Plantar fasciitis is an inflammation of the band of tissue (the plantar fascia) that extends from the heel to the toes. In this condition, the fascia first becomes irritated and then inflamed – resulting in heel pain.
- Pain on the bottom of the heel
- Pain that is usually worse upon arising
- Pain that increases over a period of months
People with plantar fasciitis often describe the pain as worse when they get up in the morning or after they’ve been sitting for long periods of time. After a few minutes of walking the pain decreases, because walking stretches the fascia. For some people the pain subsides but returns after spending long periods of time on their feet.
Treatment of plantar fasciitis begins with first-line strategies, which you can begin at home:
- Stretching Exercises
- Shoe Modifications
- Padding and Strapping
- Orthotic Devices
- Injection Therapy
- Removable Walking Cast
- Nexus Laser
- Night Splint
- Physical Therapy
Although most patients with plantar fasciitis respond to non-surgical treatment, a small percentage of patients may require surgery. If, after several months of non-surgical treatment, you continue to have heel pain, surgery will be considered.
The most common cause of plantar fasciitis relates to faulty structure of the foot. Wearing non-supportive footwear on hard, flat surfaces puts abnormal strain on the plantar fascia and can also lead to plantar fasciitis. This is particularly evident when a person’s job requires long hours on their feet. Obesity also contributes to plantar fasciitis. If you are overweight, it is important to reach and maintain an ideal weight. For all patients, wearing supportive shoes and using custom orthotic devices is the mainstay of long-term treatment for plantar fasciitis.