4 Common Causes of Heel Pain

Do you wake up with painful heels? Do they ache after exercise? No matter what the cause, heel pain is NOT a welcome feeling. It’s actually one of the most common reasons why patients come to see us at Kentucky/Indiana Foot and Ankle Specialists. Since your foot bears the weight of your entire body, even the slightest pain can greatly affect how you stand, walk, and move, which could lead to pain elsewhere.


Here are the top common causes of heel pain:

  1. Plantar fasciitis - The plantar fascia is a thick ligament connecting your heel bone to the toes that act as a shock absorber. Plantar fasciitis occurs when this tissue becomes overworked and leads to injury and inflammation. The shooting pain associated with this condition is usually most prevalent in the morning after waking up and following long periods of rest. Running, obesity, lack of support in shoes, and jobs requiring lots of standing are common reasons for developing plantar fasciitis.

  2. Heel spurs - Heel spurs are bony growths that develop on the underside of the heel bone where it attaches to the plantar fascia. Repeated stress on the area leads to calcification, swelling, and heel pain. Many patients with plantar fasciitis can also develop heel spurs.

  3. Achilles tendonitis - The Achilles tendon connects your calf muscle to your heel bone and is the largest tendon in the entire body. When it is overused or injured, Achilles tendonitis can develop and cause stiffness, inflammation and pain. Many athletes suffer from Achilles tendonitis when leg muscles are not adequately stretched, intensity of exercises increase too quickly, or proper shoes are not worn.

  4. Heel fissures - Heel fissures are when the skin on your heels crack and even bleed as a result of dry, thickened skin. People who wear open-heel shoes or have underlying skin conditions like eczema can be susceptible to developing this painful condition. 


Need help determining the cause?


When your heel pain comes from something going on internally in your feet, it can be challenging to know the exact cause. Fortunately, an experienced podiatrist can help diagnose and treat your condition. At Kentucky/Indiana Foot and Ankle Specialists, our team of dedicated foot doctors provide individualized treatments to address your foot and ankle concerns. They use preventative methods and conservative treatments paired with advanced technologies to address your foot health, whether it’s heel pain, a sports injurybunions, or nail issues. To schedule an appointment, contact any of our 7 offices in Louisville, Bowling Green, Elizabethtown, KY and New Albany, IN. We look forward to serving you!

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