If you’ve been struggling with heel pain, you’re no doubt wondering ‘how long does plantar fasciitis last?’
This was the main question I had when my chronic heel pain was diagnosed as plantar fasciitis.
I’ve done a ton of research into the condition, which I’m going to share with you in this post.
Here’s what you need to know about plantar fasciitis and what you can do to speed up your recovery.
- What is Plantar Fasciitis?
- What are the Symptoms of Plantar Fasciitis?
- What Causes Plantar Fasciitis?
- How Common is Plantar Fasciitis?
- What is the Treatment for Plantar Fasciitis?
- Home Treatment for Plantar Fasciitis
- How Long Does Plantar Fasciitis Last?
- Can Plantar Fasciitis Be Prevented?
What is Plantar Fasciitis?
Plantar fasciitis is an inflammation that affects the plantar fascia. This is a thick piece of tissue across the soles of the feet between your heels and toes.
If this area gets inflamed, it can bring on the symptoms of plantar fasciitis.
This video explains a bit more about the plantar fascia:
What are the Symptoms of Plantar Fasciitis?
Pain is the most obvious symptom of plantar fasciitis. It usually involves a stabbing pain around the heel area. This area is also likely to be quite tender too. The Achilles tendon can also be tight.
The pain is usually worse when you first start walking in the morning. Once you start moving around, it tends to be less intense.
A lot of people find that the pain is worse after lots of standing and getting up after being in a sitting position.
Some people also find that the pain is worse after exercising.
Not sure if plantar fasciitis is causing your foot pain? Here’s a YouTube video explaining some of the key signs:
What Causes Plantar Fasciitis?
If the plantar fascia stretches too much, it can get inflamed and be very painful.
The reasons for this aren’t always obvious. It can happen after strain injuries from running, jumping and even walking. This isn't always the case though.
Some factors can also increase your risk factor for plantar fasciitis. I’ll talk a bit more about the main ones later on.
How Common is Plantar Fasciitis?
Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common reasons for heel pain. As many as 1 in 10 people develop the problem at some point in their life.
Risk Factors for Plantar Fasciitis
Some of the factors that can make plantar fasciitis more likely include:
- Doing activities that put stress on the heels such as long distance running
- Getting older as plantar fasciitis is more common amongst people aged 40 to 60
- Being flat-footed or having high arches can affect weight distribution
- Being pregnant due to the extra pressure on the feet, especially in the latter stages
- Being overweight, which adds extra stress to the plantar fascia
- Having a job that involves being on your feet a lot
- Wearing shoes that don’t support your feet
What is the Treatment for Plantar Fasciitis?
Some of the initial treatments can include:
- Resting your feet as much as you can to give the tissue chance to heal
- Physical therapy exercises to stretch your plantar fascia and strengthen lower leg muscles
- Using night splints to stretch your calf muscles and arches
- Applying an ice pack (wrapped in a towel) to the affected area to reduce pain and inflammation
- Custom orthotics for support and better weight distribution
- Painkillers to reduce pain
If these don’t have any effect, other options include:
- Steroid injections to give you short-term relief
- Shockwave therapy to encourage the plantar fasciitis to heal
- Surgery, usually as a last resort
Here’s a YouTube video with some stretches to help with plantar fasciitis:
Home Treatment for Plantar Fasciitis
What can you do at home to treat your plantar fasciitis?
Self-help measures can include:
- Keeping weight off your foot when you can
- Not standing for long periods or doing too much activity
- Applying ice packs to reduce inflammation and pain
- Using foam toe separators can gently stretch the foot muscles and strengthen them
- Adding a spoonful of turmeric to meals or hot drinks for its anti-inflammatory benefits
- Adding apple cider vinegar to your diet for its anti-inflammatory benefits
- Having plenty of omega 3 fatty acids to reduce inflammation
How Long Does Plantar Fasciitis Last?
Plantar fasciitis doesn’t clear up overnight, especially if it’s been a while since the pain came on.
Treatment is most successful if it starts within 6 weeks of the symptoms coming on.
One study found that around 80% of people recover within 10 months of starting treatment.
Can Plantar Fasciitis Be Prevented?
It isn’t always possible to prevent plantar fasciitis but some tips can include:
- Being a healthy weight so your heels don’t have to absorb too much pressure
- Wearing footwear that supports your heels - particularly with a low to medium heel
- Stretching your plantar fascia on a daily basis can help with flexibility
I hope you enjoyed reading this piece and got some tips on how to treat and prevent plantar fasciitis!
Knowing ‘how long does plantar fasciitis last?’ is a tricky one. As you can see though, there are quite a few things that you can do to help to speed up your recovery.
If you have any questions, let me know in the comments section. And if you want to share it, please feel free!