Plantar Fasciitis/Heel Spur Syndrome


Plantar Fasciitis

Heel Spur Syndrome

Plantar Fasciitis is the painful inflammation of a band beneath the heel and arch that inserts at the base of the toes.  Plantar fasciitis is what is most commonly called but can also be called Plantar Fasciosis.  One of the most common foot problems a Podiatrist treats and affects 10% of the population.  

90% of the causes of plantar fasciitis/heel spur syndrome are related to mechanics of the feet.  For example;

  • improper foot mechanics
  • inadequate foot support flexibility
  • limited Achilles tendon flexibility
  • worn out/non-supportive shoes

The other 10% trauma;

  • heel fracture 
  • plantar fascia tear
  • back issues
  • arthritis
  • nerve issues

The most common symptoms include pain bottom of the heel and arch.  Pain in the morning and after non-weight bearing rest.  Can be sore as the day progresses.

The diagnosis needs to be made starting with a history and physical by the Podiatrist.  X-ray and possible other imaging may be ordered.  A heel spur may be identified on the bottom of the heel.  The size of the spur does not relate to the amount of pain.  A large spur may have no pain of the heel where a small spur or no spur the person may have great pain.

In treatment of the plantar fasciitis /heel spur syndrome need to support the plantar fascia and lessen pressure on the heel and plantar fascia.  This will help allow it to heal.  There are many different treatments.  Depending on how long one has had the pain various treatments are performed and the longer one has had the pain it is more of multiple treatments used together. 
Various treatments include; change of shoe gear, modify activity, taping, heel pad, ice, stretch/strength exercises, massage, medication, injection, physiotherapy, acupuncture, insoles, custom orthotics, night splint, extracorporeal shock wave therapy, cast, surgery.  

Long term preventive care is to continue with what has led to the resolve of the plantar fasciitis being regular changing of shoes before they wear out, prescribed exercises and custom orthotics.