Symptoms and Signs of Plantar Fasciitis

Medical Author:
Medically Reviewed on 8/6/2021

Doctor's Notes on Plantar Fasciitis

Inflammation of the fibrous tissue (plantar fascia) on the bottom of the foot is referred to as plantar fasciitis. The plantar fascia stretches underneath the sole of the foot from the heel to the toes. Inflammation of the plantar fascia may occur due to injury or disease.

Symptoms of plantar fasciitis may come on gradually or appear acutely following an athletic activity such as running, and may include heel pain and tenderness on the sole of the foot; difficulty in weight-bearing and walking on the affected foot, especially the first few steps after waking from sleep; burning, sharp, heel pain, which can be severe; warmth and swelling of the bottom of the foot; and swelling and tenderness at the insertion of the plantar fascia to the heel, on the bottom of the foot.

What Is the Treatment for Plantar Fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis is treated by a combination of medications to control pain and inflammation and lifestyle changes to promote rest and healing of the affected foot. Possible treatments for plantar fasciitis include:

  • Short-term use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen or naproxen sodium
  • Night splints to be worn while sleeping
  • Icing the affected area
  • Physical therapy
  • Rest or cessation of certain types of activity while healing
  • Supportive footwear or shoe inserts
  • Cortisone injections, in more severe cases

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Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.