Is It Plantar Fasciitis or a Heel Spur?
Posted on Dec 02, 2016

Plantar fasciitis and heel spurs are two distinctly different conditions. Both share an unfavorable symptom: chronic pain in your feet or heel. This shared symptom can lead many people to misdiagnose themselves. Understanding the difference between the two can save you time, money and prevent pain.   Read below to learn the difference between the two!  

Plantar Fasciitis v. Heel Spurs

One of the biggest differences between heel spurs and plantar fasciitis is where the foot is affected. Plantar fasciitis affects the plantar fascia, a band of tissue running along the bottom of the foot. Pain from plantar fasciitis is felt in the arch of the foot and heel. Heel spurs are tiny jagged calcium deposits on the heel bone. They are formed in response to trauma to the plantar fascia but are localized in the heel.  

What Causes Heel Spurs or Plantar Fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis is generally caused by damage to the plantar fascia ligament. Being overweight, wearing unsupportive footwear, spending a lot of time on your feet or trauma can be the cause.   Heel spurs develop as a result of plantar fasciitis. When the plantar fascia is damaged your body creates heel-spurs to support the damaged fascia. These heel spurs are small, sharp calcium deposits that develop on the heel bone. Permanent damage can occur if heel spurs aren't treated. The fatty pad underneath the heel can erode and provide little support.  

Symptoms of Heel Spurs and Plantar Fasciitis

Heel spurs cause a stabbing sensation in the heels. The sharp calcium deposits stab into the fatty pad of the heel. The pain is commonly worst in the morning and will resurface throughout the day.  Plantar fasciitis comes with a broad range of symptoms that occur in the heel and arch. Notable plantar fasciitis symptoms include redness, swelling, inflammation and pain in the heel. Most sufferers report experiencing sharp pain in the morning that gets better throughout the day as the fascia is stretch. Aching, burning sensation in the heel is one of the most common symptoms of plantar fasciitis.