The first steps your doctor will
recommend to treat
plantar fasciitis are ones you can take yourself.
Different people find that one method or a combination of methods works best
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. Or 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
Contrast baths, which alternate hot and cold water,
can also be helpful. Heat alone may make symptoms worse for some people. So always end a
contrast bath with a soak in cold water. If ice isn't helping after 2 or 3 days, try heat, such as a heating pad set on low.
- Take ibuprofen (such as
Advil or Motrin), naproxen (such as Aleve), aspirin, or another
nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) to reduce pain and
inflammation. NSAIDs come in pills and in a cream that you rub over the sore area.
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. For more information, see:
- Plantar Fasciitis: Exercises to Relieve Pain.
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. While replacing shoes is expensive, it is less expensive-and less painful-than a long-lasting heel problem. Other
sensible training techniques, such as avoiding uneven
or hard surfaces, can help prevent plantar fasciitis from occurring or
If your weight is putting extra stress on your feet,
your doctor may encourage you to try a weight-loss program.
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
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
will suggest other treatments.