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Treating Plantar Fasciitis

First, your doctor relieves pain. Then, the cause of your problem may be found and corrected. If your pain is due to poor foot mechanics, custom-made shoe inserts (orthoses) may help.

Senior male doctor examining a patient's foot.

Reduce Symptoms:

  • To relieve mild symptoms, try aspirin, ibuprofen, or other medications as directed. Rubbing ice on the affected area may also help.

  • To reduce severe pain and swelling, your doctor may prescribe pills or injections or a walking cast in some instances. Physical therapy, such as ultrasound or a daily stretching program, may also be recommended. Surgery is rarely required.

  • To reduce symptoms caused by poor foot mechanics, your foot may be taped. This supports the arch and temporarily controls movement. Night splints may also help by stretching the fascia.

Control Movement

If taping helps, your doctor may prescribe orthoses. Built from plaster casts of your feet, these inserts control the way your foot moves. As a result, your symptoms should go away.

Reduce Overuse

Every time your foot strikes the ground, the plantar fascia is stretched. You can reduce the strain on the plantar fascia and the possibility of overuse by following these suggestions:

  • Lose any excess weight.

  • Avoid running on hard or uneven ground.

  • Use orthoses at all times in your shoes and house slippers.

If Surgery Is Needed

Your doctor may consider surgery if other types of treatment don't control your pain. During surgery, the plantar fascia is partially cut to release tension. As you heal, fibrous tissue fills the space between the heel bone and the plantar fascia.


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