Have you ever wondered why your heels ache, especially in the morning? Plantar fasciitis could be to blame. About one in 10 individuals will experience plantar fasciitis at some point. Dealing with this condition can affect your daily routine and prevent you from doing the activities you love. The persistent pain may have you wondering about the available treatment options to relieve it. Each year, more than 2 million Americans seek treatment for plantar fasciitis due to unbearable pain. So, how can this condition be treated? Will you be able to ever find relief from it?

At Coastal Orthopedics, we understand the impact plantar fasciitis can have on your daily life. Fortunately, there are various ways this condition can be managed and treated. We are committed to helping our patients gain their lives back by answering their questions and concerns. Especially when conditions like this can have a debilitating impact on their lives. Read on to learn how you can manage and treat plantar fasciitis.

What is Plantar Fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis is a condition that causes inflammation of the plantar fascia. The plantar fascia is a tough and fibrous structure, similar to a ligament, that spans from the heel to the ball of the foot and toes. This structure is elastic, like a thick rubber band, and plays an important role in connecting the bones of the foot and forming the arch on the underside.

This condition arises when the plantar fascia is subjected to excessive use or stretched beyond its normal limits. Any factors leading to damage to the plantar fascia can result in swelling, discomfort during walking, or general use of the foot. While plantar fasciitis typically manifests in one foot, it can potentially impact both feet simultaneously.

What are the symptoms Plantar Fasciitis?

The primary symptoms of plantar fasciitis typically include the following:

  • Heel pain
  • Discomfort in the arch of your foot
  • Stiffness
  • Swelling around the heel
  • Tension in the Achilles tendon

What are the causes?

Various factors contributing to irritation or damage to the plantar fascia can lead to the development of plantar fasciitis, such as:

  • Prolonged periods of standing, particularly for work-related reasons.
  • Engaging in sports activities.
  • Exercising or working on unforgiving surfaces, such as warehouse floors or concrete sidewalks.
  • Insufficient stretching or warming up before physical activity.
  • Wearing footwear lacking proper support, such as flip flops or flat, flexible sneakers.
  • Walking or standing barefoot within the home environment.

In addition to lifestyle factors, certain health conditions may predispose individuals to plantar fasciitis, including:

  • High arch feet
  • Flat feet
  • Obesity is a rapid weight gain of more than 15 pounds within a few months.

How is Plantar Fasciitis Managed and Treated?

Plantar fasciitis, a common cause of heel pain, can often be managed with at-home remedies and over-the-counter medications. Coastal Orthopedics recommends a comprehensive approach tailored to alleviate symptoms and minimize future occurrences.

To begin your journey towards relief, it is important to first understand the available treatment options.

Over-the-counter medication

Over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen, can effectively reduce pain and inflammation. However, it’s important not to exceed 10 consecutive days of NSAID use without consulting your healthcare provider.


Give your feet a break from activities that trigger plantar fasciitis, particularly sports. A week of reduced activity can significantly contribute to the healing process.

Icing your foot

Apply ice to the affected area for 10 to 15 minutes, twice daily. Use a frozen water bottle wrapped in a thin towel to massage the inflamed region, providing soothing relief.

Wearing supportive shoes

Opt for sturdy, well-cushioned shoes with built-in arch support. Avoid flat shoes like sandals or flip-flops, and refrain from walking barefoot to promote proper foot alignment.

Orthotics or shoe inserts

Enhance arch support with inserts, either pre-made and available over-the-counter or custom-made orthotics molded to your foot’s precise shape. Your healthcare provider can guide you to the best option for your needs.


Consider wearing a walking boot or pneumatic cam walker for a few weeks. This aids in stabilizing your foot, reducing pressure on the plantar fascia, and facilitating the healing process.

Massaging and stretching

Learn effective stretches and massage techniques from your healthcare provider or a physical therapist to relieve tension in the foot and calf muscles.

Here are 3 effective stretches that may help alleviate symptoms:

  1. Towel Stretch:
  • Sit on the floor with your legs stretched out in front of you.
  • Loop a towel around the ball of your foot, holding the ends with both hands.
  • Gently pull the towel toward you, keeping your knee straight.
  • Hold for 15-30 seconds and repeat with the other foot.
  1. Calf Stretch:
  • Stand facing a wall with your hands on the wall at eye level.
  • Place one foot behind you, keeping the heel on the ground.
  • Bend the front knee while keeping the back leg straight, feeling the stretch in the calf of the back leg.
  • Hold for 15-30 seconds and switch to the other leg.
  1. Plantar Fascia Stretch:
  • Sit down and cross one leg over the other.
  • Using your hand, pull your toes back towards your shin until you feel a stretch along the bottom of your foot and heel.
  • Hold for 15-30 seconds and repeat with the other foot.


In some cases, corticosteroid injections may be recommended to address inflammation. Your healthcare provider can discuss the suitability of this option based on your specific situation.

Extracorporeal pulse activation technology (EPAT)

EPAT, a form of shockwave therapy, involves the application of concentrated acoustic waves to stimulate increased blood flow to the plantar fascia, fostering faster healing.

Percutaneous needle tenotomy

In this procedure, a needle is used to stimulate increased blood flow to the plantar fascia, promoting its ability to repair itself.


Surgery is rarely necessary, with the treatments mentioned above typically sufficient to alleviate symptoms. If surgery becomes a consideration, options may include:

  • Gastrocnemius recession: lengthening the calf muscles to alleviate pressure on the plantar fascia.
  • Plantar fascial release: making tiny incisions in the plantar fascia to relieve excess tension.

Your healthcare provider or surgeon will guide you to the most appropriate treatment plan tailored to your unique needs and circumstances.

Ready to Take the Next Step?

At Coastal Orthopedics, we understand the impact of plantar fasciitis on your daily life, and we are here to provide effective solutions. We are committed to helping you manage and treat this condition. If you’re ready to find relief and regain control of your mobility, schedule an appointment with one of our foot and ankle specialists today and bounce back from fasciitis pain.