Plantar Fasciitis and Heel Spur Pain is Common, but Treatable

Every morning thousands of Americans step out of bed and experience excruciating pain in the heel or arch of their feet. As they hobble a few steps the pain begins to lessen, only to become worse later in the day. For these unfortunate souls, or "soles," plantar fasciitis and heel spurs have become a way of life! OurHealthNetwork.com's (http://www.OurHealthNetwork.com) medical director explains what causes these painful conditions, and how to treat them (including how to treat them with custom-made orthotics).

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Plantar Fasciitis

Because these problems affect the weight-bearing surface of the foot, they are painful conditions that are frustrating to treat.

Des Plaines, IL (PRWEB) September 11, 2008

Every morning thousands of Americans step out of bed and experience an excruciating pain in the heel or arch of their feet. As they hobble a few steps the pain begins to lessen, only to become worse later in the day. For these unfortunate souls, or "soles," plantar fasciitis and heel spurs have become a way of life!

Plantar fasciitis is an inflammation of the thick band of fibrous tissue (fascia) on the bottom (plantar) of the foot, which supports the arch and extends from the heel to the toes. It is an overuse injury due to abnormal "wear and tear" of the plantar fascia. A heel spur is a piece of calcium or bone that sticks out from the bottom of the heel bone and lies within the fibers of the plantar fascia. When walking, the spur digs into the plantar fascia and causes inflammation and small micro-tears in the plantar fascia. Both conditions produce almost identical symptoms, have similar causes, and are treated in the same manner.

"Plantar fasciitis and heel spurs are common problems seen in adults of all ages and walks of life," states Dr. Paul R. Kasdan, a prominent podiatrist who is the medical director of OurHealthNetwork.com (http://www.OurHealthNetwork.com). "Because these problems affect the weight-bearing surface of the foot, they are painful conditions that are frustrating to treat." Good sense dictates staying off the foot for a period of time and allowing it to heal. However even if one does this, Dr. Kasdan continues to explain, "Until the biomechanical cause of the plantar fasciitis and heel spurs are addressed, the pain would most certainly return."

Plantar Fasciitis and heel spurs are caused by abnormal stretching of the plantar fascia, frequently due to:

  • Pronation and supination: These biomechanical foot defects cause the foot to roll inward or outward at the ankle, excessively stretching the plantar fascia.
  • Flat feet.
  • High arched feet.
  • Long periods of standing.
  • Being over-weight

For immediate self-help treatments, Dr. Kasdan suggests:

  • Rest so as to limit the stretching of the plantar fascia.
  • Comfortably apply ice to the heel and arch to reduce inflammation and pain.
  • Wear a shoe with a higher heel to lessen the pressure on the bottom of the heel If a higher heel is not practical, use a heel lift pad.
  • Stretch the plantar fascia to "loosen it." For two exercises Dr. Kasdan frequently recommends, visit http://www.OurHealthNetwork.com/Conditions/FootAndAnkle/PlantarFasciitis.asp .

"Because plantar fasciitis and heel spurs are frequently related to biomechanical foot defects, recurrences may occur until these problems are addressed," Dr. Kasdan states. To effectively treat and prevent plantar fasciitis and heel spurs, doctors frequently recommend using custom-made orthotics. Custom-made orthotics are biomechanical devices that help prevent recurring attacks of these debilitating conditions. For more information about plantar fasciitis, heel spurs, and custom-made orthotics, visit http://www.OurHealthNetwork.com/CustomOrthotics .

OurHealthNetwork.com makes custom-made orthotics from comfortable, shock-absorbent, durable "space age" materials that allow them to be thin enough to fit in dress shoes and other low-volume shoes. For more information about these painful conditions and the treatments doctors frequently recommend to care for them, please visit http://www.OurHealthNetwork.com .

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