Heel Pain From Running: Causes, Symptoms, Treatment (2024)

The most prominent type of exercise is running, but it can at times lead to heel pain.

Often, heel pain from running is correlated with structural concerns, improper patterns of movement, and plantar fasciitis.

It is important to take care of it quickly and treat heel pain to avoid further complications and misalignments.

Continue to read to learn more about the steps you can take to prevent heel pain from treatments and occurrence.



What causes runners heel pain from running? 

What causes runners heel pain from running

Various factors should come into play when it comes to heel pain from running, although it arrives from things as simple as overuse or reduced motion ranges within your ankle.

It happens most of the time for the influences combine, leading to pain, symptoms as well and muscular imbalances.

You have a greater risk of leading to issues if you have greater weight, even injuries affecting the movement patterns and the alignment.

People are more subjected to pain after running since these are the shapes of the foot, imposing excessive strain on the plantar fascia as they deal with fallen arches or flat feet.

The plantar fascia is a thick ligament running along the underside of your foot.

Inflammation, pain, and tearing of the plantar fascia are considered plantar fasciitis.


Sever’s disease

Sever’s disease is the most painful condition to the heel occurring in the developing kids.

It often happens when the tendon attaches itself to the rear end of the heel or Achilles tendon pulling on this growth plat, which is considered apophysis, the bone on the heel, or the calcaneus.

The repeated amount of stress on the growth plate causes inflammation and pain in the region.

It commonly takes place in physically active kids between the ages of 8 to 14 years.

The pain can worsen with physical activities, while Achilles’ tendons are perfect.

Pain can also worsen during the spurt in growth, especially when bones develop rapidly more than the tendons.

It increases the stretch of the tendon on the heel.

Sever’s disease is not a severe condition, although it is painful.

It will not lead to any extensive damage or arthritis, often resolving once the growth plates close up.


Achilles tendonitis 

The Achilles tendon’s overuse harms is Achilles tendinitis consisting of a collection of tissue connecting the calf muscles at the rear end of the lower leg to the bone on the heel.

Achilles tendonitis is commonly occurring in runners who have increased suddenly through the intensity or the duration of the running.

It is extremely common for middle-aged people to play sports such as basketball or tennis only during the weekends.

In several cases, Achilles tendinitis is treated easily with relatively simple at-home care under the supervision of your doctor.

There are self-care strategies that are mainly required to prevent recurring episodes.

In the most severe cases of Achilles tendinitis can lead to tendon ruptures that would need surgical repair.


Stress fractures 

A stress reaction can be related to the deep bone bruises that arise from overuse and trauma.

Injuries from stress are classified on a wide spectrum based on diagnosis.

A stress reaction that is left untreated develops into a stress fracture.

A small hairline crack develops in the stress fracture due to repetitive trauma that is mainly caused by overuse.

Overuse injuries account for about 50% of sports-related injuries.



The tenderness or Swelling in one or more joints will lead to arthritis.

The primary symptom of arthritis is stiffness and joint pain that mainly worsens with age.

The commonest kind of arthritis is rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis.

Osteoarthritis leads to cartilage, in which a hard, slippery tissue covers the ends of the bones where they form a joint for breaking down.

Rheumatoid arthritis is a disease where the immune system attacks the joints starting from the lining of the joint.

There is a formation of uric acid crystals forming when there are a lot of uric acids present in your blood that cause gout.

Any underlying disease or infection such as lupus or psoriasis causes other kinds of arthritis.


Nerve irritation

The nerve root pain starts from the damaged and compressed nerves in the spine.

Nerves would carry information controlling body movements along with the required sensations to the brain.

If there is damage to the nerve in the spine, it increases numbness, sensitivity as well as numbness.

Pain occurs from the multiple roots of the nerves.

The pain that arrives from one single nerve root is the radicular pain.


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Best Treatment for healing pain from running 

Best Treatment for healing pain from running 

There are multiple ways where you can treat heel pain on your own.

You can try out in-home treatments that are quite effective if they are treated early.

Therefore, keep a watch for the symptoms as soon as they pop up.

The following are the best ways you can help reduce stress, pain, and inflammation:

Breathe and Relax 

Set yourself back for some time and during flare-ups, rest your feet.

Take some time off from running and any other activities that lead to pain.

Never resume them till the symptoms are subsiding.

Perform some gentle feet and calf stretching and strengthening exercises about two to three times each day for about 5 minutes every session to relieve pain and increase flexibility.


Reduce Swelling with ice and NSAIDs 

Use an ice pack on your heels through the surrounding areas for about 20 minutes a couple of times a day to reduce the swelling and pain.

You can even consume nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen, aspirin, and naproxen, along with turmeric, cloves, fish oil supplements, self-massage, and acupuncture can also be relieving. (Before taking any medication just consult with your doctor).


Use orthotic inserts or heel pads 

Use the wedges, lifts, and heel pads in your shoes for added comfort.

Custom orthotic or over-the-counter devices can enhance stability by correcting muscle imbalances.

It can also help in preventing your foot from moving a lot or improperly.

Avoid walking barefoot as it can increase the strain and stress on your heels.


Use night splints or a walking cast 

You can make use of a removable walking cast for a couple of weeks to support your ankle and foot if you need to keep it off your foot completely.

You can also use the night splints easily.

They stretch your foot to hold it in the proper position as you are asleep.


When to consult your doctor? 

Generally, you can effectively treat pain in the heel with the help of preventative measures and treatments.

But, always visit your doctor or your physical therapist if the symptoms do not improve within the initial few weeks.

They can easily diagnose the exact cause and recommend a treatment plan.

These include corticosteroid injections in your heel area to reduce pain and inflammation.

You can even refer to an ankle and foot surgeon, although the requirement for the surgery is not common.

They can determine the main source of your pain in the heel with the help of an X-ray examination, and other imaging tests to decide the best action.

Call up your doctor if you are undergoing any serious pain in your heel, limiting your ability to walk being accompanied by inflammation as well as redness.


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Preventative Measures 

It is vital to continue with the preventative measures even if treating pain in your heel due to the underlying cause of your heel pain can continue.

It will help ensure that your symptoms are not recurring or worsening.


Alter your footstrike patterns 

Pay a lot of focus on the location of the foot strikes when it can initially hit the ground while you run.

Some people run with the pattern of rearfoot strike that is effective in terms of contributing to pain in the heel.

Make sure that you change to the forefoot or midfoot contact point to check whether this minimizes the impact or relieves you from heel pain.

It may not work for all. You can also locate where you can place a lot of pressure on the exterior and interior of your feet,

Remember that changing your strike pattern causes you to impose greater stress on your knee and other foot regions, leading to excessive strain.


Choose the different running facet 

You should be running on the grass, synthetic track, or dirt paths and gradually absorbing hills into your regime whenever possible.

Avoid running on flat hard surfaces such as tile or concrete floors.

Locate a pair of shoes that can aid you in absorbing the shock if you lack any choice for running on tough surfaces.


Before and after running, try stretching 

Perform the easy stretches as well as loosen up the ankles, calves, and feet about twice a day along with before and after running.

A few easy exercises can relax your muscles and include foot and ankle stretches, golf ball rolls, and calve stretches.


Maintain a balanced weight 

A lot of pressure is imposed on your lower body, mainly on your ankles, heels, and knees, when you have an increased weight while you run.

Shedding excessive weight can help you feel lighter on your feet.

Additionally, you can be balanced overall, thereby helping to maintain healthier movement patterns.


Try out the new running shoes 

Try investing in a pair of shoes that support the structure of your feet and are structured mainly to run.

Search for shoes that have better arch support and an elevated heel to place less stress on the plantar fascia.

You can also strap or even tape your foot.

Always ask your physical therapist or doctor for proper recommendations if you are not sure of the shoe you should choose.


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Below we share some FAQs related to the Quarry of “Heel Pain from Running”

1. What does a runner’s heel mean?

Terrible pain in your heel after your run is considered a condition known as plantar fasciitis, also considered runner’s heel.

It is generally characterized by a sharp pain around the arch and heel of your foot that you commonly experience the morning after running.


2. Is running still possible with heel pain?

You should continue a running routine as you deal with the plantar fasciitis, which is possible as long as the pain is a subtle one.

Hanging up the running shoes temporarily may be in shape if you experience severe to moderate discomfort.


3. Why is the heel bone hurting after running?

The commonest cause of heel pain from running is plantar fasciitis.

It is a ropy and thick tendon connecting the ball of the foot to your heel.

It can provide sufficient support in your arch of the foot, helping in absorbing a lot of impacts while we are walking, running, and dealing with daily businesses.


4. Is plantar fasciitis efficient enough in healing itself?

Plantar fasciitis is known for healing on its own, as it can take more than a year for the pain to subside.

Some complications would occur without any treatment. It is great enough to meet your doctor and start with the non-surgical treatments immediately.


5. How can runners be treating plantar fasciitis?

Your physician may suggest treatment options such as foot tapping, orthotics, night splints, anti-inflammatory medicine, and cortisone injections to decrease the symptoms.


6. What commonly causes heel pain?

The commonest reason for heel pain is plantar fasciitis as well as Achilles tendinitis.


7. Which are the three possible causes of plantar fasciitis?

Several factors cause plantar fasciitis, including the kind of foot structure, type of shoes, walking surfaces, and overuse.

The primary symptom of plantar fasciitis is heel pain.

There is a possible Treatment for plantar fasciitis that mainly does not need any surgery.


8. What happens when plantar fasciitis is not treated?

Plantar fasciitis can lead to several other issues within the body.

It causes an imbalance in how you are walking; this results in pain at the rear end and other regions of the body, while heel pain makes walking hard.


9. Can you walk barefoot when you have plantar fasciitis?

There are barefoot activities that can immensely improve balance and posture, preventing common injuries such as plantar fasciitis, stress fractures, shin splints, and tendonitis in the Achilles tendon.


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  • You should hear your body after and during your runs and adjust the training regimes.
  • Pay a lot of attention to your patterns of running.
  • Consider required changes mainly if you undergo heel pain.
  • Ask your friend or trainer to watch your technique and factor out any kind of imbalances that can contribute to heel pain from running.
  • Create a video of you running to check for any kind of abnormal movements that are easily noticed.
  • Never leave heel pain untreated. Relax and rest from running till the symptoms subside.
  • Speak to your physician if you are not able to treat the pain in your heel by yourself.


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