August 8, 2016 Is foot pain ruining your summer? Heel pain is one of the most common maladies affecting the foot and it’s not usually associated with an event or injury. Plantar Fasciitis is often characterized, initially, by increased heel pain after rest; most commonly, the first steps out of bed in the morning or after prolonged sitting while driving or in a chair. Literally, “fasciitis” means inflammation of the fascia which is actually incorrect, but it is treated as an inflammatory condition with approximately 95% cure rates without surgery. The primary cause of plantar fasciitis is abnormal foot skeletal structure and subsequent over use of the fascia where it inserts into the heel bone. Left untreated, it can advance to secondary nerve problems, so prompt treatment usually trends toward better and easier outcomes. Initial at-home treatments should include rest, NSAIDs and achilles tendon/fascia stretches, as well as good supportive shoe gear. If the condition fails to improve within approximately 30 days, professional help is recommended. Physical Therapy attention, including ultrasound/TENS, massage, taping and specific stretches is often the next step. Podiatric Foot Specialists can further augment therapies by providing prescription orthotics and medicines, cortisone injections, and lastly, if all else fails, surgery if indicated.