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Plantar Fasciitis

How can I treat and prevent plantar fasciitis?

Top view of a pair of bare feet with pink toenails next to yellow flowers

To limit your pain caused by plantar fasciitis:

  • Wear supportive shoes:

    Choose shoes that absorb shock, with good arch support and low heel. Worn-out athletic shoes will no longer provide the cushioning and support you need, so make sure to get new shoes as needed.

  • Avoid going barefoot:

    This can put additional stress on your plantar fascia.

  • Reduce the impact on your feet:

    By maintaining a healthy weight and practicing low-impact sports (such as swimming or bicycling), you can limit the stress on your plantar fascia. Heel pads in shoes can also help to lessen the impact and absorb shock.

  • Use ice:

    Ice your heels for 15-20 minutes, 3-4 times a day, or after activity. This can help to reduce pain and inflammation.

  • Do arch stretches:

    Calf stretches and stretches using a towel. Place the towel under the ball of your feet and pull gently the towel toward you and hold a few seconds. Do this several times a day, especially when first getting up in the morning. Stretching the Achilles tendon at the back of the heel is especially important before sports, but it is helpful for non-athletes as well.

  • Stretch exercises for plantar fasciitis:

    • Wall lunge:

      First step into a lunge stance, with one leg bent, toes facing forward and the other leg extended straight behind, with foot planted firmly on ground. Feet should be hip-distance apart. Place your hands on the wall in front of you, leaning into the stretch. The arch of your foot and your heel cord should stretch as you lean. Hold for 10 seconds and then relax and release out of the stretch. Repeat 20 times for each sore heel.

  • Use over-the-counter pain relievers as needed.

  • Your doctor may also recommend physical therapy, padding, taping and strapping, night splints, a removable walking cast and/or orthotics, depending on your case.