Plantar Fasciitis is the ligament that connects your heel bone to your toes. When this ligament becomes inflamed, individuals suffer pain in the bottom of the foot, but it is mostly characterized by heel pain. This is not a condition to be self-diagnosed, but should be done by a physician.
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If these conservative measures do not offer any relief, your doctor may put you in a night splint, which is fitted to your calf and foot. This holds the plantar fascia and Achilles tendon in a lengthened position overnight so that they can be stretched more effectively. Another option is the short leg cast that goes up to but not above the knee. This cast is worn 3-6 weeks and is often successful in relieving the pain and inflammation. Alternatively, a cast boot, which looks like a ski boot, may be prescribed. It too is worn full-time, but can be removed for bathing. If the use of a cast does not work, your doctor may recommend steroid injections. These injections provide lasting relief for most patients, but are very painful and not for everyone.
There are very few people that will have to have surgery. The procedure detaches the plantar fascia from the heel bone. Surgery is generally an option when the pain is so severe and all other treatments failed. Side effects include a weakening of the arch in your foot, but relief from the constant pain. Hopefully, this article will give you some hope for ridding yourself of the stabbing pain in your heel.