Synergy Health Partners

Heel Pain

Definition: Heel pain is discomfort or pain located at the back or bottom of the heel. It is a common issue that can be caused by various conditions, often affecting individuals who engage in repetitive activities or wear improper footwear.


  1. Plantar Fasciitis: Inflammation of the plantar fascia, the band of tissue that runs along the bottom of the foot, causing stabbing pain, particularly in the morning.
  2. Achilles Tendinitis: Inflammation of the Achilles tendon, causing pain at the back of the heel.
  3. Heel Spurs: Bony growths on the underside of the heel bone, often associated with plantar fasciitis.
  4. Bursitis: Inflammation of the bursa (a fluid-filled sac) at the back of the heel.
  5. Stress Fractures: Small cracks in the heel bone due to repetitive stress.
  6. Sever’s Disease: A condition in children where the growth plate in the heel becomes inflamed.


  • Sharp or stabbing pain in the bottom or back of the heel
  • Pain that worsens with activity or after periods of rest
  • Swelling and tenderness in the heel
  • Stiffness in the heel, especially in the morning or after prolonged sitting


  • Physical Examination: Assessing pain, swelling, and tenderness.
  • Imaging Tests: X-rays, MRI, or ultrasound may be used to identify underlying causes such as fractures or heel spurs.


  • Rest and Ice: Reducing activity and applying ice packs to decrease pain and swelling.
  • Footwear Changes: Wearing supportive shoes with proper cushioning and arch support.
  • Orthotic Devices: Using custom insoles or heel cups to provide additional support.
  • Medications: Anti-inflammatory drugs to manage pain and reduce inflammation.
  • Physical Therapy: Stretching and strengthening exercises for the foot and calf muscles.
  • Injections: Corticosteroid injections to reduce severe inflammation.
  • Surgery: In rare cases, surgical intervention may be necessary if conservative treatments fail.

Prognosis: Most cases of heel pain improve with conservative treatments and proper care. Early intervention is key to preventing chronic pain and further complications. Regular use of supportive footwear and adherence to recommended exercises can help maintain foot health and prevent recurrence.