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Most Americans will walk roughly 1.4 to 2 miles every day, or 3,000 to 4,000 steps. Many strive to reach a 10,000 steps per day goal. For every mile you walk, approximately 60 tons of stress is put on each foot. It is no wonder that hard surfaces, robust sports and ill-fitting footwear can lead to foot and ankle pain, with heel pain high on the list.

Rest, applying ice and, if necessary, over-the-counter pain medication is often enough to remedy the problem. Unfortunately, allowing enough time for healing is not always a priority. People often return to the activities that caused the pain to begin with. Many ignore the early signs, making the problem worse. Neglecting to care for a sore heel can create a chronic condition and produce more problems in the future.

Heel pain is usually located in one of two areas, below the heel or behind it. When the pain is beneath the heel, it is usually caused by:

  • Bruising when you step on a rock or other hard object and injure the fat pad on the bottom of your heel.
  • Subclacaneal pain, or plantar fasciitis, where the fascia connecting the heel bone to the base of the toes becomes inflamed.
  • Heel spur, which is a calcium deposit in the area where the fascia band connects to the heel bone.

Heel pain behind the heel may be caused by an inflammation of the Achilles tendon at the point in which it connects with the heel bone.

Understanding the causes of heel pain and taking precautions to avoid it, or giving your heel enough time to recuperate when you first experience the pain, can prevent long-term issues from developing. More on these topics when you click on the links below:

Mild heel pain usually responds to home care, but if you have severe pain or pain brought on by an injury to your heel, you should seek medical attention right away.

When to See A Doctor

Generally, heel pain will resolve on its own if it is not severe and you give it time to rest. There are times, however, when you should seek medical attention immediately. If the pain is severe and accompanied with swelling, you need immediate attention. If you cannot walk normally, bend your foot downward or rise on your toes, you should be examined. Seek a doctor’s care if you have severe pain after sustaining an injury or if there is fever, numbness or tingling in your heel along with pain.

If you have tried caring for your sore heel and the pain lasts for more than a few weeks, it is time to schedule an appointment with your doctor. When your pain continues even when you are not walking or standing, your foot should be examined.

For excellent foot and ankle care, contact the office of Dr. Stuart Mogul, board certified foot and ankle surgeon. Get the best treatment for your heel pain when you make an appointment with us.

Patient Testimonials

Fabulous person and doctor. Very professional manner, skilled, knowledgeable and personable... what more can you ask for in your Doctor?! Her performed my surgery and I was confident then as I am now through my recovery.

- Samantha W.

Second surgery with dr mogul. Once in 2013 and one now (bunion surgery on different feet). Great doctor, friendly staff, personally checks in on you after surgery. Highly recommend. Hoping my right foot is as pain free as my left one was.

- Priya P.

Fabulous person and doctor. Very professional manner, skilled, knowledgeable and personable... what more can you ask for in your Doctor?! Her performed my surgery and I was confident then as I am now through my recovery.

- Samantha W.