Pain under the heel

Pain under the heel usually comes on gradually over time through overuse. This pain can be associated with the calcaneum or soft tissue structures. Plantar fasciitis is the most common cause of pain under the heel, especially in older athletes but with increased artificial surfaces it is becoming more common in all ages.

Bruised heel is also a common cause, especially in long distance runners or the military. This can be associated with inappropriate footwear. Heel bursitis from a direct impact force on lading or an overuse injury can also cause pain under the heel.
  • Plantar Fasciitis

    Plantar Fasciitis

    What is plantar fasciitis? Probably the most common cause of heel pain. Symptoms come on gradually and are often worse first thing in the morning. The plantar fascia is the tissue under the foot which forms the arch. Treatment includes rest, reducing pain and inflammation and stretching exercises.

  • Bruised Heel

    Bruised Heel

    A bruised heel, also known and Policeman's Heel is a contusion or bruising to the tissues under the heel causing pain. Treatment includes rest and protecting the area with padding or taping as well as identifying potential causes and rectifying them.

  • Calcaneal Fracture

    Calcaneal Fracture

    A broken heel or fractured calcaneus bone is usually caused by falling or jumping from a height resulting in severe heel pain. It can also occur from road accidents or bike accidents. It is also possible for the calcaneus or heel bone to suffer a stress fracture in athletes such as long-distance runners which may come on more gradually.

  • Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome

    Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome

    Tarsal tunnel syndrome is a painful condition of the foot caused by pressure on the posterior tibial nerve as it passes along a passage called the tarsal tunnel just below the bony bit on the inside of the ankle causing a burning pain in the foot along with pins and needles and pain radiating in the arch of the foot.

  • Calcaneal Stress Fracture

    Calcaneal Stress Fracture

    A stress fracture of the calcaneus is a hairline fracture of the big heel bone and is usually caused by overuse. It is common in soldiers who march long distances and road runners. Treatment involves resting for 6 to 8 weeks followed by a gradual return to full training and fitness.

  • Heel Spur

    Heel Spur

    A heel spur is a hooked bony growth protruding from the calcaneus or heel bone. It often occurs alongside plantar fasciitis, and as such the two conditions are often confused, however they are not the same. Treatment involves rest, reducing symptoms with ice or cold therapy, stretching and correcting and biomechanical problems.

  • Lateral Plantar Nerve Entrapment

    Lateral Plantar Nerve Entrapment

    Lateral plantar nerve entrapment causes pain radiating to the inner, lower heel and inner ankle area.

  • Heel Pain

    Heel injuries can be sudden onset (acute) or can come on gradually over time. The most common causes of heel pain including pain under the heel are Plantar Fasciitis and Bruised Heel whilst pain at the back of the heel in children is often Sever's disease. Select from the injuries below or if you do not know what your injury is then visit our symptom checker, or click on any of the symptoms below to view injuries with that particular symptom.