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Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar Fasciitis Symptoms and Treatment

Pain in the heel is most often caused by plantar fasciitis - an inflammation of the band of tissue (the plantar fascia) that extends from the heel to the toes. It's critical to have your heel pain properly diagnosed because the pain may also be due to other causes such as a heel fracture, Achilles tendonitis, arthritis or nerve irritation.

Click below to watch a FootSourceMD physician explain plantar fasciitis causes and treatments.

With plantar fasciitis, the fascia first becomes irritated and then inflamed. Other symptoms include pain:

  • on the bottom of the heel
  • that is usually worse upon arising
  • that increases over a period of months

The pain is usually worse when you get up in the morning or after you've been sitting for long periods of time. After a few minutes of walking the pain decreases, because walking stretches the fascia.

Plantar Fasciitis Treatment and Prevention

You can being treatment of plantar fasciitis at home with these simple techniques:

  • Plantar fasciitis exercises. Stretching your calf muscles helps ease pain and assists with recovery.
  • Avoid going barefoot. When you walk without shoes, you put undue strain and stress on your plantar fascia.
  • Ice. Put an ice pack on your heel for ten minutes several times a day to help reduce inflammation.
  • Limit activities. Cut down on extended physical activities to give your heel a rest.
  • Plantar fasciitis shoes. Wearing supportive shoes with good arch support and a slightly raised heel reduces stress on the plantar fascia.
  • Medications. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen, may help reduce pain and inflammation.
  • Weight Loss. Extra pounds put extra stress on your plantar fascia.

If you still have pain after several weeks, one or more of these approaches may be added:

  • Orthotic devices. These help correct the underlying structural abnormalities causing the plantar fasciitis.
  • Injection therapy. In some cases, corticosteroid injections are used to help reduce the inflammation and relieve pain.
  • Removable walking cast. This will keep your foot immobile for a few weeks to allow it to rest and heal.
  • Night splint. Night splints allow you to maintain an extended stretch of the plantar fascia while sleeping. This may help reduce the morning pain.
  • Physical therapy. Exercises and other physical therapy measures may be used to help provide relief.

Proper Treatment Can Prevent Plantar Fasciitis Surgery.

If, after several months of non-surgical treatment, you continue to have heel pain, surgery may be considered. Refer to our plantar fasciitis FAQ if you have more questions about the condition. Most patients with plantar fasciitis respond well to a non-surgical treatment plan. No matter what kind of treatment you undergo for plantar fasciitis, the underlying causes that led to this condition may remain. That's why it's important to continue with preventive measures. Wearing supportive shoes, using orthotic devices and continuing to stretch are the mainstays of long-term treatment for plantar fasciitis.

Take a look at our selection of orthopedic products that provide plantar fasciitis relief.

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