Frequently asked questions about Plantar Fasciitis and Heel Pain Causes

Everything you ever wanted to know about plantar fasciitis and heel pain but were afraid to ask!

What is Plantar Fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis (say “PLAN-tar fash-ee-EYE-tus”) is the most common cause of heel pain. The plantar fascia is a fibrous, flat band of tissue (ligament) that connects your heel bone to your toes. It supports the arch of your foot. If you strain your plantar fascia, it can get weak and you may develop tiny micro tears at the heel bone. The most common location for plantar fascia tears is at the “origin of insertion”. The origin is where the plantar fascia connects to the heel bone. For more info click here.

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How did I get plantar fasciitis?

Most of the people that I have seen or treated for plantar fasciitis, the person experiencing heel pain cannot pinpoint a specific event that caused the problem. Usually there was some kind of change in their activity that occurred several weeks or months prior to the onset of the heel pain. These changes could be increasing mileage for running or walking workouts, weight gain, walking barefoot on the beach, working long hours on your feet, climbing ladders and the natural process of aging. My advice is don’t spend to much time focusing on how you developed the heel pain, focus on correcting the underlying factors such as poor shoes, inappropriate orthotics and biomechanics.

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How can I get pain relief from plantar fasciitis?

There are many methods of treatment for heel pain and plantar fasciitis, which can range from simply resting your feet to surgery. Unfortunately most of us can’t just lie around the house for weeks while our feet heal. The following is the most effective methods for relieving plantar fasciitis. I have used these methods for the 5000 or so cases that I have seen over the years.

  • Rest – Reduce the amount of time you spend on your feet. This means cut back on your exercise routine and reduce your speed and distance. Make your spouse or roommate cook your dinner and have the kids do all of the chores for a little while. Anything that can reduce the time you spend on your feet will help!
  • Take a serious look at the shoes. I my opinion shoes contribute to at least 25% of all plantar fasciitis cases. If your shoes are worn or ill fitting then replace them. If you think you have good shoes because you paid a lot for them or some professional athlete endorses them, then you are dead wrong. Most shoes manufacturers are interested in number of units sold and comfort was not high on the list of priorities. It is only in the past 10 years that shoe manufacturers have begun to focus on comfort. The good news is there, is a lot more choices for comfort shoes today. Learn how to buy the correct shoes for plantar fasciitis here.
  • Stretching exercises. Stretching is a very important part of any rehabilitation program for heel pain and plantar fasciitis. I am a big fan of “Non-weight bearing stretches”. To learn more on non-weight bearing stretches click here.
  • Foot Orthotics are probably one of the easiest methods to control or eliminate plantar fasciitis. So what type of orthotic do you need?
  • Medications are a popular treatment for heel pain, but lets face it they are only treating the symptom and not the cause. Your doctor may prescribe over the counter medication like Advil or Ibuprofen or he/she may prescribe NSAIDs (Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs). NSAIDs are used primarily to treat inflammation from mild to moderate pain.

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Why is your foot orthotic better than others?

The Ultimate Heel & Arch Orthotic was designed by noted Foot Surgeon, Dr. George G. Budak, a Podiatrist of 40 years. Dr. Budak designed The Ultimate specifically for his patients that suffered from plantar fasciitis. The Ultimate works better than all other orthotic because it supports all 3 arches in the foot! Yes our feet actually have 3 arches. The transverse arch (aka metatarsal arch), the lateral arch and the medial arch. By properly supporting all 3 arches, the foot and it’s arches will not collapse when standing, walking or running. This will prevent repetitive over stretching and tearing of the plantar fascia.

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How long does it take for the heel pain to subside.

This is a tough question to answer because for each person the healing time for foot problems can vary greatly. If you do nothing the symptoms of your plantar fasciitis may go away but in most cases the heel pain will persist. With our Plantar Fasciitis Kit you can expect pain reduction after a few days. The amount of heel pain relief will vary with each person depending on their activity level and commitment. When used consistently, our Plantar Fasciitis Kit will eliminate most or all of your heel pain in 2 to 3 weeks. Remember soft tissue damage can take up to 6 weeks to fully repair itself.

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Do I need custom orthotics to cure my plantar fasciitis?

In about 90% of the plantar fasciitis cases I have seen, the patient did not need custom orthotics. It is best to treat this condition with multiply methods (see plantar fasciitis kit). Our method of treatment has always been to treat all the underlying causes for the condition and not just the symptoms. Time and time again, this method has always proved to be faster with results and a lower cost to the patient.

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Can I have surgery for Plantar Fasciitis?

Plantar fascia release surgery involves cutting part of the plantar fascia ligament to release tension and relieve inflammation of the ligament. Your doctor can use medication that numbs the area (local anesthetic) for the procedure. Plantar fascia release can be done by cutting the area (open surgery) or by inserting instruments through small incisions (endoscopic surgery). The surgeon will make an incision on the foot above the heel pad, where the thicker skin of the sole meets the thinner skin of the back of the heel, or he or she may make an incision on the bottom of the foot. If the surgery is done endoscopically, the surgeon will make a small incision on either side of the heel below the ankle bone.

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Should I see a doctor for my foot problems?

You should always consult your doctor for any health problem that you are experiencing. There is no substitute.

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What if I have a heel spur?

Experts in the past thought that heel spurs caused plantar fasciitis. Now experts generally believe that heel spurs are the result, not the cause, of plantar fasciitis. Many people with large heel spurs never have heel pain or plantar fasciitis. Thus, surgery to remove heel spurs is rarely done. If you do have a heel spur the treatment is the same as treating plantar fasciitis.

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Will a night splint help with my plantar fasciitis?

A night splint designed for plantar fasciitis is a very effective treatment for heel pain. The night splints pulls the toes back slightly and comfortably. This gently stretches the Plantar Fascia so it will not contract during resting periods. The splint may also be worn during the day (while seated) to provide longer per day treatment times. This will help speed up the healing process for Plantar Fasciitis.

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Why does your Plantar Fasciitis Kit work so well?

Our Plantar Fasciitis Kit is the fastest and most complete way to eliminate the painful symptoms of plantar fasciitis and heel pain. By treating your plantar fasciitis around the clock you will quickly experience relief from the painful symptoms of plantar fasciitis. You will obtain lasting results and quickly return to your daily routine. The key success to this kit is the around the clock heel pain treatment!

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Does pronation cause plantar fasciitis?

Pronation is a normal foot function that actually allows the body and your feet to absorb shock. A certain amount of pronation is desirable to reduce shock forces exerted on the foot, knee, hip and back. When the pronation becomes excessive we typically refer to it as over pronation. If you are an over pronator, with each step you take you are over stretching the plantar fascia, which will ultimately result in stress or tearing the plantar fascia. Once this occurs the pain and inflammation are sure to follow. Over pronation is the number one cause of plantar fasciitis!

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Does The Ultimate Heel & Arch Orthotic help supination?

Yes! Our orthotic was designed with a medial and lateral arch support and a deep heel cup. This design helps lock the foot and ankle in a neutral position controlling excessive pronation and supination. Controlling the position of the ankle will also help keep your knees and hips aligned.

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Running and walking with plantar fasciitis

You can continue with your exercise program while experiencing heel or arch pain. Just be sure to take all the precautions necessary (plantar fasciitis kit) and listen to your common sense. Back off on your mileage, speed and frequency. Where the appropriate shoes and arch supports for your heel pain.

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How come I only have pain in one heel?

I have heard this a thousand times in my career. The only real answer is that your feet, just like other parts of your body, are not identical. The bone and tissue structures are not the same. The weaker side will usually develop foot pain and symptoms first. Treat your foot problem before it develops in the other foot!

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Will my children inherit my bad feet?

Not necessarily. But we do inherit a lot of our parents traits such as, bone structure, gait, height and facial features. The best you can do for your children is be proactive and provide them with the proper shoes. To educate yourself on how to buy the correct shoes go to Shoes for foot problems.

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Why do I have knee pain?

Many people suffering from plantar fasciitis will “favor” the painful foot altering the gait (the manner in which you walk or run) By favoring the injured foot you are actually changing your biomechanics and putting greater stress on other parts of the body. The body is now out of alignment and the knees will receive most of misalignment, thereby causing stress and strain. I have seen people experience side effects from heel pain that effects the hips, back and even shoulders.

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What is a C.ped (Certified Pedorthist)

C. Ped. stands for Certified Pedorthist. The field of Pedorthics is the study of footwear and supplemental devices for footwear; including orthoses, prostheses, shoe modifications, shoe fitting and shoe fabrication.

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The internet is cluttered with information about plantar fasciitis, who should I listen to?

Listen to your Doctor and then call us. We have 50 years of experience treating foot problems.

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What people are saying

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