Signs Plantar Fasciitis is healing

Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common orthopedic complaints. Your plantar fascia ligaments experience a lot of wear and tear in your daily life. When you have plantar fasciitis, what are the signs that plantar fasciitis is healing. In this article, you’ll find more information about planter fasciitis and signs that plantar fasciitis is healing.

What is plantar fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis is inflammation in the plantar fascia in your foot. It’s the most common cause of heel pain.
The plantar fascia is a strong, fibrous attachment (similar to a ligament) that runs from your heel to the ball of your foot and your toes. It’s stretchy like a thick rubber band. The plantar fascia connects the bones in your foot together and forms the arch on the bottom of your foot.

Signs Plantar Fasciitis is healing
plantar fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis happens when your plantar fascia is overused or stretched too far. Anything that damages your plantar fascia can make it swell. This inflammation makes it painful to walk or use your foot. Most people experience plantar fasciitis in one foot at a time, but it’s possible for it to affect both your feet at once.
Visit a healthcare provider if you’re experiencing heel or foot pain for more than a week.

What causes plantar fasciitis and who gets it?

Plantar fasciitis isn’t typically the result of heel spurs. Doctors used to believe that heel spurs caused pain in people with plantar fasciitis, but this isn’t the case.
Plantar fasciitis tends to develop as a result of overstretching or overuse of this ligament, although a tear or small tears in the fascia tissue can also cause the pain. Your foot structure can also predispose you to developing plantar fasciitis.

Active men and women between the ages of 40 and 70 are at the highest risk for developing plantar fasciitis. It’s also slightly more common in women than men. Women who are pregnant often experience bouts of plantar fasciitis, particularly during late pregnancy.

Risk factors

You’re at a greater risk of developing plantar fasciitis if you:

  • are overweight or have obesity. This is due to the increased pressure on your plantar fascia ligaments, especially if you have sudden weight gain.
  • are a long-distance runner.
  • have an active job where you are often on your feet, such as working in a factory or being a restaurant server.
  • have structural foot issues, such as high arches or flat feet.
  • have tight Achilles tendons, which are the tendons attaching your calf muscles to your heels.
  • often wear shoes with soft soles and poor arch support.

What are the symptoms of plantar fasciitis?

The most common symptoms of plantar fasciitis include:

  • Heel pain.
  • Pain in the arch of your foot.
  • Stiffness.
  • Swelling around your heel.
  • A tight Achilles tendon.

What does plantar fasciitis feel like?

Plantar fasciitis usually causes an achy pain in your heel or along the bottom of your foot. The pain can change depending on what you’re doing or the time of day. Some types of pain you might feel include:

  • Pain when you stand up after sleeping or sitting down. The pain usually goes away after walking for a few minutes.
  • A dull, constant ache.
  • Sharp or stabbing pain when you use your affected foot or put pressure on your heel.
  • Exercising or moving might temporarily relieve your pain, but it’ll usually get worse as soon as you stop.
  • Increased pain first thing in the morning or when you stand up after sitting or sleeping.

Signs that Plantar Fasciitis is Healing

Recovering from plantar fasciitis is a complicated process, and every person’s body is going to react a bit differently. For those who want a possible timeline for their recovery, here are signs that plantar fasciitis is healing.

Mornings Are Easier

One of the biggest signs plantar fasciitis is healing involves morning pain, or—more specifically—a lack thereof.
People with plantar fasciitis often report their worst pain in the morning. Getting out of bed can be difficult with an inflamed plantar. One minute you’re lying peacefully, the next, your foot is on fire after taking that first step. Here’s why:

  • Blood flow – When you’re sleeping, blood flow to the extremities isn’t always optimal. Depending on your position, the heart may not be pumping enough blood to the feet for proper healing. This is why the first few steps in the morning can be particularly painful since the area is suddenly filling with blood and rapidly becoming inflamed.
  • Pressure – One of the telltale signs of plantar fasciitis is pain when walking or standing, and no pain during times of rest. After a long night’s sleep, you’ve probably gotten a break from the discomfort of plantar fasciitis. This can make that initial step even more painful, by comparison.
    These are the reasons why a pain-free morning can be a promising sign of recovery. If you’ve noticed your first couple of steps each day are getting more manageable, it means you’re probably doing something right. Knowing when to wear compression socks for plantar fasciitis is also key in making your mornings easier. Try wearing compression socks while you sleep.

Pain is Localized

Pain is never fun, but it can provide important information about your body.
One of the most frustrating things about plantar fasciitis is its tendency to spread. Inflammation in the arch can quickly turn to radiate pain throughout the whole foot and even creep up toward the ankle and calf muscle.
Plantar fasciitis can also affect how you walk. This can lead to pain in other parts of the body, including:

  • Lower back
  • Knees
  • Hips
  • Other foot
    If your other body parts are feeling fine, this can be good signs plantar fasciitis is healing. While no pain is always ideal, localized pain in just the heel of the foot is certainly promising. If you’ve found that you’re able to walk normally without too much pain, this is also a step in the right direction.

Your Range of Motion is Returning

Stretching can be extremely painful when you have severe plantar fasciitis. Inflammation and microtears will make even the slightest ligament movements virtually impossible.
Despite this pain, being able to stretch the foot is important. Stretching can help strengthen the fibers in the plantar fascia and protect the plantar fascia from tearing in the future.

Cramping can also occur with plantar fasciitis, so elongating these muscles can help prevent this painful plantar fasciitis symptom.
If you’ve noticed that your range of motion is returning to normal, this is a sign that healing has begun. Although pain may still be present, the ability to stretch the calf, pull the foot toward your chest, and raise your toes are all promising movements for a recovering plantar fascia.

Visible Symptoms are Fading

Serious cases of plantar fasciitis can actually be visible to the naked eye. When this issue first begins, you may notice the following symptoms:

  • Bruising – Microtears and hyperextension of the plantar fascia can lead to thinning in the heel pad. With less protection in this area, even regular steps can cause damage to the skin and tissue. Bruising around the heel is a sign of chronic plantar fasciitis. If your bruising has begun to fade and no new bruises have shown up, then the area around your heel is most likely beginning to heal.
  • Swelling – Inflammation typically leads to swelling. When the plantar fascia is inflamed, the arch and heel of the foot can become swollen and tender. This swelling can cause fluid build-up, which may spread to other parts of the foot or ankle. When the swelling goes down, it may be a sign that the body is starting to recover and your anti inflammatory medication is working.
  • Tightness – When cramping occurs, the tight plantar fascia may become visible at the bottom of your foot. If this ligament is clearly visible—even when the foot is barely flexed—you may need to apply heat or try some light massage techniques. When cramping and visible tightness has subsided, this means you’re probably on the right track.

Many people don’t need surgery to relieve pain from plantar fasciitis. Instead, their condition improves through physical therapy, home treatments, and medical treatments. The above signs shows that plantar fasciitis is healing. 

How is plantar fasciitis diagnosed?

A healthcare provider will diagnose plantar fasciitis with a physical exam. They’ll ask you about your symptoms and look at your foot. They might lightly press on your plantar fascia to feel for inflammation and check your level of pain.
Tell your provider about the pain you’re experiencing in your daily routine. Tell them where on your foot it hurts and when it’s the most painful throughout the day.

What tests do healthcare providers use to diagnose plantar fasciitis?

A healthcare provider usually won’t need any tests to diagnose plantar fasciitis. They might use imaging tests to take pictures of your foot if they think another issue or condition is causing the pain. Some imaging tests you might need include:

  • X-rays.
  • An ultrasound.
  • An MRI.


Most people who have plantar fasciitis recover in several months with conservative treatment, such as icing the painful area, stretching, and modifying or avoiding activities that cause pain.


Pain relievers such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others) and naproxen sodium (Aleve) can ease the pain and inflammation of plantar fasciitis.


Physical therapy or using special devices might relieve symptoms.

  • Physical therapy. A physical therapist can show you exercises to stretch the plantar fascia and Achilles tendon and to strengthen lower leg muscles. A therapist might also teach you to apply athletic taping to support the bottom of your foot.
  • Night splints. Your physical therapist or health care provider might recommend that you wear a splint that holds the plantar fascia and Achilles tendon in a lengthened position overnight to promote stretching while you sleep.
  • Orthotics. Your health care provider might prescribe off-the-shelf or custom-fitted arch supports (orthotics) to distribute the pressure on your feet more evenly.
  • Walking boot, canes or crutches. Your health care provider might recommend one of these for a brief period either to keep you from moving your foot or to keep you from placing your full weight on your foot.
  • Surgical or other procedures
    If more-conservative measures aren’t working after several months, your health care provider might recommend:
  • Injections. Injecting steroid medication into the tender area can provide temporary pain relief. Multiple shots aren’t recommended because they can weaken your plantar fascia and possibly cause it to rupture. Platelet-rich plasma obtained from your own blood can be injected into the tender area to promote tissue healing. Ultrasound imaging during injections can assist in precise needle placement.
  • Extracorporeal shock wave therapy. Sound waves are directed at the area of heel pain to stimulate healing. This is for chronic plantar fasciitis that hasn’t responded to more-conservative treatments. Some studies show promising results, though this therapy hasn’t been shown to be consistently effective.
  • Ultrasonic tissue repair. This minimally invasive technology uses ultrasound imaging to guide a needlelike probe into the damaged plantar fascia tissue. The probe tip then vibrates rapidly to break up the damaged tissue, which is suctioned out.
  • Surgery. Few people need surgery to detach the plantar fascia from the heel bone. It is generally an option only when the pain is severe and other treatments have failed. It can be done as an open procedure or through a small incision with local anesthesia.

Home remedies for plantar fasciitis

Reducing pain and irritation or inflammation in the plantar fascia ligament is an important part of treatment, but this doesn’t address the underlying damage to the ligament.

Home treatments for plantar fasciitis

Initial home treatment includes staying off your feet and applying ice for 15 to 20 minutes, 3 or 4 times per day, to reduce swelling.
You can also try reducing or changing your exercise activities. Using arch supports in your shoes, replacing worn-out athletic footwear, and doing stretching exercises may also help to relieve pain.
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen (Motrin or Advil) and naproxen (Aleve), may soothe pain in the ligament.

Essential oils for plantar fasciitis

There’s little research on treating plantar fasciitis with essential oils. Still, some studies suggest that using essential oils may reduce pain and inflammation for certain conditions. These oils include:

  • lavender
  • lemongrass
  • eucalyptus
  • rose
    Dilute your essential oil with a carrier oil, like coconut oil, before using it for massage. You can also inhale the steam from the essential oil mixed with hot water.
    Since it’s unclear whether plantar fasciitis involves irritation or inflammation, using these essential oils may not be much help. However, if you use them correctly, there’s generally no harm in trying them.

CBD oils for plantar fasciitis

Cannabidiol (CBD) is a compound found in the Cannabis plant, and products incorporating this compound are often used to treat pain and inflammation.
While there is not a significant body of research into the specific benefits of CBD for plantar fasciitis, numerous studies have found that cannabis may be effective in relieving various types of pain, including one 2018 review that assessed the benefits of using cannabis to alleviate chronic pain and a 2015 review into the benefits of inhaled cannabis for chronic neuropathic pain.
It’s a good idea to talk to a healthcare professional before you try a product like CBD to discuss appropriate dosing and other issues. Then, if you want to give CBD oil a try, you can opt for a couple of different methods. You can use a dropper to place CBD oil under your tongue, or you can apply a topical product containing CBD oil to your skin.
Be sure to do a patch test first to make sure the product doesn’t irritate your skin and cause additional discomfort on top of your pain.

Nutrition and supplements for plantar fasciitis

More research is needed on using nutrition to improve or prevent plantar fasciitis. However, taking these supplements may help with tissue repair and healing:

  • vitamin C
  • zinc
  • glucosamine
  • bromelain
  • fish oil
    It’s better to get nutrients from eating a balanced diet than from supplements. If you do decide to take supplements, always check with your doctor first.
    If weight gain caused your plantar fasciitis, eating a healthy diet can help you lose weight and relieve your heel pain.

What are the potential complications of plantar fasciitis?

You can develop chronic heel pain if you ignore the condition. This can change the way you walk and cause injury to your:

  • legs
  • knees
  • hips
  • back
    Steroid injections and some other treatments can weaken the plantar fascia ligament and cause potential rupture of the ligament. Surgery carries the risks of bleeding, infection, and reactions to anesthesia. Plantar fascia detachment can also cause changes in your foot and nerve damage. Gastrocnemius recession surgery can also cause nerve damage.

How can I prevent plantar fasciitis?

The best way to prevent plantar fasciitis is to avoid overusing your feet. In general:

  • Stretch before and after exercise.
  • Give your feet time to rest and recover after intense activity or exercise.
  • Wear supportive shoes.
  • Don’t walk barefoot on hard surfaces.
  • Replace your sneakers every six to nine months (or after you’ve walked or run between 250 and 500 miles in them).
    If you have a health condition that makes you more likely to develop plantar fasciitis, you might not be able to prevent it.

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