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Eric Kolodin is a podiatric consultant to South Plainfield High School and is in private practice in Edison, NJ.
Plantar fasciitis is the most frequent hind foot problem that affects runners. It occurs when repetitive stress is placed on the heel from a chronic or acute condition. Athletes with biomechanical imbalances are most susceptible to this condition. They exhibit pain in the morning upon weight bearing and, frequently, in the acute stage, have discoloration of the injured area. Management includes preventive and therapeutic exercise, physical therapy, strengthening routines, taping, and the use of orthotics and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Although injections and NSAIDs bring relief, their effects are often only temporary. This condition is best treated with therapeutic exercises and orthotics in order to correct the athlete's biomechanical faults. This article presents principles and techniques that can be used to effectively prevent and treat plantar fasciitis.