What Causes Heel Pain?

Pain, tenderness or soreness in the heel are common problems. Constant stress placed on the heel can cause the surrounding tissue to become inflamed (fasciitis, tendonitis or bursitis). Heel discomfort can also be the result of trauma or disease. Pain can be located behind the heel, underneath the heal or within the heel bone itself.

Some of the most common causes of pain and discomfort in the heel include:

  • Stress Fracture
  • Stone Bruise
  • Arthritis
  • Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome

Other deformities can develop over time as the result of stress. Certain types of arthritis can affect the heel and cause discomfort. Pain and discomfort may be intermittent or constant.


A podiatrist or orthopedic doctor will review your medical history and perform a physical examination. During a physical examination will examine your heel for signs of swelling and tenderness. A physical exam may also include stability testing, range of motion testing and gait analysis.

X-rays are ordered to check for a fracture, bone spurs, arthritis and damage to the joint. Additional imaging test may be ordered if soft-tissue damage is suspected or to rule out more serious conditions. In some situations, a blood test may also be ordered.

Treating Heel Pain

Heel pain is usually the result of overuse and should respond well to conservative treatment methods. Examples of conservative methods used to help patients with heel pain can include:

  • Rest
  • Ice Packs
  • Stretching
  • Physical Therapy
  • Activity Modification

Other deformities can develop over time as the result of stress. Certain types of Other popular types of non-surgical treatments for patients who have chronic heel pain due to inflammation include:

Most people with heel pain will not need a surgical procedure.

Surgery may be indicated for patients with Haglund’s deformity, heel spurs that cause pain, or a fracture. Patients who can not manage heel pain using conservative methods after 6 to 12 months may consider a minimally-invasive or surgical procedure.

Heel Pain Specialist in NYC and NJ

If you are experiencing heel pain, it’s highly recommended that you see a doctor right away. An early diagnosis and treatment can prevent a disorder from progressing and becoming more difficult to treat. Early treatment may also help to avoid the need for surgery in the future.

The board-certified foot doctors at The Center for Musculoskeletal Disorders used the most advanced medical techniques to diagnose and treat heel pain. Schedule an appointment at on our clinics to have your condition thoroughly evaluated and discuss treatment options and goals with one of our doctors.