HEEL SPURS: What is it? A bony growth on the underside of the heel bone. What causes it? Heel spurs result from strain on the muscles and ligaments of the foot, by stretching of the long band of tissue that connects the heel and the ball of the foot, and by repeated tearing away of the lining or membrane that covers the heel bone.
PLANTAR FASCIITIS: What is it? An inﬂammation of the band of ﬁbrous connective tissue (fascia) running along the bottom (plantar surface) of the foot, from the heel to the ball of the foot. What causes it? Plantar fasciitis occurs when the plantar fascia is strained over time beyond its normal extension, causing the soft tissue ﬁbers of the fascia to tear or stretch at points along its length.
EXCESSIVE PRONATION: What is it? An abnormal amount of stretching and pulling on the ligaments and tendons attaching to the bottom back of the heel bone. What causes it? Pronation is the normal ﬂexible motion and ﬂattening of the arch of the foot that allows it to adapt to ground surfaces and absorb shock in the normal walking pattern. Excessive pronation is the excessive inward motion.
ACHILLES TENDINITIS: What is it? Pain in the back of the heel. What causes it? Achilles tendinitis happens when the Achilles tendon is inﬂamed.
HOW CAN I PREVENT HEEL PAIN?
• Wear shoes that ﬁt well—front, back, and sides—and have shock-absorbent soles, rigid shanks, and supportive heel counters
• Wear the proper shoes for each activity
• Do not wear shoes with excessive wear on heels or soles
• Prepare properly before exercising. Warm up and do stretching exercises before and after running.
If you experience persistent foot pain, request an appointment now. Feet shouldn’t hurt all the time, and if they do, it may indicate injury, irritation, or illness.