How long does Plantar Fasciitis last?
In this article we answer the question – how long does plantar fasciitis last and how to heal it quickly.
Plantar Fasciitis (Pronunciation: plan-tar fash-ee-eye-tus) is a tongue twister, no doubt. But, is the disorder as long and as complicated as it sounds?
What Causes Plantar Fasciitis And How Long Does It Take To Heal?
Recovery time for plantar fasciitis rupture is usually around 4 to 5 months. With patients recovering as early as 3 months and some taking as long as 9 months.
In most cases, healing occurs with the right type of treatment and the right foot gear.
NOTE: We’ve listed the top 5 conservative treatments to cure plantar fasciitis in an INFOGRAPHIC down below.
Once you are able to bear weight on the injured foot again, you will likely receive a recommendation for the use of a custom orthotic shoe insert designed to support and improve the mechanics of the foot.
Studies are currently being conducted on the use of Platelet Rich Plasma injections as a means of hastening recovery and providing long-lasting results, but evidence is, as of yet, inconclusive.
For the majority of people with plantar fasciitis, conservative treatments — as opposed to more aggressive treatments like surgery, shock wave therapy or steroid injections — can help decrease inflammation and pain.
Sometimes you may also need to alter your walking style.
There are several causes for plantar fasciitis. The pain often develops gradually and is therefore neglected in the early stages.
Here are some of the causes that can make you prone to developing the problem.
- Being over weight- puts plenty of pressure on the heels.
- Standing on your feet for long intervals of time.
- Sudden lifestyle changes – from a sedentary to an active one.
- Sudden movement of the heels to cause injury.
- Intense athletic activity with poor “starting technique”
- Wearing ill fitting shoes with poor arch support.
- Inability to flex your ankle due to having a tight Achilles Tendon.
Top 5 conservative treatments to cure plantar fasciitis
As mentioned above, pain caused by plantar fasciitis can be reduced and even cured with a combination of conservative treatments and the right footwear.
Doctors typically advise bed rest coupled with physiotherapy and foot heel stretching exercises.
Below are the top 5 conservative treatments to cure plantar fasciitis.
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1. Taking rest and time off
The first order of business in treating plantar fasciitis involves taking time off from repetitive movements that trigger the condition and increase pain. You’ll likely need at least several weeks of rest to allow the affected tissue to heal properly, although the exact time period needed differs from person to person. While you’re giving your feet a rest, you can continue to perform low-impact sports that don’t cause pain, including swimming or bicycling.
2. Icing the heel
Immediately after an injury or episode that causes swelling, icing can be helpful. Try elevating the affected foot and applying an ice pack for 15 to 20 minutes, 2 to 4 times daily. Some experts even recommend freezing a water-filled plastic bottle and rolling it over the site of discomfort for about five to seven minutes to massage the area.
3. Foot Massage for plantar fasciitis
Once swelling subsides a bit after about 2 to 3 days, massage the heel and apply heat along with beneficial essential oils to further reduce inflammation. Warm oil massages are extremely beneficial for your feet because they increase blood and fluid flow to speed up the healing process and break up scar tissue or adhesion that can harden. Massage the painful heel with your hands in circular motions for 15 minutes or more daily. Try warming up a small amount of coconut or olive oil and then adding essential oils like rosemary oil, thyme oil, rose oil or lavender oil to decrease pain and swelling.
4. Epsom salt and over the counter pain relief ointments
Epsom salt [magnesium sulfate crystals] soaking your feet in a basin of warm water into which epsom salt has been added can work wonders to give temporary relief to your aching feet. You can do this several times a week.
You can also get relief from inflammation by using pain relief ointments which are available over the counter.
5. Taping the foot for plantar fasciitis
Special tapes are available for athletes. With these tapes you can separate and immobilize areas of the foot which experience maximum discomfort.
What is Plantar Fasciitis?
Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common causes of heel pain. It involves inflammation of a thick band of tissue that runs across the bottom of your foot and connects your heel bone to your toes.
The thick connecting band or ligament absorbs the shock and supports the arches of the foot. This plantar fascia, although thick is not very elastic. So wear and tear due to constant flexing and rubbing damages the ligament and makes it weak.
Too much pressure on the feet causes the ligament to become inflamed and painful. Sometimes this can cause the ligament to pull away. The area is prone to micro tears.
Although this happens due to weakening of the ligament, it is also commonly known as “jogger’s or policeman’s heel”.
Although plantar fasciitis is quite a common condition, it can cause a lot of pain and discomfort. It can also slow you down and thus restrict your movement.
Symptoms of Plantar Fasciitis
Plantar fasciitis should not be confused with Calcaneal bursitis. Calcaneal bursitis is caused by inflammation of bursa under the heel. This occurs in the area that connects the Achilles tendon to the heel.
Plantar fasciitis on the other hand occurs below the heel on the foot bed.
Most times pain for those affected with plantar fasciitis is experienced before any activity.
Pain is severe when you wake up in the morning. The pain starts during the first few steps of the day and increases with increased activity. It makes you dread the first few steps that you take either when you wake up or after lying down for a while.
Sometimes swelling accompanies the symptom and pain decreases after continuing the activity for a while. This is because blood flow increases and warms up the fascia making it more elastic.
Climbing a stair case also can be a very painful experience. Most often the pain is only on one foot but some people can experience it in both feet.
Many describe a stabbing pain or a burning sensation at the bottom of the heel. Statistics show that women are more prone to plantar fasciitis.
A more severe form of plantar fasciitis is a rupture of the plantar fascia. It is a very painful variation of plantar fasciitis and should not be ignored.
People who participate in high impact exercises like playing basket ball, jogging on hard surface and even wearing wrong footwear over a long period of time and altering your gait can lead to a rupture in the plantar fascia.
These ruptures are often accompanied by a popping sound followed by intense pain, swelling and bruise marks on the affected foot.
You must seek immediate medical help in case of the aforementioned symptoms of foot rupture.
Preventive measures for plantar fasciitis
There are a number of things you can do to protect your feet and prevent injury to your plantar fascia. Below are the top measures you can take to prevent plantar fasciitis pain.
- Doctors recommend orthotic shoe inserts to help improve the functioning of the foot. Shoes with good arch support provide plenty of comfort for fascia ligament. They are specifically engineered to control your gait during walking or running.Investing in good footwear and changing them when they wear out is of utmost importance.
- Buy shoes based on the level of our activity and foot mechanics. Wearing the appropriate footwear for the activity you are involved in can drastically reduce stress in the heel. We recommend running shoes or “pro” walking shoes, designed specifically for plantar fasciitis. It’s a good idea to wear these when running or walking a long distances or when on your feet for extended periods of time.
- Wear shoes with a slightly higher heel to toe dip. A moderate heel to toe dip can shorten the arch, reduce stress on the plantar fascia, and lead to a reduction of pain.
- Do not walk on bare feet even for a short period of time, even when at home. The unsupported nature of this activity coupled with the hard ground could potentially worsen your condition.
- Lose weight. Maintaining a healthy body weight is important for our overall health and well being. Also, since the legs carry the weight of our whole body it has to bear the brunt of the extra strain that we put on it exercise and stretch.
- It is very important to warm up before any form of exercise. Stretching helps release the tension in the Achilles tendon and fascia and helps develop the right walking style.
Surgical Intervention For Plantar Fasciitis
Surgical intervention is advised only in extreme cases when all these tried and tested natural treatments do not help.
Surgery involves cutting part of the plantar fascia ligament to release the tension and inflammation of the area.
While plantar fasciitis can be a painful and demoralizing foot disorder, it can be prevented and even cured.
The combination of the right type of conservative treatment and supportive footwear can be a determining factor in how long plantar fasciitis lasts.
Following the preventive and curative measure listed here will be all you need towards pain free steps.