What is Plantar Fasciitis?
Plantar fasciitis is a persistent pain located on the bottom of the heel, and is one of the most common causes of heel pain. The plantar fascia is a fibrous tendon-like structure that extends the entire length of the bottom of the foot. The plantar fascia can become irritated, inflamed and may even get small tears, causing a stabbing pain.
Symptoms of Plantar Fasciitis
- Pain is most noticeable the first few steps in the morning
- The pain can feel like a sharp, stabbing pain in the heel
- The pain subsides in 10-15 minutes, but can happen again after times of rest or being on your feet for too long
- Plantar fasciitis is more common in active people who have a high-arch or rigid type flat foot
- While walking, the plantar fascia experiences continuous stress and excessive pulling which results in inflammation and pain
- This is not typically the result of a “direct” injury
Types of Treatment
Your physician will perform a complete medical history and physical. X-rays are sometimes taken to rule out other causes of heel pain. Often, a small bone spur is found to be the cause of the pain.
- Stretching, foot wraps
- Rest and exercise modification
- Anti-inflammatory medication
- Supportive insoles
- Steroid injections- this helps to resolve the inflammation/pain and does not just “cover-up” the pain. They are not used as a stand-alone therapy
- Physical therapy
- Custom made orthotics
- Night splints
- Only a small percentage of people require surgery
- It is not necessary to remove the bone spur
- Partial plantar fasciotomy – cutting/releasing a portion of the plantar fascia
- There is also a minimally invasive procedure using a Topaz wand to perform micro-debridement and micro-lengthening of the plantar fascia