Plantar Fasciitis

People experiencing extremely painful and sometimes debilitating heel pain might be suffering from plantar fasciitis. This condition affects millions worldwide daily, making it one of the most typical causes of heel pain.

In this informative summary, we’ll dive into the root causes of this condition, how to spot its telltale signs, the various treatment options available, and the smart steps you can take to minimize future flare-ups. Read on to discover valuable insights and take control of your foot health.

If you have plantar fasciitis, contact Sforzo | Dillingham | Stewart Orthopedics + Sports Medicine to schedule a consultation with one of our physicians. Our team of highly trained medical experts can identify and treat your medical problems.

What is Plantar Fasciitis?

The severe inflammation of the plantar fascia, found at the sole of your foot, is frequently caused by plantar fasciitis. It is a sign that you have this condition if you experience persistent heel discomfort.

The plantar fascia is a stout, fibrous connection that stretches from your heel to the toes. Comparable to a ligament, it’s like an elastic band that connects all of the bones in your foot and produces the arch on its underside.

Excessive pressure and straining of the plantar fascia leads to plantar fasciitis, which manifests as swelling and pain that can make even walking challenging. It’s common to experience this condition on one foot at a time. However, both feet can be affected simultaneously.

A study found that plantar fasciitis is a widespread source of heel discomfort, affecting nearly two million US citizens. Resulting in more than one million visits to medical professionals for diagnosis and treatment annually.

Symptoms of Plantar Fasciitis

The most notable symptoms of plantar fasciitis are given below:

  • Searing pain in your heel
  • Pain radiating from the arch of your foot
  • Rigidness and tightness surrounding your Achilles tendon
  • Inflammation around the heel region


Causes of Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis is caused by anything that places strain on the plantar fascia, including:

  • Spending extended periods standing
  • Participating in sports
  • Exercising without proper stretching and warming up
  • Wearing ill-suited shoes such as flip flops or flat sneakers with no arch support
  • Walking barefoot at home

Plantar Fasciitis – Risk Factors

Plantar fasciitis is likely to happen if you belong to one of the following categories.

  • Habitual activities that stress your heel and the attached tissue – like long-distance running, ballet dancing, or aerobic dance – could lead to plantar fasciitis.
  • Additionally, people between 40 and 60 are most prone to this affliction.
  • If you have flat feet, a high arch, or an abnormal gait pattern, the weight distribution when standing can be impacted, and more pressure is exerted on the plantar fascia.
  • Obesity can cause stress on your plantar fascia.
  • Plantar fasciitis is more likely to affect those who spend most of their day on hard surfaces, such as industrial employees.

Diagnosis of Plantar Fasciitis

When diagnosing plantar fasciitis, your medical history and physical examination are considered. During the exam, tenderness in various areas of the foot will be assessed; this helps pinpoint the source of discomfort. Knowing where you feel pain is crucial to obtaining an accurate diagnosis.

Generally speaking, no tests are necessary to diagnose heel pain. However, if your healthcare provider suspects the issue may be more than plain old heel pain, an X-ray or MRI might be ordered. X-rays can reveal a bone spur on the heel bone. However, these spurs are frequently mislabelled as causing discomfort when this isn’t necessarily true in all cases – many people can have them without any soreness symptoms.

Plantar Fasciitis – Treatment

Non-Surgical Treatment

Plantar fasciitis can often be managed with simple, at-home treatments and OTC medications. In addition, your healthcare provider is available to provide suggestions that help relieve your symptoms and support your feet to prevent the risk of future recurrences.

Popular non-surgical remedies for plantar fasciitis pain relief include:

  • Immobilization: The plantar fascia is less stressed when you wear a walking brace, also called a walking cast. How long you should utilize this sort of support device will be determined by your doctor.
  • Wearing Supportive Shoes: Invest in reliable, comfortable shoes with built-in arch support. Avoid sandals, flip-flops, or other soft-sole footwear at all costs. Walking barefoot is an especially bad idea.
  • Rest: Step away from sports or any activities which may have caused the plantar fasciitis for at least one week (or longer, if feasible). A pause to reflect will benefit your feet’s health in the long run.
  • Icing Your Foot: Rexal your feet by icing them for 10-15 minutes every day, twice daily. To avoid harming the skin, wrap a cold water bottle in a thin towel and roll it across the bottom of your foot to soothe any inflammation.
  • Orthotics: Increase the comfort of your shoes by adding inserts for additional arch support. Your provider can recommend pre-made, over-the-counter models or custom orthotics to precisely fit your foot’s shape. Either way, you will appreciate added support and cushioning.

Surgical Treatment

The actions mentioned above are usually all you need to overcome the pain caused by plantar fasciitis. Nonetheless, a few surgical procedures can be executed if necessary. These consist of Gastrocnemius Recession and Plantar Fascial Release, whereby your surgeon will lengthen the calf muscles or make small cuts on your fascia. Both aim at relieving the pressure present.

Surgery is rarely required when treating this condition, so ensure that other treatments have been exhausted before opting for surgery. Which sort of surgery is best for treating this problem will be explained to you by your orthopedic surgeon.

Plantar Fasciitis – Preventive Measures

To avoid this condition, it’s crucial to keep your feet healthy. Here are some tips:

  • Stretch before and after physical activity.
  • Take breaks during intense exercise.
  • Invest in supportive shoes.
  • Avoid going barefoot on hard surfaces.
  • Replace sneakers every 250-500 miles or 6-9 months.

Implementing these habits will help protect you against this common condition. Unfortunately, if you are prone to this condition genetically, it may be regrettably inevitable. However, taking certain measures can lessen the likelihood of getting this disease.

Contact our team of orthopedics and sports medicine experts at Sforzo | Dillingham | Stewart Orthopedics + Sports Medicine today to book a consultation with one of our physicians. We specialize in treating plantar fasciitis, fractured hips, spine injuries, and sports-related ailments with unparalleled care. Call us now at 941.378.5100 to book an appointment.


Which factors make an individual susceptible to developing plantar fasciitis?

Engaging in activities that strain your heel and the tissue connected to it, like long-distance running, ballet dancing, or aerobic dance, could enhance your chances of being diagnosed with plantar fasciitis.

Furthermore, those between 40 and 60 will most likely experience this condition.

People having flat feet, a high arch, or an unusual gait pattern are at greater risk of developing plantar fasciitis. In that case, the weight distribution when standing can be affected, resulting in extra pressure on your plantar fascia.

What are the causes of plantar fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis can be caused by excess strain on the plantar fascia, which may result from:

  • Standing for extended durations of time
  • Playing sports or exercising without proper pre-stretching and warmup measures
  • Wearing unsuitable shoes such as flip-flops or flat sneakers with no arch support
  • Going barefoot at home.

What are some effective non-surgical plantar fasciitis treatment options?

To relieve the pains of plantar fasciitis, popular non-surgical treatments include:

  • If you are suffering from plantar fascia pain, a walking boot – a pneumatic cam walker or walking cast – can help stabilize your foot and alleviate tension in the affected area.
  • To ensure a positive walking experience, put your trust in shoes that provide supreme comfort and have the necessary arch support. Steer clear of sandals, flip-flops, and other types of soft-sole footwear at all costs – especially from going barefoot.
  • Take a break from athletics and any activities contributing to your plantar fasciitis for at least one week. This time of reflection will ultimately benefit the health of your feet in the long run.
  • Pamper your feet by icing them twice daily for 10-15 minutes each. To keep the skin safe, wrap an ice-cold bottle in a thin towel and roll it over the bottom of your foot to reduce inflammation.

How does a physician diagnose plantar fasciitis?

A thorough medical history and physical evaluation are the first steps in diagnosing heel fasciitis. During the exam, your doctor will assess any tenderness in various parts of your foot to understand where the discomfort may be coming from. Knowing when and where you experience pain is essential for making an accurate diagnosis – usually, no tests are needed. However, if your physician suspects something else besides heel pain could be causing it, they may order an x-ray or MRI scan to rule out other possibilities.

Focusing On You

As healthcare is ever changing, Sforzo | Dillingham | Stewart Orthopedics + Sports Medicine, is doing things differently…

  • Christopher R. Sforzo, M.D. is a board certified orthopedic surgeon and fellowship trained in hand and upper extremity surgery. He provides expert care in the treatment of problems involving the shoulder, arm, elbow, forearm, wrist and hand. He performs many procedures using minimally invasive techniques includi
  • Christopher L. Dillingham, M.D. is a board certified orthopedic surgeon and fellowship trained in hand, shoulder, and arm surgery. He specializes in the treatment of problems with rotator cuff disorders, carpal tunnel syndrome and nerve injury, joint replacement, arthritis surgery, fracture repair, foot and ankle
  • Charles E. Stewart M.D. is a board certified, Johns Hopkins fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeon specializing in adult complex reconstruction of the lower extremity. His specialties include, lower extremity sports injuries, meniscal injuries, partial knee replacement, total hip and knee arthroplasty (replacement), as
  • Philip A. Meinhardt, M.D. is a board certified orthopedic surgeon and fellowship trained spine surgeon. He specializes in adult spinal surgeries including reconstruction of spinal deformities, minimally invasive/microscopic spinal procedures, decompression, spinal instrumentation, fusion procedures and microscopic cer



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