Google Answers Logo
View Question
Q: best treatment for plantar fascitis (pain under heel of foot) ( Answered 4 out of 5 stars,   1 Comment )
Subject: best treatment for plantar fascitis (pain under heel of foot)
Category: Health > Conditions and Diseases
Asked by: gary2005-ga
List Price: $20.00
Posted: 28 Jul 2006 01:52 PDT
Expires: 27 Aug 2006 01:52 PDT
Question ID: 750303
I would like to know all the causes and all the known treatments for
plantar fascitis (pain under heel of foot).
Subject: Re: best treatment for plantar fascitis (pain under heel of foot)
Answered By: boquinha-ga on 28 Jul 2006 09:36 PDT
Rated:4 out of 5 stars
Hello gary2005-ga!

I have compiled a list of resources discussing the proposed causes and
various treatments for plantar fasciitis. This answer is not intended
to substitute for the opinion of a qualified health professional that
you trust. If you have any specific concerns or questions you should
discuss them with him or her. Here is what I?ve found.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -


While plantar fasciitis is easily diagnosed, the exact cause is not
well understood. WebMD has a nice article that explains some of the
most likely causes.

?Exactly what causes plantar fasciitis is not well understood. But it
probably develops as the result of repeated small tears in the plantar
fascia. Normally when you walk, your plantar fascia stretches as your
foot strikes the ground. If the plantar fascia is strained by the way
you walk or by repeated stress, it can become weak, swollen and
irritated (inflamed), and hurt when you stand or walk.?

Conditions or activities that may lead to plantar fasciitis include:

* Mechanical stress (high arches, flat feet, tight calf muscles, tight
Achilles tendon)
* Excessive ?rolling? of the foot
* Repetitive activities
* Prolonged standing, especially on hard surfaces
* Being overweight
* Wearing shoes that are worn out, poorly fitting, or that have poor cushioning
* Natural aging (it is very common in middle age)
* Isolated foot injury (rare)

An article in ?American Family Physician,? published by the American
Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) also states that mechanical forces
are the most likely cause of plantar fasciitis.

?The most common cause of heel pain is plantar fasciitis. It is
usually caused by a biomechanical imbalance resulting in tension along
the plantar fascia.?

Orthopedic surgeon Jonathan Cluett, M.D. maintains the site
for Orthopedics. He describes the cause of plantar fasciitis.

?Plantar fasciitis occurs because of irritation to the thick
ligamentous connective tissue that runs from the heel bone to the ball
of the foot. This strong and tight tissue contributes to maintaining
the arch of the foot. It is also one of the major transmitters of
weight across the foot as you walk or run. Therefore, the stress
placed on the tissue is tremendous.

When a patient has plantar fasciitis, the connective tissue that forms
the arch of the foot becomes inflamed (tendonitis) and degenerative
(tendinosis)--these abnormalities cause plantar fasciitis and can make
normal activities quite painful.?

Many people equate plantar fasciitis with a heel spur. While many
people with plantar fasciitis have heel spurs, the two problems are
different conditions.

?Plantar fasciitis is a common, painful foot condition. Patients, and
sometimes doctors often confuse the terms plantar fasciitis and heel
spurs. Plantar fasciitis refers to the syndrome of inflammation of the
band of tissue that runs from the heel along the arch of the foot; a
heel spur is a hook of bone that can form on the heel bone
(calcaneus). About 70% of patients with plantar fasciitis have been
noted to have a heel spur that can be seen on X-Ray.?

Here is a list of risk factors for developing plantar fasciitis.

* Being middle-aged. 
* Having an abnormal step or abnormal foot biomechanics, such as high
arches or flat feet.
* Having a sudden weight gain, or being overweight. 
* Having tightness in the Achilles tendon
* Wearing shoes with poor cushioning. 
* Walking or running without being conditioned for these activities. 
* Changing a walking or running surface, for example, from grass to concrete. 
* Having a job that involves prolonged standing on hard surfaces. 
* Certain athletic activities, such as running  
* Rapidly increasing the number of miles run
* Running on steep hills
* Wearing running shoes that are worn out. 
* Wearing running shoes that do not have a cushioned sole or enough arch support. 
* Abruptly changing the intensity or duration of the running routine.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -


There are a number of treatments commonly used in plantar fasciitis.
An AAFP article outlines some of these, including pictures of the
various stretching exercises they recommend.

* Rest
* Stretching
* Strengthening
* Changing shoes
* Arch supports
* Orthotics
* Night splints
* Anti-inflammatory medications
* Surgery

?Usually, plantar fasciitis can be treated successfully by tailoring
treatment to an individual's risk factors and preferences.?

Here is a related patient information article from the AAFP discussing
plantar fasciitis. is a website is a website with information on plantar
fasciitis, heel spurs, and other causes of heel pain. This site
includes the information that ?many patients with plantar fasciitis
have a heel spur on the front and bottom of their heel, but heel spurs
do not cause pain.? Along with tips on treatment, they sell a number
of splints, shoe inserts, and other products that may have some
benefit in treating plantar fasciitis.

Here are some of the treatments this site recommends.

* Stretching the calf muscles several times a day, especially in the
morning and after prolonged sitting.
* Ice after activity. 
* Tape when applied properly
* Stretching the plantar fascia in the morning. 
* Rest
* Arch support
* Heel pads with ? thickness after compression 
* Losing weight

This site is obviously selling various products for the treatment of
plantar fasciitis, but this page has a nice photo of how to apply
athletic tape to the sole of the foot for increased support.

This next article from the American Academy of Podiatric Sports
Medicine describes plantar fasciitis in the athlete and describes
various treatment options.

* Alternate activity
* Change footwear
* Home therapy (stretches, night splints, etc.)
* Custom foot orthoses
* Physical therapy 
* Anti-inflammatory medications

Here is another article describing the features and treatment of
plantar fasciitis. It also briefly discusses surgery as an option for
correcting the problem.

This site has a lot of information on plantar fasciitis, especially as
it relates to sports-related injuries. Along with the other treatments
already mentioned, this site also states that a steroid injection may
be useful.

Here is another site with stretching exercises that may help.

Shockwave therapy has recently been used in treating plantar
fasciitis. There are some studies that support its use.

?In ?Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy for the Treatment of Plantar
Fasciitis,? researchers found low energy shock wave therapy to be an
effective treatment for heel pain. "I think that shock wave therapy
offers another alternative for non-invasive treatment of plantar
fasciitis," said Christopher Zingas, MD, Detroit Michigan, an AOFAS
member. . . .

This blind study used low energy shock wave therapy done in the
doctor's office to treat patients with heel pain who might otherwise
have been surgical candidates. Some of the patients received a placebo
treatment rather than receiving shock wave therapy. After three
months, 62% of the group receiving shock wave treatment improved and
39% receiving the placebo treatment also improved. ?In office
procedures of low energy shock wave therapy showed similar results to
previous reports of high energy shock wave therapy,? said Dr. Zingas.
After a year of treatment, over 90% of patients had shown

Here is an article discussing the use of acupuncture in treating
plantar fasciitis. It mentions a small, 11-person study supporting its

I found a discussion board with people talking about plantar
fasciitis. Some treatments that reportedly have helped some people

*Osteopathic manipulative therapy (OMT)
*Physical therapy (especially active release techniques)
*Homeopathic remedies
*Fish Oil

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

I hope that you find this information useful! Again, if you have
specific concerns or questions, be sure to discuss them with a
qualified health practitioner that you trust.  If you have any need of
further clarification, please let me know how I can help.


Search terms:

Plantar fasciitis cause
Plantar fasciitis treatment
plantar fasciitis treatment alternative
gary2005-ga rated this answer:4 out of 5 stars
good answer - thanks

Subject: Re: best treatment for plantar fascitis (pain under heel of foot)
From: boquinha-ga on 29 Jul 2006 04:23 PDT
I'm glad you like it. Thank you for taking the time to rate my answer. 


Important Disclaimer: Answers and comments provided on Google Answers are general information, and are not intended to substitute for informed professional medical, psychiatric, psychological, tax, legal, investment, accounting, or other professional advice. Google does not endorse, and expressly disclaims liability for any product, manufacturer, distributor, service or service provider mentioned or any opinion expressed in answers or comments. Please read carefully the Google Answers Terms of Service.

If you feel that you have found inappropriate content, please let us know by emailing us at with the question ID listed above. Thank you.
Search Google Answers for
Google Answers  

Google Home - Answers FAQ - Terms of Service - Privacy Policy