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What is Plantar Fasciitis?

  • Category: Foot & Ankle
  • Posted On:
  • Written By: Dr. Andrew Gerken
What is Plantar Fasciitis?

Plantar Fasciitis is a condition that affects individuals from all walks of life. From the weekend warrior, to the professional athlete and everywhere in between, this painful condition can be debilitating.

We sat down with Dr. Andrew Gerken, one of our leading lower extremity orthopedic surgeons to learn more about this condition.

What is Plantar Fasciitis?

Plantar Fasciitis is inflammation of the thick tissue on the bottom of the foot called the plantar fascia. The plantar fascia connects your heel bone to your toes and supports the arch of your foot. When it is overused it can become irritated and make walking painful and difficult. Plantar Fasciitis is one of the most common causes of heel pain.

Who does it affect?

Plantar Fasciitis is very common in runners and also affects people who are overweight, women who are pregnant, and people who wear shoes with inadequate support.


The main symptom is pain in the bottom of the heel, and it can be either a sharp or dull pain. The pain is usually the worst in the morning, after standing or sitting for a long period of time, when climbing stairs, and after intense activity.

Dr. Gerken’s tips for treating plantar fasciitis:

  • Rest your feet as much as possible -avoid running or other activities that cause foot pain
  • Take Acetaminophen or ibuprofen to reduce pain
  • Do heel and foot stretching exercises
  • Wear a splint at night to stretch the arch of your foot while you sleep
  • Apply ice to the painful area twice a day for 10-15 minutes
  • Wear shoes with good support or get shoe inserts called orthotics to evenly distribute pressure on the foot


Dr. GerkenMost patients feel better after 9 months of treatment, but some can take 2 years for the symptoms to get better. Some people need surgery to get rid of the pain.

Dr. Gerken is an board certified orthopedic surgeon who specializes in treating foot and ankle conditions.