Plantar Fasciitis is one of the most common causes of heel pain. Normally, the plantar fascia acts as a shock absorber, supporting your arch but too much pressure on your feet can damage or tear the ligaments. These ligaments then become inflamed, and the inflammation causes heel pain and stiffness. The Foot and Ankle Institute is a world leader in the research and treatment of plantar fasciitis with complete diagnostic services, non-surgical and state-of-the-art surgical options for plantar fasciitis treatment.
Heel spurs are a condition that usually makes its presence known first thing in the morning via heel pain. Discomfort is typically felt in the front and bottom of the heel (calcaneal). Pain can be constant for several months or intermittent for lengthy periods of time.
Generally caused by lack of flexibility in the calf muscles and/or excess weight, heel spurs occur when the foot bone is exposed to constant stress and calcium deposit build-up on the bottom of the heel bone. Repeated damage can cause these deposits to pile up on each other, presenting a spur-shaped deformity.
Retrocalcaneal exostosis (Achilles bone/heel spur) is caused by an overgrowth of bone. The condition is typically related to chronic tugging of the Achilles tendon on the back of the heel. As bone spurs develop, patients may experience pain, swelling on the back of the heel and increasing discomfort while wearing shoes.
Certain cases of plantar fascitis may not only be due to plantar fascia scarring and swelling, but may also be due to a pinched nerve that runs along the ankle and into the bottom of the heel that supplies sensation to the heel. This relatively common cause of heel pain is known as Baxter's neuritis.