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Heel Pain/ Heel Spurs/ Planter Fascitis Leave Many Craving Relief
While numerous factors and conditions can lead to foot pain, the most common is planter fascitis, or heel pain. You may also hear doctors refer to planter fascitis as heel spur syndrome; however, planter fascitis can be present with or without an actual bony spur.

Planter fascitis is indeed a serious condition sufferers cannot afford to ignore. Just stepping down on the foot, especially first thing in the morning, can cause immediate shooting planter fascitis pain. And pressing harder on a sore heel, the way some do with a foot that's fallen asleep, only makes your planter fascitis pain worse.
Causes of Planter Fascitis
Planter fascitis can flare up when the planter fascia ligament that stretches from the heel to the ball of the foot – which also supports the arch – becomes inflamed. Calcium deposits may eventually form on the heel bone, resulting in mild to serious planter fascitis pain when applying pressure on the foot.

Heel spurs and planter fascitis typically occur in people with flat feet. As the arch starts to collapse, the band of ligament and the muscle in the bottom of the foot absorbs the impact of pressure from standing or walking. Eventually, it stretches beyond its limits, leading to possible muscle tears and bone spurs. To avoid planter fascitis, people with flat feet should make a special effort to wear support shoes with arch support.

Other causes of planter fascitis include:
  • High arches that pull on the muscles.
  • Tight calves muscles caused from poor or little stretching.
  • Muscle tension that pulls away a piece of the bone.
Symptoms of Planter Fascitis
Your planter fascitis pain is the result of foot muscles tightening up overnight. The tightened muscles accentuate the pull on the heel bone spur and ligaments, or planter fascia, making your first steps painful. You know you have planter fascitis if getting out of bed in the morning and stepping down makes you want to yell out. In fact, the medical term for planter fascitis, "post-static dyskinesia", means "pain after rest".

You may also notice symptoms of planter fascitis when:
  • Plunging into exercise without warming up first.
  • Moving after any inactivity, such as sitting in a car or at a desk. The initial movement will result in sharp, shooting planter fascitis, giving you a sore or painful heel.
Relieve and Prevent Planter Fascitis Pain
Taking the pressure off the foot goes a long way in helping relieve planter fascitis pain.

Other planter fascitis treatment techniques include:
  • Wearing proper footwear for both everyday and sporting activities.
  • Using insoles that support the arch and reduce tension on the ligament.

Making use of a heel pad, heel cushion or slight heel lift to relieve pressure and reduce inflammation of the planter at its attachment to the heel bone.

  • Correcting leg length discrepancy via an adjustable heel lift.
  • Using a heel cup to add extra shock absorption to shoes, thus reducing pressure on heels.
  • Giving the afflicted area an ice massage to reduce inflammation and relieve tension.
  • Stretching calf muscle to reduce tightness.
  • Maintaining length of the tight calf muscle with the use of a night splint.

In severe and chronic cases, heel spurs may require surgical correction. If planter fascitis pain is chronic and persists, see a podiatrist for specific planter fascitis treatment options.

Please note: The proper spelling for "planter facitis" is "plantar fasciitis".

Information on foot, leg and lower body health conditions provided by The Podiatry Institute, dedicated to advancing the standard of care in podiatric medicine and its effects on muscoskeletal health.
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