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Has plantar faciitis have anything to do with arthritis?

Q) I have been suffering from arthritis in both knees for some years and l’m afraid it doesn’t get any better! I have had injections, but at 87 I don’t think I can go through joint replacement. Recently I have developed an unpleasant pain in my right foot, underneath the heel. My doctor has called it plantar fasciitis. Has this got anything to do with arthritis, and is there any cure or treatment?
Mr E W Hancock, Chichester, Hants (Spring 2013)

A) Plantar fasciitis is pain in the heel where one of the ligaments of the foot attaches to the heel bone. It is a common problem – it is more common in people who are overweight and who have ankles that ‘turn out’, what podiatrists call over pronation. Plantar fasciitis can also, less frequently, be associated with the spondyloarthropathies, diseases such as ankylosing spondylitis and psoriatic arthritis, where it can be on both sides at the same time. In elderly people, a painful condition of the heel pad can develop – this appears like plantar fasciitis but is in fact due to thinning of the tissues under the heel bone. In such cases, extra padding in the form of gel heel inserts is recommended. For more information go to 'Feet, footwear and arthritis'
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