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Plantar Fasciitis Treatment Overview

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Care Plan


First steps to consider

  • Plantar fasciitis can usually be treated with home treatments and avoiding high-impact activities.
  • OTC medications can help relieve heel pain.
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When you may need a provider

  • You still have symptoms, like heel pain and sharp pain on the bottom of the foot, after 6–8 weeks of home treatment.
  • The pain is so severe that you can’t walk.
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All treatments for plantar fasciitis
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When you may need a care provider

See a healthcare provider if your pain doesn’t go away after 6–8 weeks of home treatment, or sooner if symptoms are worsening. See a provider right away if your symptoms are so severe that you’re unable to walk.

Your provider may suggest injections, physical therapy, or refer you to a specialist for more advanced testing and treatment.

Getting diagnosed

  • Plantar fasciitis is diagnosed based on a physical exam.
  • Tests aren’t usually needed. But your provider may order imaging tests like X-rays or an MRI to rule out other conditions, like a stress fracture or bone spur.

What to expect from your doctor visit

  • Corticosteroid (“cortisone”) injections may be recommended to provide temporary pain relief.
  • Using supportive devices, like a cane, walking boot, or crutches, can take pressure off your foot.
  • Your doctor may recommend physical therapy. A physical therapist will teach you stretches and exercises to relieve pain and strengthen your lower leg muscles.
  • Other treatments, like platelet-rich plasma injections, dry needling, low-level laser therapy, and botox injections, have been used with some success but are still considered unproven.
  • In rare cases, surgery may be recommended to detach the plantar fascia from the heel bone. This is only done when the pain is severe or other treatment options haven’t worked.

Types of plantar fasciitis providers

  • A primary care provider can diagnose plantar fasciitis and treat mild to moderate symptoms.
  • You may need to see an orthopedic specialist, who has training in the joints and tissues, if your symptoms are severe. If surgery is recommended, you’ll be referred to an orthopedic surgeon.
  • A podiatrist, who specializes in foot care, can also treat plantar fasciitis and fit you for custom-made orthotics.
  • A physical therapist can help treat the injured area and teach you stretches and exercises that help relieve pain.
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