Plantar Fasciitis/Heel Pain/Heel Spur-What’s In a Name?
Plantar Fasciitis, Heel Pain, and Heel Spurs are all the same thing. There are many things that cause heel pain, but if you wake up in the morning and your heels hurt when you take your first step you might be suffering from Plantar Fasciitis. What is plantar fasciitis? It is when the ligament that goes from the heel to the toe becomes irritated and inflamed and that is the pain you feel. The ligament becomes irritated because there are little tears in it where is attached to the heel and this causes the pain. The tears in the ligament result in inflammation and long term inflammation can cause a heel spur. The pain can be just on the bottom of the heel and is usually the worst right after waking up in the morning or getting up after sitting for a period of time. This pain can be decreased by stretching (gently) this tissue. Walking can help make the pain go away for a little bit, but if you are on your feet for long periods of time the pain may come back. Dr. Gale sees patients with this problem every day at the Dakota Foot and Ankle Clinic.