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Plantar Fasciitis
(heel pain)

Plantar Fasciitis
(heel pain)


What is Plantar Fasciitis?

Having discomfort that prevents you from moving about can interrupt normal daily life more than anything else.

It can be worthwhile to get checked out if the bottom of your heel is giving you pain. Your pain can be coming from an irritated planta fascia ligament.

You might have relief from a nonsurgical treatment, but in cases when the inflammation is severe, you might want to consider surgery.

In this post, we examine plantar fasciitis in further detail, including its signs, causes, types of therapy, and time required for recovery.

For expert help and advice find a local chiropodist near you here.

The bottom of the heel becomes painful due to plantar fasciitis. The thick, web-like ligament that links your heel to the front of your foot is called the plantar fascia. It assists you in walking by serving as a shock absorber and supporting your foot’s arch.

One of the most prevalent orthopaedic ailments is plantar fasciitis. Your daily activities put a lot of strain on your plantar fascia ligaments. The ligaments can be harmed or torn by placing too much pressure on your feet. Inflammation of the plantar fascia results in stiffness and pain in the heels.

We still do not fully understand what causes plantar fasciitis discomfort. Inflammation of the plantar fascia may not be the cause of the ailment, according to a 2003 study. Plantar fasciosis might be a better word for fasciitis, which is defined as “inflammation of a fascia”.

Plantar fasciitis Diagram

Symptoms of Plantar Fasciitis

Pain at the bottom of the heel or occasionally the bottom of the midfoot is the main symptom of plantar fasciitis. It typically only affects one foot, although it might happen with both.

Plantar fasciitis pain gradually worsens over time. The discomfort may be acute or mild. Some people experience a burning or aching sensation that radiates outward from the heel to the bottom of the foot.

When you first get out of bed in the morning or after sitting or lying down for a long period of time, the pain is typically worse. Due to heel stiffness, climbing stairs can be extremely challenging.

The pain may worsen as a result of increased irritation or inflammation after prolonged activity. Those who have plantar fasciitis typically experience pain only after stopping.


Your chiropodist will conduct a physical examination to determine the precise site of the pain and any sensitivity in your foot. To make sure the discomfort isn’t the result of another foot issue.

During the examination, they can ask you to flex your foot while they apply pressure to the plantar fascia to determine whether the discomfort increases with flexing and decreases with toe-pointing. If you have any minor swelling or redness, they will also note it.

Your chiropodist will assess the strength of your muscles and the health of your nerves by checking your:

  • Reflexes
  • Muscle tone
  • Sense of touch and sight
  • Coordination
  • Balance

You can use the Pure Medicals find a healthcare professional feature to browse local chiropodists or podiatrists if you need assistance finding a specialist in your region.

X-ray  or MRI

Imaging examinations can also provide crucial details about the tissues and structures inside your foot. To be sure that nothing else, such as a bone fracture, is the source of your heel pain, an X-ray or an MRI scan may be required.

An X-ray can still be helpful for ruling out bone fractures, heel spurs, and other potential causes even though soft tissues are difficult to see on the film.

According to this study, an MRI can show whether the plantar fascia has thickened or whether there is swelling in the tissues.

An ultrasound may be a helpful source to discover if there are any calcifications, thickenings, or other problems.


Heel spurs don’t usually cause plantar fasciitis. Heel spurs do not cause discomfort in patients with plantar fasciitis, contrary to what doctors once thought.

Although a tear or a few minor tears in the fascia tissue can also cause discomfort, overstretching or misuse of this ligament is the main cause of plantar fasciitis. You may be more prone to getting plantar fasciitis depending on the way your feet are built.

Ages 40 to 70 are when active men and women are most susceptible to acquiring plantar fasciitis. It affects women slightly more frequently than it does men. Plantar fasciitis is a common ailment among pregnant women, especially in the latter stages.

Risk Factors

You have a higher chance of getting plantar fasciitis if you:

  • Have obesity or are overweight. This is because your plantar fascia ligaments are under more strain, especially if you’ve gained weight quickly.
  • You run a lot of distance.
  • Have a profession that requires you to move around a lot, like serving in a restaurant or working in a factory.
  • Have structural foot problems, such as flat feet or high arches.
  • Have stiff Achilles tendons, which connect your calf muscles to the back of your heels.
  • Frequently wear footwear with little arch support and soft soles.


If you neglect the condition, chronic heel pain may develop. This may alter the way you walk and harm you by:

  • Legs
  • Knees
  • Hips
  • Back

Injections of steroids and various other treatments can weaken the plantar fascia ligament, increasing the risk of rupture.

Surgery carries risks of bleeding, infection, and anaesthesia-related side effects. Additionally, nerve injury and foot abnormalities might result from a detached plantar fascia. Nerve injury might potentially result from surgery for gastrocnemius recession.

When to a chiropodist or podiatrist

If you experience redness, pain, or swelling, you should contact a chiropodist or podiatrist if you believe you are suffering from Plantar Fasciitis.


Plantar fasciitis is frequently first treated at home with rest, ice, bracing, and anti-inflammatory medications. If none of those work, a corticosteroid injection into the ligament’s injured area may be helpful. This can be done by your local chiropodist.

The ideal location for the injection may be determined by your chiropodist using an ultrasound scan. In order to allow the corticosteroid to penetrate through your skin and into the muscle, they can also apply it to the skin of your heel or the arch of your foot.

Nonsurgical treatments

Physical therapy

A crucial component of treating plantar fasciitis is physical therapy. Your plantar fascia and Achilles tendons can both benefit from stretching. Your lower leg muscles can be strengthened with exercises from a physical therapist, which can assist to stabilise your gait and minimise the strain on your plantar fascia.

Shock wave therapy

Extracorporeal shock wave therapy may be suggested by your doctor if discomfort persists despite trying various treatments. Your heel is subjected to sound waves as part of this therapy in order to encourage ligament mending. This medication’s potential side effects include:

  • Bruising
  • Swelling
  • Pain
  • Numbness

It has not been demonstrated that extracorporeal shock wave therapy regularly relieves symptoms. The next course of action to think about is surgery if your plantar fasciitis is not resolved by home and medical remedies.

Stretching Relief

Plantar fasciitis can be relieved and even prevented with the use of gentle stretches. Stretching your plantar fascia and calves can allow your muscles to relax and lessen heel pain.

Running is one exercise that should be avoided for a while to allow the plantar fascia to heal. You can exercise without making your heel discomfort worse by swimming and engaging in other low-impact sports. Restarting your running should be done gradually.

While exercising, take a break and stretch to prevent the pain from coming back. Stretching should also be done before working out.

It’s simple to perform stretches for plantar fasciitis. Just a chair, a foam roller, or a frozen water bottle will do as far as ordinary props go. For plantar fasciitis treatment and prevention, learn the proper stretches.


The most drastic treatment is surgery. Only in situations where the pain is severe or lasts longer than 6 to 12 months is this done.

Surgery should only be undertaken after exhausting all other treatment options because it may cause persistent pain and nerve damage.

Gastrocnemius recession

Your chiropodist might advise gastrocnemius recession if you still struggle to flex your feet despite regular stretching. By extending the calf muscle, the plantar fascia is relieved of pressure while ankle motion and foot flexibility are improved.

A study of 17 patients performed retrospectively in 2018 revealed that this procedure reduced pain and improved foot function in patients with persistent plantar fasciitis who were overweight or obese. However, despite the fact that some patients with intractable plantar fasciitis appear to benefit from this procedure, additional research is required, according to a review of the literature published in 2021.

Plantar fascia release

A plantar fascia release involves your surgeon making a small cut in your plantar fascia ligament to remove some of the tension and, hopefully, reduce discomfort. This could involve making tiny slits in the ligament or separating the plantar fascia from the heel bone. Open surgery or endoscopic surgery can be used to carry out the procedure.

While tension is lessened, the foot’s arch is weakened, and full functionality could be lost.

Home Remedies

A crucial component of treatment is minimising discomfort and irritation or inflammation in the plantar fascia ligament, but this doesn’t address the underlying ligament injury.

Staying off your feet while using ice for 15 to 20 minutes, three or four times per day, is part of the initial home treatment for swelling.

An ice pack may help to numb the affected area, and compression may keep the swelling under control. The benefits of the RICE method can be explained by stage:

  • Rest: Immobilization prevents further injury and gives the body time to recover.
  • Ice: Cold reduces pain by numbing the affected area.
  • Compression: Pressure keeps swelling under control.
  • Elevation: Keeping the injured body part above the heart reduces swelling and the associated pain and discomfort.

Altering or lowering your exercise regimen is another option. Stretching exercises, wearing new athletic shoes, and using arch supports in your shoes can all help ease the pain.

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicines (NSAIDs), such as naproxen and ibuprofen, may relieve ligament pain.

Plantar fasciitis supports and braces

Another remedy that can benefit your calf and foot arch is wearing night splints. A sort of brace called a night splint keeps your foot flexed while overnight lengthening the plantar fascia and Achilles tendon. This can reduce morning stiffness and soreness.

By spreading pressure, specialised orthotics or arch supports for your shoes may help reduce some of the discomforts. They can also stop the plantar fascia from suffering further harm.

While the plantar fascia is healing, a boot cast could immobilise your foot and lessen tension. For bathing, you can take off the boot-shaped cast, which resembles a ski boot.

Without the assistance of your chiropodist, plantar fasciitis can frequently be healed by carefully adhering to home therapy suggestions.

Essential oils for plantar fasciitis

There is little research to suggest using essential oils to treat plantar fasciitis. Nevertheless, some research implies that using essential oils for specific conditions can lessen discomfort and inflammation. These oils consist of:

Before using your essential oil for massage, dilute it with a carrier oil, such as coconut oil. Additionally, you can breathe in the steam created by the hot water and essential oil.

Using these essential oils may not be very helpful because it’s uncertain whether plantar fasciitis involves irritation or inflammation. However, there’s usually no danger in testing them out if you use them properly.

Nutrition and supplements

Nutritional interventions to treat or prevent plantar fasciitis require further study. Nevertheless, consuming these vitamins may promote tissue healing and repair:

It is preferable to obtain nutrients from a balanced diet as opposed to supplements. Always with your doctor before taking supplements if you do so.

Eating a nutritious diet will assist you in losing weight and easing heel pain if plantar fasciitis was brought on by weight gain. Here are 20 foods that can aid with weight loss.

View additional home remedies here


Most people can manage their plantar fasciitis symptoms without surgery. Instead, physical therapy, at-home remedies, and medical interventions help to improve their condition.

However, it may take up to two years of treatment before your symptoms improve. In some circumstances, you might need to think about having surgery.

No matter what course of treatment you select, pay attention to your symptoms. More painful problems may result from untreated plantar fasciitis.