Plantar Fasciitis Heel Pain Symptoms and Causes

Podiatry in Houston

Plantar fasciitis is a condition that causes pain along the bottom of the foot and particularly the heel. It's easy to identify because most sufferers describe it as sharp, intense heel pain upon stepping out of bed in the morning. The first steps are usually the worst, and the pain eases up as the day goes on. The heel pain also spikes at the start of activity and goes away with use. It may also spike after a long rest when restarting activity.

Plantar fasciitis is common in runners performing repetitive plantar flexion and dorsiflexion of the foot. It is also common with sudden weight gain and sudden increases in activity.

The plantar fascia is a long, thick and tough band of tissue that provides support for the medial longitudinal arch of the foot. The plantar fascia is stretched and the arch flattens slightly to absorb the impact each time the heel impacts the ground. This fascia is not very flexible and such repetitive stretching from impact can result in small tears in the fascia.

Heel pain during the first steps of the morning is a classic sign of plantar fasciitis. This pain is the result of the foot resting in plantar flexion overnight, which allows the fascia to shorten. When the shortened fascia is stretched as you get up out of bed the pain increases.

If you have plantar fasciitis you will likely have an increase in pain along the bottom of your foot (the plantar fascia) when you extend your toes.

If this motion doesn't increase your symptoms, you may not have a true plantar fasciitis.

Other common signs of plantar fasciitis include increased pain at the start of exercise and when resuming activity after rest, and a history of recent weight gain or a sudden change in exercise intensity, duration or type.

Plantar Fasciitis or Heel Pain Syndrome

Although plantar fasciitis is frequently diagnosed, there are many other conditions that have similar symptoms and Heel Pain Syndrome is often a more appropriate diagnosis. Heel pain syndrome is a chronic condition that comes on slowly over time and is generally caused by faulty foot and ankle biomechanics rather than overuse.

Plantar Fasciitis and Heel Spurs

About half of the patients with plantar fasciitis have a heel spur. When the plantar fascia becomes chronically inflamed, a heel spur can grow at the attachment point between the fascia and the calcaneus (heel bone). If heel pain is treated early, heel spurs can often be prevented.

Typical causes of plantar fasciitis include overstretching a tight plantar fascial band, consistent overuse, and irritation that results in microtears to the fascia at its calcaneal (heel bone) attachment.

Predisposing factors may include:

  • Flat feet
  • High arches
  • Excessive pronation
  • Obesity or sudden weight gain
  • Tight Achilles tendons 
  • Sudden increase in activity intensity, time or type 
  • Wearing high heels that shorten the calf muscles, Achilles tendon, and plantar fascia
  • A sudden change in running or walking surface
  • Prolonged standing or weight bearing



Source: verywell

RIVERA FOOT & ANKLE: At Orlando H.Rivera DPM, our priority is to deliver quality care to informed patients in a comfortable and convenient setting. When you have problems with your feet, you need to turn to a podiatrist who listens and responds… an experienced doctor who knows the field and can effectively diagnose and treat your needs… a friendly physician who counsels you on the best ways to maintain and improve your health. Our physician(s) meet all these criteria. Plus, you benefit from a dedicated team of trained professionals who give you the individualized attention you deserve.

050118 Plantar Fasciitis doctor in Houston

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