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Heel Pain: 5 Common Causes

 If you’re living with heel pain, you may be wondering how and where it started. Heel pain is a symptom of a greater issue that you might not even be aware you had. For some people, the pain is insidious, while for others, the pain is immediate and apparent. 

Samuel Cox, DPM, and the rest of our team here at Arizona Foot & Ankle Specialists in Goodyear, Arizona, are here to help determine the cause of your foot and ankle pain, including heel pain, and find the right treatment for you.

There are many causes of heel pain, but in this blog, we’re going over five of the most common.

Heel spurs

Heel spurs occur when there’s an abnormal bone growth at the bottom of the heel where the plantar fascia meets the heel bone. 

This develops due to long-term strain on the foot muscles and plantar fascia. Runners, joggers, and people who are obese are more likely to experience heel spurs because of the added pressure. Ill-fitting or worn-out shoes are also culprits in developing these bone growths.

Achilles tendinitis

Inflammation of the Achilles tendon, also known as Achilles tendinitis, is typically caused by overuse of the tendon, such as sudden movement and pushing off of the foot, as is common in various sports. 

Achilles tendinitis may also be caused by wearing high heels, having flat feet, or taking certain medications. It can also occur if your leg muscles or tendons are too tight.


Causing pain in the underside or back of the heel, bursitis is a condition in which the bursa, a sac that lines several joints, becomes inflamed. This issue may be due to structural problems in the foot or the frequent use of shoes with little cushion in the heel. 

Continued movement of the surrounding tendons and muscles may aggravate the pain you’re experiencing because of bursitis.

Plantar fasciitis

Perhaps the most common cause of heel pain, plantar fasciitis occurs when the plantar fascia, the fibrous tissue band that supports the arch of your foot, becomes inflamed and develops tears due to overuse or overstretching. 

Most everyone is susceptible to developing this issue, but those who participate in various sports and other athletic activities are at higher risk, as are pregnant women, people with flat feet, and those who are obese.

Localized bruising

As with any other part of your body, your heel is subject to running into something hard and getting bruised as a result. Commonly referred to as a stone bruise, this type of injury feels as though there’s a stone or pebble at the bottom of your shoe.

This condition can be the result of running into something, as we said, or stepping on something hard. While certainly annoying, stone bruises are likely to resolve themselves and aren’t typically cause for worry.

Taking care of your feet is important. They do hold us up, after all! If you’re experiencing new or lingering heel pain, give us a call at 623-935-5780 or book an appointment through our website.

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