When you put your foot down first thing in the morning and you feel that agonizing pain in your heel, you realize your Plantar Fasciitis has come back. The last thing you want to do is be in pain all day, so what is the first thing you should do? There are some effective pain relief treatments that will calm the inflammation and reduce the pain. To understand how these remedies work, you will first need to understand what Plantar Fasciitis is and who is at risk for it. From there, you can read about the best and most effective pain relief treatments for Plantar Fasciitis.

What is Plantar Fasciitis?

The plantar fascia is a band of ligaments and tissues that are located on the bottom of your feet. When the plantar fascia become inflamed your feel will experience extreme pain, especially in the heel area. The plantar fascia connects your heel to the balls of your feet, with the smallest connection point at the heel. This is why you experience the most pain in the heel. The most common symptom of Plantar Fasciitis is heel pain when you take your first step in the morning.

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The plantar fascia is a band of ligaments and tissues that are located on the bottom of your feet. When the plantar fascia become inflamed your feel will experience extreme pain, especially in the heel area. The plantar fascia connects your heel to the balls of your feet, with the smallest connection point at the heel. This is why you experience the most pain in the heel. The most common symptom of Plantar Fasciitis is heel pain when you take your first step in the morning.

The plantar fascia is part of the windlass mechanism in your foot, which is designed to absorb shock when you walk or run. The windlass mechanism works when the heel comes off the ground and your big toe stays on the ground. The arch rises and the foot supinates. All this works together with your leg to create stabilization and cushioning for your feet. If this mechanism is not working properly or too much force is placed on it, then the plantar fascia will be strained and micro tears can occur.

What Puts You at Risk?

Now that you understand what Plantar Fasciitis is, you may be wondering what puts you at risk for this condition. If you are between the ages of 40 and 60, you are more at risk for Plantar Fasciitis. This is because the plantar fascia does not stretch like it does when you are younger. Less stretching puts you more at risk for micro tears. Another risk factor is being overweight or obese. The more weight that is placed on your plantar fascia, the more it is strained during every day activities. Gaining weight in a short period of time can also cause strain, such as during pregnancy. Some women experience Plantar Fasciitis during their third trimester, but it is possible any time.

If you spend all day on your feet, especially on hard surfaces, you are more at risk for Plantar Fasciitis. Your risk is increased if you are not wearing the proper shoes that provide you with stability and cushioning. Furthermore, if you have high arches or flat feet you are also at risk for developing Plantar Fasciitis.

Running on a regular basis, or even activities in a short period of time puts you at risk for Plantar Fasciitis. Long distance runners are even more at risk. In fact, 10 percent of all runners experience Plantar Fasciitis. The right running shoes, running on soft surfaces, and taking care of your feet can lower your risk of developing Plantar Fasciitis.

Effective Ways to Treat Plantar Fasciitis Pain

Here are some of the most effective, PROVEN methods that work.

Wearing the Right  Shoes

Technically, plantar fasciitis shoes are any shoes that provide motion control and arch support — key things needed to prevent your plantar fascia from stretching and tearing even more. The goal with proper footwear and treating plantar fasciitis is to prevent additional tearing of the ligaments to give it time to HEAL on its own.

Read our list of plantar fasciitis shoe recommendations


Powerstep Pinnacle Full Length Orthotics (E - Men's 8-8.5/Women's 10-10.5 Shoe)

Orthotics are helpful in keeping your feet comfortable during your daily activities, as well as calming the pain of Plantar Fasciitis. There are two types of orthotics, full length and heel cups. The full length ones provide stability and cushioning to your entire foot. The heel cup is designed to protect just your heel. Depending on your specific condition, one may be more helpful than the other. It is best to try the different types on to see what works best.

For a single recommendation, we suggest Tread Labs Stride Insoles which are the best insoles on the market and work very well indeed for plantar fasciitis. Even better, you don’t need to buy brand new shoes, but can put in the Tread Lab Insoles into your old shoes. Saves money and time. Make sure you look at their quiz to help find the right insole first.

The above are the best and most effective pain relief treatments for Plantar Fasciitis. As soon as you start feeling the symptoms come on, rest your feet right away. Ice your feet as necessary and stretch them as long as it is comfortable. Furthermore, doing stretches and wearing night splints on a regular basis can keep Plantar Fasciitis away. Try the different remedies and see what works best for your specific condition.

ALSO READ:  Overlapping Toes: Symptoms & Treatments

Read our Best Insoles for Plantar Fasciitis Guide


resting with legs up

Rest should be the first thing you do when you experience the pain of Plantar Fasciitis. If you are a runner, you should try to take two weeks off and reduce your mileage when you do start running again. During the day, give your feet a break as much as possible. If they start hurting, sit down and put your feet up. If this is no possible because you work on your feet, put your feet up when you get home for a while.


ice bath

Ice baths can be soothing when your Plantar Fasciitis flares up. Fill up a bowl or bin of water and put ice in it. Set your painful feet in the water so the ice can calm the inflammation and reduce the pain. Ice baths are really helpful because they work on your entire foot and not just one area.

If just your heel or arch is hurting, using a frozen water bottle or cold can to ice the area can be helpful. If these are not handy, use a plastic bag filled with ice cubes. Do not put them directly on your feet though, use a towel or washcloth as a barrier so your feet do not get too cold. Ice packs are also helpful to have laying around, especially the gel ones that can be heated or frozen.

When using ice, remember to only leave it on for 20 minutes at a time maximum. After 20 minutes, take the ice off and give your feet a break. Use the ice treatment for a maximum of three times a day or as needed.

Night Splints

United Surgical Adjustable Night Splints (Large)

Night splints are applied right before you go to bed and are worn throughout the night. The splint keeps the foot at a 90-degree angle so your plantar fascia is gently stretched while you are sleeping. When you wake up in the morning, the plantar fascia is less strained and moves more easily with your foot. The night splint works over time, so it may take a few days to see results.

There are two types of night splints, the boot type and the dorsal night splint. The boot looks like a boot and fits over your calf, ankle, and entire foot. Some boot splints come with an insert that goes underneath your toe for even more of a stretch. The dorsal splint goes on the top of your foot and creates a stretch by pulling the top of your foot towards your leg. The heel of your foot and arch will be left open so these tend to have more airflow than the boot.

Read our best night splints for plantar fasciitis list for some recommendations


stretching muscles

If your plantar fascia is sore and tight, stretching can loosen it up so it moves better with your feet. There are a few stretches you can do at home to loosen up these ligaments and tendons. Doing them on a regular basis can also prevent Plantar Fasciitis from occurring as well.

Towel Stretch

towel stretch

For this stretch, you will need a chair and a towel. Sit in a chair and put the towel around the balls of your right foot. Gently pull the towel towards you, which pulls the balls of your feet towards you. Hold this stretch for 15 to 30 seconds, but no longer than is comfortable. Release the stretch and do three repetitions total and switch to the other foot.

While still sitting in the chair, cross one leg over the other. Grab your toes and pull them towards you. You should feel a gentle stretch and hold it for 15 to 30 seconds. If it becomes uncomfortable, release the stretch right away. Repeat this stretch three times total and then move to the other foot.

The calf stretch is done standing up. Stand about an arm’s length away from a wall and put your right foot behind your left foot. Bend your left leg forward while keeping your right heel on the ground. Hold the stretch for 15 to 30 seconds, as long as you are comfortable. You should feel a gentle stretch in the back of your left leg. Release the position and repeat a total of three times. Switch legs and repeat on the other side.

Make sure you read the best stretches for plantar fasciitis


longitudenal arch

Taping your foot stabilizes the plantar fascia, which keeps your foot in place while you walk. It keeps the ligaments and tendons from overstretching, which reduces micro tears. Before you start taping, make sure your feet are clean and try as this will make it adhere better to your skin.

To tape your foot, place one strip of tape around the top of your foot. It should go from the balls of your feet, around the top, and ending where you started. Put a few strips to ensure the tape is secure. Next, put a strip of tape from the pinkie toe, around your heel, and end up right behind your big toe. The next piece of tape should go from the ball of your foot to the heel, making part of an X. On the opposite side, complete the X with a strip of tape going from the heel to the ball of your foot. To finish taping, put strips across the bottom of your horizontally from the heel to the ball of your foot. The entire bottom of your foot should be covered.

Do not leave the tape on all day and all night. Take it off so your feet can breathe. You can apply the tape in the morning to give your feet support throughout the day, just make sure to take it off if it gets uncomfortable. If you cannot move your toes or circulation is cut off to your toes, cut the tape right away as this is a sign the tape is too tight.

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Read The Ultimate Plantar Fasciitis Taping Guide



The most common medications for Plantar Fasciitis are NSAIDS (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs). These are ibuprofen (Motrin or Advil) as well as naproxen (Aleve). These medications will reduce inflammation while relieving the pain. Some of these medications have creams available that can be placed directly on your feet. Do not use the oral medication and the cream at the same time as this can be too high of a dosage for your body. If it has been a couple weeks and these medications are not working and you are still in pain, your doctor may recommend corticosteroid shots.

Corticosteroids are steroids that are injected directly into the foot where you are feeling the most pain from Plantar Fasciitis. This therapy is done by a doctor and is usually recommended after you have tried home remedies first. However, these are pretty effective because they target the inflammation directly, which also will reduce your overall pain. Once your pain is reduced, it will be easier to do stretches and other therapies so your feet are more comfortable.

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