Plantar fasciitis is an inflammation of the tendon (a thick band of fibrous tissue) on the bottom of the foot known as the plantar fascia that connects the heel bone to the toes.

What Is Plantar Fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis is an inflammation of the tendon (a thick band of fibrous tissue) on the bottom of the foot known as the plantar fascia that connects the heel bone to the toes.

It is common amongst:

  • Rheumatoid arthritis patients
  • Runners
  • Patients who are overweight
  • Those who wear shoes with poor support
What Are the Symptoms of Plantar Fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis usually causes a stabbing pain on the bottom of the foot by the heel. The pain is often worse in the morning when patients first wake up, but it can also be triggered by long periods of standing or sitting. In addition, the pain can activate after exercise (but not during it).

What Causes Plantar Fasciitis?

Normally, the plantar fascia acts as a shock absorber for the foot. But, too much tension and stress on it can result in small tears that can cause the tendon to become inflamed.

Factors that can increase the risk of inflammation include:

  • Age (being between 40 and 60 years old)
  • Auto-immune disease
  • Certain kinds of exercise, such as long-distance running and ballistic jumping
  • Different types of foot mechanics (e.g., flatfoot or high arch) that dictate how weight is distributed on the foot
  • Obesity, which puts undue stress on the feet
  • Occupations that involve excessive standing or walking on hard surfaces (e.g., factory worker)
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
How Is Plantar Fasciitis Treated?

Nonsurgical Treatments

The majority of patients who have plantar fasciitis can treat it with conservative methods, including:

  • A night splint before bed to stretch the plantar fascia while sleeping
  • Extracorporeal shock wave therapy (ESWT) to stimulate healing
  • Orthotics to help disperse pressure evenly on the feet
  • Over-the-counter medications, such as ibuprofen (e.g., Motrin, Advil) or naproxen (e.g., Aleve)
  • Physical therapy to strengthen the area and stabilize the heel and ankle
  • Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections
  • Steroid Injections
  • Tenex Health TX to remove any scar tissue that may have formed

Surgical Treatments

In rare cases, surgery may be required to relieve severe pain when all other forms of treatment have failed. The procedure (plantar fascia release) involves releasing the plantar fascia from the heel bone. A full recovery ranges from six to 10 weeks. Other surgical treatment options include:

  • Endoscopic plantar fasciotomy
  • Tendo achilles lengthening
  • Removal of an excessively large heel spur
How Can It Be Prevented?

To reduce the risk of developing plantar fasciitis, patients can:

  • Apply ice for 15 to 20 minutes, up to three or four times following strenuous activity
  • Avoid wearing worn-out athletic footwear that no longer provides proper support
  • Avoid flip flops
  • Avoid hill workouts
  • Maintain a healthy weight to minimize stress on the plantar fascia
  • Stretch the arches using certain at-home exercises
  • Stretch the achilles tendon before and after exercise
EUP: The Place for Plantar Fasciitis Treatment

Essex Union Podiatry (EUP) is a complete foot and ankle practice, serving the podiatric needs of Essex and Union Counties. Our specialty-trained physicians utilize the latest tools and techniques to diagnose, treat and provide preventative care for all foot and ankle conditions. With an emphasis on patient education, our practice offers quality care by creating an informative and personalized treatment plan tailored to meet individual needs.

For more information or to schedule an appointment with one of our specialists, contact Essex Union Podiatry today.

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Meet Our Doctors

The physicians of Essex Union Podiatry are experienced and dedicated professionals trained in various subspecialties of podiatry care. Click on the pictures below to learn more about our doctors.

Jason P. Galante, DPM,
DABPM, AASPS

Jason Galante, DPM, AASPS

Nancy A. Kaplan, DPM, MBA, AACHE, FACFAS

NANCY A. KAPLAN, DPM, FASPS

Sarah E. Haller, DPM, AACFAS

SARAH E. HALLER