Plantar Fasciitis: Causes, Symptoms and Treatments

Plantar fasciitis

(“plantar fash-eee-eye-tiss”) is the most common form of heel pain that we treat. “Plantar” means the bottom of the foot; “fascia” is a type of connective tissue, and “itis” means “inflammation”.

With the latest technology and treatments for plantar fasciitis we are rapidly approaching an impressive 95% success rate of treating this cause of heel pain. This page provides information about our most current and successful treatments for plantar fasciitis.

Symptoms of Plantar Fasciitis

Patients describe the symptoms of plantar fasciitis as a burning, stabbing or aching pain in the heel. This is most noticeable in the morning when first rising from bed or after periods of rest. When patients with this condition take their first steps in the morning they will often limp for a period before the pain subsides. However, the pain will return either later in the day or again the next morning.

Do you experience heel pain when getting out of bed in the morning?

Pain experienced with the first few steps in the morning is often a symptom of plantar fasciitis. This is very common for people suffering from plantar fascitiis and can easily be alleviated. Failure to address plantar fasciitis can lead to the formation of painful heel spurs.

Plantar fasciitis is not the only cause of morning stiffness or heel pain but it is one of the most common. Another possible cause of heel pain in the morning is the presence of a heel spur. There are many reasons for morning heel pain and morning stiffness, however one of the most common is attributed to microscopic tearing of the plantar fascia which causes the pain when you initially takes their first steps after a night of rest. If the strain on this ligament continues the body responds by producing more bone in the area, which is the creation of a heel spur.

When you are sleeping the tension is reduced on the plantar fascia and Achilles tendon. The fascia has a chance to begin the process of repair during rest. When you step out of bed in the morning, the inflammatory cycle is initiated and pain is experienced. Typically, the pain begins to subside with more walking. However, it usually returns again towards the end of the day and always returns again overnight. Stretching of the Achilles complex and plantar fascia can often greatly reduce this pain. Depending on your cause of heel pain there are many treatments available. With a wide range of treatments, recent breakthroughs and our latest technology we are successfully treating heel pain. If you are experiencing morning heel pain, we can help. Do not let that morning limp slow you down any longer.

Plantar Fasciitis Causes

What causes plantar fasciitis?
This condition is caused by reoccurring injuries to the large connective tissue that attaches at the toes and the heel. This connective tissue is prone to injury from repetitive or excessive stress. The result of this kind of stress in this area of the foot is minuscule tears in the plantar fasciia.
This condition can also be a result of the actual mechanics of the foot. Conditions such as flat feet, high arches, pronation, or having an abnormal gait (walking pattern, or how the foot contacts the ground), can cause overuse of the fascia. If overused or stretched abnormally this will result in tears and inflammation.


Plantar Fasciitis Treatments

Plantar fasciitis treatments vary from conservative types of treatments to more aggressive forms of plantar fasciitis treatment including surgery. Surgery for plantar fasciitis is rare and used in extreme cases. Often an evaluation of your heel pain is performed and a determination if further evaluation of the bio-mechanics of your feet or gait is necessary. Plantar fasciitis is a reoccurring injury that can be prevented. Some individuals, based on their unique foot structure, are more susceptible to plantar fasciitis. Every patient has a unique foot structure and depending upon the severity of plantar fasciitis, they will require different treatment protocols.

Dry needling

Dry needling is one of the latest treatments that we offer. Dry needling for plantar fasciitis stimulates blood flow to the damaged tissue. The plantar fascia has limited blood flow to the region. Ultrasound imaging is used to guide the needle directly to the inflamed area. This procedure may also include the use of steroids that can be delivered directly to the plantar fascia region.

Dry needling promotes increased blood flow directly to the area to promote healing. Studies have revealed impressive success rates from this treatment. We provide this treatment, guided by ultrasound imaging and with the use of our TENS unit. TENS (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation) uses electrical currents to stimulate the nerves surrounding the area to virtually eliminate any pain associated with the procedure. For more information about this procedure visit Dry Needling for Plantar Fasciitis.

APC+/ Growth Factor Injections

This treatment option uses the patients own blood and concentrating the platelets rich with growth factors. Blood is drawn from the patient, placed in a centrifuge to concentrate platelets and injected at the source of the pain. For plantar fasciitis sufferers the delivery of concentrated growth factor platelets delivered directly to the inflamed plantar fascia promotes healing at the source. To learn more about Autogenous Growth Factor Treatment for Plantar Fascitiis visit the link.


Cortisone injections guided by ultrasound imaging allow us to deliver the cortisone to the exact location necessary. As a result of using ultrasound imaging to guide cortisone injections we are able to use a lower dosage because it is delivered exactly where it is needed. An injection for plantar fasciitis is most effective between the plantar fascia and the fat pad on the bottom of the foot. Cortisone injections are often used in conjunction with other treatments and can compliment procedures like dry needling. We also use our TENS unit to virtually eliminate pain associated with the injections. Many patients avoid needles and are especially wary of injections on sensitive areas like their feet. However, this is why we utilize nerve stimulation to virtually eliminate the sensation of the injection.

Injections may take two to three days before the cortisone injection is effective. This is because the cortisone has a longer acting component in a crystalline form and will take time after the injection to become usable by the body. Pain from plantar fasciitis will likely still be noticable during this time and could possibly be magnified until the cortisone is absorbed. However, once the cortisone has passed this period, there is a dramatic reduction in pain and inflammation. Read more about cortisone injections for heel pain.

Other Treatments

The doctors of the Seattle Heel Pain Center are at the forefront of heel pain and plantar fasciitis treatments. Dr. Timothy Young and Dr. Brandon Nelson established the Seattle Heel Pain Center because many individuals suffer from heel pain and are unaware of the non-invasive and non-surgical treatments that can eliminate the pain. The doctors have established a unique treatment protocol that provides the best treatment for each patients cause and severity of heel pain.

Other treatments that the doctors may recommend or incorporate into treatment plans include prescription orthotics, splints, and stretching devices. Prescription orthotics often provide the best relief and immediately begin to address any gait issues that may have contributed to the cause of the pain. Regardless of the treatment, identifying the cause will allow the doctors to properly identify the best treatment protocol and incorporate treatments that will prevent future heel pain.

The above list represents more aggressive treatments. Prior to recommending these types of plantar fasciitis treatment options, more conservative approaches are typically used. More conservative plantar fasciitis treatments include night splints, stretching exercises, therapy or prescription orthotics for plantar fasciitis. The Seattle Heel Pain Center is a division of a complete foot and ankle specialist clinic fully equipped with 3-D orthotics scanning devices, ultra-sound imaging equipment, gait analysis and an ambulatory surgery center. The clinic also has most items in stock and can quickly evaluate your heel pain and create a custom treatment plan for your specific cause of plantar fasciitis. If these conservative approaches to treating plantar fasciitis do not promote healing and alleviate pain, more aggressive treatments are available. Our treatments are highly effective with success rates approaching 95% for some methods. Seattle Heel Pain Center patients rave about their relief from their plantar fasciitis treatment, read the patient testimonials.

We offer the latest treatments for plantar fasciitis and heel pain sufferers. If surgery or injection therapy is necessary for your treatment we have an on-site surgical facility that provides quick service at a fraction of the cost of a hospital. If injection therapy is needed, our TENS units (Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation) virtually eliminates the pain and sensations from the injections or dry needling procedure.

We are using the latest technology and procedures to treat heel pain. There is no reason to suffer from plantar fasciitis.


Read more about these treatment options and other treatments offered by the doctors of Seattle Heel Pain Center.

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