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Plantar Fasciitis, Heel Spurs
Plantar fasciitis refers to inflammation of the plantar fascia, which is the the thick band of ligaments on the sole of each foot that connect the heel bone to the toes. It is one of the most common causes of heel pain. On the other hand, heel spurs are a bony growth that protrude from the heel bone. There are times when the heel spur does not cause pain, but when the pain is triggered, it can be linked with plantar fasciitis. The plantar fascia has an important role to play in the biomechanics of supporting the foot arch during daily activities such as walking, running, and jumping. They help to absorb the pressure of the body, much like shock absorbers in a car.
Typically, people with plantar fasciitis will complain of a sharp stabbing pain on the heel of the foot, and the pain is frequently most intense with the first few steps after waking up from the night's sleep. The discomfort can also be triggered by prolonged walking on hard surfaces without proper shoe support; and to add on top of that, obesity is also another risk factor adds more stress to the plantar fascia. Other factors to consider are athletes whose sport involves extensive running or walking.
The heel pain often starts off fairly mild and gradually increases as time passes. Simply ignoring the heel pain can lead to gait adjustments (changing the way of walking), which can lead to long term issues with the lower back and knees. A good way of maintaining the health of the plantar fascia is to stretch the calves regularly, especially if your work involves extensive walking and standing. A good pair of shoes that support the foot arch and provide cushioning for the heels can also provide benefits for promoting better feet health. It is rare for plantar fasciitis and heel spurs to require surgery, as physical therapy can provide significant relief and resolve the problem.