Having tight calf muscles can also be a hidden cause of heel pain If the calf muscles can't absorb the constant pounding of running, jumping or other high impact exercises, the shock goes to the heels. Stretch out your calf muscles by standing on the bottom stair and holding onto the banister or other stationary object for support. Lower your heels over the edge of the step as far as you can comfortably go and feel a nice stretch. Next rise up onto your toes. Repeat this twenty to thirty times each day and you might find yourself heeled of heel pain for good. Achilles tendonitis In most cases, Achilles tendonitis (inflammation of the Achilles tendon) is triggered by overuse, especially by excessive jumping during sports. However, it also can be related to poorly fitting shoes if the upper back portion of a shoe digs into the Achilles tendon above the heel. Less often, it is caused by an inflammatory illness, such as ankylosing spondylitis, Reiter's syndrome, gout or rheumatoid arthritis. Trapped nerve Compression of a small nerve (a branch of the lateral plantar nerve) can cause pain, numbness or tingling in the heel area. In many cases, this nerve compression is related to a sprain, fracture or varicose (swollen) vein near the heel. Exercise 3 – The next exercise makes use of marbles. Be seated on a chair with both your feet in front and scatter small marbles or tiny pebbles in front of you (neither too far nor too near just conveniently dispersed so they can be collected by your toes). After scattering the marbles or pebbles, place a container that can hold these slightly further in front of you. Try to pick them up one by one with your toe and place them into the container. This may seem a little difficult at first for some of you as the stabilization muscles of your foot can be weak. Another way to check to see if you have a short first metatarsal bone is to hold your first and second toes down. Right behind the spot where the toes attach to the foot, you will see bumps pushing up from the top of your foot. These bumps are the heads of the first and second metatarsal bones. Using a pen, lipstick, or marker, draw a line where the bumps end (flat area) and meet the top of the foot. This spot is the very end of both of the heads of the first and second metatarsal bones. Look at both lines. The researchers set up a prospective, experimental, randomized, double-blinded, and controlled clinical trial, where patients were treated either with steroids or with Botox for their painful feet. Both groups were shown the same series of physical exercises to help their recovery. Initially the two patient groups appeared to be recovering at a similar rate. However, the Botox group then took the lead in scores relating to foot pain, function and alignment. After six months, patients who received Botox injections were the clear winners, demonstrating more rapid and sustained improvement than their counterparts on the steroid regime.