Heel & Arch Pain

What is Heel & Arch Pain

Heel pain is one of the most common foot complaints that podiatrists in Singapore treat. It can be caused by many different problems but for effective treatment, the cause of the pain needs to be established.

The heel has a large fat pad and is designed to be the body’s main shock absorber. When it is exposed to excessive stresses, it can result in pain. These stresses can be caused by a simple change in footwear, increase in body weight including pregnancy, increase in physical activity such as running and prolonged standing, and changes in the type of surface we walk on, for example carpet to hard flooring.

What causes Heel Pain

The most common cause of heel pain is called plantar fasciitis and is a result of damage to the band of tissue that runs from the heel bone (calcaneus) to the base of the toes. The classic symptom that people experience is pain in the heel occurring after rest or first thing in the morning which then subsides after a few minutes of walking.

There are many other causes of heel pain such as back and nerve problems but to confirm this, you should consult with a podiatrist, osteopath or physiotherapist.


Treatment will usually involve a combination of stretching exercises, ultrasound, icing, a change of footwear, orthotics (custom made shoe inserts) and medication. Severe cases may need an injection.

Simple tips to alleviate heel pain

  • Wear a soft soled shoe or slipper in the house.
  • Stretch your calves daily.
  • Rest or reduce the amount of time you walk or stand.
  • Wear a slightly higher heel than you normally would.
  • Ice the heel once or twice a day.

Seek professional help if the symptoms persist for more than 3 weeks because if the problem becomes chronic, it will take much longer to resolve.

To find a qualified podiatrist in Singapore, please see the Podiatry Association (Singapore) website.