Heel Pain or Plantar Fasciitis
The plantar fascia is a broad fan shaped strap of strong body tissue which stretches from the bottom of the heel bone to the ball of the foot. It helps to hold the foot bones and joints in place. When it is over stressed (over stretched) typical symptoms occur. The heels hurt most of all first thing in the morning or after a period of rest. The heels are also very sore after standing for a long time.
Causes: There are many medical causes of heel pain but by far the most common cause is associated with inflammation of the plantar fascia, plantar fasciitis.
A foot x-ray often reveals the presence of heel spurs, which are sharp spikes of bony over growth on the bottom of the heel bone. Heel spurs are a sure sign of an over stretched plantar fascia.
It is important to find out what is causing the strain and inflammation of the plantar fascia. Examination of the joints and muscles in the foot and leg and checking of posture will show that individuals will have a unique structure that affects the walking pattern.
Treatment: The aim of treatment is to give the patient a normal walking pattern by enabling the foot to work properly and thus to take the excessive strain from the plantar fascia and the base of the heel bone. Working from a precise plaster cast taken of the foot the podiatrist makes shoe inserts, ORTHOSES, to prop the foot bones and control foot motion during gait. Often an exercise and stretching programme is given.