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Heel pain: A thorough analysis


Heel pain is a common condition in adults causing significant discomfort and disability. Heel pain can be from a variety of soft tissue, osseous, and systemic disorders.

About 10 percent of the population will be affected by heel pain in their lifetime. [1]

The disorder is observed in people with
▪ Sedentary lifestyles
▪ Routine/manual labor
▪ Elevated BMI

Heel pain may also be due to arthritic, neurologic, traumatic, or other systemic conditions but is most commonly mechanical in origin. Common causes include plantar fasciitis, heel spur, tarsal tunnel syndrome, stress fractures, Achilles tendonitis, ankle sprain, ankle/foot fracture, stress fracture, heel spur, other benign or malignant tumor infection (soft tissue or bone), vascular calcaneal apophysitis in adolescents, and so on. The most common cause of heel pain in children and adolescents is calcaneal apophysitis (Sever’s disease).

Age affected
Average age of affected adults is 40–60 years old


▪ Pain in the foot
▪ Significant burning and tingling
▪ Paresthesia or numbness
▪ Infection of any kind


Medical history and physical examination of the lower extremity is essential. Imaging studies are also helpful when an infection, stress fracture, or trauma is suspected. Various treatment options are available depending on the source of pain.

Analgesics, stretching exercises, strengthening exercises, orthotics, night splint, and wearing proper shoes can help.

Conservative management may include oral medications, physical therapy, and use of medical equipment for correction. Depending on the severity of the pain, corticosteroid injections and surgical intervention may also be an option.

Consult a podiatric physician or surgeon for specialized care. mfine features many eminent podiatricians whose help you can avail.

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