How To Self Treat Plantar Fasciitis

How to Self-Treat Plantar Fasciitis


Plantar fasciitis is a common foot condition that causes heel pain and discomfort. It occurs when the plantar fascia, a thick band of tissue that runs along the bottom of the foot, becomes inflamed or irritated. The pain is usually felt in the heel and is often worse in the morning or after periods of rest.
While it is always recommended to seek medical advice for any health condition, there are a few self-treatment options that can help alleviate the symptoms of plantar fasciitis. These treatments can be done at home and may provide temporary relief.

1. Rest and Stretching

Giving your feet proper rest and engaging in stretching exercises can help relieve the pain and tension caused by plantar fasciitis. Some effective stretches include:
– Calf Stretch: Stand facing a wall, place your hands on the wall for support, and extend one leg behind you. Keep your heel on the ground and lean forward, feeling the stretch in your calf and the bottom of your foot. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat with the other leg.
– Towel Stretch: Sit on the floor with your legs straight in front of you. Place a towel around the ball of your foot and gently pull it towards you, keeping your knee straight. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat with the other foot.

2. Foot Massage

Massaging the foot can help reduce pain and inflammation associated with plantar fasciitis. Use your hands or a tennis ball to gently massage the bottom of your foot, focusing on the area where the pain is most intense. Apply moderate pressure and roll the ball or your hands back and forth for a few minutes.

3. Ice Therapy

Applying ice to the affected area can help reduce inflammation and alleviate pain. Fill a plastic bag with ice cubes or use a frozen gel pack wrapped in a towel. Apply the ice to the bottom of your foot for about 15 minutes at a time. Repeat every few hours, especially after engaging in activities that exacerbate the pain.

4. Arch Support

Wearing shoes with proper arch support can help relieve plantar fasciitis pain. Look for shoes with cushioned soles and good arch support. You can also consider using shoe inserts or orthotic devices specifically designed to support the arch and reduce pressure on the plantar fascia.

5. Night Splints

Night splints are devices that hold your foot in a stretched position while you sleep. They help keep the plantar fascia and Achilles tendon extended, preventing them from becoming tight and causing pain in the morning. While wearing night splints may take some getting used to, they can be very effective in relieving plantar fasciitis symptoms.

6. Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs)

Over-the-counter NSAIDs, such as ibuprofen or naproxen, can help reduce pain and inflammation associated with plantar fasciitis. Follow the instructions on the packaging and consult with a pharmacist or healthcare professional if you have any concerns or underlying medical conditions.

7. Weight Management

Excess weight can put added pressure on the plantar fascia, exacerbating the pain and discomfort of plantar fasciitis. Maintaining a healthy weight through proper nutrition and regular exercise can help reduce the strain on your feet and alleviate symptoms.

8. Proper Footwear

Wearing shoes that provide proper support and cushioning is crucial for managing plantar fasciitis. Avoid wearing high heels or flats with minimal arch support, as they can worsen the condition. Opt for comfortable sneakers or athletic shoes that provide stability and shock absorption.

9. Physical Therapy

In some cases, self-treatment options may not be sufficient to alleviate the symptoms of plantar fasciitis. If you are experiencing persistent pain, your healthcare provider may recommend physical therapy. A physical therapist can guide you through targeted exercises and other interventions to help improve your foot’s flexibility and strength.

10. Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy (ESWT)

In more severe cases of plantar fasciitis that do not respond to conservative treatments, extracorporeal shockwave therapy (ESWT) may be considered. This therapy involves delivering shockwaves to the affected area, promoting tissue healing and reducing pain. ESWT should only be performed by a qualified healthcare professional.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q1. Can plantar fasciitis heal on its own?

A1. In many cases, plantar fasciitis can improve with self-treatment options and time. However, it is important to seek medical advice if the pain persists or worsens.

Q2. Should I continue activities that cause pain?

A2. It is generally recommended to avoid or modify activities that cause pain or discomfort. Listen to your body and give it time to heal.

Q3. How long does it take for plantar fasciitis to heal?

A3. The healing time for plantar fasciitis can vary depending on the individual and the severity of the condition. It can range from a few weeks to several months.

Q4. Can plantar fasciitis come back after treatment?

A4. Plantar fasciitis can recur, especially if the underlying causes are not addressed. It is important to continue preventive measures even after the pain has subsided.

Q5. Are there any exercises to avoid with plantar fasciitis?

A5. High-impact exercises such as running or jumping should be avoided until the pain has subsided. Instead, opt for low-impact exercises like swimming or cycling.

Q6. Can wearing high heels cause plantar fasciitis?

A6. Wearing high heels regularly can contribute to the development of plantar fasciitis. The lack of arch support and the increased pressure on the feet can strain the plantar fascia.

Q7. Can plantar fasciitis affect both feet?

A7. Yes, plantar fasciitis can affect both feet. However, it is also common for the pain to be more intense in one foot than the other.

Q8. Can I use heat therapy for plantar fasciitis?

A8. Heat therapy is generally not recommended for plantar fasciitis as it can increase inflammation. Stick to ice therapy for pain relief.

Q9. Can plantar fasciitis be prevented?

A9. While plantar fasciitis cannot be entirely prevented, there are steps you can take to reduce the risk. This includes wearing supportive footwear, maintaining a healthy weight, and stretching regularly.

Q10. When should I see a doctor for plantar fasciitis?

A10. It is recommended to see a doctor if the pain persists despite self-treatment, if there is severe swelling or redness, or if you have difficulty walking.


While self-treatment options can provide temporary relief for plantar fasciitis, it is essential to consult with a healthcare professional for proper diagnosis and guidance. Plantar fasciitis is a manageable condition, and with a combination of self-care and medical intervention, most individuals can find relief from the pain and discomfort. Remember to listen to your body, rest when needed, and take proactive steps to support your foot’s health.

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