The terms Plantar Fasciitis and heel spur are often confused. Although these conditions can be related to one another, they are quite different. A heel spur is a hook of bone that can develop on the heel bone (calcaneus). This hook of bone can be caused by plantar fasciitis.Plantar fasciitis is inflammation of the plantar fascia, which is the tissue that forms the arch of the foot. This fascia is attached to the calcaneus. Prolonged irritation and inflammation near the attachment cause the body to lay down calcium deposits, which becomes a heel spur.
An interesting fact is that approximately 70% of people with plantar fasciitis have a heel spur, while about 50% of people without the symptoms of plantar fasciitis also have heel spurs. It seems clear that the irritation and inflammation of plantar fasciitis is most likely the cause of pain in the heel, not the heel spur itself. It is possible, by curing the plantar fasciitis, to eliminate the pain even if the heel spur is still there.