Synergy Health Partners

Plantar Fasciitis

Definition: Plantar fasciitis is a common cause of heel pain, involving inflammation of the plantar fascia, a thick band of tissue that runs along the bottom of the foot and connects the heel bone to the toes. This condition is characterized by sharp pain, especially in the morning or after periods of inactivity.


  • Overuse or repetitive stress from activities such as running, dancing, or standing for long periods
  • Wearing improper or unsupportive footwear
  • Foot mechanics, such as flat feet or high arches
  • Obesity, which increases pressure on the plantar fascia
  • Age-related changes, making the fascia less flexible and more prone to injury


  • Sharp, stabbing pain in the heel, particularly upon taking the first steps in the morning or after prolonged sitting
  • Pain that decreases with activity but may return after long periods of standing or walking
  • Tenderness and stiffness in the bottom of the foot
  • Swelling and inflammation in the heel area


  • Physical Examination: Assessing pain, tenderness, and foot mechanics.
  • Imaging Tests: X-rays to rule out other conditions such as stress fractures or heel spurs; MRI or ultrasound for detailed imaging of the plantar fascia.


  • Rest and Ice: Reducing activity and applying ice to alleviate pain and swelling.
  • Footwear Changes: Wearing supportive shoes with proper arch support and cushioning.
  • Orthotic Devices: Using custom insoles or heel cups to relieve pressure on the plantar fascia.
  • Medications: Anti-inflammatory drugs to manage pain and reduce inflammation.
  • Physical Therapy: Stretching and strengthening exercises for the plantar fascia, Achilles tendon, and calf muscles.
  • Night Splints: Wearing splints at night to keep the foot in a stretched position.
  • Injections: Corticosteroid injections to reduce severe inflammation.
  • Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy (ESWT): Using sound waves to stimulate healing.
  • Surgery: Rarely needed, but in chronic cases where conservative treatments fail, surgical intervention may be considered to release the plantar fascia.

Prognosis: Most individuals with plantar fasciitis improve with conservative treatments and lifestyle modifications. Recovery time can vary, but many people experience significant relief within several months. Preventive measures, such as maintaining a healthy weight, wearing appropriate footwear, and performing regular stretching exercises, can help reduce the risk of recurrence. Early intervention and adherence to treatment plans are key to managing and overcoming plantar fasciitis effectively.