Symptoms, Causes, And Treatment of Plantar Fasciitis

Symptoms, Causes, And Treatment of Plantar Fasciitis

One of the most typical conditions causing heel discomfort is plantar fasciitis. The plantar fascia, a strong, fibrous band of tissue that runs along the sole of the foot, is inflamed in this condition. The heel bone (calcaneus) and the base of the toes are where the plantar fascia is connected. It plays a crucial part in typical walking foot mechanics and supports the foot arch.

Weight-bearing on the foot, such as standing, causes the plantar fascia to tense up or become stressed. When you land on the toes and ball of your foot, the tension also rises. Both of these movements take place when people walk or run normally. The fascia can become irritated with regular daily activities as a result of the fascia losing some of its elasticity or resilience over time or from misuse.


The plantar fascia's job is to cushion the foot from the force of standing, walking, and running. The plantar fascia can be harmed by excessive pressure because this area of the body is frequently used.

There isn't always just one reason why someone gets plantar fasciitis. There are a number of risk factors that can raise a person's risk of getting the illness. These consist of:

  • Age is a factor since adults between the ages of 40 and 60 are particularly susceptible to plantar fasciitis.

  • Exercise that frequently stresses the plantar fascia, such as running

  • Having high arches, flat feet, or calf muscles that are tight

  • Being obese, overweight, or pregnant all increase the pressure on the feet.

  • Having certain health issues, like arthritis

  • Standing for extended periods of time


With the right care, 80% of those with plantar fasciitis heal within a year, with many people feeling better within a few weeks to a few months. However, the length of rehabilitation ultimately relies on how promptly a person seeks assistance and follows treatment guidelines. People can shorten the duration of their symptoms if they take immediate action and stay on top of it.

If you have plantar fasciitis, you can still exercise (especially during rehabilitation), but you need to select a sport that won't hurt your foot. In the short term, low-impact activities like swimming, hiking, cycling, and using an elliptical machine might be beneficial ways to keep active without aggravating plantar fasciitis.


The majority of plantar fasciitis symptoms respond well to rest and ice therapy. Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin B) and naproxen (Aleve) are two over-the-counter medications that can help lessen some of the discomfort and inflammation brought on by the illness. Shoe inserts called orthotics, which support and relieve pressure on the foot, can also temporarily relieve pain.

Exercises that involve stretching and strengthening can hasten recovery and help prevent other issues like stiffness or weakness in other foot muscles. A physical therapist can demonstrate to you efficient plantar fascia stretches and lower-leg muscle strengthening routines.

  • Stretching exercises are used in physical therapy to treat and prevent plantar fasciitis.

  • Ibuprofen (Advil) and cortisone injections are two examples of anti-inflammatory drugs that are frequently beneficial.

  • Plantar fasciitis-related inflammation of the tissues can be lessened with the use of athletic running shoes with soft, cushioned soles. To lessen the excessive foot motion and minimize the tension on the plantar fascia, custom orthotic shoe inserts are employed.

Rarely, if non-surgical therapy are unsuccessful, surgery is done on the persistently irritated plantar fascia (plantar fasciosis). For certain patients, more modern therapies like cobalt, PRP, prolotherapy, ESWT, and micro-debridement are also used.


To confirm that plantar fasciitis is the source of your heel discomfort and not another condition, your doctor may prescribe imaging studies.


Bones can be seen clearly in X-ray images. They help rule out other reasons of heel discomfort, like fractures or arthritis.

On an X-ray, heel spurs can be observed. Long-term strain on the plantar fascia insertion might lead to a heel spur (the spot on the heel bone where the plantar fascia attaches). However, the majority of individuals with heel bone spurs do not have heel pain. Since plantar fasciitis is not caused by heel bone spurs, the discomfort associated with the condition can be managed without having the spur removed.

Other Imaging Tests

The diagnosis of plantar fasciitis does not frequently use imaging tests like ultrasound or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). It is uncommon to order them.

If the heel pain is not resolved by first treatments or if your doctor suspects another issue is to blame for your heel discomfort, an MRI scan may be recommended.

The Takeaway

Chronic heel discomfort brought on by untreated plantar fasciitis can make it difficult to perform daily activities. You might alter your gait to try to prevent plantar fasciitis pain, which can cause issues with your feet, knees, hips, and back.

Home remedies and easy lifestyle modifications are typically beneficial in treating plantar fasciitis. By exercising with little impact, dressing appropriately, and maintaining a healthy weight, one can lessen the risk factors.

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