Plantar Fasciitis and Heel Pain
There is a ligament along the bottom of the foot called the plantar fascia that stretches from the heel to the base of the toes. If the ligament is forced to stretch beyond its limit, it may become inflamed and result in heel pain. This condition is called plantar fasciitis. Patients often complain of discomfort in the heel, the arch of the foot, or the back of the leg when walking. The pain is usually worst when getting up after sitting or lying down for a while.
Bone spurs are a common complication of plantar fasciitis. These bony calcium growths on the bottom of the heel form where the plantar fascia pulls on the heel bone. Spurs don't usually cause pain themselves, but they are often a good indicator of the severity and age of the underlying problem.
Risk factors for developing plantar fasciitis, heel spurs and other types of heel pain include overuse during exercise, standing or walking for many hours a day, having naturally tight calf muscles, wearing shoes with high heels, and having flat feet or very high arches.