Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common foot injuries athletes sustain. The painful heel is the result of overloading and inflammation of the plantar fascia at its insertion into the medial process of the tuberosity of the calcaneus. Many different treatment approaches have been used to address this overuse problem. Treatment for plantar fasciitis has included decreased weight bearing, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), orthotics, arch taping, weight loss, steroid injections, ultrasound, ice, physical therapy, and surgical release. Clinically the use of night splints has been found to be very successful in the treatment of plantar fasciitis, as described in this case study.
David J. Pezzullo is with the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center's Sports Medicine Institute, Baum Boulevard at Craig Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15213.