Skip to Content

Plantar Fasciitis


Plantar fasciitis

is swelling of the plantar fascia. The plantar fascia is a band of fibers that connect your heel bone to the front of your foot. It helps support the arch of your foot and absorbs shock. Plantar fasciitis is caused by small tears in the plantar fascia. Over time, the tears cause swelling and irritation.

Signs and symptoms:

  • Pain near your heel, especially first thing in the morning
  • Pain with prolonged standing, sitting, or walking
  • Redness, swelling, or warmth over the injured part of your foot

Contact your healthcare provider or podiatrist if:

  • Your pain and swelling increase.
  • You develop knee, hip, or back pain.
  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.


may include any of the following:

  • Medicines may be given to decrease swelling and pain. Steroids may be injected into your heel to decrease swelling and pain.
  • Shoe inserts, splints, or tape help support your foot and decrease stress on your plantar fascia. A night splint may help stretch your plantar fascia while you sleep.
  • Stretches and exercises can help decrease pain and swelling. They can also help strengthen the muscles that support your heel and foot.
  • Extracorporeal shockwave therapy (ESWT) uses sound waves to decrease swelling of the plantar fascia. ESWT may be done if other treatments do not work.
  • Surgery is rarely needed to separate the plantar fascia from your heel.


  • Wear your splint or shoe inserts as directed. You may need to wear a splint at night to keep your foot stretched while you sleep. This will help prevent sharp pain first thing in the morning. Shoe inserts will help decrease stress on your plantar fascia when you walk or exercise.
  • Rest as directed. Rest as much as possible to decrease swelling and prevent more damage. Ask your healthcare provider when you can return to your normal activities.
  • Apply ice on your plantar fascia. Ice helps prevent tissue damage and decreases swelling and pain. Fill a water bottle with water and freeze it. Wrap a towel around the bottle or cover it with a pillow case. Roll the water bottle under your foot for 10 minutes in the morning and after work.
  • Massage your plantar fascia as directed. This may help decrease swelling and pain. Roll a golf ball under your foot for 10 minutes. Repeat 3 times each day.
  • Go to physical therapy as directed. A physical therapist teaches you exercises to help improve movement and strength, and to decrease pain.

Prevent plantar fasciitis:

  • Maintain a healthy weight. This will help decrease stress on your feet. Ask your healthcare provider how much you should weigh. Ask him to help you create a weight loss plan if you are overweight.
  • Do low-impact exercises. Low-impact exercises decrease stress on your plantar fascia. Examples include swimming or bicycling.
  • Start new activities slowly. Increase the intensity and time gradually.
  • Wear shoes that fit well and support your arch. Replace your shoes before the padding or shock absorption wears out. Do not walk or stand in bare feet or sandals for long periods of time.
  • Stretch before you exercise. Ask your healthcare provider how to stretch your plantar fascia and calf muscles.

Follow up with your healthcare provider or podiatrist as directed:

Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

Ā© Copyright IBM Corporation 2021 Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotesĀ® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or IBM Watson Health

The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

Learn more about Plantar Fasciitis (Ambulatory Care)

IBM Watson Micromedex

Symptoms and treatments

Mayo Clinic Reference

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.