Plantar Fasciitis vs. Heel Fat Pad Syndrome

Do you suffer from heel pain? You may be more likely to have plantar fasciitis or heel fat pad syndrome, according to studies.

According to statistics, plantar fasciitis is the most commonly diagnosed heel condition follow by heel pad syndrome. However, these two heel conditions are often mistaken for one another, making it difficult to pinpoint the actual source of heel pain.

What is Plantar Fasciitis?

The plantar fascia is made up of thick connective tissues that bind the heel to the front part of the foot. The inflammation of these tissues is called plantar fasciitis. The plantar fascia supports the arch of the foot and helps absorb the impact of walking and other physical activities on the foot. Pain from plantar fasciitis occurs on the bottom of the foot, in the area between the heel and arch.

What Causes of Plantar fasciitis?

As mentioned earlier, one of the leading causes of heel pain is plantar fasciitis. The plantar fascia tissues of the foot undergo a lot of wear and tear due to walking and other activities. Repeated pressure on the foot can damage or displace the fascia, often leading to pain and stiffness in the heel.

Factors that Contribute to Plantar Fasciitis

While plantar fasciitis can occur in some patients without apparent cause, factors such as age, gender, foot mechanics, occupation, obesity, high heel, and worn-out shoes can increase the risk of plantar fasciitis.

What are the Symptoms of Plantar Fasciitis?

Symptoms of plantar Fasciitis:

  • Pain occurs in the bottom of the foot closer to the heel
  • Pain often worsens after taking a first step in the morning
  • Pain can be triggered by a prolonged period of standing
  • Activities such as climbing, jogging, and running can be difficult due to heel stiffness

Patients with plantar fasciitis usually experience pain in the bottom of the feet close to the heel. The pain often gets worse after taking a first step in the morning. Pain from fasciitis can be triggered by a prolonged period of standing or standing up after lying down. Climbing or participating in activities such as running and jogging can be difficult due to pain and heel stiffness.

How to Treat Plantar Fasciitis

Self-care treatments such as exercise, rest, icing the affected area, wearing shoe inserts, and taking pain-relief medication such as ibuprofen are effective in treating plantar fasciitis. However, if the pain persists, a visit to a podiatrist may be necessary.

Understanding the Heel Fat Pad Syndrome

The heel pad on the bottom of the feet consists of fat, thick flexible tissue fibers that serve as a shock absorber during movement. The fat pad helps distribute body weight and protects the bones and joints during running, walking, or jumping. However, factors such as age, obesity, and foot mechanics can cause the heel fat pad to wear out, resulting in a condition known as heel fat pad syndrome.

Difference between Heel Fat Pad Syndrome and Plantar Fasciitis

The major difference between heel fat pad syndrome and plantar fasciitis is that the pain from the latter occurs in the center part of the heel, while the former takes place in the edge of the heel, closer to instep, towards the toes. Another area of difference between the two is that pain from plantar fasciitis is usually triggered when the sufferer stands up after a prolonged period of rest.

Heel Fat Pad Syndrome Treatment

Like plantar fasciitis, the heel pad syndrome treatments include:

  • Resting
  • Medication
  • Icing the affected area
  • Wearing heel cups and orthotics