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Plantar fasciitis (also known as heel spur syndrome) occurs when the plantar fascia ligament along the bottom of the foot develops inflammation or swelling in the tissue where it attaches to the bottom of the heel bone. This will result in severe pain in the bottom of the heel and may also move into the arch of the foot. The most common symptoms of plantar fasciitis include burning, stabbing, aching pain in the heel.
Often times, the fascia tightens up over night and therefore causes pain when first arising out of bed in the morning or standing after a period of rest. Pain generally decreases as the tissue warms up, but often returns after long periods of standing or weight bearing and physical activity.
One of the common factors that contributes to the development of plantar fasciitis is wearing shoes that either don’t fit properly, or shoes that do not provide adequate support or cushioning. Weight distribution becomes impaired while wearing shoes that do not support the foot. This adds significant stress to the plantar fascia.
In most cases, treatment of plantar fasciitis does not require surgery or invasive procedures to stop pain and reverse damage. Traditional treatments include stretching, ice, anti-inflammatory medications, cortisone injection therapy and orthotic devices. Chronic cases may require immobilization. Keep in mind, however, that every one responds to treatment differently and recovery times will vary.