Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis is an inflammation of the thick tissue on the bottom of the foot caused by microtearing (strain). Pain associated with the condition is most commonly localized to the bottom of the heel.

The most common cause of plantar fasciitis is again “overuse” by the runner as a result of rapid increases in pace, mileage, distance, speed work and plyometrics.

“With the increase there is a tightness within the calf, and limited dorsiflexion through the gait pattern of walking or running,” says Dr. Funk. “This causes more pronation stress on the plantar fascia and allows the inflammatory process to begin.”

According to Dr. Wiernik, pain is most pronounced when getting out of bed in the morning or rising from a seated position.

“Generally the pain subsides after walking for a few minutes, but it usually gets worse again as the day progresses,” he says.

Diagnosing and Treating Plantar Fasciitis

When deemed severe enough to see a specialist, the first step for treating plantar fasciitis is an assessment of calf mobilization and localization of pain to the inferior heel and/or plantar medial heel.

If the initial treatment protocols listed above do not help, Dr. Wiernik suggests using oral anti-inflammatories and/or injection therapy.

Plantar fasciitis resolves 90-95 percent of the time with conservative measures and rarely needs surgical intervention.

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