What is it?
Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common causes of heel pain. It involves pain and inflammation of a thick band of tissue, called the plantar fascia that runs across the bottom of your foot and connects your heel bone to your toes.
Plantar fasciitis commonly causes stabbing pain that usually occurs with your very first steps in the morning. Once your foot limbers up, the pain of plantar fasciitis normally decreases, but it may return after long periods of standing or after getting up from a seated position.
Proper diagnosis can be done just through physical examination and history. If imaging techniques are ordered by your doctor it is to rule out any other causes of pain.
What are the treatment options?
There are many things you can do on your own to help relieve your plantar fascia pain. This includes frequent stretching of the arch and calf, wearing supportive shoes at all times, resting from pain provoking activities, rolling your arches with a tennis or golf ball and applying ice. It is important to avoid bare foot walking during an active flare up.
Pain relievers such and ibuprofen or Aleve may help to ease pain and inflammation. In extreme cases, you may be placed in a boot to allow for rest and healing.
Your physician or physical therapist will evaluate your foot and determine if you would benefit from orthotics or a night splint.
If these options fail your doctor may recommend slightly more invasive treatment options such as steroid shots or surgery.