When the plantar structure of the foot is overstretched, tearing and inflammation can occur. This condition is known as Heel Spur Syndrome or Plantar fasciitis.
Plantar Fasciitis is becoming a very common problem these days with walking on hard and uneven terrains, inappropriate footwear and lack of exercise. It is an inflammatory condition where the plantar fascia is subject to micro-tearing at the attachment of the fascia on the heel causing extreme pain and discomfort. Symptoms of pain increase with weight bearing activity. The fascia is a fibrous tissue which does not have the ability to stretch and therefore pressure detaches from the attachment site. Diagnosis is made on clinical grounds and with ultrasound imaging.
Heel spur syndrome is a bony growth on the plantar attachment site of the heel bone where the plantar fascia originates. Pronation is believed to be the most common cause and other factors include poor footwear, genetics and long periods of standing. Diagnosis is made on clinical grounds and confirmed with an x-ray which clearly shows the formation of the spur.
The most common symptoms associated with Plantar Fasciitis/Heel Spur Syndrome include
The most effective treatment for heel pain is orthotic therapy. This helps to realign the plantar structures of the feet and reduce stretching, so that the foot is under less pressure and can start to repair. Other modalities used in conjunction with orthotics include taping, dry needling and massage