are the most common causes. The symptoms can include:

  • Numbness
  • Pain that can be achy or shooting
  • Burning or tingling sensation

If your heel pain lasts for more than a couple of days, consult your doctor. You want to make sure to get an accurate diagnosis and prompt treatment for the best results.

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