When chronic foot pain affects the heel and possibly the arch of the foot, the cause is most likely plantar fasciitis (sometimes plantar's fasciitis). This chronic pain condition is the result of inflammation in the plantar fascia, a band of connective tissue running from the heel to the toes. Often it is the result of irritation from a heel spur growing off from the bone. Plantar fasciitis pain is common in runners and hikers, but can definitely afflict walkers as well or anyone on their feet all day. Obesity and shoes without proper cushioning can also be a factor.
Symptoms of plantar fasciitis are often worst first thing in the morning (often a stabbing pain) and include heel pain, inflammation, pain in the foot arch, gradual worsening, and pain that may occur in only one foot.
Earth Clinic community members recommend several home remedies for this condition, in particular apple cider vinegar for plantar fasciitis treatment. Acupuncture for plantar fasciitis pain also shows some promise, as is the case with many chronic pain conditions. Of course, always start with an ice compress, elevation, rest, stretching. and possibly arch supports or better shoes to reduce irritation of the plantar fascia. One stretching trick is to use a tennis ball, and while seated roll the entire bottom of your foot all around on the tennis ball, using a reasonable amount of pressure. This treatment can substantially reduce plantar fasciitis pain in 2-3 days.