What is plantar fasciitis and how is it treated?

Plantar fasciitis is a common injury that affects the sole of the foot, specifically the plantar fascia, which is a tissue that connects the heel bone to the toes. Plantar fasciitis occurs when the plantar fascia becomes inflamed and irritated, which can cause pain and stiffness in the heel and arch of the foot.

Medical treatment of plantar fasciitis may include:

  • Rest: It is important to rest the foot and avoid activities that may worsen the injury, especially those that involve running, jumping or standing for long periods of time.
  • Cryotherapy: Applying ice to the affected area can help reduce inflammation and pain. It is recommended to apply ice for 15-20 minutes, several times a day.
  • Stretching can help reduce stiffness and improve flexibility of the plantar fascia. A physical therapist can recommend specific exercises for stretching the plantar fascia and calf muscles.
  • It is important to wear comfortable, well-fitting shoes that provide adequate support for the foot. Shoes with cushioned soles and arch support can help reduce pressure on the plantar fascia.
  • Orthopedic insoles: If you have a flat or high arch, the use of custom orthopedic insoles can help reduce pressure on the plantar fascia.
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can help reduce pain and inflammation but should be taken only on the advice of your physician.
  • When conventional treatments do not relieve symptoms, corticosteroid infiltration of the affected area may be considered.