What is Heel Pain?
The most common cause of heel is pain is plantar fasciitis, which is also called heel spur syndrome when a spur is present. Heel pain may also be due to other causes, such as stress fracture, tendonitis, arthritis, nerve irritation, or a cyst.
Because there are several potential causes, it is important that a foot and ankle surgeon properly diagnoses heel pain.
Symptoms of Heel Pain
- Pain on the bottom of the heel
- Pain in the arch of the foot
- Heel pain immediately in the morning or upon standing after sitting for a long period of time
- Pain in the heel after exercising. Heel pain is typically not felt during exercise.
What is Plantar Fasciitis?
Plantar fasciitis is an inflammation of the thick band of tissue (the plantar fascia) that runs across the bottom of your foot and connects your heel bone to your toes. This inflammation in the fascia results in plantar heel and arch pain. While the cause of plantar fasciitis is often multifactorial, overuse of the plantar tissues and/or abnormalities in the biomechanics of the foot are the most common causes of this inflammation and pain.
The pain associated with plantar fasciitis is usually worse with the first steps in the morning or after they’ve been sitting for long periods of time. After a few minutes of walking the pain usually decreases, because walking stretches the fascia. It is not uncommon for the pain to return after standing for a prolonged period of time.