Heel spurs, as Plantar Fasciitis is commonly known, is characterized by pain resulting from inflammation of the plantar fascia.
This condition may cause heel pain, which may be gradual in onset, and tends to be worse in the morning. This results from equinus foot during sleep and is a condition in which the upward bending motion of the ankle joint is limited. The shortening of the inflamed plantar fascia in this position causes stiffness, and stretching of the fascia in the morning may exacerbate the injury.
In severe cases pain can be such that the patient may require crutches to avoid weight bearing.
Ironically many patients suffering from Plantar Fasciitis do not actually have bony heel spurs.
Plantar fasciitis can be caused by change of habits in the athletic population.
When athletes step up their training or vary the running surface on which they train plantar fasciitis may result.
Poor quality running shoes with inadequate arch support and heel cushioning may also lead to the condition as can tightness of the Achilles Tendon.
Over pronation is the main biomechanical cause, as the stresses exerted on the attachment to the Calcaneus increase.
The plantar fascia are essential in assisting with shock absorption during heel strike and for providing static support along the arch of the foot
The function of the plantar fascia is to provide static support for the longitudinal arch of the foot and to assist with shock absorption during foot strike.
Plantar fasciitis is the pain caused by inflammation of the insertion of the plantar fascia on the medial process of the calcaneal tuberosity.
Plantar fasciitis tends to affect the central plantar fascia (shown in green).
This is the strongest and thickest of the plantar fascia aponeurosis which originates from the medial tubercle of the calcaneus, runs forward to insert into the metatarsophalangeal joints.
This consists of the following:
Non Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory drugs (e.g Ibuprofen, Diclofenac) can be useful during the early stages of the condition: these are often helpful in the early stages of the injury.
Though caution should be applied, corticosteroid injections are used to treat this conditions on occasions
Stretching the fascia at night is a long established technique in plantar fasciitis. This can be achieved using a moulded night splint or with a Strasburg Sock.
Taking the weight off the foot.
Published: May 6, 2011
Plantar Fasciitis/Heel Spurs Treatments