Why Does My Heel Pain Keep Coming Back? Myths vs. Facts

May 9, 2023

About 2 million people seek help with heel pain every year. Unfortunately, most don’t seek help from a podiatrist. Instead, they turn to other sources, like the internet. But there’s a big problem with this: a lot of heel pain myths get picked up and repeated online. And when people follow the wrong advice, the discomfort comes back again, and again, and again.

We see this problem all too often here at Lakes Foot & Ankle Associates. So, we wanted to reach out to people who are wondering why their heel pain keeps coming back. Our goal is to dispel a few misconceptions and encourage more members of our Commerce Township community to take a proactive approach to their symptoms!

Myth: My Heel Pain Comes and Goes, So I Don’t Need to See a Doctor

Pain is never normal, even if it’s intermittent. And the longer you wait to seek a diagnosis, the harder it will be to manage your condition. If your heel pain isn’t getting any better after a period of one to two weeks, we highly recommend visiting a podiatrist. But even if it gets better for a while and then returns, you should seek help—something needs to change!

Myth: I Just Need to Do Light Stretches & Massage Exercises at Home

If you search for heel pain online, you’ll find thousands of articles containing stretches, massages, and exercises you can do at home to reduce pain. While some of these can help in certain situations, it’s important to know your exact situation first. And you can’t know that without a visit to the podiatrist.

Heel pain isn’t a diagnosis—it’s a symptom of another condition or injury. Before you know your foot’s unique structure and the root cause of your pain, you can’t know what stretches and exercises are going to be right for you. You can even cause more damage to your heel if you do the wrong exercises or do them the wrong way.

People sometimes find temporary relief from DIY stretching routines, but the pain keeps coming back. That’s why you need to see a podiatrist for a customized treatment plan that will work for you—not against you.

    Myth: Heel Pain is Always Caused by Plantar Fasciitis

    Another problem with online searches is that most of the time, every heel pain resource you find will equate heel pain with plantar fasciitis. That’s because it is the most common cause of heel pain. But it’s not the only one. Heel spurs, Achilles tendon conditions, injuries like bruised heels, or even problems with the calf muscle can also have this symptom. 

    Plantar fasciitis is a condition that involves inflammation of the plantar fascia, a band of tissue that runs from your heel bone to your toes. About one in 10 people experience this issue in their lifetime. 

    If pain recurs, undiagnosed plantar fasciitis could be the cause. But frequent heel pain can also be caused by numerous factors—in fact, many people have more than one. These include:

    • Overuse, or being on your feet for prolonged periods of time
    • High-impact activities like sports, dancing, and running or jumping
    • Being overweight
    • Poor biomechanics (such as flat feet or high arches)
    • Low-quality, non-supportive footwear

    Myth: Cortisone Shots Are the Best Treatment Option

    Many people think that cortisone (steroid) injections instantly fix heel issues and are the only treatment option available to them. Cortisone shots are powerful anti-inflammatory medications that relieve pain temporarily. But they don’t “fix” anything—they simply provide relief for a period of time. 

    If you’ve asked your doctor for steroid shots without trying other treatments, your heel pain will come back. It’s true that podiatrists do use this method in some cases, usually when pain is severe and debilitating. But if we do, it will always be part of a larger, multifaceted approach.

    When you visit a podiatrist, you’ll get a 360° picture of your foot health. From there, we’ll put together a plan completely tailored to you. This might include physical therapy, education about supportive shoes, advanced custom shoe inserts built with the latest technology, and even laser therapy for heel pain

    Knowledge is Power—and Pain Relief!

    Heel pain is an epidemic in America, even here in Commerce Township. With one in four Americans experiencing heel pain in their lifetimes, we think it’s crucial to spread awareness and correct common misconceptions. If you’d like to learn even more about heel pain, including its most common causes, treatments, and how to find lasting relief, download our free guide to heel pain, written by Dr. Shanahan!

    Get Lasting Heel Pain Treatment in Commerce Township, MI

    At Lakes Foot & Ankle Associates, we specialize in the care and treatment of all foot, heel, and ankle ailments. But we don’t stop there—our goal is to help you understand the big picture of your health and how your feet play a role. Break the cycle of recurring heel pain. Get started on your treatment plan today by contacting us online or calling (248) 453-2288.


    It's Time To Leave Foot & Ankle Pain Behind!

    *NOTE:  Appointment request times are not guaranteed, nor do they constitute a scheduled appointment. Once you submit your request, a member of our staff will contact you as soon as possible to confirm your appointment time. For your safety and privacy, please do not submit any Protected Health Information (PHI) through the contact form found on this page.

    Phone Number


    9640 Commerce Rd Suite 102 Commerce Township, MI 48382


    Monday 8:30am – 5:00pm
    Tuesday 9:00am – 5:00pm
    Wednesday 8:30am – 5:00pm
    Thursday 9:00am – 6:00pm
    Friday 7:30 am – 4:00pm
    Saturday - Closed -
    Sunday - Closed -

    © Lakes Foot And Ankle Associates. All Rights Reserved. | Privacy Policy.