The plantar fascia is a long, thin ligament that connects the heel to the front of the foot. Plantar fasciitis occurs when the plantar fascia becomes irritated and inflamed, causing pain on the bottom of the heel. This usually occurs first thing in the morning, but can also affect you after long periods of standing or sitting. Plantar fasciitis most commonly happens to people that do a lot of standing on hard surfaces, like factory workers or school teachers. On the other hand, it can also be caused by flat feet, high arches, or obesity.
Diagnosed with a physical exam and x-rays, plantar fasciitis will typically be treated with physical therapy, medication, foot-bracing, or cortisone injections. Unfortunately, symptoms often return in a high percentage of patients when treated in this fashion. While surgery to cut the plantar fascia is an option, it often results in a gradual destruction of the arch, which can eventually collapse. Surgery should be used as a last resort. A much safer and long-lasting approach to heal the injury is through the use of regenerative treatments, like proliferation or stem cell therapy.