The plantar fascia is the primary tendon on the bottom of the foot providing padding. It tightly connects to the base of the heel bone, extends through the arch, and reattaches at the ball of the foot just behind the toes. The tension on the tendon creates an arcing of the bones in the middle of the foot allowing those bones natural motion for maintaining balance.
When there is a lack of support thru the arch, the result may be a stretching and pulling of the tendon at the attachment point of the heel. Eventually this may cause a tearing of some of the fibers of the tendon away from the bone. This occurrence is common among runners and pregnant women due to the extreme increase of weight forces on the tendons.
Physical therapy, chiropractic manipulation, massage, and even acupuncture can help with the pain. However, healing will only take place when the tendon is supported in its natural neutral position. A custom foot orthotic provides this support which begins the healing process. The orthotic should make the pain start to feel better within a week, but the actual healing should take 3 or 4 weeks. Once healing is achieved continuing to wear the orthotics should help keep the pain from returning!