Purpose of review: The purpose of this review is to assess the common causes of heel pain and their current treatment. Plantar fasciitis is a common cause of heel pain and a common clinical problem. Although there is a consensus that nonoperative therapy is efficacious most of the time, there is no agreement as to which treatment modality is most effective. Tarsal tunnel syndrome and various nerve entrapment neuropathies are also frequent causes of heel pain. Recent findings: This review is timely because there have been recent advances in the nonoperative treatment of plantar fasciitis with respect to extracorporeal shock wave therapy. Recently, interesting experimental studies have been performed with respect to tarsal tunnel syndrome as well. This review evaluates the current literature regarding these subjects and evaluates the current surgical and nonsurgical treatment of heel pain. Summary: This review should serve as a guide to various surgical and nonsurgical treatments of heel pain. The implications of the research involving extracorporeal shock wave therapy may affect the way in which orthopedists approach the clinical scenario of heel pain.
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