Synergy Health Partners

Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis is an overuse injury affecting the foot’s sole or flexor surface (plantar), resulting in severe pain in the heel of your foot.

What Is Plantar Fasciitis?

When your first few steps out of bed in the morning cause severe pain in the heel of your foot, you may have plantar fasciitis. A diagnosis of plantar fasciitis means you have inflamed the tough, fibrous band of tissue (fascia) connecting your heel bone to the base of your toes.
You’re more likely to get the condition if you’re a woman, overweight, or have a job that requires a lot of walking or standing on hard surfaces. You’re also at risk if you walk or run for exercise, especially if you have tight calf muscles that limit how far you can flex your ankles. People with very flat feet or very high arches are also more prone to plantar fasciitis.

The condition starts gradually with mild pain at the heel bone, often referred to as a stone bruise. You’re more likely to feel it after (not during) exercise. The pain classically occurs again after arising from a midday lunch break.

If you don’t treat plantar fasciitis, it may become a chronic condition. You may not be able to keep up your level of activity, and you may also develop symptoms of foot, knee, hip, and back problems because plantar fasciitis changes how you walk.

What are the symptoms of plantar fasciitis? 

  • Heel pain, especially in the morning
  • Stiffness in the bottom of your foot
  • Pain that gets worse with activity

Conservative Treatments

  • Rest: Reducing activities that aggravate the pain.
  • Ice: Applying ice to your heel for 15-20 minutes at a time, several times a day.
  • Stretching: Stretching your calves and plantar fascia can help improve flexibility and reduce pain.
  • Supportive shoes: Wearing shoes with good arch support and a cushioned sole.
  • Orthotics: Shoe inserts (orthotics) can help distribute pressure more evenly on your foot.
  • Over-the-counter pain relievers: Taking over-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen or naproxen can help reduce pain and inflammation.


Advanced Treatments

  • Corticosteroid injections: Injections of corticosteroids can help reduce inflammation.
  • Surgery: In rare cases, surgery may be necessary to remove a small piece of plantar fascia.

Additional Therapies

  • Physical therapy: A physical therapist can teach you specific stretches and exercises to strengthen your foot and ankle muscles.
  • Night splints: Wearing a night splint that keeps your foot flexed upwards can help stretch the plantar fascia while you sleep.

Exercises for Plantar Fasciitis

Home exercises to stretch your Achilles tendon and plantar fascia are the mainstay of treating the condition and lessening the chance of recurrence.
In one exercise, you lean forward against a wall with one knee straight and a heel on the ground. Your other knee is bent. Your heel cord and foot arch stretch as you lean. Hold for 10 seconds, relax, and straighten up. Repeat 20 times for each sore heel.

In the second exercise, you lean forward onto a countertop, spreading your feet apart with one foot in front of the other. Flex your knees and squat down, keeping your heels on the ground as long as possible. Your heel cords and foot arches will stretch as the heels come up in the stretch. Hold for 10 seconds, relax, and straighten up. Repeat 20 times.


Why Choose Synergy Health?

Synergy Health Partners is Michigan’s only integrated musculoskeletal care provider, offering a comprehensive and coordinated approach to your well-being. We provide all specialty fields of musculoskeletal care under one umbrella, including urgent care centers staffed by orthopedic specialists, surgical and non-surgical treatments performed in-office or at our state-of-the-art ambulatory surgery centers, virtual consultations, and an in-house pharmacy for added convenience.

Find A Doctor

At Synergy Health Partners, our podiatrists and orthopedic surgeons help patients with plantar fasciitis overcome their pain. We continuously research technologies and treatments – both surgical and non-invasive – to offer our patients access to the most advanced and proven medical care.


Frequently Asked Questions

Plantar fasciitis is inflammation of the plantar fascia, a thick band of tissue that runs along the bottom of your foot and connects your heel to your toes. It helps support the arch of your foot and absorbs shock during walking and running.

  • Heel pain, especially when taking your first steps in the morning or after getting up from sitting.
  • Pain that worsens with activity, particularly weight-bearing exercises or standing for long periods.
  • Stiffness in the sole of your foot.

Several factors can contribute to plantar fasciitis, including:

  • Overuse: Activities that put a lot of stress on your heels, such as running, jumping, or dancing, can irritate the plantar fascia.
  • Poor arch support: Shoes that don’t provide enough arch support can contribute to plantar fasciitis.
  • Tight calf muscles: Tight calf muscles can limit ankle movement and put extra strain on the plantar fascia.
  • Sudden weight gain: Rapid weight gain can put extra stress on your feet.
  • Certain foot types: People with flat feet or high arches may be more prone to plantar fasciitis.

There’s no single test for plantar fasciitis. Doctors typically diagnose it based on a physical exam and your description of the pain. They may press on different areas of your foot to see where it hurts.

There’s no guaranteed way to prevent plantar fasciitis, but you can reduce your risk by:

  • Maintaining a healthy weight: Excess weight puts extra stress on your feet.
  • Wearing supportive shoes: Choose shoes with good arch support and a cushioned sole.
  • Stretching regularly: Stretching your calves and plantar fascia can help keep them flexible and strong.
  • Gradually increasing activity: If you’re starting a new exercise program, increase the intensity and duration gradually to allow your body to adapt.

If your heel pain is severe or doesn’t improve with home treatment after a few weeks, see your doctor. They can help diagnose the cause of your pain and recommend the best course of treatment.

Relieve your heel pain and get back to moving.

You don’t have to live with constant heel pain. If the symptoms of plantar fasciitis are interfering in your day-to-day living, we can help. Reach out to see how our specialists develop personalized treatment plans to guide you toward healing.