See your health care provider right away for:
- Severe heel pain right after an injury.
- Severe pain and swelling near the heel.
- Not being able to bend the foot downward, rise on toes or walk as usual.
- Have heel pain with fever, numbness or tingling in the heel.
Schedule an office visit if:
- There's heel pain even when not walking or standing.
- Heel pain lasts more than a few weeks, even after you've tried rest, ice and other home treatments.
Heel pain often goes away on its own with home care. For heel pain that isn't severe, try the following:
- Rest. If possible, don't do anything that puts 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 give plenty of support. If you're an athlete, choose shoes that are designed for your sport. Replace them regularly.
- Foot supports. Heel cups or wedges that you buy without a prescription often give relief. Custom-made orthotics usually aren't needed for heel problems.
- Pain medicines. Medicines you can get without a prescription can help relieve pain. These include aspirin and ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others).
April 05, 2023
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- Fields KB. Evaluation and diagnosis of common causes of hindfoot pain in adults. https://www.uptodate.com/contents/search. Accessed Nov. 7, 2022.
- Heel pain. American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons. https://orthoinfo.aaos.org/en/diseases--conditions/heel-pain/. Accessed Nov. 7, 2022.
- Chorley J, et al. Heel pain in the active child or skeletally immature adolescent: Overview of causes. https://www.uptodate.com/contents/search. Accessed Nov. 8, 2022.
- Thomas MJ, et al. Plantar heel pain in middle-aged and older adults: Population prevalence, associations with health status and lifestyle factors, and frequency of healthcare use. BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders. 2019; doi:10.1186/s12891-019-2718-6.
- Heel pain. American Podiatric Medical Association. https://www.apma.org/Patients/FootHealth.cfm?ItemNumber=985. Accessed Nov. 7, 2022.