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Molly Maloof, MD

Director of Clinical Content

heel pain

What can I do to releave painful heel pain
  • Female | 60 years old
  • Complaint duration: 86 days
  • Medications: Advil
  • Conditions: No

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Featured Answer

1 UpVoted this answer
This is difficult to answer in one paragraph as it is a combination of treatments together which work best. Stretching and proper support in your shoes are best for your long term success. You can purchase an inexpensive over the counter arch support to start. To help with acute pain, a consistent course of an anti inflammatory, such as advil or aleve, if you do not have any stomach problems for 2 weeks along with an ice massage of the arch and heel can really help. To massage freeze a 16-20 ounce plastic bottle of water and roll on the bottom of your foot for 10-15 minutes. Stretch by pulling your feet/toes back toward you before even getting out of bed as many people have pain with their first few steps in the morning or after resting. You can use a towel to pull your feet back and hold for 10-15 seconds. These are beginning things to help, but if persists it is best to have and appointment with xrays to determine appropriate further courses of treatment. Remember stretching needs to be consistent at least twice daily in the morning and at bedtime!
Joseph Bava
This is a very common condition, and is almost always correctable without the need for surgery. Make an appointment with an ethical, experienced podiatrist, and this problem should remiss quickly. Good luck!!
Your heel pain may be due to several different pathologies, and it is difficult to tell what your problem is without an examination. The most common cause of heel pain on the bottom of the foot is Plantar fasciitis. This pain usually presents upon standing up first thing in the morning when getting out of bed, or after periods of rest, and then getting up again. Stretching and icing can help with this type of pain. Cortisone injections may be necessary. But you may also have a problem with your Achilles tendon. My advice would be to seek a Podiatric physician in your area with a good reputation for a full evaluation of the pain. Works every time.
Heel pain can have many causes and sometimes it is a process of elimination to determine the exact cause. The classic presentation is someone who says that they have terrible pain when they first get up after being off their feet for awhile but after they move around it starts to feel better. This type of pain is never there once off the feet and we have always called it plantar fasciitis or heel spur syndrome. In truth whether you have a spur or not makes no difference. This is the type of pain that may respond to arch supports in your shoes and the Advil you are currently taking. If this becomes a chronic condition, the problem is no longer an inflammation but rather is known as plantar fasciosis. Your doctor can perform an ultrasound to measure the thickness of the plantar fascia and if found to be thicker than it should be an injection of your own plasma or stem cells is often helpful. The nerve right behind your inside ankle bone can also become pinched and cause heel pain. This is called tarsal tunnel syndrome and is much like carpal tunnel syndrome in the wrist. This responds well to decompression on an outpatient basis. Other factors such as a stress fracture of the heel bone or even some forms of arthritis can be the cause of heel pain. I would suggest you start with a good arch support and the Advil and if these don't help, then a visit to your local foot and ankle specialist would be in order.
Gary Cramer
Heel pain can be caused by many conditions. Inflammation of tendons and ligaments, nerve entrapments, metabolic processes, stress fractures, hyperpronation, etc. Describing the quality of the pain, when it occurs (ie only weight bearing, both weight bearing and non-weight bearing) aids in diagnosis as well.

The majority of the time heel pain is due to plantar fasciosis where the heel ligament attaches itself to the bone. Stretching, anti-inflammatory medication, ice and appropriate shoes should help. Not getting better in 3months dictates you should seek a clinical evaluation with a podiatrist.
Seth Steber
Some heel pain advice here
Raymond Soluri
This is a pretty vague question as heel pain can be caused from many things, such as plantar fasciitis, a lesion (wart) or even a calcaneal stress fracture. The best thing to do is see your foot specialist for a thorough examination, including x-rays and determine the root cause before you can formulate a treatment plan to "relieve the pain".
Sloan Gordon
There are many causes of heel pain, the most common of which is plantar fasciitis. This is an inflammation of the thick band or ligament which goes from the heel, through the arch, and into the ball of the foot and toes. If that is the cause, the pain is usually worse after a period of rest (such as in the morning), and there will be little or no swelling. It usually gets a little better after walking for a few minutes, and then gets worse again after long periods of walking or standing. Advil or Aleve will usually only help slightly. Using ice on the heel, and exercising it by stretching the arch will help somewhat. Avoid going barefoot and avoid flip-flops or other shoes with no support. Injections or custom arch supports may be needed, and it is best to see a Podiatrist if the problem does not resolve after a few weeks.
Richard Eby
I recommend ice, Aleve 220 mg. two tablets after breakfast & 2 after dinner & stretching the arch and wearing a firm orthotic in good support shoes. If the pain persisits consult a Podiatrist. It sounds like plantar fasciitis and it needs treatment to alleviate the pain & correct the condition.

John Hoagland DPM

El Cerrito, CA.
John Hoagland