Plantar Fasciitis (heel spur)
Plantar fasciitis is the term commonly used to refer to heel and arch pain traced to an inflammation on the bottom of the foot. More specifically, plantar fasciitis is an inflammation of the connective tissue, called plantar fascia, that stretches from the base of the toes, across the arch of the foot, to the point at which it inserts into the heel bone. Overpronation is the most common cause of plantar fasciitis. As the foot rolls inward excessively when walking, it flattens the foot, lengthens the arch, and puts added tension on the plantar fascia. Over time, this causes inflammation.
Also known as heel spur syndrome, the condition is often successfully treated with conservative measures, such as the use of anti-inflammatory medications, ice packs, stretching exercises, orthotic devices, and physical therapy.
There are many possible sources for heel pain but the most common is plantar fasciitis. Heel pain from plantar fasciitis occurs when the tissue that stretches between the heels to the toes (the fascia) becomes inflamed. People with arch issues are more prone to plantar fasciitis pain. Individuals who wear non-supportive shoes or who work on hard surfaces frequently can have the following symptoms:
Pain on the arch of the foot
Pain on the heel
Pain that hurts more upon rising
Pain that increases over months
Treatment of plantar fasciitis is moderately easy and the condition can begin to correct itself when taking the proper steps. Always wear supportive shoes and do not go barefoot. Adding padding to your shoes can cushion the feet and soften the impact of walking. Rest your feet when possible and take an NSAID like ibuprofen to relieve the pain. Stretching exercises for the calf help to relieve the pain in the foot. If those techniques do not work, visit a podiatrist who can provide you with a night splint and customized orthotic devices. Physical therapy, in addition to the stretching exercises, can also be beneficial. Only in rare cases is surgery needed for plantar fasciitis.