Plantar Fasciitis

Institutes & Services > TriHealth Orthopedic & Sports Institute

Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common causes of heel pain, affecting about 2 million patients every year. With 26 bones and over 100 muscles, tendons and ligaments in a foot, it’s not surprising that the majority of Americans will experience some type of foot problem. Foot and ankle specialists at TriHealth Orthopedic & Sports Institute treat plantar fasciitis pain with noninvasive treatments in most cases.

Plantar fasciitis

The plantar fascia is a long, thin ligament that runs along the bottom of your foot. It connects your heel to the front of your foot, supporting your arch and helping to absorb the stress placed on the foot. Too much pressure can damage the ligament, leading to inflammation and stiffness, which causes pain around the heel.

Plantar fasciitis causes

Plantar fasciitis often develops as a result of:

  • Inflammation in the fascia
  • New or increased activity that places strain on the plantar fascia
  • Repetitive or intense strain on the plantar fascia
  • Tight calf muscles that limit the flexibility of the plantar fascia

Plantar fasciitis symptoms

Plantar fasciitis symptoms may include:

  • Pain in the bottom of the foot and in the heel
  • Pain when first walking after inactivity, especially in the morning
  • Pain after activity

Plantar fasciitis treatment

Treatment for plantar fasciitis is usually non-invasive; often, the condition can be treated with self-care. Treatments include:

  • Icing the ligament for 10 to 20 minutes 3 to 4 times per day
  • Medications to reduce pain and swelling such as over-the-counter ibuprofen
  • Resting the ligament by stopping activities that make the pain worse
  • Stretching exercises to release tight calf muscles

If the pain is severe or does not improve with self-care, TriHealth specialists may treat plantar fasciitis with one or more of the following treatments:

  • A night splint to stretch the plantar fascia during sleep
  • A walking boot or cast to support and rest the injured area
  • Cortisone injections to reduce inflammation and pain in the ligament
  • Orthotic devices worn inside of shoes to provide cushioning and reduce stress on the ligament
  • Physical therapy to stretch and strengthen the tendon and surrounding areas, as well as stretches for the calf muscles
  • Surgery is rarely needed and considered only when all other treatments have not been effective

Plantar fasciitis risk factors

Factors that may increase your risk of plantar fasciitis include:

  • Being overweight can put additional strain on the tendon
  • High foot arches
  • Improper footwear for activities
  • Repetitive, new or increased activity that strains the plantar fascia
  • Tight calf muscles

Plantar fasciitis prevention

You can help reduce your risk of plantar fasciitis by:

  • Avoiding high-impact activity
  • Increasing the intensity or duration of activity gradually
  • Stretching your calf muscles and the bottoms of your feet
  • Warming up your calf muscles and feet before activities
  • Wearing footwear that cushions and supports the plantar fascia

Make an appointment

Learn more about plantar fasciitis or make an appointment with a TriHealth orthopedic specialist. Call 513 246 7846.

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