What Are The Symptoms, Causes & Treatments For Plantar Fasciitis

After a long day, it feels great to finally relax and rest your tired feet. But for some people, that relief is short-lived because of the pain associated with plantar fasciitis. This common foot condition can make even the simplest activities an endurance test. Unfortunately, there is no one-size-fits-all treatment for plantar fasciitis. Still, a combination of ice, stretching and arch support can help relieve inflammation and heel pain. In more severe cases, alternative therapies may be necessary. In this article, we will discuss all things related to plantar fasciitis and the common symptoms, causes, and treatments for it. So keep reading to learn more.

What Is Plantar Fasciitis?

One of the most typical conditions causing heel discomfort is plantar fasciitis. The plantar fascia, a strong, fibrous band or ligamnet that runs down the sole, is inflamed in this condition. Both the heel bone (calcaneus) and the base of the toes are connected by the plantar fascia. It contributes to the foot’s arch support and is crucial for healthy walking foot mechanics.

Plantar Fasciitis: How Widespread Is It?

Plantar fasciitis is a very prevalent condition. Every year, more than 2 million people in the United States are treated for it. Plantar fasciitis affects around one out of every ten people at some time. According to research studies, women are two times as likely to develop this condition as men.

What Are The Symptoms, Causes, And Risk Factors Of Plantar Fasciitis?

Symptoms, causes, and risk factors of chronic plantar fasciitis are as follows:

Symptoms Of Plantar Fasciitis

The most general symptoms of plantar fasciitis are:

  • Heel pain: The most common sign that is misunderstood and overlooked. Heel pain usually worsens in the morning, after sitting or standing, or after exercise.
  • Pain in the Foot Arch: This pain is caused by repetitive pulling on the tight plantar fascia causing pain in the middle of the arch.,
  • Swelling: The plantar fascia may become swollen, particularly at the heel or base of the foot. This swelling can make it difficult to walk or wear shoes comfortably.
  • Achilles Tendon Tightness: The Achilles tendon connects the calf muscle to the heel bone and can become tight with plantar fasciitis. This tightness can make it difficult to flex the foot and put pressure on the heel when walking or standing.
  • Heel spurs: These may be caused by extreme plantar fasciitis in reaction to a tight plantar fascia constantly pulling on the heel bone causing the bone to grow into what looks like a spur on an x-ray. This causes inflammation and pain when walking or standing.

Causes Of Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis can be caused inflammation to your plantar fascia, such as:

  • Excessive standing or walking can put additional pressure on the plantar fascia, which causes foot pain.
  • Running and other high-impact activities or sports can put additional stress on the feet and ankles, leading to plantar fasciitis.
  • If you don’t warm up before exercising, you’re more likely to injure yourself. Warming up helps increase blood flow to the muscles and tendons, making them less likely to be injured.
  • Shoes that don’t provide adequate foot support can also contribute to plantar fasciitis. You can develop this condition either if you have flat feet or high arches.
  • Barefoot standing or walking stresses the plantar fascia leaving it unsupported which can lead to inflammation.

Risk Factors Of Plantar Fasciitis

Although plantar fasciitis can develop for no apparent reason, and several variables might enhance your chances of having it. First, they are some risk factors for plantar fasciitis:


The chance of plantar fasciitis rises with age. It is common in ages between 40 and 60 years old. This may be due to the natural wear and tear on the tissues of the foot as we age.


Excess body weight or obesity puts additional pressure on the foot, increasing the risk of developing plantar fasciitis.


Individuals who have diabetes are at a higher risk for developing plantar fasciitis due to their high blood sugar levels. This is because excess sugar can damage the heel and foot tissues.

Jobs That Keep You On Your Feet

Plantar fasciitis is more common in teachers, factory workers, and others who spend most of their working hours walking or standing on hard surfaces.

What Is The Treatment For Plantar Fasciitis?

Home therapies, including rest, ice, bracing, and anti-inflammatory medicines, are frequently used to treat plantar fasciitis. In addition, a corticosteroid injection into the ligament injury area may assist if those are unsuccessful.

Plantar Fasciitis Non-Surgical Therapy

Most of the time non-surgical treatments for plantar fasciitis, such as physical therapy, stretching and foot massage, night splints, custom orthotics, and calf stretches are successful in alleviating symptoms. However, if these are unsuccessful, some type of intervention may be required.

Non-surgical therapy is as follows:

Arch supports

Arch support is key to reducing pain and inflammation caused by plantar fasciitis. The reason it is so important and effective is that it helps stop the ligament from tearing off the bone- the cause of the pain. The ligament is not made of a stretchy material and therefore when it is tight or unsupported, it will tear. These are small tears in the fibers of the ligament and by supporting the arch and stopping the pull on the ligament, pain and inflammation are usually eliminated. These arch supports can be over the counter supports for less severe symptoms and custom, more supportive devices for mpre severe symptoms. Arch supports help eradicate symptoms the majority of the time.

Rehabilitation Therapy

Rehabilitation means that a physical therapist or another health professional will work with you to help strengthen and stretch the muscles in your foot. This can help improve flexibility and reduce plantar heel pain. This therapy is an essential component of plantar fasciitis treatment. It can aid in the stretching of your plantar fascia and Achilles tendons. In addition, your lower leg muscles can be strengthened with exercises from a physical therapist, which can assist in stabilizing your gait and minimize the strain on your plantar fascia.

Exercising Your Limbs

Prevent plantar fasciitis with gentle stretches. Stretching your calves muscles and the plantar fascia aids muscular relaxation and alleviates heel discomfort. One way to stretch your calf muscles and the plantar fascia is to do the following:

  • Stand with both feet touching, toes straight ahead about 3 feet from the wall. And your hands against the wall..
  • Move your left foot toes touching the wall with your left knee bent and almost touching the wall. Bring your ear to the wall (either ear) and keep your right foot back without moving it and with both heels on the ground. Feel the stretch of your right calf. Ake sure this is not uncomfoartable, only an easy pull on calf.
  • Hold for 30 seconds, then stand away from the wall for 4 seconds and repeat same side.
  • Once done, change sides and stretch the other leg for 30 seconds, twice.

Plantar Fasciitis Interventional Therapies

The most radical treatment is surgery. Before this is recommended, alternative therapies can be tried.


This technique is done under local anesthesia. A special type of needle is placed in to the heal in the area of the attachment of the ligament to the heel bone. The nerves to the area causing the pain are burned with radio waves. This allows the pain to be eliminated for 6-12 months. This is done in conjunction with arch support therapy. Together it can be quite effective.

Gastrocnemius Recession

Your doctor could advise gastrocnemius recession if you still struggle to flex your feet despite regular stretching. Gastrocnemius recession surgery treats plantar fasciitis to heal the pain in the foot’s arch. The surgery involves cutting and repositioning the calf muscle to the heel bone. This helps to release the tension of tissue that runs to the bottom of the foot.

Gastrocnemius recession surgery is typically performed as an outpatient procedure.

The surgery is generally considered safe and effective, but it does carry some risks, such as infection and nerve damage. Care after gastrocnemius recession surgery typically involves rest (at least six weeks), icing the area to reduce inflammation and swelling, physical therapy or stretching exercises, and over-the-counter pain medications as needed.

Plantar Fascia Release

The Plantar Fascia helps to support the arch of your foot and serves as a shock absorber when you walk or run. When the Plantar Fascia is strained, it can become inflamed and cause pain.

During a plantar fascia release, your surgeon will remove a portion of your plantar fascia ligament to reduce stress and, ideally, irritation. This might involve making tiny slits in the ligament or removing the plantar fascia from the heel bone. Endoscopic or open surgery might be used to complete the procedure.

Recovery from surgery takes approximately six weeks. During this time, it’s important to rest and avoid putting weight on your foot. After six weeks, you can return to your normal activities.

Give Your Feet The Assistance They Require

Plantar fasciitis is a a soft tissue inflammation that can be extremely painful. In order to get the proper treatment, it is important to understand the symptoms, causes, and risk factors associated with plantar fasciitis. The good news is that several effective treatments are available for plantar fasciitis at the click of a button.

So if you are experiencing plantar fasciitis symptoms, please contact Northern Ankle Foot Associates to schedule an appointment.