STATEMENTS ON THIS WEBSITE REFER ONLY TO THE ORIGINAL FasciaDerm® Heel Pain Relief System (in the orange package) which is no longer sold. For information regarding FasciaDerm PFTAPE® contact Mueller Sports Medicine or visit PFTAPE® is a trademark of Mueller Sports Medicine. FasciaDerm® is a trademark of Applied BioKinetics LLC.

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Plantar Fasciitis Treatments

In our last article, “What is Plantar Fasciitis?,” we described the classic plantar fasciitis symptoms, common causes of heel pain and tips for prevention. For anyone dealing with plantar fasciitis heel pain, ongoing inflammation in the fascia makes everyday activity painful, uncomfortable and frustrating. Conventional plantar fasciitis treatments include non-invasive options, as well as medical procedures ranging from injections to surgery. In this article, we will break down the most commonly recommended plantar fasciitis treatments to help you identify the pros and cons of these treatments and the typical results you can expect.

Unfortunately, each of the conventional treatments listed below has limited effectiveness, so the average person normally moves from one treatment to the next. According to, “most people recover completely within a year,” which means that someone searching for heel pain relief may have to try multiple methods over a long period of time, during which they may spend lots of money, agonize with daily pain and generally suffer a reduced quality of life.

The goals of a plantar fasciitis treatment plan should include:

Plantar fasciitis treatments comparison

Treatments compared.

  • Providing pain relief in the shortest time possible
  • Minimizing disruption to our daily lives (e.g. minimum inconvenience, and enable a timely return to normal activities)
  • Creating conditions which enable the body to achieve a lasting recovery
  • Minimize the financial burden (i.e. total spend)

Initial Plantar Fasciitis Treatment

Many people suffering from plantar fasciitis will first try simple home remedies, such as applying ice to the heel, or taking a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAIDs), such as Advil®. While some users may experience a degree of relief, due to the severity of plantar fasciitis pain many sufferers report that NSAIDs barely take the edge off their pain.

Other common “first steps” include taping the foot with conventional therapeutic elastic tapes (e.g. Kinesio) or rigid athletic tapes. If taped properly, a user may experience some pain relief and support to the injured fascia. However, therapeutic elastic tapes were designed to support muscles and other soft tissues. It is critical to note that kinesio tape was originally designed to provide 140% elasticity (the same elasticity as human skin). This ease of elongation and low rebound quality is well suited for supporting soft tissue and muscle, but lacks effectiveness in supporting the much tougher plantar fascia. Rigid athletic tapes can provide support temporarily but have been shown to lose effectiveness within less than 30 minutes of use as the product stretches and the adhesives slip. According to published studies, taping has not been demonstrated to be a cure for plantar fasciitis. The fact is that both of these categories of taping product are more of a general purpose in nature, and they were not designed specifically for the difficult task of managing plantar fasciitis stress.

Those with plantar fasciitis may try one of the above approaches for a month or longer before realizing that there is no significant improvement. In their search for other plantar fasciitis treatment options, they often seek out advice from medical or sports websites, including blogs and forums. Most-web-based resources tend to direct visitors to the “next steps” listed below.

That Didn’t Work…What’s Next?

Often, these users will be steered into night-time stretching devices, which are designed and marketed specifically as a plantar fasciitis treatment. The biggest problem with this approach is that stretching is most effective as a preventative method, and stretching damaged tissue is an indirect treatment and has not been demonstrated to provide rapid results. Furthermore, while stretching is beneficial to healthy fascia, it may be counterproductive during recovery because it can lead to the re-injury of newly formed tissue. Nevertheless, this treatment is often mistakenly promoted to those with fascia inflammation, and stretching devices are readily available locally or online.

Another problem with stretching devices is that they are very inconvenient, and many users find it difficult to sleep while wearing the device. Moreover, during the active, load-bearing hours of the day, these devices do not protect the the fascia from re-injury, which can often leave the user back at square one.

We recommend stretching devices only if you are prone to bouts of plantar fasciitis, but are NOT currently suffering from heel pain. This will help improve calf flexibility which can aid in preventing recurrence of heel pain due to PF.

Other treatments that are commonly recommended include heel cushion products or over-the-counter orthotic devices, such as soft or rigid arch supports. Once again, these products are only partially effective at best. These products are ineffective during the propulsion phase (“push-off”) of the walking cycle. Not supporting the fascia in this critical phase makes it vulnerable and often contributes to a continuous cycle of micro-trauma, which in turn prevents a timely recovery.

Depending on the severity of heel pain being experienced, the mix of treatments described can stretch over many months and still fail to deliver adequate results. This lack of positive progress often frustrates those with heel pain, and they give up on trying any new treatments. In some cases, the prospect of incurring additional cost plays some role in this decision. Instead, they revert back to whichever combination of the above methods seemed to deliver the most reduction in pain and wait it out.

Time for a Second Opinion?

A small percentage (estimated to be less than 20%) of those suffering from plantar fasciitis heel pain will eventually seek medical care, only to find that the medical community has limited options available. We’ve listed these here.

Non-invasive Treatment Options:

  • NSAIDs – Sound familiar? As the most “conservative” treatment option available, doctors and nurses will often advise that one use an NSAID to dull the pain.
  • Padding and Strapping – Usually felt padding applied during a consultation with a podiatrist. This is an “apply-once” treatment that must be kept dry and worn for a number of days. Because of the foot’s shape and the stiffness of the padding, it may be difficult to put on certain types of shoes. Just as with other tape products, this technique may start losing effectiveness as materials stretch and adhesives slip.
  • Scraping (Graston technique) – A painful physical therapy procedure that consists of “scraping” the plantar scar tissue with a handheld device (very firm handheld device-to-skin contact). The goal is to break down the scar tissue externally, and the patient’s level of inflammation and scar tissue buildup can make this an excruciating plantar fasciitis treatment option.
  • Stretching Devices/Stretching Exercises – Not advisable for someone currently suffering from plantar fasciitis as it can can set back the healing process. Excellent when you are not currently suffering from plantar fasciitis to avoid a recurrence or extend the time between bouts.
  • Bed Rest – A great treatment option, but the most limiting and inconvenient – who can afford to remain in bed?
  • Night-time Stretching Devices – Uncomfortable to sleep in, and does nothing to protect fascia from re-injury during normal activities. May be good when used with health fascia to extend the time between bouts by improving flexibility.
  • Orthotics – Transition into orthotics while suffering from plantar fasciitis can be very painful as the rigid structure of the orthotics often adds pressure to the injured fascia. It is much easier to adjust to these devices when you are not suffering from an inflamed fascia. However, proper support to the biomechanics of foot (such as can provided by correctly fitted orthotics) is one of keys to avoiding a returned bout of plantar fasciitis.

Other Treatments:

  • Steroid Injections – Injections are directed at the damaged fascia, meaning that the area is already inflamed. This can make the injections extremely painful. These injections are typically administered as a series, repeated a few weeks apart, with a maximum of three to four injections typically being allowed.
  • Immobilizing Boots – These devices protect the fascia and address the root cause, but only when worn compliantly (used throughout all load-bearing hours of the day). However, they compromise mobility, limit activities and are cumbersome and inconvenient.
  • Surgery (Endoscopic plantar fasciotomy) – This is the most invasive plantar fasciitis treatment option available. Cost, time to recovery and associated risks should all be carefully considered prior to any type of surgery.

As you can see, the basic toolkit from a medical practitioner’s standpoint doesn’t offer a convenient, fool-proof, and risk-free method for helping one overcome plantar fasciitis. That’s where the FasciaDerm Heel Pain Relief System comes in.

Got Plantar Fasciitis? Get FasciaDerm

For the plantar fascia to have the best conditions for recovery, it should be protected from excessive tensile stress during the entire walking cycle, and through all active, load-bearing hours of the day, regardless of whether the user is wearing footwear or not. It is only in protecting the fascia in this manner that one can expect to halt the continuous cycle of re-injury, and true progress toward lasting recovery can begin. Remember the clear, specific plantar fasciitis treatment goals we outlined above? They included:

  • fast pain relief
  • minimal disruption or discomfort
  • lasting recovery
  • low cost

Only FasciaDerm meets all of the above criteria, delivering results that no other plantar fasciitis treatment can match, and at an unbeatable low cost. FasciaDerm was designed specifically for the treatment of plantar fasciitis, so every characteristic – from precisely-engineered support, to ergonomic fit and convenience of application – was designed to solve the problem of managing plantar stress without compromising effectiveness. For these reasons, doctors and sports medicine professionals are using FasciaDerm to help their patients and athletes get healthy and back to normal.

“My Plantar Fasciitis appears with no warning – In the past it has been visits to the Podiatrist, steroid shots, and wearing 2 pair of of socks and sneakers to the office for a few months before the pain subsides. I heard about this product from a friend and decided to give it a try. In just 2 days my heel pain was greatly diminished and completely gone after approximately 1 week. The instructions were easy to follow and the straps were thin and flesh colored which worked great under stockings for work. Awesome design and worked fabulously. No More Foot Pain !!”
– Michel

Get off the “treatment treadmill” (or avoid it altogether) with the FasciaDerm Heel Pain Relief System. FasciaDerm is 100% guaranteed to reduce plantar fasciitis heel pain when used as directed.

Plantar fasciitis treatments comparison
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What is Plantar Fasciitis? Understanding Heel Pain

Editor’s Note: This is the first of a series intended to equip you with an enhanced understanding of plantar fasciitis (or morning heel pain) so that you can make informed decisions regarding treatment and recovery.

What is Plantar Fasciitis?

Many people suffer from a painful condition whose name is hard to pronounce, and which for most people, just as difficult to heal from: Plantar Fasciitis (pronounced: Plantar Fa-cee-I-tis). This is a painful condition of the foot often described to feel like an ice pick in the heel during the first few steps in the morning, or after periods of rest. The sharp pain typically lessens after a few minutes or after a few very painful steps. During the active hours of day the pain may decrease to simply an uncomfortable, achy feeling usually described to feel like a bruise or soreness in the heel. While plantar fasciitis may cause pain anywhere along the arch of the foot, it is most commonly experienced in the heel area, and often only affects a single foot.

Understanding Plantar Fasciitis is Key to Your Recovery

What is plantar fasciitis? Typical heel pain locationThe underlying condition is the result of damage to the tough connective tissue (known as the fascia) which runs along the bottom of the foot and serves as a “shock absorber” for normal movement, including weight bearing, walking and running.

The Plantar Fascia

The plantar fascia is the strong connective tissue connecting the ball of the foot to the heel bone. This tissue is widest and strongest near the ball of the foot and it tapers to its thinnest (and weakest) near its attachment to the heel bone.

The plantar fascia works in conjunction with other bones of the arch of the foot, mediating the impact for every step we take. The plantar fascia stretches and rebounds as the foot interacts with the ground – vital for ensuring the proper functioning of the foot – as well as supporting the healthy, overall mechanics of the body.

Plantar Fasciitis Explained

Repetitive or excessive tensile stress in the fascia can lead to small tears in the tissue that cause plantar fasciitis. These small tears result in inflammation, which in turn causes pain. If healthy tissue on the bottom of the foot is damaged (as in plantar fasciitis) the body responds by inflaming the area around the damaged tissue. During periods or rest or sleep the inflammation accumulates, contributing to the excruciating pain experienced during the first few steps in the morning. As one stands or walks for a few minutes, the local inflammation is forced to disseminate back into the surrounding tissue. This typically helps reduce the severity of pain experienced throughout periods of activity, until the next prolonged period of rest. However, pain upon first standing is most often a clear sign of damaged tissue.

The amount of damaging stress placed on the fascia is influenced by age, activity level, degree of flexibility (for example, tightness of calf muscles), body weight, foot structure and the supportiveness of footwear.


Avoiding Plantar Fasciitis

The key to avoiding plantar fasciitis is to manage the stress placed upon the fascia. To a certain extent, this stress can be managed by:

  • maintaining good flexibility, especially in calf muscles
  • managing body weight
  • limiting sudden changes in activity levels
  • always wearing supportive foot wear.

However, plantar fasciitis inflammation, once it occurs, can persist for months, even with conventional treatments and reasonable attempts to manage plantar stress (as listed above). Under most treatment protocols, relief from plantar fasciitis pain has been difficult to achieve. Because feet are continuously in use, re-injury is a very strong possibility unless the patient is immobilized. The reality is that most conventional treatments fail to create the right conditions for a satisfactory recovery.

By providing continuous support to the injured fascia, FasciaDerm’s patented system brings fast heel pain relief, a significant reduction in daily fascia stress and all-day comfort – without requiring bed rest or immobilization.

So, to summarize our introduction to Plantar Fasciitis:

  1. Symptoms – Sharp pain, usually in the heel, and most severe in the morning or after periods of rest. Plantar fasciitis most commonly occurs in a single foot.
  2. Causes – Repetitive or excess stress on the plantar fascia, influenced by age, activity level, flexibility and footwear choices.
  3. Prevention – The risk of developing plantar fasciitis can be minimized by managing weight, avoiding sudden changes in activity levels, maintaining flexibility and wearing supportive foot wear.

Next: Treatments for Plantar Fasciitis

Introducing the Best Treatment for Plantar Fasciitis: FasciaDerm

We’re excited to open up this new FasciaDerm Heel Pain Relief System blog to the community. Every day, people from all walks of life experience foot pain caused by plantar fasciitis. For a lot of people, this diagnosis turns into a futile chase for a heel pain cure that is nowhere to be found…from orthotics that don’t provide the fast foot pain relief we need to potentially harmful short-term fixes like cortisone injections that relieve the pain for a brief period of time but never address the root cause of this heel or arch pain.

Often, people choose to live with plantar fasciitis pain because they see through these limitations or they fear that only extreme measures like fascia surgery will provide a lasting cure for heel pain.

We developed the FasciaDerm Heel Pain Relief System as a non-medicated, easy to apply and fast-acting treatment for plantar fasciitis. By addressing the root cause of this condition (excessive stress in the plantar fascia), pain can be reduced in short order. Furthermore, as the cycle of damage to the fascia ends, the right conditions for recovery can be established. FasciaDerm works unlike any other heel pain remedy, and even allows you to remain active during treatment.

“FasciaDerm has been developed with a introspective and foundational construct based both on anatomical structure and mechanical function of the muscle and skeletal interactions of the human ankle and foot.”

– Dr. Joel A. Bloom, Ph.D., MSE, Houston, TX
Koala Health & Wellness Centers, Inc.

We welcome you to learn more in our upcoming posts.

Next: A short series on Understanding Plantar Fasciitis.

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