When to see a doctor

By Mayo Clinic Staff

See your doctor immediately if you have:

  • Severe pain and swelling near your heel
  • Inability to bend your foot downward, rise on your toes or walk normally
  • Heel pain with fever, numbness or tingling in your heel
  • Severe heel pain immediately after an injury

Schedule an office visit if you have:

  • Heel pain that continues when you're not walking or standing
  • Heel pain that lasts more than a few weeks, even after you've tried rest, ice and other home treatments

Self-care
Heel pain often goes away on its own with home care. For heel pain that isn't severe, try the following:

  • Rest. If possible, avoid activities that put stress on your heels, such as running, standing for long periods or walking on hard surfaces.
  • Ice. Place an ice pack or bag of frozen peas on your heel for 15 to 20 minutes three times a day.
  • New shoes. Be sure your shoes fit properly and provide plenty of support. If you're an athlete, choose shoes appropriate for your sport and replace them regularly.
  • Foot supports. Heel cups or wedges that you buy in the drugstore often provide relief. Custom-made orthotics usually aren't needed for heel problems.
  • Over-the-counter pain medications. Aspirin or ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others) can reduce inflammation and pain.
Mar. 12, 2013