Plantar fasciitis: diagnosis and therapeutic considerations

Altern Med Rev. 2005 Jun;10(2):83-93.


Plantar fasciitis is the most common cause of inferior heel pain. The pain and discomfort associated with this condition can have a dramatic impact on physical mobility. The etiology of this condition is not clearly understood and is probably multi-factorial in nature. Weight gain, occupation-related activity, anatomical variations, poor biomechanics, overexertion, and inadequate footwear are contributing factors. Although plantar fasciitis is generally regarded as a self-limited condition, it can take months to years to resolve, presenting a challenge for clinicians. Many treatment options are available that demonstrate variable levels of efficacy. Conservative therapies include rest and avoidance of potentially aggravating activities, stretching and strengthening exercises, orthotics, arch supports, and night splinting. Other considerations include use of anti-inflammatory agents, ultrasonic shockwave therapy, and, in the most extreme cases, surgery. This article reviews plantar fasciitis, presents the most effective treatment options currently available, and proposes nutritional considerations that may be beneficial in the management of this condition.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Dietary Supplements
  • Fasciitis, Plantar / diagnosis
  • Fasciitis, Plantar / etiology
  • Fasciitis, Plantar / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Nutritional Physiological Phenomena
  • Orthotic Devices
  • Physical Therapy Modalities
  • Risk Factors
  • Shoes
  • Ultrasonic Therapy