Have you been having difficulty sleeping at night because of heel pain? Unfortunately, that’s a common experience — over two million Americans report suffering from heel pain every year.

It’s best to take action as soon as you experience heel pain at night. Fortunately, you can treat most cases of heel pain with home remedies or lifestyle changes. If you’re looking for a good night’s sleep, keep reading to learn ways you can relieve heel pain!

What Is Heel Pain?

Heel pain can have many variances. For instance, you may experience soreness, swelling, or tenderness behind the heel, under it, or within the bone.

Under The Heel

Pain on the bottom of the heel has different causes. It might be due to physical trauma and bruising after impact. Alternatively, it might be due to medical conditions like plantar fasciitis or heel spurs.

  • Plantar fasciitis — inflammation of the plantar fascia, the ligament connecting the heel bone to the toes
  • Heel spurs growth of calcium deposits on the heel bone, creating sharp points that cause pain

Behind The Heel

Common causes of pain behind the heel are often caused by tendon inflammation or bursitis.

  • Achilles tendinitis — inflammation of the Achilles tendon, the connective tissue linking the calf to the heel
  • Bursitis Joints have fluid sacs called bursae, which may swell or even burst, causing pain

Pain Within the Heel

Pain within your heel may indicate more severe issues that could need immediate attention by a foot and ankle doctor.

  • Trapped nerves — Some motions may inadvertently pinch or trap nerves in the foot, causing difficulty moving, in addition to pain when in specific positions
  • Stress fractures — During high-impact activities or sports, your heel bone may crack or fracture, causing heel pain

When to See A Doctor

Some cases of heel pain go away on their own. However, to be safe, it’s best to see a podiatrist as soon as possible, especially if your pain is inside the bone itself. A lot of heel pain causes continue to get worse without proper diagnosis and treatment.

How to Relieve Heel Pain at Night

Try out any of the following methods tonight to mitigate your heel pain:


We often experience heel pain due to fatigue. Rest your heels for several hours a night. You can enhance rest by elevating your feet above your heart. The elevation helps drain fluid from your feet, improving circulation.


Stretch your feet and calves to loosen up muscles in and around your feet and improve blood circulation. Here are some foot exercises you can do on your own:

  • Point your toes forward as you stretch them out while seated on the bed. Repeat this exercise ten times.
  • Pull your toes gently toward your body and maintain this pose for at least 30 seconds. The movement helps in loosening the stiffness of the ligaments. If you can’t reach your toes, tie a sheet or wide cloth around the ball of your foot, and pull on that instead.
  • Cross your legs and pull each of your toes back with one hand. Put your other hand on the ball of your foot to keep it steady.


Numb pain and swelling by applying an ice pack on your heel for at least 20 minutes. Continue doing this every two to three hours if the pain persists. Another way to do this is by placing a frozen water bottle under your foot. The application of ice alleviates pain in the plantar fascia.


Exerting moderate pressure on the heel provides speedy heel pain relief. You can either use your thumbs or a foot roller to massage away the soreness. Massage also loosens the tightness of muscles that may cause plantar fasciitis.

Foot Splint

If you have a foot splint, wear it for the night. The night splint can help stretch the foot, reducing swelling and inflammation. However, you have to be consistent with your foot splint and wear it regularly or it won’t help.


Taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen and naproxen, can reduce the discomfort of heel pain. However, it is best to take it 48 hours after you experience heel pain to avoid interfering with your body’s natural healing processes.

If left untreated, heel pain may become chronic or more severe. Consult an orthopaedic doctor for heel pain relief if you experience prolonged or chronic symptoms.

Heel Pain Relief in Cincinnati, OH

Here at Cincinnati Foot & Ankle Care, we promise to take good care of your foot and ankle needs. Our podiatrists can evaluate your heels and create a comprehensive solution for your pain.

We’re currently serving in 18 locations in southwest Ohio. Browse for a center near you and schedule an appointment with our foot specialists. We look forward to getting you back on healthy feet in no time.