Heel Pain - Podiatrist in Cy-Fair, Cypress, Bear Creek and West Houston, TX - J. Michael Lunsford, DPM
Dr. J. Michael Lunsford discusses the symptoms, causes and treatments for Heel Pain.
Heel Pain (Heel Spur Syndrome, Plantar Fasciitis)
The heel bone (Calcaneus) is the largest bone in the foot, and bears all of the body's weight with each step. Problems with heel pain are common for this reason alone. The common condition of heel spurs, also known as plantar fasciitis, is caused by inflammation at the insertion of the plantar fascia underneath the heel.
The plantar fascia is a dense band of tissue that runs underneath the foot from the heel to the ball of the foot. Biomechanical faults such as flat feet, or a tight Achilles tendon can lead to abnormal stress placed on the small attachment of the plantar fascia at the heel. This causes a ripping (microscopically) of the fascia off the heel, resulting in inflammation at the site as the body attempts to heal the torn tissue. The pain is usually worse with the first steps in the morning. The pain is chronic, because with every step, the fascia is being reinjured, never having an opportunity to heal.
On X-ray, a spur is sometimes seen. Rarely does the spur itself cause the pain - it is just the result of chronic inflammation at the site. Although the spur is not the cause, it is often diagnostic of the problem when seen on X-ray, and can help the podiatrist in ruling out other disorders such as stress fractures and certain types of arthritis. It should be noted that many times no spur is seen at all with this condition on X-ray.
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