Heel Pain

Heel Pain

Heel Pain services offered in The Fan, VCU, Richmond, VA

Heel pain is a common discomfort suffered by athletes and other active individuals. At Richmond Foot & Ankle Surgical Associates in Richmond, Virginia, skilled podiatrists Weston Angermeier, DPM, and Rachel Hensley, DPM, offer conservative care and surgical treatment for heel pain. Call Richmond Foot & Ankle Surgical Associates today, or schedule an appointment online for individualized heel pain treatment.

Quick Facts About Heel Pain

Heel pain is often caused by a condition known as plantar fasciitis, which is an inflammation of the tissue that connects your heel to your toes.

Properly fitted shoes and orthotic inserts can help alleviate heel pain symptoms by providing support and cushioning for the feet during movement.

Regular stretching exercises can also help relieve heel pain, as well as icing the area after periods of prolonged activity.

Heel Pain Q & A

What causes heel pain?

Pain that develops on the outside or underside of the heel can interfere with your normal activities. If you frequently experience discomfort when walking, running, or standing, you could have chronic heel pain.

Many conditions and injuries can cause heel pain, including:

Plantar fasciitis

By far the most common cause of heel pain, plantar fasciitis affects the thick band of tissue that connects the toes to the heel — the plantar fascia. Frequent stress, pressure, and strain on the plantar fascia lead to pain-causing inflammation. This is called plantar fasciitis.

Heel spurs

Heel spurs are calcium deposits that form bony growths. They develop gradually, often alongside plantar fasciitis.

Achilles tendinitis

The Achilles tendon, stretching from the back of the heel through the calf, lifts your heel off the ground during movement. Too much stress on this vital tendon can cause stiffness, pain, and inflammation.

Structural deformities

When you stand, the arches in your midfoot should lift above the ground. Flat feet occur when the whole of your sole sits flush to the ground. If this space lifts too far off the ground, you have high arches. Both structural problems can cause arch and heel pain.

How is heel pain diagnosed?

Diagnosing heel pain requires a complete visual exam and medical history review. Your Richmond Foot & Ankle Surgical Associates provider will examine your foot mechanics, structure, and gait (the way you walk) to diagnose the source of your heel pain.

In addition, your provider could order imaging procedures, like X-rays, an MRI, or an ultrasound, to view your foot’s internal structure.

How is heel pain treated?

Depending on the cause of your heel pain, treatments at Richmond Foot & Ankle Surgical Associates can include:


3D scanned custom orthotics are shoe inserts that mold to the exact shapes of your feet. These custom-made devices support and cushion your feet to relieve heel pain, correct imbalances, and restore function.

Anti-inflammatory medication

Anti-inflammatory medication and steroid injections can reduce swelling around the heel to relieve pain.

Physical therapy

Physical therapy involves stretches, exercises, night splints, and other nonsurgical treatments to relieve pain and restore the function of your damaged heel.


If conservative care fails to improve your pain, surgery is the next step. The Richmond Foot & Ankle Surgical Associates providers can repair a damaged plantar fascia or Achilles tendon, remove heel spurs, and perform other surgical treatments to lessen or eliminate heel pain.

To learn more about heel pain, call Richmond Foot & Ankle Surgical Associates today or schedule an appointment online.