Plantar Fasciitis (Heel Pain) Treatments

Understanding Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar Fasciitis is one of the most common causes of heel pain. The plantar fascia is the band of tissue on the bottom of the foot that connects the heel to the toe. Heel pain can occur when the plantar fascia become inflamed, are tight, or partially torn. Usually this develops gradually and mostly often affects only one foot at a time.

Signs and Symptoms

  • Sharp, knife-like pain in the heel that feels worse when first standing in the morning
  • After standing, pain becomes dull, but may return after sitting for an extended period of time
  • Heel may hurt, feel hot, swell, or turn red from inflammation

Common Causes

  • Excessive physical activity can stress the heel bone and surrounding tissue
  • Abnormal walking pattern
  • Improper shoes (thin soles, soft soles, loose shoes)
  • Sports with quick turns (i.e. tennis, basketball)
  • Tight calf muslces
 

Treatments

Immediate Treatment Options

  • Develop a program of home exercise to stretch the Achilles tendon and plantar fascia
  • Cut back on activities that aggravate the heel
  • Apply pressure to the heel by rolling a golf or tennis ball with the arch of your foot while standing
  • Massage your foot
  • Anti-inflammatory medications (topical and/or oral) may reduce pain
  • Athletic taping/strapping

Other Medically Necessary Treatments

  • Orthotics
  • Night splints
  • Cortisone injections
  • Extracorporeal shock wave therapy (ESWT)
  • Surgery