What Causes Heel Pain? Consult Dr. DiNucci

What Causes Heel Pain? Consult Dr. DiNucci

Heel pain is a common ailment that can significantly impact your daily life. It can make walking, standing, and even putting on shoes difficult. While the most common cause is plantar fasciitis, several other potential culprits exist. If you’re experiencing heel pain, it’s important to seek a proper diagnosis and treatment plan from a qualified podiatrist like Dr. Kris A. DiNucci at the Foot and Ankle Center of Arizona.

Understanding Heel Pain

Heel pain can manifest in different ways. You might experience a sharp, stabbing pain in the bottom of your heel, a dull ache that worsens with activity, or tenderness when you press on the area. The location and severity of the pain can offer clues about the underlying cause.

10 Potential Causes of Heel Pain


  • Plantar Fasciitis: This is the most frequent cause of heel pain, particularly in adults. The plantar fascia is a thick band of tissue that runs along the bottom of your foot, connecting your heel to your toes. Repetitive stress and overuse can cause inflammation in this tissue, leading to heel pain, especially in the morning or after long periods of standing.
  • Achilles Tendinitis: The Achilles tendon connects your calf muscles to your heel bone. Overuse or repetitive strain can inflame this tendon, causing pain in the back of your heel, particularly when you push off the ground while walking or running.
  • Plantar Fasciitis vs. Achilles Tendinitis: Differentiating between these two conditions can be tricky. Plantar fasciitis typically causes pain at the bottom of the heel, while Achilles tendinitis presents with pain in the back of the heel. However, a podiatrist like Dr. DiNucci can conduct a thorough examination to provide an accurate diagnosis.
  • Heel Spur: A heel spur is a bony calcium deposit that forms on the underside of the heel bone. While not everyone with a heel spur experiences pain, it can irritate the surrounding tissues, leading to heel pain.
  • Sever’s Disease: This is a growth plate irritation that affects children and teenagers who are active in sports. The pain usually occurs at the back of the heel where the Achilles tendon attaches to the heel bone.
  • Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome: This condition arises from compression of the tibial nerve in the tarsal tunnel, located on the inner side of your ankle. Symptoms can include heel pain, burning, tingling, and numbness in the heel and sole of the foot.
  • Stress Fracture: Tiny cracks in the heel bone can cause heel pain, especially in athletes who participate in high-impact activities.
  • Reactive Arthritis: This inflammatory condition can affect various joints, including the heel, following an infection or another inflammatory disease.
  • Haglund’s Deformity: This is an enlargement of the bony bump at the back of the heel bone, which can irritate the bursa (fluid-filled sac) near it, leading to heel pain and swelling.
  • Arthritis: Degenerative joint diseases like osteoarthritis can affect the joints in your foot, including the heel joint, causing pain and stiffness.

When to See a Podiatrist

If your heel pain is severe, persistent, or doesn’t improve with home remedies, it’s crucial to consult a podiatrist like Dr. DiNucci. Early diagnosis and treatment can prevent the condition from worsening and help you get back on your feet quickly.


What can I do to relieve heel pain at home?

Rest, ice application, stretching exercises, and over-the-counter pain medication can help alleviate pain. Supportive shoes and inserts can also be beneficial.

How does Dr. DiNucci diagnose heel pain?

Dr. DiNucci will conduct a comprehensive physical examination, review your medical history, and order imaging tests like X-rays or MRI scans to determine the cause of your pain.

What are the treatment options for heel pain?

Treatment depends on the underlying cause. Dr. DiNucci may recommend conservative measures like physical therapy, night splints, custom orthotics, or corticosteroid injections. In severe cases, surgery might be necessary.


Heel pain can be disruptive, but it’s treatable with a proper diagnosis and care plan. At the Foot and Ankle Center of Arizona, Dr. Kris A. DiNucci and his knowledgeable staff are committed to providing exceptional care for all your foot and ankle problems. Don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment if you’re experiencing heel pain. Early intervention can help you find relief and get back to enjoying an active life. Visit


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