Parkview Health Logo

Plantar Fasciitis


Plantar fasciitis is inflammation along the bottom of the foot and heel. It happens when the flat band of tissue (ligament) that supports the arch of your foot is inflamed or irritated.

Plantar fasciitis is the most common cause of heel pain. It is common in people who run a lot or stand on hard surfaces for long periods of time. It can happen in one foot or both feet.

You can improve your foot pain with rest and other care at home. It might take a few weeks to a few months for your foot to heal completely.

Relieving pain from plantar fasciitis

There are many methods you can try to relieve the heel pain of plantar fasciitis. Different people find that one method or a combination of methods works best for them. Try the following methods.

  • Rest your feet.

    Stop or reduce any activities that may be causing your heel pain.

  • Wear supportive footwear.

    Wear shoes that have good arch support and heel cushioning.

  • Buy shoe inserts (orthotics).

Shoe inserts may be made of plastic, rubber, or felt. Orthotics can reduce stress and pulling on the plantar fascia ligament.

  • Use ice on your heel.

    Ice can help reduce inflammation. If ice isn't helping after 2 or 3 days, try heat, such as a heating pad set on low.

  • Take a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID).

    This medicine reduces pain and inflammation. Examples include ibuprofen (such as Advil or Motrin) and naproxen (such as Aleve). NSAIDs come in pills and in a cream that you rub over the sore area. Be safe with medicines. Read and follow all instructions on the label.

  • Wear night splints.

    Night splints gently stretch the plantar fascia ligament and Achilles tendon and keep them from getting tight during the night.

  • Do stretching and strengthening exercises.

    Exercises for stretching the Achilles tendon and plantar fascia will increase their flexibility. Exercises to strengthen the muscles of the foot and ankle will help support the arch.

  • Replace athletic shoes regularly.

Often athletes develop foot problems because they train in shoes that are worn out or don't fit properly. Replace your shoes every few months, because the padding wears out. Also, replace shoes if the tread or heels are worn down.

The healing process takes time—from a few months to a year. But you should begin to have less pain within weeks of starting treatment. If you have not improved after trying these methods for 6 weeks, your doctor may suggest other treatments.

To be successful at treating plantar fasciitis, you will need to:

  • Be patient and consistent. The majority of cases of plantar fasciitis go away in time if you regularly stretch, wear good shoes, and rest your feet so they can heal.
  • Start treatment right away. Don't just ignore the pain and hope it will go away. The longer you wait to begin treatment, the longer it will take for your feet to stop hurting.
Plantar fasciitis: when to call

Call your doctor now or seek immediate medical care if:

  • You have heel pain with fever, redness, or warmth in your heel.
  • You cannot put weight on the sore foot.

Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor if:

  • You have numbness or tingling in your heel.
  • Your heel pain lasts more than 2 weeks.
Find a provider

We have podiatry experts throughout the region.

See our providers