Plantar fasciitis is one of the top leading causes of pain in the heel of the foot that is caused by inflammation of the plantar fascia. The plantar fascia is a ligament connecting the heel to the toes while providing arch support. Discomfort caused by this condition is often at its worst in the morning upon waking up or after intense bouts of exercise, like sprinting and running. However, some people will feel persistent pain even just from walking.
Some people often confuse plantar fasciitis with calcaneal (heel) spurs. However, 1 in 10 people have heel spurs, and only 1 in 20 people have pain from heel spurs. Meanwhile, plantar fasciitis will almost always cause pain in the affected foot. Spurs are often a result of traction of the fascia against the heel bone, and the continuation of this will cause fasciitis. The treatment for both conditions is thus very similar.
Physical therapy is prescribed for plantar fasciitis to reduce the inflammation and to assess the foot and ankle. Figuring out why the ligament developed inflammation is crucial. From there, the foot will be stretched, strengthened, and retrained to stand properly. Weight loss is another method for reducing the pain of plantar fasciitis.