Your Guide to Plantar Fasciitis and Heel Spurs

Man is massaging his foot to relieve pain

While plantar fasciitis and heel spurs are two conditions that are often confused with one another, they are closely related. When patients develop a heel spur, it is usually due to untreated plantar fasciitis. These bony growths come about when the body attempts to provide extra protection and support to the weakened area of the heel.

Addressing plantar fasciitis early on is essential, as it can lead to more serious issues if ignored, such as heel spurs. Both conditions can be painful, so seeking treatment sooner rather than later is essential for proper healing.

What’s the Difference?

  • Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common causes of pain near the bottom of the heel. This condition occurs when the plantar fascia, the band of tissue supporting the foot arch, becomes inflamed.
  • A heel spur is a calcium deposit that causes a bony protrusion extending between the heel bone and arch. This foot condition is known to cause heel pain.

The Link Between Plantar Fasciitis and Heel Spurs

Heel spurs are quite common, with an estimated one out of ten people having them. Yet according to the National Library of Medicine, around twenty percent of those with heel spurs experience no symptoms. This surprising stat is often because the cause of the discomfort is not the actual spur itself but rather the plantar fasciitis – a related condition that can be treated without removal of the bone spur.

Generally, this bone formation results from the body protecting itself and can be detected on an x-ray examination. Plantar Fasciitis is caused by the ligament between your toes and heel becoming swollen, weak, and inflamed, leading to a sharp stab in the heel. Soreness is often more intense in the morning or after long periods of sitting down.

Causes of Plantar Fasciitis

While plantar fasciitis can develop without an apparent cause, some factors can increase your risk of developing it. They include:

  • Age - This foot condition is most common in people between 40 and 60.
  • Overuse - Certain exercises can place a lot of stress on your heel, such as long-distance running, ballet and aerobic dancing, football, and soccer.
  • Occupation - Those who spend most of their time walking or standing are at greater risk of plantar fasciitis, such as factory workers, teachers, and retail workers.
  • Obesity - Your risk of developing plantar fasciitis is almost six times greater if you have a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or higher.

Plantar Fasciitis Treatments in Doylestown

The good news is that a variety of treatments are available for those who suffer from both plantar fasciitis and heel spurs, and seeking treatment early on can help shorten the recovery process. Most patients who suffer from these conditions find incredible relief from chiropractic and therapeutic exercises. If you are experiencing foot or heel pain, our experienced team at Advanced Spine and Sports Medicine is ready to help you.

For any questions, call us today at (215) 515-9991 or visit our website to contact us.