Plantar Fasciitis



The exact cause of plantar fasciitis is not known. It is thought to be from repetitive trauma from walking or running for long periods.

Risk Factors

Plantar fasciitis is most common in people who are 40 to 60 years old. Other things that may raise the risk are:

  • Obesity
  • Certain foot problems, such as a tight Achilles tendon, flat or high arched feet, or an ankle that rolls inward too much
  • Running
  • Wearing poor or no footwear
  • Activity on hard surfaces
  • Spending a lot of time standing
  • Not stretching enough
  • Poor fitness



Problems may be:

  • Mild to severe pain on the sole of the foot near the heel
  • Pain that is worse in the morning or after rest
  • Pain that worsens with weight bearing activity
  • Pain that gets better with rest


The doctor will ask about symptoms and past health. A foot exam will be done. This is usually enough make the diagnosis.



The goal of treatment is to manage symptoms and give the foot time to heal. Options are:

  • Supportive care with rest and ice
  • A night splint to hold the foot in position while sleeping
  • Shoe inserts to support the foot
  • Medicines to ease pain and swelling
  • Physical therapy to improve function

People with severe problems may need:

  • Extracorporeal shock wave therapy
  • Surgery to release the plantar fascia


To lower the risk of this problem:

  • Wear the right shoes for sports and activities
  • Stretch the Achilles tendon and plantar fascia
  • Slowly increase the intensity and duration of exercise
  • Maintain a healthy weight

This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.

Edits to original content made by Denver Health.