What’s Causing Your Heel Pain


Do your heels often hurt throughout the day? Does every step seem more painful than the last? Heel pain is often used as a more colloquial term for a very common foot condition known as plantar fasciitis. However, plantar fasciitis isn’t the only cause of heel pain. Let’s discuss some of the different foot injuries and conditions that could cause you to experience heel pain.

Achilles Tendonitis

Achilles tendonitis is similar to plantar fasciitis. Both conditions are the result of inflamed tissue in your foot, your Achilles tendon or your plantar fascia. The difference is that your Achilles tendon connects your heel to your calf and your plantar fascia connects your heel to the ball of your feet. You’ll know your heel pain is Achilles tendonitis and not plantar fasciitis if:    

  • The pain is focused above your heel, rather than under it

  • The pain affects the use of your calf muscles

  • You have difficulty pointing or bending your feet to a 90-degree position

Heel Spurs

As the name might suggest, this condition creates a great deal of pain in one’s heels, but it shouldn’t be mistaken as heel pain or plantar fasciitis. Heel spurs are small concentrations of calcium in one’s heels that cause a protrusion, or spur, to form on the heel. While heel spurs are very different from heel pain, it can often be caused by plantar fasciitis. Therefore, some of the same prevention techniques like stretching and custom orthotics could prevent you from developing heel spurs.

Hairline Heel Fractures

A hairline fracture is a small break in the bone that can sometimes even be imperceptible on X-rays. The pain of a hairline fracture, while intense, can often be manageable enough that people confuse it with plantar fasciitis.

If you’re experiencing heel pain and aren’t sure what’s causing it, see your local podiatrist as soon as possible. If you’re located in Midtown East, Manhattan, make an appointment to see board-certified podiatrists, Jonathan Levy, DPM, and Nadia Levy, DPM, at Park 56 Podiatry. With the help of their friendly staff, they’ll diagnose the exact cause of your heel pain. Make an appointment online or call (212) 980-6487 today.