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Treating Plantar Fasciitis

First, your healthcare provider tries to determine the cause of your problem in order to suggest ways to relieve pain. If your pain is due to poor foot mechanics, custom-made shoe inserts (orthoses) may help.

Doctor examining patient's foot.

Reduce symptoms

  • To relieve mild symptoms, try aspirin, ibuprofen, or other medicines as directed. Rubbing ice on the affected area may also help.

  • To reduce severe pain and swelling, your healthcare provider may prescribe pills or injections or a walking cast in some instances. Physical therapy, such as ultrasound or a daily stretching program, may also be recommended. Surgery is rarely required.

  • To reduce symptoms caused by poor foot mechanics, your foot may be taped. This supports the arch and temporarily controls movement. Night splints may also help by stretching the fascia.

Control movement

If taping helps, your healthcare provider may prescribe orthoses. Built from plaster casts of your feet, these inserts control the way your foot moves. As a result, your symptoms should go away.

Reduce overuse

Every time your foot strikes the ground, the plantar fascia is stretched. You can reduce the strain on the plantar fascia and the possibility of overuse by following these suggestions:

  • Lose any excess weight.

  • Avoid running on hard or uneven ground.

  • Use orthoses at all times in your shoes and house slippers.

If surgery is needed

Your healthcare provider may consider surgery if other types of treatment don't control your pain. During surgery, the plantar fascia is partially cut to release tension. As you heal, fibrous tissue fills the space between the heel bone and the plantar fascia.

© 2000-2017 The StayWell Company, LLC. 800 Township Line Road, Yardley, PA 19067. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.