Ask Dr. B Episode 12: Plantar Fasciitis

Causes and Treatment

By Dr. Erin Boynton, MD, FRCS

In this session, Dr. B reviews the common causes, treatment and natural history of plantar fasciitis.

  • What causes plantar fasciitis?
  • How do you fix plantar fasciitis?
  • What causes plantar fasciitis to flare up?
  • How do you stop plantar fasciitis from coming back?

In Part 2, the following questions are answered:

  • 12:37:00 – Can I still play tennis while trying to recover from plantar fasciitis?
  • 12:39:00 – How to stop Plantar fasciitis from coming back?
  • 12:40:00 – How can I keep my feet healthy when I work 12 hour shifts in work boots, walking on a concrete floor? I’ve had custom orthotics for years to “treat” plantar fasciitis, but nothing has improved. Been walking on concrete for 12 years. Most pain is in the heel, by the end of the day its a constant ache. the sole of my foot sometimes locks up when my foot is extended downward.
  • 12:42:00 – ​I massage my feet everyday & do incline board foot stretches. Seems to keep it at bay. Do I need to do more? Don’t want it coming back!!!
  • 12:45:00 – What might be causing pain in the ball of my foot; padded shoes no pain but bare feet painful? M 50, very fit and active (weight training heavy), sporty since teens, always had strong stable feet ( from taekwondo) but last six months constant pain. Have tried ibuprofen, ice and rolling.
  • 12:47:00 – ​How much does being overweight play into plantar fasciitis? I have overpronation and wear orthotics that help quite a bit with that.
  • 12:50:00 – I’m 33, I have aches in my feet (especially the right foot) when I take my first step in the morning, but it’s not in my heel – it’s midfoot, closer to the ball, more spread out from bottom to top. Notes: I have hEDS, my ankles are very hypermobile but I’ve done a lot of stability work to control them. Used to have inner knee pain but it’s better. My arches feel more present than in years. Foot aches didn’t start until quarantine in March, when I stopped getting massages. I do have tight calves. I tried OTC orthotics and they hurt. I have LBP/had disc protrusions L4-6 last year. Geneticist told me I have piezogenic papules (common with EDS), but I can’t see them. I’m active, have a good PT, stand barefoot a lot. Can’t tell if I have PLF?
  • 12:52:00 – ​I am 56 have some minor plantar issues, recently running for 2months but have pain on back of heel after running which has made me stop running. Any suggestions for this pain, thanks.
  • 12:54:00 – ​My right knee hurts when I walk, but I when I run I’m perfectly ok. What can I do?
  • 12:56:00 – wife: 4 yrs of posterior leg pain, almost like cramping when laid on her back, wakes her in night then upon waking makes calves and especially Achilles heels feel chronically tight. Has weak glute med & min and SI area pain she is 50 also, had 2 kids at 39 & 40.
  • 1:02:00 – I sprained my ankle over 4 months ago. I rehabbed for it quite a bit but still there is pain when I run. What can do to get rid of the pain ? I sprained my left ankle months ago, it still hurts when I step with my foot turned to the left and it still has some swelling. I stretch my ankle using a band and I pretty much have been doing that daily since it happened. It was getting better at a constant rate until the second month when it plateaued. It felt the same since.
  • 1:04:00 – ​I had pf. it’s remedied, I think. I get pain when running in my same calf. then I walk, then I run for about half mile and it goes on like that for about 2 miles, then no more pain. What can I do?

Previous Episodes:

Ep 08: Understanding Musculoskeletal Pain: Types and Common Causes of Pain

Ep 09: Shoulder Instability: Signs, Symptoms and How to Prevent Dislocation

Ep 10: Lower Back Pain: Common Causes, Treatment & Prevention

Ep 11: Lower Back Pain: Myths vs Facts (Herniated Disc Recovery, Chronic Pain, Stretching)

About the Author

Dr. Erin Boynton, MD, FRCS is an orthopedic surgeon who was the team surgeon for the Toronto Blue Jays for 10 years and has worked with other professional teams and athletes from many different sports. She currently serves as the Chief Medical Director of the Rogers Cup WTA Tennis Tournament and is the ITF Canadian Champion in tennis for her age group (we won't say which group that is!).