Foot Pain Glossary 2011-03-02T18:26:22+00:00

Foot Pain/ Plantar Fasciitis Conditions

Fat Pad Atrophy (Metatarsalgia)

A condition occurring in the ball of the foot where the fat helping to cushion the bones in the foot become reduced or even destroyed. Condition is especially common in seniors. Treatment options include (nonsurgical) Hard Plastic Heel Cups or Surgery.

Plantar Calcaneal Bursitis

This condition feels like a throbbing ache under the heel area. It can happen in conjunction with Plantar Fascitiis. Keep in mind that Plantar Calcaneal Bursitisi is NOT plantar fasciitis, fat pad contusions, or calcaneal stress fractures.


Plantar Calcaneal Bursititis is usually caused by Over Pronation and/or poorly fitting (or bad quality) shoes.


You should avoid any sort of intense foot activity such as running, jumping, and sports for one. You should also look at orthotics that help support the foot and crushion the heel. There is also plantar fascia massage therapy  that may help with the condition. If this fails to treat the condition, you will need to seek out a cortisone injection.

Plantar Fasciitis Heel Spur Syndrome (aka plantar fasciitis with heel bone spurs)

Heel spur syndrome is really just another name for Plantar Fasciitis, a condition where the plantar fascia endures micro tears. The role of the Plantar Fasci is to support the arch of the foot. When you put pressure on your feet (walking, running), your plantar fascia will stretch and contract as weight is placed on the foot and removed from the foot during the natural walking process.


When the plantar fascia ligament undergoes constant stress, it’s possible that as it stretches and contracts the ligament will slowly tear from where it connects to the heel bone. When the tear becomes inflamed, serious pain occurs. It is this inflammation of the torn area that gives the name plantar fasciitis, with plantar fascia + it is (greek for “inflammation”)

Heel Spur

There is often a lot of confusion between plantar fasciitis and heel spurs. A Heel Spur is basically the development of an extra bit of bone on the bottom of the heel area. This bone forms when the plantar fascia constantly pulls  on the bone attachment. The heel bone responds by slowly  growing towards the direction of the pull.

Now here is where Heel Spurs and the Plantar Fascia are connected. When the plantar fascia is tight or overstreatched (this takes a long period of time, say months or even years), a bone spur can form near the location of the stretching. Bones spurs are actually common and don’t pose a problem by themselves. But where the problem occurs is when the plantar fascia actually becomes to tear – that causes the pain, which we call plantar fasciitis.

So it is possible to have a huge bone spur on the base of the heel with no plantar fasciitis (and pain) and it is also possible to have plantar fasciitis (and a lot of pain) and NO bone spur. So the bone spur is really just a side effect of the pulling motion of your ligament and not that actual cause of your foot pain condition.]

Achilles Tendonitis

The archilles tendon is a tendon near the back of the ankle, connecting your calf mucles to the heel bone. The condition can either be acute (occurs over the course of a couple days which may result from increased training or strain on the foot) or chronic (occurs over a long period of time).