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Pain in the heel is most commonly a result of thecondition which is called plantar fasciitis, or heel spur syndrome. Naturally,this is not the only potential cause of the heel pain, as it may also be caused bya stress fracture, inflammation, arthritis, or some kind of irritation of the nerves,or a cyst.

The causes of plantar fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis is a condition where the tissue that islocated in the heel and spreads to the toes becomes inflamed. The appearance ofplantar fasciitis is most often associated to the irregularities in thestructure of the feet, or the arch of the foot, to be more precise. Whether theproblem is that the arch is too flat or too high-arched, any kind of extremecan potentially lead to plantar fasciitis. However, there are other causes ofplantar fasciitis, such as wearing uncomfortable shoes which do not support thefeet very well for long periods of time. This can cause a lot of tension andpain in the feet, thereby causing this condition. Another factor which isincluded in the formation of plantar fasciitis is obesity.

The symptoms of plantar fasciitis

The main symptom of plantar fasciitis is pain in the heelarea, particularly the bottom because that is the part of the heel that touchesthe ground. The intensity of the pain is particularly strong after getting upfrom a position of leisure and rest, for example, from the bed in the morningsor from a sitting position. Also, this kind of pain tends to gradually becomeworse over time.

Diagnosing plantar fasciitis

Determining a diagnosis for plantar fasciitis is not toocomplicated. What the physician first does is do a routine examination of thefoot. He also takes the medical history into consideration and inquires aboutthe kind of pain that the patient is experiencing. This approach is used torule out all other potential causes of the pain in the heel. Sometimes the useof an x-ray or a similar device is required.

Treating plantar fasciitis

The treatment for plantar fasciitis is usually fairly simpleand can be applied at home. For the mildest forms of the condition, no morewill be required than doing stretching exercises for the foot, dailyapplication of ice packages, limitation in physical activities, certainpain-relieving medications and possible shoe modifications. However, if theposition does not seem to go away even after several weeks of such treatment,one may need to consider receiving additional foot support together with bothinjection and physical therapy. Finally, the cases in which the patient isunresponsive to any kind of non-surgical treatment and eventually needs to takecare of the problem surgically are extremely unlikely.

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