Ask The Expert
Plantar fasciitis is the most common cause of heel pain presenting to the outpatient clinic and is most common with the middle age population. The plantar fascia is a flat thickening of connective tissue on the bottom of your foot that spans from your heel to your toes and primarily supports the arch of your foot.
Plantar fasciitis is thought to be an inflammatory process; however, it is actually a disorder of degenerative changes in the fascia.
Plantar fasciitis is diagnosed with:
Differential Diagnosis: Plantar fasciitis must be distinguished from other causes of plantar heel pain. Heel fat-pad atrophy typically occurs in elderly patients with pain in the central heel. These patients usually do not complain of pain upon first weight bearing in the morning. Tarsal tunnel syndrome is compression of the tibial nerve causing foot pain, weakness, and often times numbness or tingling in the sole or arch of the foot. A calcaneal stress fracture is confirmed on examination with use of the squeeze test of the calcaneus (heel bone). An X-ray would further confirm a stress fracture of the calcaneus.
Treatment: No single treatment is best for everyone since it can be caused by many different reasons.
Here are a few things to try:
If these steps do not resolve your plantar fasciitis the source of your pain might be related to intrinsic foot muscle weakness or lumbar nerve irritation. Additional assistance with your condition would benefit from a manual physical therapist evaluating your movement patterns to determine the source of your plantar fasciitis.