You can usually manage plantar fasciitis with at-home treatments and over the counter (OTC) medicine. Your healthcare provider will suggest options for relieving your symptoms and supporting your feet to reduce the chances you’ll experience plantar fasciitis again in the future.
A healthcare provider usually won’t need any tests to diagnose plantar fasciitis. They might use imaging tests to take pictures of your foot if they think another issue or condition is causing the pain. Some imaging tests you might need include:
The most common treatments for plantar fasciitis include:
- NSAIDs (like aspirin, ibuprofen and naproxen) reduce pain and inflammation. Don’t take NSAIDs for more than 10 days in a row without talking to a healthcare provider.
- Take a rest from strenuous activity. A break from playing sports or participating in the activity that caused plantar fasciitis for at least a week.
- Ice your foot for 10 to 15 minutes, twice a day. Cover a frozen water bottle in a thin towel to protect your skin, then roll it along the bottom of your foot to massage the inflammation.
- Wear sturdy, well-cushioned shoes. Don’t wear sandals, flip-flops or other flat shoes without built-in arch support. Don’t walk with bare feet.
- You can add inserts into your shoes that add extra arch support. Your provider will suggest either pre-made inserts you can buy over the counter or custom-made orthotics that are molded to the exact shape of your foot.
- Wearing a walking boot for a few weeks will hold your foot in place and take pressure off your plantar fascia. Your provider will tell you how long you’ll need to wear the boot.
- Your provider or a physical therapist will show you stretches and massage techniques you can perform on your foot and calf muscles.
- Corticosteroids are anti-inflammatory medicines. Your provider might inject a corticosteroid (like prednisone) into your plantar fascia.
- Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) is usually injected to heal and repair injuries.
- EPAT is a form of shockwave therapy. Your provider will apply concentrated acoustic waves (sound waves) to increase blood flow to your plantar fascia. This encourages it to heal faster.
- During a percutaneous tenotomy, your provider will poke a needle through your skin into your plantar fascia. Your body sends more blood than usual to the area, which will stimulate your plantar fascia’s ability to repair itself.
Plantar fasciitis surgery:
The treatments listed above are usually all you’ll need to relieve your symptoms and treat plantar fasciitis. It’s very rare to need surgery. The two most common types of surgery include:
- A surgeon will lengthen your calf muscles to reduce pressure on your plantar fascia called Gastrocnemius Recession.
- Your surgeon will make tiny incisions (cuts) in your plantar fascia to relieve some of the extra tension called Plantar fascial release.
Your healthcare provider or surgeon will tell you which type of surgery you’ll need to treat plantar fasciitis.