Heel pain can impair your ability to stand or walk comfortably. At Foot & Ankle Medical Clinic in Garland, Texas, Scott Nelson, DPM, and his team of practitioners diagnose and treat the causes of heel pain. By diagnosing your pain, Dr. Nelson can help eliminate it. Call Foot & Ankle Medical Clinic or schedule an appointment online today to learn more.

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What causes heel pain?

The heel bone is larger than any of the other 26 bones that make up the foot. Surrounding the heel are hundreds of muscles, tendons, and ligaments. Damage or injury to any of the heel’s structures can cause pain and interfere with your mobility.

Common causes of heel pain include:

Plantar fasciitis

By far, plantar fasciitis is the most common cause of heel pain. The plantar fascia is a long, thick stretch of tissue that connects the bottom of the toes to the heel. When you strain or put too much pressure on the plantar fascia, it can lead to heel pain.

Heel spurs

Heel spurs are bony growths that can form on the bottom of your heel. They typically develop when the muscles, tendons, or ligaments that support the heel become strained. Heel spurs can be painful and sometimes only viewed on X-rays.


Overuse is a cause of both plantar fasciitis and heel spurs. Running, dancing, and weight challenges can put pressure on the heel, which may lead to chronic heel pain.

What are the symptoms of heel pain?

The most common symptom of heel pain is discomfort in the area surrounding the heel. In addition to pain, you may experience:

  • Swelling
  • Stiffness
  • Bruising
  • Redness
  • Visible bony lump on heel
  • Pain after sitting for long periods

Without treatment, heel pain can impact your mobility. It may be difficult to bear weight on your foot if it’s sore and inflamed.

How is heel pain diagnosed?

The team at Foot & Ankle Medical Clinic may perform a physical exam to assess your gait, reflexes, ability to move, and more. They may also order X-rays, a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) test, or an ultrasound to rule out conditions, such as bone fractures or arthritis.

What are the treatments for heel pain?

How the team at Foot & Ankle Medical Clinic treats your heel pain depends entirely on the cause.

In most instances, people with heel pain can benefit from custom-made orthotics. These custom inserts mold to the exact shape of your foot to correct imbalances. Addressing these deficiencies can help relieve pain and improve your mobility.

To alleviate pain and inflammation, Dr. Nelson may also recommend steroid injections. These anti-inflammatory injections may help relieve the pain while you strengthen the muscles in your foot through physical therapy.

For more information on heel pain, call Foot & Ankle Medical Clinic or schedule an appointment online now.