What exactly is Plantar Fasciitis?
Your plantar fascia (fay-sha) supports the arch of your foot as you run or walk. It is a thick, inelastic, fibrous band that starts in your heel, runs along the bottom of your foot, and spreads out to your toes. Plantar fasciitis (fashee-EYE-tiss) is an inflammation of this fibrous band.
What causes Plantar Fasciitis?
If you are female or have a job that requires a lot of walking or standing on hard surfaces you are more at risk for plantar fasciitis.
Additional causes include:
- Being overweight
- Having flat feet or high arches
- Wearing shoes with poor support
- Walking or running for exercise
- Tight calf muscles that limit how far you can flex your ankles
- Running on soft terrain
- Increase in activity level
- Genetic predisposition
What are common symptoms?
If you have plantar fasciitis, your most common complaint is probably difficulty getting out of bed and walking first thing in the morning.
Additional symptoms of plantar fasciitis include:
- Dull, intermittent pain in heel bone
- Progression to sharp, persistent pain
- Inflammation at the bottom of your heal
- Tenderness/tightness in your arch
- Pain after (not during) exercise
- Pain after sitting
What are my treatment options?
Plantar fasciitis is best treated by stretching exercises for the Achilles tendon and plantar fascia. Home exercise programs are typically the mainstay of treatment and reduce the chance of recurrence.
Your Summit foot specialist may also recommend one or more of these treatment options:
- Icing 20 minutes, 3-4 times daily
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medication (ibuprofen or naproxen)
- Prescribed stretches
- Supportive shoes
- Orthotic inserts
- Cortisone injection
- Walking cast or splint
What can I expect my results to be after treatment?
Statistics show after the first two months of treatment there is about a 90 percent improvement rate.
How long until I’m better?
Untreated, your plantar fasciitis may become a chronic condition. It can change the way you walk, causing foot, knee, hip, and back problems, and impeding your level of activity. If you adhere to your rehabilitation exercises and other treatment, your plantar fasciitis can improve significantly after the first two months.
Ask the Expert: Sports Medicine Video Series
Meet the Expert: Doctor Bio Video Series
Dr. Scofield explains the factors he considers when making decisions about which tendon treatment to use.