Plantar fasciitis is an inflammation of the band on the bottom of your foot. It typically occurs when excessive tension is being placed onto the band.
Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common causes of heel pain that I see in the office. Typically, when a patient comes in with plantar fasciitis, I recommend aggressive stretching exercises, which basically include stretching the plantar fascia, as well as the Achilles tendon. I recommend a change in shoe gear to a more supportive shoe. I usually recommend the use of over-the-counter innersoles to provide additional support.
Non steroidal anti-inflammatories, such as Motrin, is effective in treating the condition.
I'm a big believer in physical therapy. Physical therapists can use different modalities to decrease the inflammation and relieve tension of the fascia on the bottom of the foot.
Custom made orthotics work extremely well in managing plantar fasciitis and is a mainstay in my office.
Some other modalities that I use include steroid injections, which decrease inflammation, but really do not treat the problem. Sometimes I will prescribe a dorsiflexion night splint, which holds your foot at a neutral while you sleep, which usually reduces pain on initial weight bearing in the morning.
Ninety percent of patients with plantar fasciitis will get better through these conservative means alone. Should conservative therapy fail to alleviate the condition, surgical management is available. My preference is an endoscopic plantar fasciotomy, which involves making two small holes on either side of the heel and inserting a video camera. We can then visualize the fascia and cut a portion of the fascia, thereby relieving the tension. I have found this to be a very effective surgery, minimally invasive, and can get patients back to work quickly.