Plantar fasciitis

Plantar Fasciitis is a common condition that, in most cases, can be treated at home. Find out what the most effective treatments are, and what types of shoes and insoles can help to reduce symptoms.

What is Plantar Fasciitis?

The plantar fascia is a thick band of tissue that goes from the bottom of your heel bone up to the underneath surface of your toes. Plantar Fasciitis is an inflammation of the plantar fascia caused through micro tears by excessive impact or strain of the tissue. 

Plantar Fasciitis is a common foot complaint. Pain is often felt in the centre of your heel, however, it can occur around the sides of your heel and into the arch area.  

Pain can occur when you first get out of bed in the morning or when you are walking. This is due to the stretching of the foot. When you put your heel down to walk the toes point upwards stretching the plantar fascia. When you sleep, your foot relaxes and your plantar fascia is not stretched. The plantar fascia stretches when you get out of bed in the morning, causing pain in your heel and making you limp. The pain often goes away on exercise and returns after rest.

Causes of Plantar Fasciitis

The main causes of Plantar Fasciitis are:

  • Excessive walking or running
  • Lack of shock absorption in inappropriate shoes
  • Excessive pronation
  • Obesity
  • Knocked knees – where your knees turn inwards.
  • Wearing high heels
  • Repetitive strain injury
  • Pregnancy

Sometimes the pain can be confused as Plantar Fasciitis, but could be a fracture of the heel bone, stress fractures, heel spurs or tendonitis.

Treatment for New Heel Pain Whilst Waiting to See a Healthcare Professional - Podiatrist

To treat new pain, take some paracetamol and think RICE.

R - Rest and raise your heel when you can.

I - Ice pack your heel for up to 20 minutes every 2 to 3 hours.

C - Caress or massage the underneath of your heel and roll the Pedi roller to your toes.

E - Elevate your heel when you can, and avoid pointing your toes. 

Other options include losing weight, gentle stretching exercises and avoiding standing for long periods.

See a podiatrist for an accurate diagnosis and a treatment plan designed for you.

Plantar Fasciitis Insoles Shoes

Another way to treat Plantar Fasciitis is to avoid high heels and wear cushioned footwear, such as trainers. Our brands such as Vionic and Strive have arch supported footwear to support and cushion your feet.

Plantar Fasciitis Insoles

Foot arch orthotics can also be worn to help ease pain, as these realign your feet and evenly disperse pressure along the foot. Soft insoles or gel pads can offer cushioning and shock absorption to the heels.

If you are experiencing Plantar Fasciitis and unsure of the cause, seek professional help for treatment.

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Michelle Gibson
MSc, BSc, PGCE, MRCoP, Podiatrist
Michelle has over 30 years of experience in the NHS, private practice, and the commercial sector and is driven by her profound passion for podiatry and the wellbeing of our customers.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does walking help plantar fasciitis?

Walking and gentle stretching of the ligament after lying or sitting for a while may ease plantar fasciitis symptoms. However, the pain may return after a period of rest or prolonged standing.

Is heat or cold better for plantar fasciitis?

Cold treatments are the best way to ease pain from plantar fasciitis as they help to reduce the inflammation of the ligament.  Apply an ice pack to your heel for up to 20 minutes every 2 to 3 hours to reduce pain.

Footwear brands good for plantar faciitis