Feel Plantar Fasciitis Coming On? Don’t Panic—We Have Some Solutions (2022)

If you’re running with plantar fasciitis, you’re likely not alone on the road. As the most common cause of pain at the bottom of the heel, according to The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, this injury plagues lots of people who are constantly on their feet—including runners.

Several culprits can make plantar fasciitis pop up, including drastically or suddenly increasing mileage, specific foot structures, and the wrong running shoes. All of these causes can overload the plantar fascia—the connective tissue that runs from your heel to the base of your toes—resulting in heel pain. To help you sidestep this common ache, here’s what to know about running with plantar fasciitis, including how to recognize it, treat it, and prevent it from happening again.

What is Plantar Fasciitis?

The plantar fascia is a tissue that looks like a series of fat rubber bands and extends from the heel toward the toes, along the arch of the foot. It’s made of collagen, a rigid protein that’s not very stretchy. The stress of overuse, overpronation, or overused shoes can rip tiny tears in it the plantar fascia tissue, causing heel pain and inflammation—that’s plantar fasciitis.

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Identifying Plantar Fasciitis Symptoms

Those who suffer from plantar fasciitis feel a sharp stab or deep ache in the heel or along the arch of the foot, according to Jordan Metzl, M.D. and sports medicine physician at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City.

Another telltale sign of the condition: You feel pain as soon as you put your foot on the ground in the morning. The morning hobble you may experience comes from your foot trying to heal itself in a contracted position overnight. Taking that first step out of bed causes sudden strain on the bottom of your foot, resulting in pain in your heel or arch. The pain can recur after long spells of sitting, but it tends to fade during a run once the area is warmed up.

A third symptom those running with plantar fasciitis might experience is pain during push off while hitting your stride.

(Video) How to Fix Plantar Fasciitis (NO MORE HEEL PAIN!)

Common Causes of Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis-related heel pain tends to strike those who overtrain, neglect to stretch their calf muscles, or overdo hill workouts and speed intervals. “When you have very tight calf muscles, they will pull on the plantar fascia and cause a lot of pain,” Metzl says.

A sudden increase in training mileage or a quick uptick in sprint training means you overwork the muscles when they're not quite ready, which can lead to conditions like plantar fasciitis.

Gear is super important too. Wearing old running shoes or constantly running on hard surfaces like asphalt or concrete can increase your risk of the condition. And to top it off, wearing high heels all day and then switching into flat running shoes may also increase your chances of heel pain from plantar fasciitis.

Finally, biomechanical issues may also cause plantar fasciitis. Those issues include high arches or flat feet or even excessive pronation.

The Best Plantar Fasciitis Treatment

Plantar fasciitis can be a nagging problem, which gets worse and more difficult to treat the longer you have it. So it’s best to address the issue as soon as you feel pain.

“When the fascia comes off the bone, it gets chronically inflamed and can heal exceptionally slowly,” Metzl says. “Plantar fasciitis can be sore for months because the healing response is proportionate to blood flow. When something has a good blood supply like a muscle, it heals quickly, but the plantar fascia essentially has no blood supply so it can take longer to heal.”

(Video) 2 BEST Plantar Fasciitis Exercises (Stretches or Strengthening?)

The first step in treating plantar fasciitis is to reduce swelling. Metzl recommends sticking your foot in an ice bucket or freezing a bottle of water and rolling your foot on top of it. You can also massage your foot with a golf ball.

Quite a few studies back up the benefits of using myofascial release (think: foam rolling or self massage) to help address plantar fasciitis pain—though there isn’t a consensus on the perfect myofascial program yet. Research also shows that stretching (particularly the plantar fascia itself, but also the calves) can help to alleviate the aches associated with the condition.

While the running shoes you choose are important—you don't want to wear a worn-out pair or one that doesn’t support your gait—what shoes you wear when you’re not clocking miles also matters. The key feature to look for in all shoes is arch support. And keep in mind that walking around barefoot or in flimsy shoes can delay recovery.

When to See a Doctor About Plantar Fasciitis

If pain is present for more than a couple weeks, see a medical professional about the problem. Your doctor might suggest treatment options such as orthotics, foot taping, cortisone injections, night splints, and/or anti-inflammatory medicine to decrease symptoms.

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For more stubborn cases, your doctor might prescribe physical therapy or shock-wave therapy—an FDA-approved plantar-fasciitis treatment. Increasingly, doctors are looking at platelet-rich plasma (or PRP), in which a doctor takes blood out of your arm, spins it down, takes out the platelets, and injects them into the fascia, for cases that just aren’t getting better.

For some runners who continue to experience symptoms even after treatment, surgery might be necessary. That’s often a last resort and your doctor would need to consider several factors, including your overall health and medical history, before deciding to go the surgery route.

(Video) How to Fix Plantar Fasciitis in Seconds (This Works)

Preventing Plantar Fasciitis

To prevent plantar fasciitis, run on soft surfaces, keep mileage increases to less than 10 percent per week, and wear the proper shoes for your foot type and gait. If you’re unsure if you’re in the right shoe, seek out advice from a professional. A gait analysis can help you spot issues with your run form, which might contribute to injuries like plantar fasciitis.

Strengthening the muscles in your midfoot with barefoot exercises and experimenting with your running style by shortening your stride and quickening your cadence can also help.

Metzl says it’s also important to stretch the plantar fascia and Achilles tendon to loosen them up. While it’s typical to experience pain in just one foot, massage and stretch both feet. Do it first thing in the morning and three times during the day.

The following stretches can help you avoid injury:

  • Achilles Tendon Stretch: Stand with the affected foot behind the healthy one. Point the toes of your back foot toward the heel of your front foot and lean into a wall. Bend your front knee and keep your back knee straight, heel firmly planted on the floor. Hold for 10 seconds. Repeat.
  • Plantar Fascia Stretch: Sit down, and place the foot with heel pain across your knee. Using your hand on the side affected by plantar fasciitis, pull your toes back toward your shin until you feel a stretch in your arch. Hold for 10 seconds. Run your thumb along your foot—you should feel tension. Repeat.

FAQs

How do you stop a plantar fasciitis flare up? ›

One of the best ways to keep this tissue healthy is to institute a regimen of gentle stretching. To start, grab your toes and pull them toward you to really stretch the tissue (though not too hard). Next, stand facing a wall and place your foot flat on the ground behind you to stretch your calves and plantar fascia.

What causes flare ups of plantar fasciitis? ›

Activities that can increase the force through your feet and aggravate plantar fasciitis include: Running, walking or standing a lot in unsupportive shoes. Running, walking or standing on hard surfaces like concrete. Carrying a heavy object or gaining weight.

How do doctors get rid of plantar fasciitis? ›

Many treatment options exist, including rest, stretching, strengthening, change of shoes, arch supports, orthotics, night splints, anti-inflammatory agents and surgery. Usually, plantar fasciitis can be treated successfully by tailoring treatment to an individual's risk factors and preferences.

What do podiatrist recommend for plantar fasciitis? ›

Treatment Methods

Most of the time, plantar fasciitis is treated through nonsurgical means. These methods include rest, icing, anti-inflammatory medications, supportive footwear, and cortisone injections. Rest is the best way to heal a damaged plantar fascia.

What foods cause plantar fasciitis? ›

Plantar fasciitis can actually get worse when certain foods are consumed in excess, including: Animal protein sources with too much saturated fat, such as red meat. Prepared foods with refined grains, sugar and trans-fats. White flour that you find in pasta, snacks and desserts.

Do compression socks help plantar fasciitis? ›

Compression socks can help in reducing the inflammation due to plantar fasciitis. They do pain management and control muscle damage which is crucial for the treatment of plantar fasciitis. Compression socks also prevent you from oxidative stress.

Does walking make plantar fasciitis worse? ›

In fact, walking may actually inflame the plantar fascia more, leading to an extension of your treatment. While it's not walking alone that could further inflame the ligament, if you're not wearing the right shoes or are exerting yourself too much, the plantar fasciitis can flare up.

What foods help plantar fasciitis? ›

If you are experiencing foot pain such as plantar fasciitis, you can try increasing your intake of anti-inflammatory foods for a beneficial effect. Foods that contain vitamin C, magnesium, calcium and methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) are likely to be the most helpful, including spinach, oranges and blueberries.

What kind of brace is good for plantar fasciitis? ›

There's two main varieties of night splints for plantar fasciitis: a boot-style brace, and a sock splint. While both options have unique pros and cons, the best choice in most cases is the one that you'll wear most consistently!

Can you massage out plantar fasciitis? ›

Yes, it does. Recent research has found that patients suffering with plantar fasciitis appeared to have superior recovery rates if their physiotherapy treatment included soft tissue release (massage) – not only of the plantar fascia, but also of other tight muscles in the legs.

What shoes should you not wear with plantar fasciitis? ›

You should avoid shoes that put a lot of pressure on your feet, such as high heels. You should also avoid wearing cheap flip flops, which usually lack sufficient arch support.

How do you stop plantar fasciitis before it starts? ›

Prevent Plantar Fasciitis from Returning
  1. Get lots of rest. ...
  2. Stretch your feet. ...
  3. Night Splints. ...
  4. Lose excess weight. ...
  5. Wear the right shoes. ...
  6. Invest in custom orthotics. ...
  7. Schedule a visit at the first sign of pain. ...
  8. Don't let foot pain stand in your way.

What inflames plantar fasciitis? ›

Plantar fasciitis is caused when you overuse or put too much stress on your feet. You can usually treat plantar fasciitis at home with over-the-counter medications, icing, rest and stretching.

Can shoes trigger plantar fasciitis? ›

Wearing shoes that are too tight or shoes that raise your heel high above your toes may also aggravate the condition. This type of footwear doesn't allow your foot to take its natural position and may increase pressure on sensitive areas, such as the plantar fascia.

What autoimmune diseases cause plantar fasciitis? ›

The fact that RA is a chronic autoimmune disease that causes joint pains and inflammation, people diagnosed with RA are more prone to plantar fasciitis. These two conditions are connected because RA makes your joints vulnerable to pain, and the slightest tear may just result in a plantar fascia tear.

What makes a shoe good for plantar fasciitis? ›

Nelya Lobkova, DPM, says someone who has plantar fasciitis needs extra rigidity in the sole and cushioning of the midfoot to prevent impact on the heel, where there is pain associated with plantar fasciitis. “A shoe that has a thick midsole or rocker bottom is an ideal shoe for someone with this condition,” she says.

Is heat good for plantar fasciitis? ›

Is heat good for plantar fasciitis, too? Heat therapy helps increase circulation and blood flow, which can reduce cramping and stiffness. Heat can also loosen up the plantar fascia ligament, which can make stretching and massage more effective.

How long does a plantar fasciitis flare up last? ›

It can take 6-12 months for your foot to get back to normal. You can do these things at home to ease the pain and help your foot heal faster: Rest: It's important to keep weight off your foot until the inflammation goes down.

Who is the best person to treat plantar fasciitis? ›

Podiatric specialists deal specifically with the muscles, joints, tissues, and bones of the feet. They're known as “foot doctors” for a reason! In severe cases, or in cases that do not respond to treatment, your general practitioner is likely to recommend you to a podiatry specialist.

Is it better to see a podiatrist or orthopedist for plantar fasciitis? ›

A podiatrist treats all types of orthopedic conditions and injuries that affect the foot and ankle. If you have a foot condition, such as plantar fasciitis, bone spurs, or a sprained ankle, a podiatrist can treat it.

Can a chiropractor help plantar fasciitis? ›

Chiropractic care is a very effective treatment for plantar fasciitis as well as the pain that is caused by the condition. Chiropractic for plantar fasciitis involves a very precise technique that involves adjustments to the feet and ankles as well as spinal alignment. This provides several benefits.

Do cortisone shots cure plantar fasciitis? ›

Cortisone injection: Cortisone shots ease pain and swelling in the affected area for up to 6 months, allowing you to rehabilitate your plantar fascia more effectively. Note that a cortisone injection does not cure plantar fasciitis.

Is Downward Dog Good for plantar fasciitis? ›

Plantar fasciitis stretches in your yoga practice. Yoga poses that allow you to gently flex your feet and heels—like Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward-Facing Dog)—can help ease pain in the feet. Just listen to your body and don't over-stretch.

What vitamin is good for foot pain? ›

Don't forget to add vitamin C. So many foot problems, including tendinitis and plantar fasciitis, develop because of inflammation. Fortunately, vitamin C can help fight that inflammation. So look for foods rich in this helpful vitamin, including oranges, kiwis, strawberries, tomatoes, kale and spinach.

Does high sugar cause plantar fasciitis? ›

Hyperglycemia is another reason that diabetics may develop plantar fasciitis. A recent study shows the connection between hyperglycemia and the thickening of the plantar fascia, which raises your risk of plantar fasciitis.

Where is the trigger point for plantar fasciitis? ›

The trigger point that causes plantar pain is usually found on the inner side of the meatiest part of your calf. Sit resting your foot on the opposite knee and apply pressure with your thumbs around the area until you find a knot or tight spot.

What socks help plantar fasciitis? ›

Compression socks work by putting pressure on the soles of your feet and, in some cases, your calves. This helps improve blood flow and reduce swelling. They may also decrease inflammation and help reduce pain caused by plantar fasciitis.

Should you sleep in support socks? ›

There is no benefit to wearing compression stockings to bed — when the leg is flat in bed, gravity does not affect blood flow,” Kim said. “That being said, it doesn't hurt to wear them to bed if you please. Just keep in mind that wearing them in bed doesn't mean you don't have to wear them during the daytime.

Should I wear plantar fasciitis socks all the time? ›

The goal of compression socks is to increase the circulation and blood flow in the feet and legs. It's a gentle pressure that is going to reduce pain, swelling and soreness. Wear them every day to decrease the inflammation in that band of tissue that runs under your foot.

What time of day is plantar fasciitis worse? ›

Plantar fasciitis commonly causes stabbing pain that usually occurs with your first steps in the morning. As you get up and move, the pain normally decreases, but it might return after long periods of standing or when you stand up after sitting.

Does walking on tiptoes help plantar fasciitis? ›

Spend a couple of minutes every day walking around on your tiptoes to strengthen your calf muscles as well as improve the control and stability you have around your ankles. It may help to use a support such as a walking frame or walking stick.

How long should you rest your feet with plantar fasciitis? ›

Patients who follow instruction and wear their orthotics daily will usually have a Plantar Fasciitis recovery time of around 6 weeks. Occupation is a significant factor in Plantar Fasciitis recovery time.

What magnesium is good for plantar fasciitis? ›

Epsom salt is magnesium - which will relax the foot muscles and give quick relief. Soak for at least 15minutes.

Why does rolling a ball help plantar fasciitis? ›

While it doesn't strengthen the feet, rolling a tennis ball under your foot can stretch the bottom of the foot and loosen up your plantar fascia. This exercise relieves tension in the plantar fascia and makes it less likely to become irritated. It also improves circulation in the area.

What should I wear at night with plantar fasciitis? ›

Night splints help relieve plantar fasciitis pain by combining these two treatments. A night splint looks similar to a boot or sock. You put it on your foot before you go to sleep, and the device lifts your toes and holds your foot in a gentle stretch all night long.

How long should I wear brace for plantar fasciitis? ›

He finds patients benefit most from splints if they have had severe pain in the morning. Lawrence Huppin, DPM, only uses splints for patients who have had plantar fasciitis of several months' duration. He has long-term patients wear the splints for three to four weeks.

Does rubbing help plantar fasciitis? ›

At-home massage and stretching can help relieve pain and help prevent the condition from becoming chronic. Plantar fasciitis pain tends to be most severe first thing in the morning. Self-massage before you get out of bed and put weight on your feet can help relieve pain.

Is heat or cold better for plantar fasciitis? ›

Because plantar fasciitis presents with acute inflammation, icing your foot is easily the best way to manage the pain, especially when compared to heat therapy. To promote faster healing, use ice with rest, NSAIDs, massage, and orthotics. Together, these approaches will relieve your pain and ensure optimal recovery.

Does soaking feet help plantar fasciitis? ›

Epsom salt can relieve pain and inflammation. The salts can help heal muscles and connective tissues. You can add two to three tablespoons of Epsom salt to a tub of warm water and soak your foot for ten to fifteen minutes, twice a day.

Are Skechers good if you have plantar fasciitis? ›

Having plantar fasciitis almost always goes together with having flat feet or even overpronation. But don't fret! There are plenty of shoes that can help with these foot ailments, and the Skechers Arch Fit came out on top of the best models for flat feet after plenty of testing!

Do crocs help with plantar fasciitis? ›

Supportive footwear can be effective in treating plantar fasciitis. Crocs provide arch support and ease the symptoms of plantar fasciitis in this way. Babafemi Adebajo, a qualified physiotherapist, writes about the intersection of tech, health and education. on April 25, 2022.

Do memory foam shoes help plantar fasciitis? ›

The Memory foam insole is known to be highly comfortable for your feet. These types are insoles are designed in a such a way that it helps to relieve your foot pain instantly. So, if you have plantar fasciitis then memory foam insole is helpful.

How do I permanently get rid of plantar fasciitis? ›

Lifestyle and home remedies
  1. Maintain a healthy weight. Extra weight can put extra stress on your plantar fascia.
  2. Choose supportive shoes. Buy shoes with a low to moderate heel, thick soles, good arch support and extra cushioning. ...
  3. Don't wear worn-out athletic shoes. ...
  4. Change your sport. ...
  5. Apply ice. ...
  6. Stretch your arches.
20 Jan 2022

What is the fastest way to cure plantar fasciitis? ›

What's the best treatment for plantar fasciitis?
  1. Physical Therapy. ...
  2. Supportive Shoes. ...
  3. Exercises and Stretches. ...
  4. Calf Stretch. ...
  5. Heel Raises. ...
  6. Rolling Pin. ...
  7. Toe Stretch. ...
  8. Towel Curl.
27 Jun 2019

What helps plantar fasciitis fast? ›

Do
  1. rest and raise your foot on a stool when you can.
  2. put an ice pack (or bag of frozen peas) in a towel on the painful area for up to 20 minutes every 2 to 3 hours.
  3. wear shoes with cushioned heels and good arch support.
  4. use insoles or heel pads in your shoes.
  5. try regular gentle stretching exercises.

What foods irritate plantar fasciitis? ›

Plantar fasciitis can actually get worse when certain foods are consumed in excess, including: Animal protein sources with too much saturated fat, such as red meat. Prepared foods with refined grains, sugar and trans-fats. White flour that you find in pasta, snacks and desserts.

Should walking be avoided with plantar fasciitis? ›

In fact, walking may actually inflame the plantar fascia more, leading to an extension of your treatment. While it's not walking alone that could further inflame the ligament, if you're not wearing the right shoes or are exerting yourself too much, the plantar fasciitis can flare up.

Is it better to wear shoes or go barefoot with plantar fasciitis? ›

For people with healthy feet, plantar fasciitis is one of the biggest risk factors of going barefoot. Likewise, most podiatrists agree that people who already have plantar fasciitis should avoid going barefoot for long periods of time, especially on hard surfaces like concrete or wood floors.

What is commonly misdiagnosed as plantar fasciitis? ›

Acute heel pain caused by calcaneal stress fractures can closely resemble the symptoms usually associated with plantar fasciitis. The history may reveal a recent abrupt increase in daily exercise or other activities.

Is plantar fasciitis a form of arthritis? ›

Plantar Fasciitis is a condition of the foot that is closely associated with rheumatoid arthritis. This may surprise some people who suffer from one or both conditions. Yet nearly a quarter of people in the U.S. suffer from foot pain, and these types of conditions only get worse with age.

What nerve causes plantar fasciitis? ›

Medial calcaneal neuropathy is associated with plantar fasciitis.

What sneakers do podiatrists recommend? ›

Podiatrist shoes recommended
  • Brooks.
  • Asics.
  • New Balance.
  • Rockport.
  • Merrell.
  • Ascent.
  • Mizuno.

Can Vicks help heel pain? ›

Menthol and camphor, two of the active ingredients in VapoRub, may help soothe your muscles by acting as a topic anesthetic, according to the NIH. Applying Vicks to your feet may help soothe sore muscles.

Do compression socks help with plantar fasciitis? ›

Compression socks are considered good for plantar fasciitis as they reduce the mobility of your feet by providing support to arches and ankles. Thus your alignment gets improved, and feet tissues don't get stressed. They also help in preventing injuries due to exercising in bad posture.

What are 3 treatments for plantar fasciitis? ›

Many treatment options exist, including rest, stretching, strengthening, change of shoes, arch supports, orthotics, night splints, anti-inflammatory agents and surgery. Usually, plantar fasciitis can be treated successfully by tailoring treatment to an individual's risk factors and preferences.

What can a podiatrist do for plantar fasciitis? ›

Other methods a podiatrist may use to reduce pain and treat plantar fasciitis include physical therapy, night splints that gently stretch the plantar fascia, orthotics that correct can help distribute weight more evenly, steroids to reduce inflammation and pain, and shock wave therapy that initiates the body's healing ...

Can you permanently get rid of plantar fasciitis? ›

Far from being a permanent or chronic condition, plantar fasciitis typically responds well to treatment. Most people recover completely with a few months of conservative treatment. And, you have lots of options available to you. Many cases of plantar fasciitis respond positively to conservative treatment strategies.

Can the doctor prescribe anything for plantar fasciitis? ›

Medications for Plantar Fasciitis

If you don't respond well to stretching and over-the-counter NSAIDS, your doctor may prescribe celecoxib, diclofenac, meloxicam, or another prescription NSAID.

How painful is a cortisone shot for plantar fasciitis? ›

Steroid injections for plantar fasciitis are usually injected in the spot where the pain is most severe, using a thin needle. The injection itself is mildly painful, and your doctor will usually add a numbing agent to the cortisone shot itself, or numb the area prior to injecting you.

Should I be walking with plantar fasciitis? ›

Walking around after lying or sitting for a time may ease plantar fasciitis symptoms as the ligament stretches out. However, the pain will gradually worsen throughout the day making you very uncomfortable and affecting normal daily activities.

When is surgery needed for plantar fasciitis? ›

Experts suggest that you try at least 6 months of other treatment before you consider surgery. Surgery may be right for you if you keep having bad heel pain after 6 to 12 months of home treatment. You might also think about surgery if heel pain is affecting your ability to work or do moderate exercise.

Will a scan show plantar fasciitis? ›

Several findings suggestive of plantar fasciitis can be detected on conventional radiographs. Despite this, plain radiography should not be used to make a diagnosis of plantar fasciitis without knowledge of clinical history or physical examination findings [19].

How many times can you get a cortisone shot for plantar fasciitis? ›

Cortisone does not replace the need for supportive shoes, foot orthoses, calf stretching, and other physical measures. Cortisone is typically injected at 2 month intervals, until the condition resolves or 3 injection have been administered, whichever comes first.

Can you walk after plantar fasciitis injection? ›

Most doctors recommend that patients resume foot, calf, and Achilles tendon stretching. Hard activities should be avoided for the first few days after the injection. A removable walking boot may be used for a short period of time to decrease pain and inflammation.

How long does the injection for plantar fasciitis last? ›

This review shows that both US- and palpation-guided corticosteroid injections are effective in reducing heel pain in patients with plantar fasciitis, including those with chronic pain and those who have failed conservative physical therapies. The effects are usually short term, lasting 4–12 weeks.

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