Plantar Fasciitis



Plantar fasciitis is inflammation of the thick band of tissue that connects to the heel bone.

Plantar Fasciitis
Nucleus factsheet image
Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.


The exact cause is not known. It is thought to be from repeat trauma from walking or running for long periods.

Risk Factors

This problem 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 your symptoms and health history. A foot exam will be done. This will usually make the diagnosis.



That 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
  • Stay at an appropriate 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.


American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation 

OrthoInfo—American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons 


Ontario Podiatric Medical Association 



David JA, Sankarapandian V, Christopher PRH, Chatterjee A, Macaden AS. Injected corticosteroids for treating plantar heel pain in adults. Cochrane Database of Syst Rev. 2017;(6):CD009348.

Derry S, Moore RA, Gaskell H, McIntyre M, Wiffen PJ. Topical NSAIDS for acute musculoskeletal pain in adults. Cochrane Database of Syst Rev. 2015;(6):CD007402.

Fraser JJ, Corbett R, Donner C, Hertel J. Does manual therapy improve pain and function in patients with plantar fasciitis? A systematic review. J Manual Manipul Ther.2017;0(0):1-11.

Ibrahim MI, Donatelli RA, Hellman M, Hussein AZ, Furia JP, Schmitz C. Long-term results of radial extracorporeal shock wave treatment for chronic plantar fasciopathy: A prospective, randomized, placebo-controlled trial with two years follow-up. J Orthop Res.2017;35:1532-1538.

Plantar fasciitis. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at:  . Updated July 12, 2017. Accessed February 22, 2018.

Plantar fasciitis and bone spurs. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons website. Available at: Updated June 2010. Accessed February 22, 2018.

Rasenberg N, Riel H, et al. Efficacy of foot orthoses for the treatment of plantar heel pain: a systematic review and meta-analysis British J Sports Med 2018;52:1040-1046.

Schwartz EN, Su J. Plantar fasciitis: a concise review. Perm J. 2014 Winter;18(1):e105-107.