Plantar fasciitis is a common condition that causes an inflammation of the plantar fascia, which is the wide band of connective tissue that runs along the bottom of your foot. A phenomenon called heel spurs is often seen in conjunction with plantar fasciitis, but heel spurs do not cause plantar fasciitis pain. When the plantar fascia becomes irritated or even torn from excessive strain and pressure, the radiating effect can be felt up into the heel area, causing stiffness and extreme pain.
The Relationship Between Heel Spurs and Plantar Fasciitis
A heel spur is a small growth of bone that protrudes from the base of the heel bone. Most sufferers of plantar fasciitis will have heel pain, but of those who also have a heel spur, very few people will actually feel pain from the bone spur itself. So treating the plantar fasciitis does not necessarily require treating the bone spur. However, the bone spur may cause other problems by rubbing on footwear and may need to be treated for that reason.
Symptoms and Treatment for Heel Pain
The sharp, stabbing pain at the bottom of the heel is often worse first thing in the morning and subsides during the day, but can come back with a vengeance after a period of exercise or prolonged sitting. Heel pain can often be relieved with conservative treatments including changing to footwear with more cushioning in the heel. Custom fitted orthotics can help redistribute weight and also stabilize and cushion the heel. Cortisone injections may also be effective in reducing inflammation and pain. Physical therapy exercises to strengthen the feet and stretch the tendons can also provide relief.
If you are experiencing heel pain, your foot care professional is here to help. At Podiatry Center of New Jersey, Dr. Russell Samofal treats a variety of conditions such as sports injuries, diabetic foot problems, pediatric foot conditions, toe deformities, arthritis, nail fungus, and arch problems. Equipped with advanced technologies and a dedicated staff, Podiatry Center of New Jersey provides individualized high quality care for patients all across Morris, Passaic, Bergen and Essex counties. For all your foot and ankle problems, contact our Wayne office at (973) 925-4111 for an appointment.