Many people mistake the diagnosis of heel spur with that of plantar fasciitis. While they are related, they are not exactly the same. Plantar fasciitis is an inflammation of the plantar fascia, which is the tissue that forms the arch of the foot. A heel spur is a hook of bone that can form on the heel bone and is associated with plantar fasciitis. About 70 percent of patients with plantar fasciitis have a heel spur, although patients with no symptoms whatsoever can also have heel spurs.The treatment plan for heel spurs is the same as the treatment plan for plantar fasciitis. Initially, a patient will want to avoid activities that aggravate symptoms so the foot can rest and the inflammation can go down. Icing the foot will help lessen the symptoms as well and is especially helpful immediately after the symptoms have been aggravated. Stretches can be performed that will help to relax the tissues that surround the heel bone and anti-inflammatory medications can be taken to decrease inflammation. Sometimes, orthotics or night splints are recommended to decrease the pain and protect the foot from further injury.
Our office does offer Extracorporeal Shockwave Treatment (ESWT) as another option for patients with plantar fasciitis and heel pain. We also perform the Autogenous Growth Factor (AGF) Procedure, which is a tissue graft repair for plantar fasciitis and damage to muscles in the heel.
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