"Runners Information Online"

Heel Pain (Heel Spurs and Plantar Fasciitis)

Heel pain can be very painful to runners.

Inflammation of the thick fibrous band of tissue that courses through the arch of the foot and inserts into the inferior aspect of the heel.  It is the most common cause of arch and heel pain and is commonly associated with a heel spur.

The most common heel problems are caused by strain of the plantar fascia, which extends from the heel to the toes. Strain in this tissue can become very painful, especially with the first steps of the day. The condition can cause swelling at the origin of the plantar fascia at the heel. The pain is most noticeable when the foot flattens during weight bearing or when pushing off with the toes during walking or running, and it is usually located near the heel. The problems tend to occur in flat, flexible feet and in high arched, stiff feet. Left untreated, the pain can spread around the heel.

Treatment should include a decrease in the intensity and duration of running workouts. Runners should also evaluate their running shoes for excessive wear and for proper fit. The wrong shoe for a foot type can worsen bio mechanical flaws and cause plantar fasciitis.