Plantar fasciitis is often referred to as "heel spur syndrome" in the literature and the medical community, but the label is a misnomer. This vague and nonspecific term incorrectly suggests that osseous "spurs" (inferior calcaneal exostoses) are the cause of pain rather than an incidental radiographic finding. There is no correlation between pain and the presence or absence of exostoses, and excision of a spur is not part of the usual surgery for plantar fasciitis. Plantar fasciitis occurs in both men and women of all ages. Its incidence and severity can correlate to any activity that slightly over-extends the plantar fascia from walking to sports, even leg-length discrepancies.
Three distinct phases of plantar fasciitis are common:
1) If addressed within the first 3 months, an off-the-shelf support may suffice;
2) If three months have passed, you are in a chronic state, which requires a custom-made foot orthosis;
3) The final stage is a highly controversial surgery of cutting the plantar fascia to self lengthen. While there are numerous other modalities of addressing plantar fasciitis, the vast majority respond well to a custom orthosis.
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