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
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
Most 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.