|Definition||Plantar fasciitis is an inflammation of a tough band of tissue on the bottom of the foot.|
|Details||The plantar fascia is a band of tissue that connects the heel bone to the toes. It functions to support the arch of the foot. Small nerves are also closely associated with the plantar fascia and may be irritated or compressed if it becomes inflammed.|
|Causes||The exact cause of plantar fasciitis is not known. It is more common is women than in men and is also seen more often in overweight people. It is associated with running and jumping type sports.|
|Diagnosis||Plantar fasciitis is diagnosed when a patient complains of pain along the inside part of the foot. Typically, the pain is worse in the morning and with weight bearing. The foot is also tender along the arch. X-rays are taken to rule out fractures and look for other foot deformities.|
|Treatment||Nonoperative: Most plantar fasciitis can be treated with rest, stretching, and anti-inflammatory medication.
Orthotics (shoe inserts), physical therapy, and cortisone injections may also be needed.
Operative: Rarely, surgery may be needed. The details of the surgery are controversial and are best discussed on an individual basis.
Stretching and excellent conditioning should help prevent some cases of plantar fasciitis.