Heel pain is one of the most common forms of foot pain. Pain in the heel often results from inflammation of the plantar fascia, which is a connective band of tissue that runs from the heel to the arch of the foot. In addition to plantar fasciitis, other causes for heel pain include injuries, bone spurs, and inflammatory conditions such as arthritis.

Heel pain is most common in active people over the age of 40. It also is common in active children between the ages of 8 and 13. Chronic heel pain can lead to pain in other areas of the foot and leg, including toe pain, ankle pain, knee pain, and hip pain.

Here are some questions to ask your doctor (e.g., podiatrist) about heel pain. Print this page, mark the questions you would like to have answered, and bring it with you to your next appointment. The more you know about conditions that cause heel pain, the easier it will be to make informed decisions about treatment and prevention.

Questions to Ask Your Doctor about Heel Pain

  • What are common heel pain risk factors and causes?
  • What do you suspect is the underlying cause for my heel pain?
  • What does heel pain diagnosis involve?
  • What kinds of diagnostic tests will be performed?
  • Why is my heel pain worse in the morning?
  • What should I do if my pain worsens or I develop new heel pain symptoms? Telephone number to call:
  • What type of heel pain treatment do you recommend?
  • What are the benefits and disadvantages of this treatment for heel pain?
  • Might lifestyle changes and conservative treatment be helpful? If so, what measures do you recommend?
  • Do you recommend that I take over-the-counter or prescription medications for my heel pain? Why or why not?
  • If pain medications are recommended, what are the possible drug side effects?
  • What should I do if I experience severe side effects from these medications? Telephone number to call:
  • If conservative treatments and medications are not successful, what other treatment options are available?
  • What do these treatments involve?
  • Might you recommend heel surgery? If so, what does surgical treatment for heel pain involve?
  • What are the benefits, risks, and possible complications of heel pain surgery?
  • How long might recovery from surgery take?
  • Can heel pain be prevented? If so, what does heel pain prevention involve?
  • Next appointment:

    Doctor: Date: Time:

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Publication Review By: Stanley J. Swierzewski, III, M.D.

Published: 24 Jun 2009

Last Modified: 18 Sep 2015