Heel Pain

If you often feel a stabbing pain in the heel of your foot you may be suffering from plantar fasciitis. This inflammatory condition is the most common cause of heel pain. Running, spending long periods of time standing, and other repetitive stretching and tearing of the fascia are typically the cause.

Plantar fascia serves as a shock-absorber when walking and running. The thick band of connective tissue runs along the bottom of your feet. This tissue connects your heel bone to your toes and supports the arch of your foot.

Left untreated, plantar fasciitis can significantly hinder your ability to enjoy daily activities such as walking, running, exercising, or even standing. Learn more below about managing your foot pain.


  • Stabbing pain on the bottom of the foot or heel when taking your first steps in the morning. This may improve as the day goes on but flare up again with increase in activity.
  • Pain on the sole of the foot near the heel
  • Tenderness when touching the area of the plantar fascia
  • Pain that increases over time


  • High arched foot or flat foot
  • Wearing non-supportive footwear
  • Repetitive activities that engage the feet
  • Pregnancy
  • Excess weight

Risk Factors

  • Participating in athletic activities such as running, jumping, tennis, and ballet dancing
  • A sudden increase in exercise intensity or duration
  • Conditions such as Achilles tendonitis, flat feet, or high arches
  • Occupations that require standing for long durations such as factory workers or teachers
  • Poorly fitting footwear
  • Excess weight


  • Physical examination of the feet and ankle 
  • X-ray to show bone health
  • MRI or CT scan to show muscle and soft tissue health

Treatment Options

  • RICE therapy: Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation
  • Physical therapy
  • Stretching exercises
  • Orthotic arch supports worn in shoes
  • Wearing supportive shoes
  • Use of a night splint
  • Stopping or modifying activity if pain is present
  • Weight loss
  • Surgical repair is rare