My doctor told me that the pain in my heel is from proximal plantar fasciitis (PPF). Aside from surgery, what kinds of treatment are used to help this condition?

The pain of PPF is believed to be from degeneration and inflammation in the soft tissues where the plantar fascia attaches to the heel bone (calcaneus). To reduce inflammation, doctors will usually prescribe a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medication. At first, it may be necessary to take weight off the heel by altering activities, using a heel cushion, or actually casting the foot for up to three weeks. Stretches for the Achilles tendon may help relieve pressure on the plantar fascia.

Physical therapy treatments are helpful for easing pain and inflammation and improving blood flow to the sore area. Special shoe inserts, called orthotics, may take some of the pressure off the plantar fascia. If symptoms continue, a cortisone injection may be suggested. However, many doctors are cautious about using cortisone in this area because repeated injections can cause the plantar fascia to rupture.