The answer could be both, one, or neither. Plantar fasciitis is the most common cause of heel pain but it is not the only cause. Since it is the most common heel pain condition Dr. Cohen sees here is some additional information on plantar fasciitis and how it relates to bone(heel) spurs:
Plantar fasciitis is the most common cause of pain on the bottom of the heel. Plantar fasciitis occurs when the ligament that supports the arch of your foot (the fascia) becomes irritated and inflamed. The plantar fascia is designed to absorb the high stresses and strains we place on our feet. But, sometimes, too much pressure damages or tears the tissues. The body's natural response to injury is inflammation, which results in the heel pain and stiffness of plantar fasciitis.
In most cases, plantar fasciitis develops without a specific, identifiable reason. There are, however, many factors that can make you more prone to the condition:
- Being overweight
- New or increased activity
- Repetitive impact activity (running/sports)
- Tighter calf muscles
- Very high arch
Although many people with plantar fasciitis have heel spurs, spurs are not the cause of plantar fasciitial pain. Over time the plantar fascia pull on the heel bone which can sometimes cause the body to create a bone spur. One out of 10 people has heel spurs, but only 1 out of 20 people with heel spurs has foot pain. Because the spur is not the cause of plantar fasciitis, the pain can be treated without removing the spur.
The most common symptoms of plantar fasciitis include:
- Pain on the bottom of the foot near the heel
- Pain with the first few steps after getting out of bed in the morning, or after long periods of rest, such as after a long car ride or sitting at a desk. The pain subsides after a few minutes of walking
- Greater pain after (not during) exercise or activity
Again, it is important to remember that while plantar fasciitis is the most common cause of heel pain it is not the only cause. Be sure not to self-diagnose and get examined medically to be sure you are treating the correct condition. If you have any questions don't hesitate to call our office to make an appointmentat 615.662.6676.