Plantar Fasciitis and Other Causes of Heel Pain

Heel pain can come on suddenly or get worse over time. Plantar fasciitis, an inflammation of band of tissue on the bottom of the foot, is the most common source of heel pain. When the band of tissue is stretched, tiny tears can cause pain. Age, weight and show choice can put you at risk for plantar fasciitis.

Other types of heel pain, include:

  • Achilles tendonitis
  • Arthritis
  • Baxter’s nerve entrapment
  • Cysts
  • Gout
  • Tarsal tunnel syndrome
  • Soft tissue mass
  • Sprain
  • Stress fracture

Symptoms, Diagnosis and Outlook

You may seek treatment for heel pain because you can no longer tolerate the pain during normal, everyday activities. You should call the podiatrists at Penn State Health if you have:

  • Pain you can no longer tolerate
  • Sudden severe pain
  • Swelling or redness in foot

After a physical exam, the experts at Penn State Health may order imaging tests including X-ray or MRI. Many foot pain can be treated through rest, therapy or medications. Your doctor may also recommend splints or orthotics to help manage your symptoms. If medical treatments do not provide you relief, surgery may be necessary.

Experts in Care

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Why Choose Penn State Health for Care

Top-Ranked by U.S. News & World Report

Penn State Health includes the Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, ranked as one of the best orthopedic providers in the country by U.S. News & World Report. This honor was earned because our doctors consistently deliver exceptional patient care and outcomes through their commitment to advanced treatments, translational research and provider training.

Coordinated, Specialized Care Through a Dedicated Institute

Our orthopaedic specialists work together through our dedicated Penn State Bone and Joint Institute. There, they focus on providing you with multidisciplinary, tailored care and state-of-the-art treatments and technologies. This produces the highest-quality patient outcomes. All physicians at the institute are fellowship-trained and subspecialize in additional niche areas of orthopaedics, including arthritis care and joint arthroplasty (joint replacement surgery).

Designated as a Blue Distinction® Center

Penn State Bone and Joint Institute is a Blue Distinction Center for Knee and Hip Replacement. This superior designation from BlueCross BlueShield is only given to health care facilities and providers that stand out for their expertise in delivering specialty knee and hip replacement care. Our surgeons specialize in a range of pain-relieving procedures, including partial knee replacement, total joint arthroplasty, joint preservation surgery and complex revision surgery. They perform more than 1,000 joint replacement procedures every year.

Confidence in Treatment Through Education

We developed a special joint replacement education website just for patients undergoing joint arthroplasty. The website takes you step by step through the joint replacement process. From things to consider before choosing surgery to recovery after surgery, you’ll find the information you need to help you feel confident in your decision to undergo joint replacement.

Advancing Orthopaedic Medicine Through Research

The doctors and researchers in our Center for Orthopaedic Research and Translational Science at the Milton S. Hershey Medical Center are committed to advancing our field through scientific discovery and education. As the only academic medical center in central Pennsylvania, Hershey Medical Center is a national leader in research, in partnership with Penn State College of Medicine, and on the leading edge of new treatment options, including clinical trials.

Support Groups

Support groups provide an opportunity to share your feelings and connect with other patients and caregivers who are experiencing similar struggles.

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Convenient Locations

Find the care your family needs, close to home, at one of our many locations throughout central Pennsylvania.

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