The Most Common Causes of Heel Pain, and How to Treat It

Posted on: 16 September 2016

Heel pain doesn't always mean that you have a serious condition that should be addressed, but this type of pain can actually interfere with your everyday activities. When your feet hurt in any way, even a quick trip to the supermarket or driving your car can become an impossibility. While only a doctor can tell you exactly why your heels are hurting, note a few common causes of heel pain and how to address them.

Weight gain

Most people don't like to admit that they've gained weight over the years or think that it is connected to their physical problems, but remember that the more body weight you have, the more weight your feet, ankles, and heels need to support. While even a few extra pounds or kilograms can cause pain, severe weight gain can lead to constant pain in all the joints but especially the feet, and especially if you need to be on your feet while carrying that extra weight. The obvious solution is to lose weight so you're not putting as much pressure on your feet, but resting and elevating the feet can also give them a needed break so the pain subsides.


When you exercise in any fashion that involves stepping, running, or jumping, your heels take quite a bit of that impact every time you hit the ground. You might feel some heel pain if you take up a new sport as the muscles of your legs and ankles are not yet developed and strong enough to support this activity. Be sure you're wearing thick socks and shoes with thick soles so they can absorb some of that impact and also ensure you have adequate rest periods between exercise sessions. Developing the leg muscles can also take some pressure off the heels as you exercise.

Poor quality shoes

Shoes that pinch the heels can cut off proper blood flow so that the heels feel sore. High-heeled shoes with very narrow heels can mean that the heel is not getting proper support with each step. Those pointy or spiky heels also put more pressure on that part of the foot, as they tend to "jab" the heel when you walk. Not having proper arch support for your feet can also mean that you may be leaning backwards when you stand or walk, and this can put pressure on your heels. Be sure you buy properly fitting shoes and avoid high heels as much as possible; if you must wear them, slip them off when sitting and take extra time to massage your heels and feet at the end of the day.