4 NonSurgical Treatments for Heel Pain

Heel pain can be a debilitating condition, impacting your daily activities and overall quality of life. Common causes of heel pain include plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendinitis, and heel spurs. While surgical options are available, many people prefer to explore non-surgical treatments first. 

Fortunately, there are several effective non-surgical methods to alleviate heel pain. In this blog, we’ll delve into four of the most recommended treatments to help you find relief and get back on your feet.

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Physical Therapy

Physical therapy is often the first line of defense against heel pain. A skilled physical therapist can create a personalized exercise regimen designed to stretch and strengthen the muscles and tendons in your foot. Key components typically include:

  • Stretching Exercises: Targeting the Achilles tendon and plantar fascia to improve flexibility and reduce tension. Regular stretching can help elongate the plantar fascia, reducing the strain that contributes to pain. Specific stretches might include calf stretches and plantar fascia stretches, both of which can be performed multiple times a day.
  • Strengthening Exercises: Focusing on the foot and ankle muscles to provide better support and stability. Strengthening exercises such as toe curls, foot arch exercises, and calf raises can help build the muscles that support the arch and heel, reducing the load on the plantar fascia.
  • Manual Therapy: Techniques such as massage and mobilization to improve blood flow and reduce stiffness. This might include techniques like deep tissue massage, which can help break up scar tissue and adhesions in the fascia and surrounding tissues.


Physical therapy can significantly reduce pain, improve function, and prevent future injuries. It’s a non-invasive approach with no side effects, making it a safe option for most people. Consistency is key; with regular sessions and adherence to prescribed exercises, many patients experience notable improvements within a few weeks.

Orthotic Devices

Orthotic devices, such as custom-made shoe inserts, can provide much-needed support and cushioning for your heels. These devices help to:

  • Distribute Pressure Evenly: Reducing strain on the plantar fascia and other foot structures. By redistributing your body weight more evenly across your foot, orthotics can help alleviate the concentrated pressure that exacerbates heel pain.
  • Correct Abnormal Foot Mechanics: Such as overpronation (excessive inward rolling of the foot) or high arches, which can contribute to heel pain. Custom orthotics are tailored to your specific foot structure, addressing any biomechanical issues that may be causing your pain.
  • Enhance Comfort: By providing better shock absorption and support during daily activities. High-quality orthotics can cushion your heels, reducing the impact stress they endure with each step.


Orthotics can be particularly effective for conditions like plantar fasciitis and flat feet. They are a convenient, non-invasive solution that can be easily incorporated into your daily routine. While over-the-counter options are available, custom orthotics made by our seasonsed podiatrist can offer more precise relief tailored to your needs.

Woman checking her foot

MLS Laser Therapy

MLS (Multiwave Locked System) Laser Therapy is a cutting-edge, non-invasive treatment designed to alleviate heel pain by using a combination of synchronized wavelengths of laser light. This therapy is especially beneficial when other conservative treatments have not provided sufficient relief. MLS Laser Therapy works by delivering laser energy to the affected heel area, which:

  • Promotes Blood Flow: Enhancing the body’s natural healing processes. The laser energy increases circulation in the targeted area, bringing essential nutrients and oxygen to damaged tissues and accelerating repair and recovery.
  • Reduces Pain: By interrupting pain signals transmitted by nerves. The laser light can help desensitize the nerve endings in the heel, leading to significant pain relief.
    Reduces Inflammation: By decreasing the production of inflammatory chemicals. This helps to alleviate swelling and pressure on the heel structures.
  • Encourages Tissue Regeneration: Stimulating cellular activity and promoting the growth of new tissues. The laser energy aids in the regeneration of damaged cells and the formation of new blood vessels, facilitating the healing of microtears in the plantar fascia.


MLS Laser Therapy is a promising option for chronic heel pain, offering a non-surgical alternative with minimal downtime. Most patients can resume normal activities shortly after treatment. Multiple sessions may be required to achieve optimal results, but many patients report significant pain reduction and improved function after just a few treatments.

Anti-Inflammatory Medications and Corticosteroid Injections

Managing inflammation is crucial for reducing heel pain. Over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications, such as ibuprofen or naproxen, can help manage pain and swelling. These medications work by blocking the production of chemicals in the body that cause inflammation and pain. For more severe cases, corticosteroid injections may be recommended. These injections deliver powerful anti-inflammatory medication directly to the site of pain, providing:

  • Rapid Pain Relief: Often within a few days. Corticosteroids are potent anti-inflammatory agents that can quickly reduce swelling and pain.
  • Reduction in Swelling: Decreasing pressure on the plantar fascia and other tissues. By reducing inflammation, corticosteroids can help alleviate the mechanical stress on the heel.
  • Improved Mobility: Allowing you to participate in physical therapy and other rehabilitative exercises more comfortably. Pain relief from corticosteroid injections can make it easier to perform the exercises necessary for long-term recovery.


Anti-inflammatory medications and corticosteroid injections can offer significant relief from heel pain, allowing you to focus on long-term treatment strategies. While these options can provide substantial short-term relief, they are most effective when used in conjunction with other treatments, such as physical therapy and orthotics, to address the underlying causes of heel pain.

Heel pain can be a challenging condition, but numerous non-surgical treatments can provide effective relief. Whether you choose physical therapy, orthotic devices, MLS, or anti-inflammatory medications, it’s essential to talk with our knowledgeable team to determine the best course of action for your specific situation. 

Early intervention and consistent treatment are key to managing heel pain successfully. By exploring these non-invasive options, you can take the first steps toward a pain-free life and improved mobility.

Remember, heel pain is often a result of underlying issues that need to be addressed to prevent recurrence. Combining these treatments can provide comprehensive care and enhance your overall foot health. Don’t let heel pain hold you back, schedule an appointment today and seek the right treatment to reclaim your active lifestyle.

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