Why Does My Heel Hurt?

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That’s a question we hear frequently at Pasco-Hernando Foot & Ankle. There is no one answer. Heel pain can have many different sources.

Medical Conditions

There are several foot disorders that can result in heel pain. These include:

Plantar Fasciitis—with this condition, the long band of tissue that runs along the bottom of your foot (known as the plantar fascia) becomes inflamed. This, in turn, puts excess pressure on the heel, causing pain and swelling. Patients with plantar fasciitis may find that the pain is particularly excruciating with the first steps they take in the morning.

Sever’s Disease—this disorder is a common cause of heel pain in children and teens ages 8-15. Until the heel bone is fully developed, there is a vulnerable spot at the back of the heel in the growth plate that can become inflamed with overuse from sports and other activities.

Flat Feet—when you have fallen arches, it alters the biomechanics of your feet and puts strain on the heel. Patients with flat feet who experience heel pain often find relief through the use of a custom orthotic device.


Your weight can be a factor in how your heels feel. If you are overweight, every extra pound increases the impact on your heels as you walk. Your exercise regimen and leisure activities can also play a part. If you run, play basketball or do another high impact activity regularly, your risk of heel pain is increased. You may want to consider alternating high impact exercise with lower impact choices.


If your shoes have a heel cup that is too shallow or not well-cushioned, your heel will hurt. Don’t continue to wear shoes that have worn down on the inside and with an insole or heel that has become compacted. Look for styles that have good arch support and get your shoes professionally fitted to ensure maximum heel comfort.

The only way to find out for sure what is causing your heel discomfort is to make an appointment at our Spring Hill (352 683-5799) or Hudson (727-868-2128) office. Our podiatrist, Dr. Lawrence J. Kales, will physically examine your feet, get a complete medical history and order any necessary tests to get to the bottom of your heel pain. Once a diagnosis is confirmed, the foot doctor will prescribe the correct treatment for you.