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A. "They may, but that shouldn't be your first line of attack," says Cary Zinkin, DPM, a podiatrist in Deerfield Beach, Florida. "Cortisone is an anti-inflammatory steroid that temporarily relieves the stabbing pain in your heel and arch associated with plantar fasciitis, but it can weaken soft tissue in the foot, resulting in further injury." A better first step to ease discomfort is to try custom orthotics, ibuprofen, physical therapy, or stretching exercises. Another option: foot strapping, in which a podiatrist tapes the bottom of the foot to add support and decrease strain. You should also have your gait analyzed by a foot care specialist. "If you're an overpronator -- your ankle rolls too far in -- wearing less-than-supportive sneakers will worsen the condition," Dr. Zinkin says.
Originally published in FITNESS magazine, April 2010.