Frequently Asked Questions About Plantar Fasciitis

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  • Plantar fasciitis pain often lasts for two to three weeks, with some cases lasting up to six weeks, but this is a general observation
  • Plantar fasciitis patients can wear a night splint, which is a type of brace that attaches to the foot, ankle and lower leg

Q: Where does plantar fasciitis often hurt?

A: The plantar fascia ligament, found across the bottom of the foot, bears the biggest brunt of the pain. This ligament, considered to be the largest in the human body,1 connects the heel bone to your toes.2

One of the many symptoms of plantar fasciitis is intense pain that gradually develops near the heel in either or both feet.3,4

Q: How long does plantar fasciitis pain last and what is the projected recovery time for the disease?

A: Plantar fasciitis pain often lasts two to three weeks, with some cases lasting up to six weeks, but this is a general observation. There is no specific timeframe indicating how long the disease affects a person.5 However, it’s quite obvious that the more you prolong a check-up despite immense pain, the more devastating the condition could be.

Plantar fasciitis takes a while to heal due to poor blood supply in the affected area. Treatment protocols should be geared toward increasing oxygen and nutrient supply in the blood. Ultimately, healing time really depends on the severity of the condition, so it’s important to have yourself checked immediately if symptoms arise.6

Q: Is a massage ideal for plantar fasciitis?

A: Having a massage or performing exercises involving a massaging motion on your foot can be beneficial. Massages release endorphins or hormones that help induce relaxation, relieve pain and lessen levels of stress chemicals like cortisol and noradrenaline.

The Tennis Ball massage is an exercise you should perform, as the rolling motion enables the plantar fascia to loosen up, helping lessen irritation in the foot.7

Q: Is acupuncture effective for plantar fasciitis treatment?

A: Yes. Recent studies have shown that acupuncture can be effective in treating plantar fasciitis and other forms of heel pain.8,9

A 2006 study published in the Medical Acupuncture Journal revealed that 9 in 11 people with plantar fasciitis experienced improvement in pain reduction through acupuncture.10 The capability of the needles to reach the area deep within the foot that might be unreachable for other treatment methods and potentially reduce inflammation and pain plays a big factor in this feat.11

Q: Is a brace ideal to treat plantar fasciitis, and can socks work for plantar fasciitis relief too?

A: Plantar fasciitis patients can wear a night splint, which is a type of brace that attaches to the foot, ankle and lower leg.12 A common scenario among plantar fasciitis patients is morning heel pain caused by sleeping with the feet pointed down. By wearing a night splint, the plantar fascia is stretched during sleeping hours, potentially reducing heel pain.sup style="font-size: 10px;">13

Plantar fasciitis socks and compression sleeves may also be effective. These items aim to increase pressure to the plantar fascia ligament, while stabilizing the foot and stretching the ligament. These socks can be worn during the day or night, under regular socks, or even while you sleep.14

Q: How do you tape your foot for plantar fasciitis recovery?

A: Heel That Pain suggests following this procedure when taping your foot to recover from plantar fasciitis:15

1. “Place anchor strips around the metatarsal region of the forefoot.

2. After wrapping the area several times, use a strip to wrap from the metatarsal region near the big toe, and place it around the heel before attaching at the origin behind the big toe.

3. Wrap another strip around the heel, but this time starting closer to the small toes. Rewrap these areas several times to add support. The area should look like an X along the mid-foot region.

4. Place additional strips laterally among the wrapped area of the foot to close up gaps and to reinforce the taped area.”

Two types of athletic tapes can be used for taping feet: kinesiology or kinesio tape and regular athletic or medical tape.16

Q: Is surgery needed for plantar fasciitis? How long is the recovery time from the surgery?

A: Patients with plantar fasciitis might undergo surgery, provided that:17,18

They consider it after a year of aggressive and nonsurgical treatment

Proof that treatment protocols utilized for at least six months were ineffective

Their ability to do work or moderate exercise has been severely impacted due to heel pain

Two types of surgery that are typically performed for plantar fasciitis patients are the gastrocnemius recession or the plantar fascia release.19 Those who undergo a gastrocnemius recession often make a full functional recovery in around three to four months.20

On the other hand, those who have a plantar fascia release experience shorter recovery time, at around six to 10 weeks, to the point the patient can walk comfortably without assistance. However, it might still take three months before vigorous activities and exercises can be done.21

Moreover, if open surgery is performed, a cast or a brace should be worn for a couple of weeks to decrease weight on both the heel and the foot and allow the tissues to heal. If the patient has undergone endoscopic surgery, walking normally may be possible after three to six weeks.22

Remember to consult a physician first before undergoing surgery for plantar fasciitis. This page highlights the many potential risks that can affect any patient, such as recurring heel pain, slower recovery time for wounds and infection/s.23

MORE ABOUT PLANTAR FASCIITIS

Plantar Fasciitis: Introduction

What Is Plantar Fasciitis?

Plantar Fasciitis Causes

Plantar Fasciitis Symptoms

Plantar Fasciitis Treatment

Is Plantar Fasciitis Surgery

Exercises for Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar Fasciitis Prevention

Plantar Fasciitis FAQ

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