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  • Writer's pictureLouise Fordham

Why does my heel hurt? What could it be? Do I need to see a Podiatrist

My Heel hurts?

Are you experiencing a sharp pain in your heel that just won't go away? It's time to take a closer look and get to the bottom of it. We'll explore the common causes of heel pain, helping you understand the possible reasons behind your discomfort. Whether it's plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendonitis, or a heel spur, we'll delve into each condition, their symptoms, and how they can affect your daily life. But the big question remains - do you need to see a podiatrist? We'll provide you with the necessary information to decide whether it's time to seek professional help or if there are steps you can take to alleviate the pain on your own. Don't let your heel pain hold you back any longer – let's get to the root of the problem and find the relief you deserve.

Common causes of heel pain

Heel pain is a common complaint that can be caused by a variety of factors. Understanding the underlying causes is essential in determining the best course of action for treatment. One of the most prevalent causes of heel pain is plantar fasciitis. The plantar fascia is a thick band of tissue that runs along the bottom of your foot, connecting your heel bone to your toes. When this tissue becomes inflamed or irritated, it can cause intense pain in the heel. Other common causes of heel pain include Achilles tendonitis, heel spurs, and stress fractures.

Plantar fasciitis: Symptoms, causes, and treatment options

Plantar fasciitis is a condition characterised by inflammation of the plantar fascia. It commonly presents as a sharp pain in the heel that is worse in the morning or after prolonged periods of rest. The pain may improve with activity but can worsen throughout the day. The main causes of plantar fasciitis include overuse, improper footwear, and biomechanical issues. Treatment options for plantar fasciitis include rest, stretching exercises, orthotic inserts, and physical therapy. Please book in for an MSK Consultation if you are suffering with heel pain.

Achilles tendinitis: Causes, symptoms, and treatment

The Achilles tendon is the largest tendon in the body and connects the calf muscles to the heel bone. Achilles tendinitis is a condition that occurs when this tendon becomes inflamed. Common causes of Achilles tendinitis include overuse, improper footwear, and tight calf muscles. Symptoms of Achilles tendinitis include pain and stiffness in the heel, especially in the morning or after physical activity. Treatment options for Achilles tendinitis include rest, ice, physical therapy, and stretching exercises. In some cases, orthotic inserts or a walking boot may be necessary to alleviate symptoms.

Heel spurs: What are they and how are they treated?

Heel spurs are bony outgrowths that develop on the underside of the heel bone. They are often associated with plantar fasciitis and can cause pain and discomfort in the heel. Heel spurs are typically caused by long-term strain on the muscles and ligaments of the foot. Treatment options for heel spurs include rest, stretching exercises, orthotic inserts, and physical therapy. In severe cases, corticosteroid injections or surgery may be recommended to remove the spur.

Other possible causes of heel pain

While plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendinitis, heel spurs, and stress fractures are the most common causes of heel pain, there are other conditions that can also contribute to discomfort in the heel. These include bursitis, arthritis, nerve impingement, and tarsal tunnel syndrome. If your heel pain persists or worsens despite self-care measures, it is important to consult a podiatrist for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan.

When to see a podiatrist for heel pain

Deciding when to see a podiatrist for heel pain can be a daunting task. In general, it is recommended to seek medical attention if your heel pain is severe, lasts for more than a few weeks, or is accompanied by other symptoms such as fever, redness, or swelling. A podiatrist will be able to evaluate your symptoms, perform a physical examination and determine the underlying cause of your heel pain.

Diagnosing and treating heel pain: What to expect at a Cardiff podiatrist appointment

During your Cardiff podiatrist appointment, the podiatrist will ask you about your symptoms, medical history, and any previous treatments you have tried. They will then perform a physical examination of your foot. Once a diagnosis is made, the podiatrist will discuss treatment options with you, which may include conservative measures such as rest, physical therapy, or the use of orthotic devices.

Prevention tips for heel pain

Prevention is key when it comes to heel pain. To reduce your risk of developing heel pain, it is important to wear proper footwear that provides adequate support and cushioning. Additionally, maintaining a healthy weight, stretching regularly, and engaging in low-impact exercises can help prevent heel pain. If you have a history of foot problems or are prone to developing heel pain, it is recommended to consult a podiatrist for personalised prevention strategies.


Heel pain can be a debilitating condition that affects your daily life. Understanding the common causes of heel pain and when to seek professional help is essential for finding relief and preventing further complications. Whether it's plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendinitis, a heel spur, or another underlying condition, a podiatrist can provide the expertise and guidance needed to get you back on your feet. Don't let heel pain hold you back any longer – take the necessary steps to address the problem and regain your mobility and comfort.

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