I've been to the doctor for my plantars fascitis. I'm wearing support bands, using a night splint, doing foot and ankle exercises recommended by the Dr and my feet still hurt. Is there something else I need to do so I can dance again? The way my feet hurt right now I wondering whether I will be able to ballroom dance any time soon.
I'm a novice dancer, but I am an experienced youth soccer coach. I've helped a lot of boys with plantar fasciitis. I've also had it pretty severely myself and have treated it successfully. You have my sympathy! Especially getting out of bed in the morning!
The most important first step is to understand what is causing the problem. If you do not have a life-long history of the problem, then the most likely culprit is your shoes. They need to provide good support and have adequate cushioning. When I have had boys get plantar fasciitis on the soccer team, I insist that they get rid of their shoes and get a high quality pair.
As you look for and eliminate the cause, you need to do exercises that will stretch the calf and Achilles tendon. There are many different exercises (you can find them all over the internet), and it helps to mix them up. Some are more effective on different parts of the mechanism, and it's hard to say which one will help the most or get at the exact thing that needs the most stretching.
Of course, a few extra pounds would make the problem worse if that were the case. But that problem can be a lot harder to solve.
Young boys heal pretty quickly, but I never had a boy out for more than 2 weeks, no matter how severe his case. I had a really bad case and once I got good shoes and exercised consistently, the pain vanished completely and has never returned. It took about 2 weeks.
I've numerous foot ailments, including plantar fasciitis. As depiante said, exercises and correct shoes will make all the difference. Just to add to what has already been stated, I would recommend doing lots of stretches right before bed in addition to whenever else you do them. I found that if I did them right before going to sleep, the pain was much less in the morning. On top of the stretching, I found body rolling to be very effective. Basically, you take a soft rummer ball and use it to apply pressure to the muscles you want to stretch. You can find more information on www.yamunabodyrolling.com. I know there are other companies that do the same thing, but I happen to like this one.
Regarding shoes, you may want to give minimalist shoes a try. I'm not sure from you username is you are a man or a woman, so ignore the rest of this if it is not relevant to you. High heels, even if they're only an inch or so high, contribute to tightening your calves. While I wouldn't go so far as to say you should wear those crazy looking Vibram 5 finger shoes on a day to day basis, wearing very flat shoes helped me a lot. Yes, for dancing we have to wear the heels, but as soon as practice is over, I take a minute to stretch out my calves, and into flat shoes I go.
Anyway, I hope some of what you find on here is useful to you and that your feet heal up quickly. Best of luck to you!