A very common reason to see a podiatrist is plantar fasciitis. This foot problem leads to arch and heel pain where the sufferer usually finds the first steps of the day the most painful. Pain can be all day long but many times patients find that anytime they start walking after being off their feet for a period of time the most painful where the pain lessens or disappears after a period of ambulation. This problem is caused by inflammation of the ligament that makes up the arch support of the foot called the plantar fascia.
The major cause of this is abnormal pronation due to an unstable foot type. This ligament which attaches to the front of the heel bone and runs along the sole of the foot to the balls of your feet is stretched and strained beyond its normal ability to stretch and results in inflammation as the bony portion of the arch collapses and the foot rolls in as you walk.
Initial treatment goals are to reduce the inflammation and pain through biomechanical control with foot strappings, anti-inflammatory medications and possibly cortisone injections. Orthotics are then custom fabricated to control pronation and reduce facial strain. These orthotics are then worn in the patients shoes. By eliminating the unstable forces causing the inflammation and pain of the plantar fascia, orthotics stabilize the function of the feet and prevent recurrence of the symptoms.