Symptoms, Causes and Treatments for Heel Pain


President-elect Donald Trump will issue an executive order on his first day in office to declare January National Heel Pain Awareness Month, according to unnamed sources affiliated with his transition team.

While we at Foot Healers think this may be fake news, we agree that January is a great time to discuss heel pain!

Heel pain is most often caused by plantar fasciitis — an inflammation of the band of tissue that extends from the heel to the toes. This often occurs in January because many people gain a few pounds in November and December. Then they resolve to get healthy and launch new exercise routines in January. Weight gain and exercise changes are among the primary causes of foot and heel pain.


  • Faulty structure of the foot. People who have high arches or flat feet are more prone to developing plantar fasciitis.
  • Obesity or weight gain.
  • Overuse or adding new activity (walking, running, jumping, etc.).
  • Wearing non supportive footwear especially on hard, flat surfaces.


  • Pain on bottom of heel
  • Pain in arch of the foot
  • Pain usually worse in the morning when waking up or when getting up after sitting for a long period of time – typically after a few minutes of walking, the pain decrease because walking stretches the fascia. However pain may return after being on their feet long periods of time
  • Pain that increases over a period of months
  • Swelling on the bottom of the heel.


  • Stretching exercises – exercises that stretch out the calf muscles can help ease pain.
  • Avoid going barefoot.
  • Ice.
  • Limit activities.
  • Shoe modifications.
  • Medications – NSAIDS such as ibuprofen.
  • Padding, taping and strapping – placing pads in the shoe to soften impact. Taping and strapping can help support foot and reduce strain on the fascia.
  • Custom molded orthotics.
  • Injection therapy.
  • Night splint.
  • Physical Therapy.
  • Last resort – Surgery.

Heel Pain / Plantar Fasciitis can return if not taking the proper precautions and it’s recommended to continue with preventative measures once the pain has subsided.