The heel bone is the largest bone in the foot and is subjected to a tremendous amount of stress. When the stress becomes excessive the soft tissue that attaches to the heel bone can become painful and inflamed. The most common locations of heel pain are the bottom and back of the heel.
Pain on the bottom of the heel is commonly caused by plantar fasciitis. The band of tissue on the bottom of the heel becomes painful and inflamed. Over time a heel spur may develop. Pain in the back of the heel is usually a result of Achilles tendonitis. The soft tissue structures in the area of the attachment of the Achilles tendon become painful and inflamed. Over time a bone spur may develop in the back of the heel.
Excessive pronation can be associated with both conditions. If the arch flattens too much excessive stress can be placed on both the plantar fascia and Achilles tendon. Ortho-Dynamic orthotics and Scott innersoles are an excellent solution to manage excessive pronation. Tightness of the Achilles tendon and plantar fascia can also result in heel pain. In addition to performing stretching exercises the use of an Oviation Night Splint can help stretch both of these structures. Compression sleeves can also provide support and decrease swelling assocated with heel pain. For plantar fasciitis we recommend the Darco DCS plantar fasciitis sleeve. For Achilles tendonitis the Sigvaris 412C Performance sock works well.