Plantar fasciitis is a common cause of heel pain in adults. The disorder classically presents with pain that is particularly severe with the first few steps taken in the morning. In general, plantar
fasciitis is a self-limited condition. However, symptoms usually resolve more quickly when the interval between the onset of symptoms and the onset of treatment is shorter. Many treatment options
exist, including rest, stretching, strengthening, change of shoes, arch supports, orthotics, night splints, anti-inflammatory agents and surgery. Usually, plantar fasciitis can be treated
successfully by tailoring treatment to an individual's risk factors and preferences.
You're more likely to develop the condition if you're female, overweight or have a job that requires a lot of walking or standing on hard surfaces. You're also at risk if you walk or run for
exercise, especially if you have tight calf muscles that limit how far you can flex your ankles. People with very flat feet or very high arches also are more prone to plantar fasciitis.
Symptoms of plantar fasciitis include pain in the heel of the foot. Some people complain of a sharp stabbing pain especially with walking. Others describe the pain as a dull ache after prolonged
standing. The pain of plantar fasciitis is often worst in the morning or following activity.
Diagnosis of plantar fasciitis is based on a medical history, the nature of symptoms, and the presence of localised tenderness in the heel. X-rays may be recommended to rule out other causes for the
symptoms, such as bone fracture and to check for evidence of heel spurs. Blood tests may also be recommended.
Non Surgical Treatment
Plantar fasciitis is usually controlled with conservative treatment. Following control of the pain and inflammation an orthotic (a custom made shoe insert) will be used to stabilize your foot and
prevent a recurrence. Over 98% of the time heel spurs and plantar fasciitis can be controlled by this treatment and surgery can be avoided. The orthotic prevents excess pronation and prevents
lengthening of the plantar fascia and continued tearing of the fascia. Usually a slight heel lift and a firm shank in the shoe will also help to reduce the severity of this problem. The office visit
will be used for careful examination and review to distinguish plantar fasciitis and plantar heel pain syndrome from other problems, many of which are outlined below. It is important to distinguish
between a stress reaction of the calcaneus and plantar fasciitis. A feature of many calcaneal stress fractures is pain on lateral and medial compression of the calcaneus.
Surgery is rarely used in the treatment of plantar fasciitis. However it may be recommended when conservative treatment has been tried for several months but does not bring adequate relief of
symptoms. Surgery usually involves the partial release of the plantar fascia from the heel bone. In approximately 75% of cases symptoms are fully resolved within six months. In a small percentage of
cases, symptoms may take up to 12 months to fully resolve.