How Long Will It Take for My Heel Pain to Go Away?

by May 14, 2021

For some people, heel pain is only a temporary, minor setback. For others, it can seem to go on and on and on.

If you’re currently stuck in the middle of a protracted battle with aching, stabbing, painful heels that make you miserable every time you get out of bed, or every time you try to engage in a little physical activity, you’re probably asking yourself, “When is it all going to end?”

Well, that’s not something we can necessarily answer for you through a blog. The truth is that the answer varies drastically based on the root causes of your heel pain, the specific diagnosis, and what you’re doing (or not doing) to treat it. 

But there is good news! Regardless of how long you’ve been suffering from heel pain, you can almost always shorten the timeframe to complete recovery by stopping in to see an expert like Dr. Trent Timson at the Community Foot Clinic of McPherson and getting a personalized treatment plan meant to address your specific needs.


woman holding her painful heel on white background

Heel Pain Can Last a LONG Time—If You Don’t Treat It Properly

Most heel pain conditions are overuse injuries that develop gradually over time. You may be overstressing your heels and arches for weeks, months, or even years before the heel pain starts to become bad enough to notice or to interfere in a more significant way with your daily life.

Unfortunately, by the time your heel pain reaches this state, it may already be quite stubborn. Your body may find it difficult to overcome the chronic inflammation that has set in. It doesn’t help that the plantar fascia—which is the source of the pain for the most common heel pain condition, plantar fasciitis—lacks access to a strong blood supply.

For this reason, untreated heel pain may take over a year to resolve on its own. And if you’re continuing to aggravate the situation (such as by wearing unsupportive footwear or engaging in repetitive, high-impact activities) the pain can stretch out indefinitely.

Again, we understand that’s maybe not what you wanted to hear. But we aren’t finished yet.

With Proper Treatment, Even the Worst Heel Pain Can Be Resolved

In our experience, the majority of heel pain cases can be resolved non-surgically within 3 months of your initial appointment with our office, and the vast majority (97 percent) within 6 months. In practical terms, an injection of cortisone can bring significant symptom relief within just 2-3 days and can last several months, while you work on healing the underlying injury itself. 

The trick, really, is figuring out what “proper treatment” looks like.

What most people don’t realize about heel pain is that it is often strikingly complex. It can take many forms and feature several contributing causes.

For some people, heel pain is primarily a consequence of mistakes they’re making with their exercise and training—for example, wearing improper shoes, not taking enough rest days, or not cross-training in low-impact activities.

For others, heel pain can be traced more to biological factors, like the shape of their feet, how much they pronate when they walk, or obesity.

Almost always, it’s not just one thing, but several contributing factors that all add up to too much stress on the heels.

So, in order to treat heel pain properly, we need to know what’s actually causing it and how it’s affecting your day-to-day life. Once we know more about your situation and confirm a specific diagnosis, we can build you a personalized treatment plan and give you a much more accurate estimate of how soon you can expect results.

Heel Pain Treatment Options at Community Foot Clinic of McPherson

In addition to the aforementioned cortisone injections, our practice offers several advanced treatment options to help resolve stubborn heel pain, including:

  • MLS laser therapy, a tool that uses laser energy to trigger rapid pain relief, swelling reduction, and tissue regeneration in an area of inflamed or damaged tissue. Typically, we recommend 2-3 sessions per week over the course of a few weeks. Results continue to improve after each session, and many people experience noticeable improvement after just 1-3 sessions.
  • Custom orthotics, specially made arch supports that are built using a mold of your feet and are designed to meet their cushioning, support, and stability needs with unparalleled precision.

Other common treatment approaches include improved footwear choices, medical grade arch supports (for those who do not need fully custom orthotics), activity modifications, and a program of stretching and exercises. Again, the specific treatment approaches we recommend will be tailored to your specific needs.

Surgery is very rarely required for chronic heel pain, but may become a consideration in the small fraction of cases that do not respond to conservative treatments even after several months of consistent effort.

Podiatrist treating feet during procedure

Start the Clock on Ending Your Heel Pain Today

The longer you wait to begin an aggressive, personalized treatment plan, the longer it will take before you can be rid of your heel pain and back on your feet at full speed!

If you’re ready for your heel pain to finally be gone, connect with the team at Community Foot Clinic of McPherson today. You can reach our office at (620) 241-3313, or by requesting an appointment via our online contact form.

McPherson Office

316 W. 4th Street
McPherson, KS 67460
P: (620) 241-3313
F: (620) 241-6967

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