Plantar fasciitis is the most common cause of heel pain. It is sometimes referred to as “heel spurs”, but this is a little misleading as it is predominantly a soft tissue condition.
The plantar fascia is a strong ligament tissue that fans out towards the toes from the heel bone (calcaneus). It is one of the supports of the arch of the foot.
Plantar fasciitis develops when there is a “wear and tear” in the plantar fascia. This can result from an injury (running), but more commonly develops slowly as a result of normal daily use. Healing tends to be slow, particularly if there is on-going stress on the injury. A bone spur may grow from the bone below the damaged fascia, but is usually not painful.
Typically, plantar fasciitis is most painful with the first steps in the morning, or after a period of sitting.
Plantar fasciitis is more common in people with elevated weight and medical conditions that cause inflammation (psoriatic arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, etc).
Other causes of heel pain include tendon problems, stress fractures and nerve entrapment syndromes.
Download our information sheet to learn more about Plantar Fasciitis and treatment options.