When you feel heel pain, you may act like most people, thinking that you have the dreaded heel spur. But you may have plantar fasciitis. Most people confuse the two conditions. This is understandable since they both affect the same area. However, not all heel pain is a heel spur. It can be a case of the plantar fascia. So how can you distinguish the pain from plantar fascia and a heel spur?
Let’s find out.
See the Differences
Plantar fasciitis is what happens when your plantar fascia muscle is inflamed. This muscle is in the foot and connects the ball of your foot with the heels. Anything can cause inflammation. It can happen from a sudden change in shoes, such as you’ve been using heels for years and switch to flat shoes. You also can suffer from plantar fasciitis by having a high foot arch.
A heel spur is a condition where there’s a calcium deposit or bone growth in your heels. This bone can push its way and caused your plantar fascia to respond by being swollen. Sometimes people caught their heel spur early on when they are doing x-rays. But this condition is often ignored until it’s too late. After all, not everyone has an excuse to do an x-ray on their feet.
What Are the Causes
Contrary to the popular beliefs, plantar fasciitis doesn’t cause heel spur. While it’s true that people with plantar fasciitis can suffer from heel spur at later date, but that’s still a very rare case. The most common cause of plantar fasciitis is often biological. Some people are born with either flat feet or high arch, so they are prone to pull their plantar fascia and trigger the inflammation.
Heel spur has a more complicated origin. Many factors contribute to its creation. However, the first and foremost is your activities. Constant hard work for years can tear the ligament, allowing a bone to protrude or develop a calcium deposit. And since heel spur takes years to develop, age also plays a part. As you grow older, there is a bigger chance for the calcium deposit to develop. Unfortunately for women, they also have a bigger risk of having a heel spur. This may or may not be related to the fact that they have to wear heels daily.
Is There A Cure?
Lucky for you, the treatment for both plantar fasciitis and heel spur is often the same. For quick relief, you can rely on the ice-cold compress on your heels. This will help you in the short term. For daily use, you can get a splint or see a doctor and have a custom-made insole for your shoes. This will help your muscles to relax and stretch instead of being pulled.
In case you are still suffering from a heel spur after a year of doing non-surgical treatment, then you should contact your doctor and schedule a small surgery to remove the heel spur. Patience and perseverance are the keys to deal with both plantar fasciitis and heel spurs.
Before you are quick to judge if your foot pain is heel spur or plantar fasciitis, you can do the quick treatment for plantar fasciitis. If the pain persists for weeks, then you need to have your feet X-rayed to see if it is a heel spur. A qualified doctor can help assess your situation and give you the best medical recommendation.