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Is Acupuncture an Effective Treatment for Heel Pain?

It is estimated that around two million people in the country experience heel pain each year. Heel pain can range from mild to severe and can affect people of any age. It usually occurs behind or beneath the heel or within the heel bone itself.

Heel pain can affect a person’s mobility. Many people with debilitating heel pain are unable to partake in their favorite activities and slowly slide into a sedentary lifestyle. Read on to learn how acupuncture for pain mitigation can help alleviate heel pain.


Some common causes of heel pain include:

  • Bursitis: Bursitis is a painful condition that occurs when the small, fluid-filled sacs called bursae swell. The most common locations for bursitis are the shoulders, hip, and elbow. In some cases, it can develop in the heel. Heel bursitis is usually caused by repeated overuse of the heel and ankle area. Some other causes of heel bursitis include inflammatory arthritis and gout.
  • Achilles Tendinitis: The Achilles tendon is a strong, fibrous cord that connects the calf muscle to the heel bone. Achilles tendinitis occurs when you overuse your Achilles tendon regularly. The condition can cause excruciating pain along the back of the leg.
  • Sever’s Disease: Sever’s disease is a common cause of heel pain in active children between ages 8-14. In growing children who participate in activities that require a lot of running and jumping, athletic activity can irritate the growth plate in the back of the heel, causing inflammation.
  • Haglund’s Deformity: Haglund’s deformity occurs when the bony section of the heel enlarges. Ill-fitting and heeled shoes can worsen the pain caused by the condition.


Some common symptoms of heel pain include stiffness, swelling, tenderness, pain that occurs after standing from a resting or sitting position and bony growth on the heel.

Risk Factors

You are at high risk for developing heel pain if you:

  • Are overweight
  • Have foot and ankle arthritis or a condition that affects the structure of the foot
  • Wear ill-fitting shoes
  • Regularly participate in activities that involve a lot of jumping and running

How Can Acupuncture Help? 

Acupuncture for pain in Albany is an effective treatment for heel pain. It helps increase the production of collagen, keeping the connective tissues of the foot and calf strong.

A review of five randomized control studies and three non-randomized control studies concluded that acupuncture is more effective than traditional treatment.

In another study, participants were divided into two groups. One group received corticosteroid injections, while the other group was given acupuncture treatment. The researchers observed that acupuncture was 97% effective against heel pain. Participants who received corticosteroid injections reported an efficacy rate of 76%. 

TCM practitioners believe that heel pain occurs due to qi deficiency related to the kidneys. Acupuncture can balance your qi by treating qi deficiency.

Acupuncture works by stimulating the brain to produce endorphins and other feel-good hormones that reduce the perception of pain, and trigger feelings of euphoria.

Anchor Acupuncture & Wellness is one of the most trusted acupuncture clinics in Albany. We use acupuncture to treat everything from foot pain to anxiety. To make your first appointment, call (415) 855-3112.

Amanda Moler is a licensed acupuncturist and certified fertility acupuncturist (FABORM), serving San Francisco, CA.  Her educational background includes receiving a bachelor’s degree in Peace Studies and Conflict Resolution from Antioch College in 2001 and in 2010, her master’s degree from American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine. In 2008, she also attended Pacific College of Oriental Medicine in Chicago, IL for education on acupuncture and oriental medicine. Asa Fellow of the American Board of Oriental Reproductive Medicine, she has gained recognition for treating complex women fertility cases, providing guidance on painful side-effects of drugs, hormones, and maintaining the overall well-being of women. Follow Anchor Acupuncture and Amanda Moler on Facebook , Instagram, LinkedIn.