Clinical Hub,Patient Education,Health and Nutrition Facts For You,Miscellaneous

Plantar Fasciitis (6995)

Plantar Fasciitis (6995) - Clinical Hub, Patient Education, Health and Nutrition Facts For You, Miscellaneous


Plantar Fasciitis

What is plantar fasciitis?

The plantar fascia is a fibrous band of tissue
that connects the heel bone to the toes. It
also supports the arch of the foot.

Plantar fasciitis is an inflammation of the
tissue. It is the result of stress on the
plantar. The sharp pain is felt mainly in the
heel. At times, the pain is worse in the
morning, but it may vary. Sometimes, there
is cramping or the pain travels up the side of
the leg. Most often, it occurs on one side of
the leg rather than both.

Why does this occur?

These factors can cause stretching and small
tears in the tissue.
 Low-arched feet
 Shoes without proper support
 Running or jumping on a hard
 Weight gain
 Aging

What are the symptoms?

One symptom is pain in the heel, which is
often only on one side of the leg. The pain
is described as sharp or burning. Climbing
stairs, standing for a long period of time, and
exercise may bring out the pain.

How can this be treated?

There are several things that you can do to
decrease symptoms.
 Decrease running, aerobics, and
 Increase swimming and bicycling.
 Stretch in the morning and before
 Lose weight.
 Reduce the heels on your shoes to 1
or 2 inches.
 Have good arch support in your
 Use over-the-counter medicines such
as acetaminophen or ibuprofen.
 Ice the heel for 10 minutes twice a

What can exercise do?

 Foot and ankle circles: Circle the
foot at the ankle, moving the foot up
and down by flexing and extending
the ankle.

 Toe curls: Stand on a thick book
with your toes hanging off the edge.
Curl your toes around the book. The
toes should be curled and
straightened. Do this for one to two
minutes, twice daily.

 Toe towel curls: Roll up a towel and
stand on it. Curl toes around towel.
The toes should be curled and
straightened. Do this for one to two
minutes, twice daily.

 Calf stretch: Stand, leaning against
the wall with both hands. Put one foot
ahead of the other. Keeps the back foot
pointing straight ahead, with the heel
down and your knees straight. Shift
your weight forward by bending the
front knee then hold. Feel the stretch
behind the knee and down the back of
the lower rear leg. Repeat, but this time
bend the back knee as well, with your
heel still on the floor. Hold. You’ll feel
the stretch lower down the back of the
rear leg. Switch and repeat with the
other leg.

What can the doctor do to help?

Often, over-the-counter heel-supports or
cushions are helpful. Anti-inflammatory
medicines may be tried. Custom-made
orthotics, physical therapy, and night splints
can be used for pain that doesn’t go away.
Corticosteroid injections into the heel can
also be tried. Surgery is rarely needed.

What is the prognosis?

You need to be aware that recovery may be
slow. Symptoms take up to 6 to 12 months
to go away. It is very important to follow
the lifestyle changes listed earlier. For the
best results, follow the plan your doctor
gave you. These changes will also help to
lessen how often and how severe any future
problems might be.

Your health care team may have given you this information as part of your care. If so, please use it and call if you
have any questions. If this information was not given to you as part of your care, please check with your doctor. This
is not medical advice. This is not to be used for diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. Because each
person’s health needs are different, you should talk with your doctor or others on your health care team when using
this information. If you have an emergency, please call 911. Copyright © 7/2016 University of Wisconsin Hospitals
and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the Department of Nursing HF#6995.