Heel pain is most commonly caused by plantar fasciitis, an inflammatory condition of the thick band of tissue on the sole of the foot, which is known as the plantar fascia.
The heel pain of plantar fasciitis is often worst with the first few steps in the morning and can increase with standing and after exercising.
Biomechanical abnormalities that cause the foot to abnormally pronate (roll in) on walking are the cause of most cases of plantar fasciitis. Sometimes painful outgrowths of bone called heel spurs form where the plantar fascia joins the heel bone, however, these are not the primary source of the heel pain.
Treatment for plantar fasciitis may include rest, stretching, applying ice, anti-inflammatory medicines and weight loss to reduce stresses on the feet. If necessary, foot supports, strapping or orthotics may be recommended to correct structural abnormalities of the foot.
Last Reviewed: 12 August 2009