Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

Plantar Fasciitis

Font Size

Home Treatment

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 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. Or buy shoe inserts (orthotics camera.gif). Shoe inserts may be made of plastic, rubber, or felt. Orthotics can reduce stress and pulling on the plantar fascia ligament camera.gif.
  • Use ice on your heel. Ice can help reduce inflammation. 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.
  • Wear night splints camera.gif. 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.
    actionset.gif 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 returning.

If your weight is putting extra stress on your feet, your doctor may encourage you to try a weight-loss program.

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.

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.

1

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: January 18, 2012
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
Next Article:

Hot Topics

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors

WebMD Video: Now Playing

Click here to wach video: Dirty Truth About Hand Washing

Which sex is the worst about washing up? Why is it so important? We’ve got the dirty truth on how and when to wash your hands.

Click here to watch video: Dirty Truth About Hand Washing

Popular Slideshows & Tools on WebMD

hands on abdomen
Can you catch one?
Woman sitting in front of UV lights
Is yours working?
woman using breath spray
What's causing yours?
womans hand on abdomen
Are you ready for baby?
MS Overview
Recognizing symptoms.
bowl of yogurt with heart shape
Eat for a healthy heart.
woman doing pushups
To help you get fit.
Colored x-ray of tooth decay
Know what to look for.
Woman sitting with child
Do you know the symptoms?
mosquito
Stings, bites, burns, and more.
Allentown, PA
Are you living in one?
Thyroid exam
See how much you know.

Women's Health Newsletter

Find out what women really need.