Does your heel hurt? You may think that you have a heel spur because you feel sharp stabbing pain at the bottom of your foot. You may be suffering more likely from plantar fasciitis than heel spur. In most cases, heel pain is caused by plantar fasciitis. Plantar fasciitis is the most common cause of foot pain.

Plantar fasciitis is the inflammation of the plantar fascia, which is the fibrous band of tissue at the bottom of the foot. It connects the heel bone to the toes. People with plantar fasciitis experience pain on the heel. This makes people think that they have a heel spur. Heel spur may cause pain on the heels but not all heel pain is caused by heel spurs.

The plantar fascia is designed to absorb all the stress that we place on our feet. Too much stress and pressure can damage the tissue. As the body’s natural reaction to injury, the plantar fascia is inflamed. This causes pain and swelling of the heel.

Factors that make you prone to plantar fasciitis include: tight calf muscles, obesity, high arch of the foot, repetitive stress on the feet, new or increases physical activity. Change in footwear such as wearing high heels can cause plantar fasciitis to develop. People who spend a lot of time on their feet or play sports are also prone to develop plantar fasciitis.

A heel spur on the other hand (or may I say foot) is a calcium deposit that creates a protrusion on the heel bone. The protrusion may cause inflammation on the surrounding tissue. A heel spur may exist without showing any visible symptoms. To diagnose a heel spur, imaging tests such as x-rays are done to see if there is a heel spur.

If you are experiencing foot pain, visit a podiatrist to get diagnosed if you have a heel spur or plantar fasciitis.