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What is plantar fasciitis?

On the bottom of your foot, you have a connective tissue called plantar fascia. The plantar fascia connects your heel bone to the middle of your foot and the base of your toes, absorbs shock, and provides arch support. Plantar fasciitis is a condition in which the plantar fascia becomes inflamed.

What causes plantar fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis can occur when the plantar fascia becomes stressed or irritated due to extreme or frequent stress placed on your feet. Factors that may increase your risk for plantar fasciitis may include:

  • Being between the ages of 40 and 60
  • Engaging in certain physical activities
  • Having certain foot characteristics, such as being flat-footed
  • Being overweight
  • Being on your feet for long periods of time

What are the symptoms of plantar fasciitis?

The most common symptom of plantar fasciitis is a sharp pain in your heel, usually right when you wake up and step out of bed. The pain will typically lessen as your day goes on, but may increase if you have been standing for a long time.

How is plantar fasciitis diagnosed?

Plantar fasciitis is diagnosed by your doctor who will perform a physical exam to assess the affected area of your foot. Your doctor may also recommend an X-ray or an MRI to confirm the cause of your heel pain.

Can plantar fasciitis lead to complications if left untreated?

If left untreated, plantar fasciitis may lead to chronic heel pain. Plantar fasciitis may also result in additional conditions affecting your knees, hip, or back.

How is plantar fasciitis treated?

Plantar fasciitis is usually treatable with non-surgical treatment options, such as physical therapy. Other non-surgical treatment options may include:

  • Resting
  • Wearing shoes with good arch support and low heels
  • Avoiding high-impact sports such as jogging
  • Applying ice to the affected area
  • Stretching your arches
  • Wearing night splints
  • Using custom-fitted arch supports

If non-surgical treatment options do not provide you with pain relief, surgery or certain procedures may be recommended for the treatment of plantar fasciitis. Procedure options for the treatment of plantar fasciitis may include:

  • Injections
  • Extracorporeal shock wave therapy
  • Tenex procedure
  • Surgery

If you are experiencing signs and symptoms of plantar fasciitis, consult a podiatrist. Dr. Robert Stein is a Doctor of Podiatric Medicine who’s been in practice for over 25 years and strives to ensure that adults and children live without foot pain or discomfort. Call one of our locations or fill out the form on this page to schedule an appointment with South Shore Foot Care today.

Every patient is unique and so are treatments. The information on this website is for educational purposes and each individual
patient care model may differ.