As the largest of the foot’s 26 bones, the heel is often susceptible to pain and injury due to its position and vital functions. Common heel pain itself is rarely a severe medical condition, but it can be a sign of something a little more serious. For example, discomfort on the underside usually stems from plantar fasciitis, while pain on the back of the heel is frequently associated with Achilles tendinitis.
Most Common Causes
As mentioned above, the following two conditions are the most common causes of intense heel pain:
Plantar Fasciitis – An inflammation of the plantar fascia connective tissue, which runs from the heel to the front of the foot. Specifically, plantar fasciitis develops when the plantar fascia tendon becomes strained over time. This can be due to a number of different reasons, but the most common is athletic activity. On the other hand, improperly fitting shoes with insufficient arch support will also aggravate the plantar fasciitis and cause increased heel pain.
Achilles Tendinitis – An inflammation of the Achilles tendon, which runs down the backside of the ankle and into the heel. Achilles tendinitis occurs near the heel bone when this sensitive tendon is strained, usually over a long period of time. This condition is most frequently seen in older individuals who still walk and run for exercise.
Heel Spurs – A hard, unnatural growth on the bottom of the heel bone that is often associated with plantar fasciitis.
Heel Bursitis – This is an inflammation or swelling of the bursa, a fluid-filled sac at the back of the heel – under the Achilles tendon. It is most often caused by wearing shoes that put too much pressure on this part of the foot or wearing heels that do not properly fit.
Arthritis – More specifically, osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
Stress Fracture – A fracture, or break in the heel bone, caused by repetitive stress. This particular cause is most commonly seen amongst competitive athletes and runners.
Vionic Relief Orthotic Insoles - Orthaheel
Vionic Orthaheel Relief Full Length
For all the benefits of a custom-made orthotic without the costliness, try out the Orthaheel Relief Full Length. This orthotic seamlessly replaces your old insoles to help realign and protect your feet. Slide in a pair of Orthaheel Reliefs today and discover the difference.
Vionic Slimfit Women's Dress Insoles - Orthaheel
Orthaheel Slimfit Dress Shoe Orthotic Insoles - arch support & pronation control for Women's dress shoes and heels - Free Shipping
Vionic Relief 3/4 Length Orthaheel Insoles
Vionic Orthaheel Relief 3/4 Length
For a versatile orthotic that'll fit all your footwear, look no further than the Orthaheel Relief 3/4 Length by Vionic. Perfect for everyday use, the small size makes them compatible with shoes that don't feature removable insoles. Simply slide them in! Start experiencing the benefits of sure-fitting footwear now with impressive Orthaheel Relief.
CurrexSole RunPro Insoles - High Arch Walking / Running Shoe Inserts
CurrexSole RunPro Insoles - High Arch version is perfect for those with high arches, supinators, or those with bow-legs. These natural performance insoles are packed with technology to help reduce fatigue in the feet and calf muscles.
Vionic Active Orthotic Insoles with Orthaheel Support
Orthaheel Active Orthotics
Take control of your feet with Orthaheel Active Orthotics. Designed to help you manage stability, this orthotic gives you the power to run or power walk with the ultimate ease. Don't let your feet hold you back; insert a pair of Orthaheel Active Orthotics into your favorite sneakers today!
Dr. Rosenberg's Instant Arches - Comfort Arch
Add arch support to any pair of shoes! If you have fallen arches or are suffering from foot pain, heel pain, or arch pain, there is an easy and convenient product that can eliminate your discomfort. Instant Arches® is your solution.
Dr. Rosenberg's Instant Arches for Sandals
Add arch support to any pair of sandals with Dr. Rosenberg's Instant Arches. If you have fallen arches or are suffering from foot pain, heel pain, or arch pain, there is an easy and convenient product that can eliminate your discomfort when you wear sandals. Instant Arches is your solution.
KidZerts Heel Cup for Children - Heel Pain
KidZert's Heel Cup - Anti-bacterial top cover - Provides relief from heel pain - Low profile design fits in any children's shoe - Free Shipping at the Orthotic Shop. Sizes: Small (US 13-2) (EU 31-33), Large (US 3-5) (EU 34-36)
CurrexSole RunPro Insoles - Low Arch Walking / Running Shoe Inserts
CurrexSole RunPro Insoles - Low Arch version is perfect for flat footed / low arched feet. These natural performance insoles are packed with technology to help reduce fatigue in the feet and calf muscles.
Backjoy Silver Comfort Insoles / Shoe Inserts
BackJoy’s StandRight Comfort Insoles offer complete foot comfort to help you maintain optimal posture by eliminating painful heel strike and pressure points. Comfort Insoles are ideal for all-day comfort, ultra-sensitive feet, plantar fasciitis, heel pain/arthritis and sports and fitness. They can be trimmed to fit any shoe.
FS6 Foot Compression Sleeve for Plantar Fasciitis - Pair
FS6 Foot Compression Sleeve
Expertly crafted to relieve the aches of plantar fasciitis and similar ailments, this lightweight sleeve provides targeted support to the various parts of your foot so you can experience sweet relief. Worn underneath your socks, it can be comfortably and discretely used around the clock.
Vionic Shock Absorber - Cushioned Orthaheel Insoles
The Vionic Shock Absorber orthotic insoles are great for people who have never worn orthotic supports before. It has a gentle arch support and ample amounts of cushioning.
Redi-Thotics Ultra - Extra Firm Arch Supports
Redithotic Ultra - The Redi-Thotic Ultra provides extra-firm arch support. It is ideal for people with high arches and who are experiencing Plantar Fasciitis or collapsed arches. This orthotic provides excellent motion & pronation control.
Redi-Thotics Control - Semi-Firm Arch Supports
Redithotic Control - The Redi-Thotic Control is a semi-flexible arch support that is ideal for people with heel spurs, and plantar fasciitis. The Control features a heel depression to alleviate pressure off of any heel or bone spurs. The Control works best with medium to high arches.
Shearling Orthotic Insoles - Inserts for Slippers, Bearpaw, Uggs w/ Arch Support
These Shearling Insoles have excellent arch support and are great replacements for slippers, boots and shoes where you want extra warmth. Perfect for Orthofeet / VIONIC slippers, UGG and Bearpaw boots. The Shearling / Sheepskin Orthotic Insoles are made by the same company that makes our custom orthotics. They know all about the support your feet need. If you are a half size, please order down a size.
Vionic Gel Heel Device - Orthaheel Technology
The Vionic Gel Heel Device is a great alternative to basic heel cups. The Gel heel device fits in most types of shoes and is used to control mild pronation.
Powerstep Foot / Arch Compression Sleeve Sock for Plantar Fasciitis
The Powerstep® Plantar Fasciitis Support Sleeve is ideal for daily use in reducing arch and heel pain or symptoms of Plantar Fasciitis. Its thin, breathable design is perfect for wear under socks and with shoes. Suitable for use in conjunction with Powerstep® orthotics for daytime use in alleviating Plantar Fasciitis or heel and arch pain. Sold as each.
Redi-Thotics Flex - Flexible Arch Supports
Redithotic Flex - The Flex arch support is ideal for flat feet, low & medium arches, people with metatarsalgia (pain at the ball of the foot). The flex provides general comfort & support and fits into most footwear.
Powerstep UltraStretch® Night Sock - Plantar Fasciitis and Achilles Tendonitis
Powerstep’s UltraStretch® Night Sock combines ultra-soft material, a comfortable sleeve design and an adjustable dorsiflexion strap which gently pulls the toes to stretch the calf muscle and soft tissues of the foot and ankle. By providing a gentle and effective stretch and keeping the foot in a neutral position, the UltraStretch® helps alleviate the heel pain associated with common overuse injuries such as Plantar Fasciitis and Achilles Tendonitis when taking those first morning steps. Available in two sizes, sized by calf measurement. Color: Black.
Spenco Rx 3/4 Length Orthotic
Spenco Rx 3/4 length orthotic - Spenco Orthotic Insoles are moldable for a custom fit - great for flat feet - arch pain - free shipping
Airform Night Splint - Ossur, Royce Medical
The Royce Medical Airform Dorsal Night Splint is an effective plantar fasciitis treatment for achilles tendonitis, plantar fascitis, and drop foot injuries. This plantar fasciitis night splint is smaller and lighter than most dorsal night splint products for greater ease of use during the night in bed.
The smaller, lighter design of the Airform Night Splint provides greater ease of use during the night in bed. The dorsal night foot splint treats the problem differently than braces or supports by applying a mild passive stretch to the achilles tendon and plantar fascia to keep it in a lengthened state. This static positioning (rehabilitation) allows the soft tissue a chance to heal thereby reducing pain and discomfort when walking. This plantar fascitis night splint maintains the ankle in a neutral position (ankle at a right angle) to impart a gentle, constant stretch to the achilles and plantar fascia on the bottom of the foot.
Arch Assist for Betterstep Inserts (ArchAssist)
The Arch Assist for Betterstep Inserts correctly and gently supports and positions the arch area to relieve pain and prevent injury from over-pronation. The ArchAssist is designed to work in harmony with all Betterstep inserts and insoles.
Spenco Polysorb Cross Trainer
The Cross Trainer Style Polysorb® Insoles are used most often for aerobics, court sports, running, weight training, racquet sports and walking. Special cushioning in both the heel strike zone and the forefoot area for outstanding performance. Helps turn any athletic shoe into a cross training shoe.
Betterstep Low Profile Deluxe - Dress Shoe Orthotic
The Betterstep Low Profile is an ultra thin orthotic. This is a lightweight and heat moldable orthotic and is ideal for use in dress shoes or shoes that don't have alot of room.
Top sellers for: Heel Pain
Ossur Airform Night Splint – A multi-strap ankle and forefoot brace that’s meant to be worn during sleep in order to stretch and naturally reposition your foot overnight. It’s a simple, effective method for those who’d like to avoid the morning aches and pains associated with plantar fasciitis.
Adjustable Heel Lift – A simple orthotic insert that easily slips into any shoe and strategically positions your heel to deliver pain-relief to those with flat feet or plantar fasciitis.
Active Orthotics Custom Made Insole – These premium orthotic insoles are specially designed by Betterfrom’s foot health experts to acclimate to your foot and accommodate the shoe’s shape. The results? Maximum heel support and decreased pain. These inserts are ideal for those with an active lifestyle.
Other Relief Options
- Wear shoes that fit properly – avoid those that are too tight or too lose around the toe, forefoot or heel.
- Depending on the activity at hand, be sure to wear the appropriate athletic shoes. It’s pretty simple: don’t wear dress shoes if you’re going to play soccer.
- Stretch your Achilles thoroughly before exercising.
- If swelling occurs or persists, use ice to reduce the inflammation – not heat.