Plantar Fasciitis

The Plantar Fascia is a connective tissue in the heel that stretches the bottom length of your foot. Plantar Fasciitis is the inflammation of this connective band, causing heel pain and overall discomfort while walking or standing. Although the condition is completely treatable, traditional methods can take up to a year to start being effective.

Plantar Fasciitis is inflammation of the Plantar Fascia or arch tendon of the foot. It is an overuse injury causing heel pain which may radiate forward into the foot. Plantar Fasciitis can also be known as a Heel Spur although they are not strictly the same. A heel spur is a bony growth that occurs at the attachment of the plantar fascia to the heel bone (calcaneus). A heel spur can occur (with repetitive pulling of the plantar fascia) on a foot with no symptoms at all, and a painful heel can have no heel spur present.

Plantar Fasciitis is caused by a number of everyday activities, so understanding and assessing the condition is paramount to managing and treating it. One of the most common causes of Plantar Fasciitis is excessive running, especially with improper fitting or non-supportive shoes. By over exercising and running, the plantar fascia gets overworked and overstretched, eventually causing tears in the tissue and inflammation. Along with improper fitting shoes, over-pronation is a common cause of Plantar Fasciitis. By not having the right shoes to correct this issue, once again the plantar fascia becomes overstretched and starts to tear, causing the inflammation.

SYMPTOMS OF PLANTAR FASCIITIS

  • Heel pain, under the heel and usually on the inside portion of the heel, at the origin of the attachment of the Plantar Fascia.
  • Sometimes there may also be pain along the outside border of the heel. This may occur due to compensation while offloading the painful side of the heel by walking on the outside border of the foot. It may also be associated with the high impact of landing on the outside of the heel if you have high arched feet.
  • Pain is usually worse first thing in the morning. After a few minutes it eases as the foot gets warmed up, but can get worse again during the day especially if walking a lot.
  • Plantar Fasciitis or heel spurs are common with sports which involve running, dancing or jumping. Runners who excessively pronate (feet rolling in or flattening) are particularly at risk as the biomechanics of the foot pronating causes additional stretching of the plantar fascia.


Despite the common causes of Plantar Fasciitis, there are many different treatment options. For less severe cases, conservative home remedies such as taking anti-inflammatory drugs to alleviate pain, applying ice packs to the bottom of your foot and heel, slowly stretching and exercising your feet to re-strengthen the tissue, and using custom foot orthoses devices to overcome issues such as over-pronation are all ways to help manage your Plantar Fasciitis.

For more severe cases however, there are still things that can be done. Dr. Cavazos has had great success with Percutaneous Cryotherapy (Cryoplantalis®) a minimally invasive painless procedure that stimulates your own body's inflammatory response to repair and regenerate injury to the plantar fascia allowing you to overcome the chronic pain caused by Plantar Fasciitis. Even if this doesn’t work, surgery is always a final option.

No matter what the case may be however, seeking the immediate care of your podiatrist is the first and best step to recovery. Even the slightest amount of heel pain could be the first stages of Plantar Fasciitis and the initial onset of tearing and overstretching of that band of tissue. On top of this, because the tearing of this tissue can be compounded if it remains ignored, it could become a more severe case than it needs to be. The solution to this is early detection and early treatment, so be sure to talk to your podiatrist about the possibilities of Plantar Fasciitis if you’re experiencing Heel Pain.