Plantar fasciitis is the most common foot ailment seen and treated at OKAPED. Overall it is one of the most common causes of heel pain and arch pain in the foot. The plantar fascia is a strong fibrous connective tissue that runs on the bottom of your foot connecting the heel to the toes. It functions to support the arch and assist the foot with propulsion.

  • Condition

    Sharp localized pain on the bottom of the heel that can also radiate into the arch of the foot with walking, running or prolonged standing.

  • Symptoms & Signs

    You may experience pain with your first steps in the morning or after sitting for a long period. The pain may be very intense and then decrease after 10 minutes. Pain with athletic activities is also very common. The pain can be impact related but more commonly noted just before the heel rises.

  • Treatment

    Common treatments include:

    • Activity modification
    • Use of appropriate footwear including in the house
    • Fascia and calf stretches
    • Night splints
    • Taping or arch supports
    • Custom Foot Orthotics
    • Physiotherapy

Symptoms & Cause

Plantar fasciitis pain can be sharp first thing in the morning and upon standing. After time on your feet this pain can decrease once the fascia has stretched or lengthened. A constant ache can occur during walking and standing that may increase with being on hard surfaces. Direct pressure on the heel can illicit pain but some irritation is often noted as the heel raises and the fascia tightens, such as pushing off in the walking or running cycle. Repetitive stress from athletics, work and extended walking can bring on this foot injury. It often develops without a defined injury and may also develop as a secondary injury due to compensations in the foot and ankle.

Diagnosis & Treatment

Plantar fasciitis can be diagnosed by your physician and refer you to Okaped for treatment.  A biomechanical assessment and gait analysis will be done to develop the proper treatment plan which can vary significantly between individuals. The assessment of the particulars of your foot structure, region of pain and contributing factors all help us to design the most appropriate course of action for you.

Treatment for plantar fasciitis could include:

  • Rest / activity modification
  • Calf and foot muscle stretches and exercises
  • Night splints
  • Shoes with a good shank and a cushioned sole
  • Arch supports or if required custom foot orthotics
  • Heel lifts, or gel heel cups that also raise the heel
  • Tape for support or pain relief such as Kinesio tape
  • Physiotherapy

If you are experiencing foot pain or discomfort, you should consult your physician for a proper diagnosis and an appropriate treatment plan.

Your doctor may refer you to OKAPED to see a Canadian Certified Pedorthist for Pedorthic management of your foot pain. This may include orthopaedic footwear, shoe selection guidance, orthotics and/or foot related products such as a night splint. If you know your condition and want to learn about new products and treatments please give us a call.

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