FAQ

Go over this faq if you have any questions about plantar fasciitis or about how to get the proper treatment.

What is plantar fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis is a medical condition that involves the damaging to the plantar fascia, a dense and fibrous strip of tissue that is found on the bottom of the foot. It usually involves pain that is experienced throughout the affected areas of the foot, and can lead to disability if left untreated.

What causes plantar fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis is caused when the plantar fascia becomes damaged. The root causes of this damage typically result from undue stress to the fascia brought upon by high amounts of physical activity, obesity, poorly fitting footwear, gait irregularities, and either highly arched, or flat feet.

What are the common symptoms of plantar fasciitis?

Pain of the foot is the classic symptom of plantar fasciits. This pain is the most common during the morning hours before a patient may get out of bed, and after prolonged periods of inactivity.

What risk factors are present for plantar fasciitis?

Patients who may be on their feet for much of the day, athletes, the obese, patients with gait irregularities, and people with either highly arched or flat feet are at the highest risk for plantar fasciitis. This condition also typically manifests itself at a higher rate in older populations.

How is a diagnosis made for plantar fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis can be diagnosed by a qualified medical professional via an appropriate physical exam. Most doctors will perform an exam on the foot and ask the patient certain questions that are relevant to their symptoms. Tests such as x-rays and MRI exams are not typically used to diagnose plantar fasciitis, although they may be utilized in special cases.

Should I see a doctor for plantar fasciitis?

Yes, you should see a doctor if you are experiencing foot pain and you think it may be plantar fasciitis. Only a qualified medical professional can provide you with a proper diagnosis of plantar fasciitis.

Can heel pain cause plantar fasciitis?

Heel pain isn’t necessarily a root cause of plantar fasciitis, and is rather one of the classic symptoms that manifest as a result of the damaging of the plantar fascia.

What are the common treatments for plantar fasciitis?

Common treatments for plantar fasciitis consist of rest, the application of ice, the use of NSAID pain relievers, orthotics, certain kinds of footwear, and stretching exercises. Lesser used forms of treatment include surgery, extracorporeal shockwave therapy, and the local injection of corticosteroids.

Can I treat my plantar fasciitis by myself?

Yes, provided that you have received a proper diagnosis from a qualified medical professional, although certain forms of treatment can only be administered by medical personnel.

What exercises can be done for plantar fasciitis?

A variety of exercises can be used for patients who may be experiencing mild to moderate cases of plantar fasciitis. See this article on plantar fasciitis exercises and stretches to learn more about these specific exercises.

Should I get new shoes for my plantar fasciitis?

It may benefit you to get new shoes for plantar fasciitis if you don’t already own footwear that may be able to provide the necessary level of support that can prevent further progression of your condition. Getting the best shoes for plantar fasciitis can shield the fascia against further injury by providing support during certain types of movement, and is a recommended form of treatment.

Should I get orthotics for my plantar fasciitis?

Most patients benefit from the utilization of some type of orthotic, although you may not require orthotics if you can get shoes that can fit to the contours of your feet.

Are drugs used for plantar fasciitis?

NSAID pain relievers are often used to treat the pain caused by plantar fasciitis, and to reduce the accompanying inflammation. Local injection of corticosteroids is a lesser-used form of treatment and must be prescribed by a medical doctor.

Is surgery used for plantar fasciitis?

Surgery is sometimes used for patients who may be suffering from plantar fasciitis, although it is very rare. Less than five percent of patients ever need to turn to surgery, and this happens only when all other forms of treatment have been proven to be ineffective.

How can I eliminate the pain that is caused by plantar fasciitis?

Stretching exercises, the use of NSAID pain relievers, and the application of ice can all reduce the pain that is associated with plantar fasciitis. Treating the root causes of this condition should also alleviate the pain over time.

Can I still participate in normal physical activities?

This depends on what your doctor may tell you with regard to the severity of your condition. The bottom line is that you need to make positive steps towards recovery, and if certain activities hinder this progress then you may have to eliminate them from your routine for a certain amount of time. Most patients who suffer from mild to moderate cases of plantar fasciitis are able to resume normal activities once they begin to receive treatment, although very strenuous physical activities are often avoided until a significant recovery has been made.

Can I still go to work?

Most patients are still able to work upon receiving treatment, although jobs that involve heavy physical activity may have to be avoided until a certain amount of progress has been made.

Can I still exercise?

It really depends on the type of exercise, and the extent of your condition. Exercises that involve heavy stress on the lower body may have to be avoided for some time until certain recovery objectives are meant. Speak to your doctor if you are wondering about what exercises are okay, and which should be avoided.

How long should it take for my plantar fasciitis to heal?

Most patients with mild to moderate cases of plantar fasciitis recover after about two to three months of receiving the proper treatment, although this will depend heavily on the extent of your condition, and your ability to benefit from treatment. Severe cases may take much longer to heal completely, and are typically much more difficult to treat effectively.

Will my plantar fasciitis ever return?

Your plantar fasciitis can return, although if you experienced a full recovery and have been avoiding the common risk factors it is unlikely. The key is to not do things that may cause an outbreak, as engaging in the same sort of activity that resulted in your condition previously may have a high likelihood of causing another breakout.