Normally serving as a way to absorb shock and support the foot’s arch, the plantar fascia can become slightly torn through tension and become further irritated and inflamed. Diagnosis of plantar fasciitis typically involves a physical exam for determining tender areas on the foot and imaging tests such as MRIs or X-rays to determine the specific cause of the pain.
Most often, plantar fasciitis can be treated through the use of anti-inflammatory drugs or physical therapy. While the medication will help lessen the swelling, physical therapy will help stretch the plantar fascia, helping reduce the pain. Night splints or custom arch supports are also sometimes used to treat the condition. Arch supports help distribute pressure evenly across the foot, while night splints stretch the arch of the foot and the calf as the patient sleeps. When conservative treatments such as therapy and medicine do not work, plantar fasciitis is treated through shock wave therapy or surgery.