Plantar Fasciitis pain can be quite excruciating, especially if left untreated. Whether the pain is on a nuisance and irritant level or sheer agony, everyone questions;
“How long will it last?”
And, “what are the ways to treat it quickly?”
Before we talk about the how long your plantar fasciitis will last and treatments to relieve the pain, it is important to discuss the basics of the problem.
Even the people suffering from plantar fasciitis usually don’t know what it actually is. Which is why, knowing the basics are significant. Here are a few things you need to know.
When the band of tissue in the foot, the plantar fascia, is inflamed you begin to experience pain and irritation in the foot which is worse in the morning. This is what plantar fasciitis actually is.
People who have jobs that require extended hours of walking, standing or running usually suffer from plantar fasciitis. Plantar fasciitis can be treated by stretching, exercising, using doctor-recommended pain killers and different home remedies like the RICE method and ice massage.
According to a study, almost 1% U.S. adults live with plantar fasciitis. Even though, 1% doesn’t seem a lot but it is actually 3.2 million people who are suffering from this foot condition.
Things You Need to Know:
In this post we’ll cover some basic things you need to know about plantar fasciitis and how long can this last.
Before moving on, let’s discuss some of the most common symptoms of plantar fasciitis
- Inflammation and deep pain in the heel that feels like burning (in severe cases).
- It develops slowly overtime.
- Comes on suddenly with intense exercises and activities.
- Pain is usually worse in the morning or after long periods of standing or sitting.
Causes and Risk Factors:
There are more chances to get plantar fasciitis if you have certain conditions or are continuously engaged in different recreational activities. The risk causes of plantar fasciitis can be biochemical, anatomical and environmental.
- Lack of ankle mobility results in plantar fasciitis.
- Weak bones and muscles of the foot.
- Flat feet can lead to plantar fasciitis.
- One of the causes of plantar fasciitis is overweight and obesity
- Leg length inconsistency
- Fat pad atrophy, which is the thinning of protective fat around the bones, can cause fat pad atrophy.
- Compressed Achilles tendon
- Traumatic injury on the foot can also lead to plantar fasciitis.
- Running barefoot for a long time or not running at all can cause plantar facia ligament to inflame and cause pain.
- Wearing improper and uncomfortable footwear most often results in plantar fasciitis.
- There are different shoes for plantar fasciitis which can make you feel better.
- Other than this, tight muscles can also be the cause.
How Long Does It Take for Plantar Fasciitis to Heal?
Most of the times, plantar fasciitis heals rapidly with home-based remedies and treatments. It typically takes a few weeks to several months for complete healing, however, taking necessary precautions help a lot.
Moreover, it is also important to avoid activities and tasks that can produce excessive strain on your feet (for around two weeks) specifically the heel area. These activities include jumping, jogging, running etc.
How will you know if Plantar Fasciitis is healing?
If the plantar fasciitis is left untreated, the healing process becomes slow. A group of different researches show that it usually takes around 18 months for plantar fasciitis to heal completely. However, if you start home remedies and medications immediately you’ll feel the difference with a few weeks.
Here are some signs that indicate that the plantar fasciitis is healing:
Morning Pain Intensity:
Typically, during plantar fasciitis, the pain is worst in the morning. When the condition heals, or is somewhat better, you’ll automatically experience less pain when you wake up in the morning.
It might take a long time for the pain to go away completely, but it does decrease over a span of time. If your pain is decreasing steadily, then it means the plantar fasciitis is healing.
Pain in the Heel:
People who have severe issue of plantar fasciitis have pain in heel and the arch of the foot. When the ligament, plantar fascia, begins to heel, it is contained to the heel.
Other Parts of the Body Don’t Hurt:
Because of plantar fasciitis, walking becomes quite difficult. It not only affects the person’s gait, but also causes pain in the lower back, hips and knees. When other parts of your body stops hurting, it shows that plantar fasciitis is getting better.
Can you Speed up the Healing Process?
This is the question every patient with plantar fasciitis asks. After all, the pain can be really excruciating. There are numerous distinctive options that can help in speeding up healing the plantar fasciitis.
Surgery can be an option, but the recovery rate is somewhat slow. But according to the researches, there are different options like physical therapy that have turned out to be more effective.
Another study revealed that regular and constant treatment helped in treating plantar fasciitis in approximately 97% of the patients.
Can Running Affect the Healing Process?
The first thing a patient of plantar fasciitis, especially a runner, asks,
“Can I run with plantar fasciitis?”
Briefly, it is possible to run if you have mild or moderate level of plantar fasciitis. But, you need to keep in mind to plan to restore the reduce extremity, or else you will be at risk to become side-lined completely.
If you have mild plantar fasciitis, you might experience pain in the beginning of running or exercise, but it reduces after you’ve ran for a while. This means, you can continue running as long as you don’t experience pain.
Another question which most of the people ask is;
“Can running affect the healing process?”
Well, in mild and moderate cases, the pain is usually experienced in the beginning of running and slowly fades away. However, if you experience pain from the beginning to the end, then there might be an issue. If you have continuous and persistent pain throughout running, then you need to stop.
Persistent pain while running can damage the plantar fascia and make the bad condition worse. This can also cause tissue damage, increase the risk of an injury and develop irregular movement patterns.
Other than this, running in severe case of plantar fasciitis can also affect the healing process. Therefore, in such cases running should be avoided because the symptoms get worse and prolonged which slows down the healing process as well.
Tips for Speeding up the Healing Process:
Physiotherapists and doctors have suggested certain tips to make sure the plantar fasciitis is healing rapidly. There are numerous stretches, medications, exercises and therapies that make the healing process faster. Here we have listed a few of the most widely used plantar fasciitis healing therapies. Do try them out.
Always Use Support for your Feet:
The first thing you need to help in speeding the healing process is wearing supportive shoes with arch support. Both taping and orthotics can help in supporting the arches by reducing the stress and aggravation of your plantar fasciitis.
Daily Stretching Exercises:
Doctors recommend you to be diligent about exercising and working out several times a day. This helps in relaxing your ankles, calf, and the ligament, plantar fascia itself.
According to a 2020 study, the researchers analyzed that there is a strong connection among the tightness of the main calf muscle, gastrocnemius and the severity of the pain in the heel.
If your symptoms are controlled by proper exercise and stretching, then you can begin running in intervals. Just make sure you don’t rush.
Using Ice, Especially After Running:
Using ice has turned out to be effective for quite some time. Holding an ice covered cloth near the heel for 3-4 times a day can help in reducing the inflammation. Along with this, stretch your arches and exercise regularly to make the condition better. Ice packs or bags of crushed ice works extremely well for healing plantar fasciitis.
Before any physical activity you should warm up for at least five minutes. This will help in relaxing the muscles before any. Here are some exercises you can focus on before any other physical activity.
- Hip Flexors
Aqua jogging is an alternative for running if you have access to the pool. Along with other exercising and running you can mix an activity like this if the symptoms are not intense.
Our main question was;
“How long does Plantar Fasciitis last?”
Well, according to different researches and studies we have come to a conclusion that mild plantar fasciitis recovers in a few weeks while severe plantar fasciitis requires a few months to completely heal.
However, stretching and exercising can help in reducing the pain and inflammation in the plantar fascia. So, make sure you exercise regularly and try the different remedies and therapies to lower the inflammation and reduce the pain in the plantar fascia.
Study conducted for plantar fasciitis: https://www.nccih.nih.gov/research/research-results/analysis-of-data-on-the-prevalence-and-pharmacologic-treatment-of-plantar-fasciitis-pain
Healing plantar fasciitis: https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/1071100720955144
Constant treatment: Plantar Fasciitis Edison, Woodbridge & Union, NJ – Arrow PT (arrowptr.com)