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Plantar Fasciitis - What Is It and How Do You Treat It?

Your feet. They hold up your entire body, day after day. You may not give a great deal of thought to the base of your body… until you begin to experience pain. What many of us may not realize is that at some point in our lives we can develop Plantar Fasciitis.

Plantar, referring to most anything bottom or sole of the foot related, and Fasciitis, referring to the Fascia muscle is defined as a strain or tear of the thick band of tissue that runs across the bottom of your foot and connects your heel bone to your toes. It can as well be referred to as heel pain as it usually presents as a stabbing pain that comes on in the morning.

We caught up with our own Podiatrists Doctors Craig Capron and Travis Marshall to ask some questions regarding this condition and what they usually recommend for their patients.

'Plantar Fasciitis often presents as heel pain that causes pain in the morning or after rest with the first couple steps. And gets worse the longer you are on your feet." Dr. Capron concluded.

Dr. Marshall, noted 'Many patients state it started from working on concrete, or hard wood floors, or wearing really hard soled shoes.' Abnormal gait or foot position also may aggravate it. Sometimes it's not just fasciitis, it can be bursitis, neuritis, or achilles tendonitis.

Shoes may also be a cause plantar fasciitis. When describing shoe gear Dr. Capron lined it out for us, "Some shoes may be too stiff, lack a proper insole, sized wrong, or are too flexible for the activity. Shoes should bend only where the toes bend at the ball of your foot. If the shoe bends in half through the arch like a flip flop or ballet shoe, then the fascia is taking all the strain and getting stretched. But plantar fasciitis can affect everyone from the couch potato to the marathon runner who is wearing appropriate shoe gear." Thus there are different types or causes of plantar fasciitis.


With foot concerns, as with most health problems, there are recommend treatment paths that both Memorial Hospital of Converse County Podiatrists follow and recommend to their patients:

At home you can roll your foot on a cool water bottle, a tennis ball, and/or other type of deep tissue massage. Warm up prior to activity and ice down after activity or the long work day. Perhaps with a frozen bag of peas placed under your heel. Consider your shoe gear; obtain a pair of arch supports or new insoles for your shoes. Make sure your shoes are of the right size so your feet have room to expand by the end of the day. And perhaps change shoes daily so you're not in the same shoe or boot all week. Stretch the Achilles tendon and calf.

Dr. Marshall added, "A short course of an NSAID- (Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug) like: aspirin, ibuprofen, or Aleve may also help." But a short course of anti-inflammatory medication like ibuprofen should be limited. Not for more than two weeks as there are risks of gastrointestinal problems.

If the heel still hurts then further treatment may involve a topical or oral prescription, further NSAIDS, a night splint, physical therapy, ultrasound, arch supports or custom orthotics, heat & ice and a steroid (cortisone) shot may be given.

But patients should be prepared that plantar fasciitis won't be a quick fix or remedy, "It's not a one pill solves it problem, it's generally a long term management issue. We can usually get you more comfortable relatively quickly, but long term proper shoe gear, stretching, and avoiding excessive hours on your feet is usually recommend to prevent recurrence. Luckily home therapies or physical therapy modalities, and management work, and only about 3-5% will go on to surgery or advanced modalities. Usually surgery is for those who developed a tear or rupture of the plantar fascia or have a heel spur that is so large it makes any shoe cause pain or pinches off the plantar nerve, I mean those are the worst cases." Concluded Dr. Capron.

"You basically need to go through the regimen. And learn how to manage your feet better. If your feet are hurting, don't be afraid to treat yourself to some new shoes. It's a great place to start," noted Dr. Marshall with a smile.

If you develop heel pain, have concerns that you may have plantar fasciitis or any concerns with your overall foot health be sure to contact our Wyoming Foot Specialists: Dr. Craig Capron and Dr. Travis Marshall for an appointment. They not only serve patients at our Medical Office Building in Douglas, but routinely see patients also in Casper, Gillette, Lusk, and Newcastle.