Plantar fasciitis, or heel pain, is probably one of the most common conditions that I see in my office. In fact, approximately 40%-60% of all patients that I see are due to some sort of heel pain. In Florida, I also find it more seasonal as Floridians wear a lot of flip-flops in the summer that provide absolutely no arch support and therefore are more likely to develop heel pain.
In the United States, approximately 2 million Americans seek medical attention annually due to plantar fasciitis. It is one of the most common musculoskeletal problems in the human body. 10% of people in the world will suffer from plantar fasciitis in their lifetime. Statistics are on our side as only about 5% of patients who have this condition will end up having to have surgery. There are multiple studies that show that just a combination of foot orthotics and night splints reduces pain by 50%.
Depending on the level of pain in the heel, Cortisone injections sometimes are necessary to help with healing process. Many studies have shown that functional orthotics prevent plantar fasciitis from coming back. A lot of my patients start experiencing heel pain 3 to 4 years after they have seen me and have received a pair of orthotics because they are starting to wear out and they need a new pair. Even if nonsurgical treatments do not work, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. There is a new procedure called Tenex that has success rate of close to 95%.