"Dr. Burton S. Schuler, Morton's Toe Expert"- Author of Why You Really Hurt, It All Starts In the Foot.



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Plantar Fasciitis & Heel Spurs are Very Common says Podiatrist

Heel and arch pain are one of the most common complaints heard by American podiatrists, and there are many causes for these foot pain.   Heel pain symptoms occur in the back or the bottom of the heel, and it usually occurs upon awakening and it intensifies throughout the day, causing difficulty walking.  The two most common causes of heel pain are plantar fasciitis and heel spurs. http://www.footcare4u.com/category/plantar-fasciitis/

Plantar fasciitis is the most common cause of heel pain on the foot bottom. It is an inflammation in the plantar fascia, which is the tissue band that connects the heel to the ball of the foot. Plantar fasciitis can best be characterized as a sharp pain on the inside bottom of the heel. It is reported to be worse after restful periods–such as in the morning.  Stress and degeneration of the plantar fascia are exacerbated by standing on the feet Heel spurs, or bones that grow on the heel’s bottom, are related to plantar fasciitis.  They are another common cause of heel pain and are formed in response to the tension caused by tight plantar fascia.

Stating that plantar fasciitis and heel spurs are linked to tension in the plantar fascia is not explaining potential causes.  Simply standing for lengthy periods on your feet is not an adequate explanation for why heel pain exists because not everyone experiences the same amount of pain if they stand on their feet.  One explanation is offered by Dr. Burton S. Schuler, who is a practicing podiatrist in Panama City, Florida, and a Diplomate of the American Academy of Pain Management, a Diplomate of the National Board of Podiatric Examiners, and a Fellow of the American Academy of Ambulatory Foot Surgery .  Research on the impact of a short first metatarsal bone, also known as Morton’s Toe, that dates back more than 80 years, reveals that this is a major cause in heel pain.

In Why You Really Hurt: It All Starts in the Foot, Schuler ties Morton’s Toe to plantar fasciitis and heel spurs through the phenomenon of pronation.  Normal pronation is described as occurring when the outside part of the heel makes initial contact with the ground. The foot “rolls” inward about fifteen percent, comes in complete contact with the ground, and can support your body weight without any problem. The rolling in of the foot optimally distributes the forces of impact. This movement is called “pronation,” and it’s critical to proper shock absorption. At the end of the gait cycle, you push off evenly from the front of the foot (http://www.runnersworld.com/article/0,7120,s6-240-319-327-7727-0,00.html).

When your first toe is shorter than your first, your foot undergoes abnormal pronation; that is, the force of the impact when the foot hits the ground is not evenly distributed, causing improper shock absorption.  The uneven distribution of pressure on the foot includes pressure on the heel–causing heel spurs–and the plantar fascia .    Diagnosing and treating your Morton’s Toe is the first step in treating your chronic heel pain