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8 Signs Your Plantar Fasciitis Is Healing

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By: KURU Footwear

If you’re reading this, chances are you or someone you know has experienced plantar fasciitis. The morning heel pain, the stabbing point right below your heels, and the achy arches are all too familiar. 

Just as it is important to get a proper diagnosis and treatment for this condition, it’s also vital to understand signs plantar fasciitis is healing. That way you can know when it’s ok to return to certain activities and follow a sustainable maintenance plan to help prevent the condition from reoccurring.

So let’s dig in! Read on to learn about plantar fasciitis, how long plantar fasciitis lasts, plantar fasciitis recovery time, and eight signs of plantar fasciitis healing.

Key Takeaways

  • Plantar fasciitis is the most common source of heel pain in adults and can lead to a reduced ability to participate in physical activities.
  • With treatment from a medical professional, it can take plantar fasciitis from six weeks to over six months to heal.
  • There are several key indicators that your plantar fascia is healing, including reduced morning pain, improved foot strength and flexibility, and better gait and posture. Read on to learn all eight signs!

What Is Plantar Fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis is an inflammation of the band of tissue underneath our feet—our plantar fascia. Repeated stress on our plantar fascia can lead to tightness, inflammation, and micro-tears. This overuse results in the characteristic symptom of plantar fasciitis: heel pain.

A classic symptom of plantar fasciitis is a stabbing pain or dull ache under the heel. Since fascia tends to tighten during the night while we sleep, plantar fasciitis heel pain often peaks during the first few steps in the morning. Pain can also extend through the arch of the foot, since the plantar fascia connects from heel to toe.

To diagnose plantar fasciitis, it’s best to see your family doctor, a podiatrist, or an orthopedist. Your doctor will create a unique treatment plan for you, which often includes rest and ice (in its acute phase), stretches, strengthening exercises, and supportive footwear.

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Factors That Increase the Risk of Plantar Fasciitis

While plantar fasciitis can happen to anyone, there are a few factors that increase our risk of developing the condition.

If the below factors apply to you, you can reduce your risk of getting plantar fasciitis in any situation by always wearing high-quality supportive footwear, rolling out your feet on a tennis ball or lacrosse ball daily, and adding foot strengthening exercises to your routine.

  • Age. Plantar fasciitis is most common in those ages 40–60. This condition can be exacerbated by excessive activity on your feet, and this age group tends to have many commitments keeping them on their feet. Be sure to wear supportive footwear to get you through your activity-packed days.
  • Physical activity level. Fascia requires consistent movement to stay healthy, but too much can cause it to seize up. If you are less active, be sure you exercise the recommended 150 minutes per week advised by the surgeon general. If you are very active, be sure to rest, stretch, and strengthen your fascia to keep it robust and healthy.
  • High arches. Those with high arches have an increased risk for developing plantar fasciitis. Since a high arch has less contact with the ground, there is more force put on the surrounding fascia, muscles and tendons to keep the arch supported. Wearing supportive footwear can help keep arches relaxed and healthy.
  • Walking on hard surfaces. Hard surfaces are the Kryptonite of plantar fasciitis. Even just minutes of barefoot walking per day on hard surfaces—such as tile, concrete, or hardwood—can make fascia work harder than necessary, leading to tightness and inflammation. It is extra critical to wear sturdy, supportive shoes on hard surfaces to help prevent plantar fasciitis.
  • Occupations requiring prolonged standing. Those who work on their feet all day may notice tightness in their arches and calves, pain in the heels and even low back. Fascia works extra hard while standing and walking, so be sure to take rest breaks and wear supportive footwear to help you last on your feet.
  • Improper footwear. Worn down or unsupportive footwear can make all foot problems worse, including plantar fasciitis. Most footwear doesn’t have the proper support or insole shape to help support the arch and absorb shock. Be sure to choose a pair of high-quality supportive shoes to help keep plantar fasciitis at bay.
  • Previous injuries. Physical injuries or trauma—such as ankle sprains or foot surgery—can impact surrounding fascia, contributing to the onset of plantar fasciitis. A physical therapy program following injury will help return your body to a healthy state.
  • Arthritis. Osteoarthritis refers to the breaking down of joints and cartilage over time. This condition can also wear down other tissues in the body, contributing to the development of foot pain conditions such as plantar fasciitis.                            
  • Diabetes. Symptoms of diabetes include reduced circulation in the body. This lack of blood flow—often especially noticeable in the lower limbs—can reduce healing time, leading to foot pain conditions such as plantar fasciitis. 
  • Obesity. Having excess weight on our bodies can lead to increased pressure on our fascia with each step, leading to irritation and inflammation of the fascia. Maintaining a healthy weight for your body type can help reduce symptoms.

Signs of Plantar Fasciitis Recovery

Now that we’ve reviewed plantar fasciitis symptoms and risk factors—let’s find out: does plantar fasciitis go away? In other words, can plantar fasciitis be cured? Yes, it absolutely can, as long as proper treatment and a consistent maintenance plan are maintained. 

Let’s take a look at eight signs plantar fasciitis is healing.

1. Reduced Morning Pain

One clear indicator of healing plantar fasciitis is a reduced amount of heel pain when you get out of bed in the morning. Often the first symptom of plantar fasciitis, morning heel pain will subside as this condition heals.

Why is this the case? As we sleep, our fascia layer naturally tightens up. Tight fascia pulls on the surrounding bones, tendons, and ligaments, causing pain along those attachment points. This is why heel pain is a common symptom of plantar fasciitis, even though the plantar fascia extends through the whole foot.

When fascia tightens overnight through already tight plantar fascia, it can make symptoms worse. So reduced morning pain is a clear sign that you have healing plantar fasciitis.

2. Improved Foot Flexibility

Another sign plantar fasciitis is healing? Improved foot flexibility. Irritated fascia is often tight fascia. Tight fascia can develop adhesions (think bug in a spider web) that limit mobility and foot and ankle range of motion.

So as you begin to notice more flexibility in calf and foot stretches, it’s a good sign your fascia is regaining more healthy mobility.

To continue to develop and maintain flexible, healthy fascia, be sure to consistently practice foot and calf stretches. Since the calf and Achilles tendon are connected to the plantar fascia, flexibility in those muscles and tendons is vital to maintaining healthy fascia.

To stretch your calf, stand near a wall in a lunge pose with one foot a couple feet in front of the other and both feet parallel. Bend the front knee until you feel a stretch in your back leg’s calf muscle. 

To stretch your plantar fascia, sit in a chair, crossing one ankle over your knee. Take one hand and bend just your toes back, keeping the rest of your foot still. For more examples of stretches for plantar fascia, click here.

3. Decreased Swelling and Inflammation

Swelling and redness are classic signs of acute inflammation, which is our bodies’ first response to injured tissues. Acute inflammation sends extra blood flow to the area to promote healing.

A decrease or even absence of swelling and inflammation can signal that the acute inflammation phase is going away, a sign of healing. 

To reduce swelling and acute inflammation, a tried and true method is the R.I.C.E. method, or rest, ice, compression, and elevation. As long as you have swelling and pain, be sure to rest and ice the foot while putting the foot above your heart (elevation) and compressing the affected area with either compression socks or an ace bandage.

4. Enhanced Strength in Foot Muscles

A strong foot is a healthy foot. When foot muscles are not strong enough to do their jobs well, the plantar fascia must work overtime, leading to overuse injuries such as plantar fasciitis.

As you progress in a plantar fasciitis treatment plan that includes consistent foot exercises, you should start to notice an increase in foot strength within about six weeks to three months. Strong foot muscles are an excellent way to help decrease painful symptoms and reduce the risk of future instances of plantar fasciitis.

A few simple exercises you can add to your routine are towel scrunches, doming, and heel raises. Always check with a doctor or physical therapist for the best exercise treatment plan for you. 

5. Less Pain During Activities

When you have plantar fasciitis, you may experience pain during any weight-bearing activity, especially high-impact activities such as running or walking barefoot on hard surfaces. Even previously simple daily tasks can become unbearable.

As you heal from plantar fasciitis, watch for your ability to do more on your feet with less pain. Perhaps you can walk farther, have a longer gym session, or experience less pain while standing on your tile floor kitchen or bathroom. These are other signs you’re healing from plantar fasciitis.

6. Positive Feedback from Medical Assessments

One crystal clear sign plantar fasciitis is healing is positive feedback from any doctors or physical therapists you’re seeing. Medical professionals will know how to best evaluate your progress and may perform tests that indicate where you are in your healing journey.

A doctor or physical therapist’s care is often a vital component to full recovery. They will be able to critically assess your unique situation, risk factors, foot type, and activity levels to determine the best course of action for your treatment and maintenance plan.

Some common tests and assessments doctors can do include a pain test by assessing tenderness at the heel and ultrasound or MRI to determine tissue health.

7. Reduced Reliance on Pain Relievers

One way to relieve pain from plantar fasciitis symptoms is by taking over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications, such as ibuprofen. A physical therapist may even administer a steroid injection to help relieve pain and inflammation.

One indicator that plantar fasciitis is healing is a reduced need to take pain relieving medications and instead manage pain through natural methods, such as rest, ice, rolling out the feet, and wearing supportive footwear.

8. Improved Gait and Posture

When our feet are in pain, it’s natural for the body to compensate and develop unhealthy walking patterns and posture as a result. You may have noticed that in the early stages of plantar fasciitis you limped, hunched over, didn’t bend your knees all the way, or tried to limit weight-bearing on the affected area.

A changed gait can lead to pain or biomechanical issues farther up the chain, leading to knee, hip, or even back pain.

A sign that your symptoms are improving is a return to a normal stride, a heel-to-toe walk, pushing off the ball of the foot, and fully upright posture.

How Long Does Plantar Fasciitis Last?

When treated, plantar fasciitis healing time can last anywhere from 6 weeks to a few months—even up to one year. When left untreated, plantar fasciitis can become a chronic condition that does not improve and can limit the ability to participate in a variety of weight-bearing activities, including day-to-day walking. 

How long does plantar fasciitis take to heal? In most treatment methods, plantar fasciitis treatment typically lasts at least six weeks up to six months. 

Factors that can affect plantar fasciitis recovery time include consistent completion of stretches and exercises and wearing supportive footwear.

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How to Speed Up Plantar Fasciitis Healing

  • Physical therapy. A treatment plan from a physical therapist often involves stretches, strengthening exercises, and other modalities to help relieve pain and promote healing.
  • Regular tissue massage. Consistent massage of the calves and bottoms of the feet can help release tight muscles and fascia and  increase blood flow to the area to encourage faster healing.
  • Wearing supportive footwear. To help heal plantar fasciitis more quickly, wearing supportive footwear is a must. Shoes with proper support help lift and protect the arches and heels for lasting pain relief.
  • Rolling out feet on tennis or lacrosse ball. A very effective at-home method, rolling out the bottoms of the feet can help stretch and condition the fascia, reducing its pull on surrounding muscles and tendons and relieving pain.
  • Icing. An ideal treatment for reducing inflammation, plantar fasciitis can be iced 2–3x per day, or up to every few hours. Adding an icing regimen to your treatment plan can help plantar fasciitis heal faster.
  • Stretching. Regularly stretching the plantar fascia can also help it heal. Plantar fascia can become tight and irritated when inflamed, so gentle stretches of pulling the toes up and calf stretches can help alleviate symptoms.
  • Relative rest. The feet need breaks—especially when they are experiencing plantar fasciitis. To help plantar fasciitis heal more quickly, limit any activities that cause pain.

Are plantar fasciitis symptoms bothering you? Dive into our guide for expert insights, recommended exercises, and practical tips for relief and prevention.

Discover relief with our comprehensive guide to plantar fasciitis pain relief.

Consequences of Leaving Plantar Fasciitis Untreated

Leaving plantar fasciitis untreated can worsen symptoms over time, leading to even more painful conditions, such as plantar tears, heel spurs, back pain, and even a reduced ability to walk.

As soon as you begin to experience tell-tale signs of plantar fasciitis, such as stabbing morning heel pain, aching heels or arches, and extra tight calves and Achilles tendons, it’s time to visit your doctor.

A timely diagnosis and treatment plan by a podiatrist or physical therapist is a vital way to reduce symptoms and make a quicker recovery.

FAQs

  • What are the stages of plantar fasciitis healing?

    The stages of healing for plantar fasciitis start in the acute inflammation phase where there may be swelling and pain even at rest. After treatments such as rest and ice begin, symptoms may decrease but not disappear. 

    After several weeks of a stretching and strengthening program, you’ll notice a decrease in morning pain as well as less pain while walking or performing physical activities.

    Someone with risk factors for plantar fasciitis may need to always follow a maintenance plan of stretches, strengthening exercises, and supportive footwear, but they should be able to enjoy all the activities they once did.

  • How does plantar fasciitis feel when healing?

    At first, some plantar fasciitis treatments, especially massage and rolling out the feet, may hurt more before it gets better. But as the plantar fascia heals, you will experience less pain over time, including reduced morning pain and less pain walking or performing high-impact activities.

  • Does plantar fasciitis pain get worse before it gets better?

    Some plantar fasciitis treatments may temporarily hurt more before they improve. For instance, fascia massage or rolling out the feet may be very painful or even excruciating at first. But consistent practice will help loosen plantar fascia and reduce pain over time by preventing fascia from pulling on surrounding bones, muscles, and tendons.

  • How long does it take for plantar fasciitis inflammation to go down?

    Acute inflammation in the early stages of plantar fasciitis—with symptoms such as swelling and redness—should subside within a few days or weeks of treatment. Inflammation treatment includes rest, ice, compression, and elevation.

    That said, chronic plantar fasciitis pain will likely take longer for symptoms to subside, and pain can last as long as several weeks or months of treatment before pain subsides.

  • How can I speed up the healing process for plantar fasciitis?

    To help speed up the healing process for plantar fasciitis, it’s critical to practice relative rest from activities that hurt your plantar fascia, ice at least twice per day, practice stretch and strengthening exercises, and wear supportive footwear to lift and protect the plantar fascia.

Heel Better™ With KURU

Now that you’ve learned the signs plantar fasciitis is healing, we want to help you get fully healed

At KURU, we exist to eliminate foot pain by engineering footwear uniquely designed to hug and protect your heels. We believe our ultra-supportive women’s shoes for plantar fasciitis are the perfect footwear to help alleviate plantar fasciitis symptoms.

Every pair is engineered with our patented heel-hugging technology that dynamically flexes with each step to protect the heels, leading to lasting pain relief. The dual-density insole curves with the foot and supports the arch while springy EVA foam cushions from underneath.

We offer a wide range of women’s and men’s shoes for plantar fasciitis, from sneakers to boots, sandals to slippers—all with pain-relieving tech built in, so you can heal from plantar fasciitis and live the life you love.

Shop KURU shoes for plantar fasciitis today!

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At KURU, we’re on a mission to help you Heel Better™ with footwear technology designed to relieve foot pain, so you can live a life you love. Since launching our innovative technology in 2008, we’ve received more than 32,000 five-star reviews from thousands of customers who tell us their KURU shoes helped them get back to doing what they love.

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