Plantar Fascitus - I Have It. What to Do?

Updated on January 30, 2014
D.D. asks from Phoenix, AZ
20 answers

So, I'm 99% sure I have it because I read the symptoms and the most glaring one is the 'upon waking, first few steps hurt.' In my case, that is true. It is also correct this has been going on for quite a while - maybe a year. (Spare me any lecture. lol) Anyway, I threw out my cheapy sneakers and my worn out sneakers. I purchased a nice pair of sneakers that seem to have a ton of cushioning. My heel pretty much hurts round the clock now though, but the new sneakers do alleviate some of the pressure.

So, do I go to a Sports Orthopedic doctor, or what kind of doc? Should I not purchase any sneakers at regular stores and just go to those specialty running stores, that determine my gate, etc? Should I purchase an over the counter orthotic? Or just wait till I see the doctor? This pain is really getting out of hand.


What can I do next?

  • Add yourAnswer own comment
  • Ask your own question Add Question
  • Join the Mamapedia community Mamapedia
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

Featured Answers



answers from Philadelphia on

My mom was in a boot for over 1 year. She even had to wear it to my sister's wedding and had to put it on to walk to the bathroom in the middle of the night. Make a doctors appointment. It is time.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Albany on

I had plantar fasciitis when I was pregnant. I was a retail manager on my feet a lot. I saw a podiatrist. He fit me with a brace to wear on my foot at night.... Which prevented my foot from tightening up. I also got an insert for my shoe (about 40 bucks). Cortisone shots. And I saw a physical therapist. Exercise, stretching, massage, whirlpool soak, etc. Then you can do it at home. I fully recovered and never had any more pain! 8 years ago and never a flair up. I would at least see a podiatrist to get a diagnosis.....

More Answers



answers from Minneapolis on

I posted about this over the summer and others have posted too if you want to check out the archives. I've gotten tons of advice here and elsewhere and have determined that everyone is different. What is consistent is that it hurts like H... and can last a very long time, as you've discovered. I'm going on 8 months, although I'm finally improving. Nothing worked for me except PT. And it was two months of PT. Lots of stretching and ice. At PT I got ultrasound and what I describe as a "scraping" treatment. I was almost kicked out of PT for "failure to progress" when I started gradually improving. I no longer go to PT and I'm not 100%, but I'm significantly better. Since yours has been going on so long I would see a podiatrist. That's how I got my PT referral. I wouldn't spend a ton of money on new shoes or orthotics until you see the doctor. I did both, unfortunately.

Here's what didn't work for me: special sock at night (waste of money), therapeutic taping by podiatrist, cortisone shot from podiatrist, orthotics and lots of new shoes (with a couple of exceptions).

Regarding shoes: no flip flops, no shoes without support, no high heels and contrary to what some might advise do NOT go barefoot. The shoes I would recommend and that my podiatrist hears good things about from his patients are Haflinger house shoes. Unfortunately, they are only designed for the indoors, but they are wonderful. I was put off at first by the price tag (about $100), but I can't say enough good things about them. One caveat--the different styles tend to fit a little differently so I recommend going somewhere to try them on as opposed to ordering them online. For walking I did go to one of those running stores where they check your gait and fit you. Right now I have some Nike trail shoes that are wonderful. I love them and have no pain when I wear them.

Good luck and PM me if you have any specific questions. See a podiatrist as soon as you can!

ETA: Another reason to see a doctor is a possible x-ray to verify it really is plantar fasciitis and not something else. Also, when cases go on for a long time as yours has the inflammation and tightness in the tendon can actually cause some calcification and other changes in my foot. My doctor saw calcification on my x-ray after only a few months of this condition.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

Go get a professional diagnosis from a Podiatrist.

I have had many foot/ankle issues. This past August 2013, I did a PRP (Platelet Rich Plasma) treatment for my ankle that is not FDA approved or insurance approved. MANY pro athletes use this procedure to help healing time with the exception of the growth hormone, LOL. It was a GODSEND for me.

Basically, they took 60cc's of my blood, spun it thousands of times to separate all cells, added a hormone from a pig, then injected it into my ankle which had a hole in the bone. This procedure triggered my stem cells to react and regrow which it did and for the first time in over a year, without orthotics from the sports medicine Dr, I am exercising and walking PAIN FREE. I spent about $2500 out of my pocket that did not go on my deductible, I spent 5 days in my bed, only to get up for a restroom break, there had to be no movement in 5 days... I had a day brace and a night brace for 3 months. If I had known how much better I would have felt a year ago, I would have done it and I will do it again if I ever need to. It was THAT good.

In the previous year, I spent over $600 for custom formulated orthotics, wore a brace on and off and had numerous expenses involved with seeing the sports medicine Dr. who happens to be one of the best in the DFW area.

It was only when I went to a special podiatrist that I got the treatment I needed. This is a relatively new treatment and not many Dr's do it because they have to be spot on with the injection in order for things to go as planned. My Dr. is one of a handful in the large DFW area who does this. I'm actually going to be on the Good Morning Texas show in the next month as an example patient where this was successful. I get no benefit from the publicity... I paid full price for the procedure out of pocket and like I said, I would do it again tomorrow. Go to a special foot Dr and get diagnosed.

Best wishes to you.... foot pain sucks

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

Freeze a water bottle and roll it your foot over it. My insurance paid for custom orthotics. And, if you are at all overweight (please don't be offended), lose some. I lost weight for other reasons and my plantar fascitus disappeared within the first 10 lbs and hasn't returned.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Phoenix on

no one mentioned that it could be a bone spur (only treatable with surgery, but alleviated with heel lifts). You can buy heel lifts at walgreen's for like $10. They say right on the package "for Plantar Fascitus and Heel Spurs". It's cheap and worth a shot.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Phoenix on

See a foot dr. asap! I have plantar fasciitis and there is no pain like it. Don't buy any shoes or over the counter orthotics. See what the dr. says first. If you are in horrendous pain the dr. may give you a cortisone injection which I welcomed with open arms. I had almost immediate relief. In the meantime, DON'T walk barefoot. Freeze a bottle of water and then roll it back and forth under your foot while sitting or standing. I like using frozen bottle better than a golf ball because of the numbing effect. Also, I kept buying pricey shoes that I thought were good for my feet but I wasn't having ANY relief. Finally, with my dr.'s recommendation, I went to a running store where the staff spent an hour watching me walk in different shoes. Finally found a pair that is wonderful. Not attractive but wonderful. Oh, and I got rid of all my cute but flat sandals with zero arch support. Good luck! Make doctor appt asap!!!!!

I just noticed you are in Phoenix. PM me if you'd like the name of my foot dr. He's amazing.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

I've been struggling with this condition for several years – learned the stretching exercises, tried a variety of shoes and insoles and icing, and kept getting worse, to where I could hardly walk many days, and the pain when going to bed or getting up was especially intense.

Last year I finally saw a podiatrist, who told me my stretching technique was fine, and he sold me a very expensive pair of custom orthotics. This was a waste; for whatever reason, the orthotics make my feet hurt worse, and I finally gave up.

This year, I discovered Sketcher's Go Walk line of shoes, and the fit and cushioning (at least for me) are perfect. My feet are actually, finally, improving. I now wear these shoes from morning to bedtime, and am much more comfortable. I'm hoping for continued improvement.

So I suggest trying many different shoe styles and finding out whether there's one that seems especially comforting/supportive for your feet. I wish you success!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

I had a textbook case a few years ago that was cured by getting the right running shoes at a specialty running store. I didn't expect that outcome at all - my goal in going there was to make sure that I had the best shoe for me before going to an ortho and being fitted for an orthotic insert. Well after a week of wearing my new shoes (Asics Evolution) I felt 100% better. It also cured my achilles tendonitis.

Over the past few months, I've noticed a less typical case of PF where the flare up is on the outside of my foot and not the inside. I desperately need new running shoes and hope that helps. It's much better now that I've been exercising regularly, but the pain is sort of shifting from there to my shins, knees, hips and hamstrings probably due to compensating for the foot problem. I do have a roller that I use to relieve some of the pain and have been getting monthly massages and that helps too, but if the new shoes don't alleviate the symptoms I will go see an ortho and see if SuperFeet or custom inserts help.

So if I were you, I would start with shoes from a specialty store where they analyze your gait as you will need them anyway if you go down the orthotics road. If that doesn't help, go to an ortho. If you google search this there are also some stretches you can do that help. Hope you get some relief soon!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Norfolk on

It was years ago when I got a bad case of it.
What cleared it up for me was wearing Birkenstocks (sandals or clogs) every waking standing minute (except when in the shower).
It took about 3 months but then I could go barefoot for short periods of time.
After 6 months I was cured.
But now I love my Birkies and wear them all the time anyway.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Erie on

I bought Dansko (like these shoes because I have to stand at work up to 12 hours. Mine started last Mother's Day weekend, and just recently I've noticed a huge difference. Had to wear an ace bandage daily through at least October in addition to the shoes. Only last month could I even wear another pair of shoes (thank goodness, because I can't wear those shoes in in the snow!). The stretching helped, and I use a ball to roll around my arch when I'm sitting down watching tv, I even wore the boot at night for a time. I never went to the doctor, but got great advice from those who have dealt with it. But the first weekend I was laid up completely and then intermittently (like 1-2 days after a 12 hour night), and then it just hurt all the time until this month.

The shoes were my saving grace. I wear them all the time when I can.
I think it's so funny that someone thinks these shoes are ugly. I guess because I never EVER wear heels, I am used to choosing from flat shoes and I really like the way they look, I wear them a lot. Even the Danskos were a bit of an adjustment because the sole is 1 1/2 inches thick. But for standing for long periods of time, you can't beat them. This is why everyone we know in the restaurant business wears them.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Sacramento on

There are two brands of shoes out there that are designed for this condition: Orthaheels and Kuru. Both are fantastic! I also have a pair of Danskos but find I can't wear those as long as the other brands (not to mention, they're ugly).

Your regular doctor can help you. Mine gave me tips for how to stretch and told me how to cut back on exercise (which exercises are out now). He recommended a shoe insert they sold at the Kaiser pharmacy, but I found over time that wasn't enough ... I needed the special shoes with a lot more arch support.

I highly recommend yoga. That makes a big difference for me. I'm using Bob Harper's Weight Loss Yoga DVD now that I can't do cardio other than biking and it really helps my worst foot.

Get on the phone now and get in with your doctor. You'll get the tips you need from someone with the training to help.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

Haflinger clogs. Put them by your bed and step into them immediately upon waking. My daughter calls them my "medicine shoes" and they are. Don't go barefoot and don't wear any shoe without good arch support. Depending on the severity of your case, this may cure it. It did for me. I continued to run and train in Karate (barefoot) but wore the clogs every minute at home and bought really good shoes for work, where some days I stood and taught for up to 6 hours.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Lakeland on

I had that a while back and my DR suggested better walking shoes with good cushioning and orthotics, I purchased OTC heel cushions which worked out well for me. I haven't had any problems with it since. Oh I also wear Crocs flip flops and sandals living in Florida, they seem to have the best cushioning, IMO.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Springfield on

I just skimmed the answers, but compared to the advice you've received so far, I must have had a really mild case.

I just wore my Crocs for a few weeks, especially when i first woke up. That did the trick for me.

I kept my Crocs by my bed. I put them on first thing in the morning and even if I had to get up to pee. I pretty much just wore them all the time (unless I needed to dress up). It took a couple of weeks, but my foot eventually healed. I've been a little more careful with the shoes I buy, but I've never had to see a doctor about it or get orthodics.

Might be a good idea to see a podiatrist and get an idea of just how serious your case is. It might not be as bad as some of the others here, or it could be serious and need to be treated specifically.

Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Phoenix on

I did not go thru the answers. Basicly you need orthodics
and a boot to sleep in at night.... ice 3x a day. it may return off
and on

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Portland on

I had this about 15 years ago. I did everything the doctor said and it didn't work at all. I went to the podiatrist, got the custom orthotics, and boy did they hurt my feet! I could only wear them for an hour at a time for the first week. But, after about 3 weeks I could wear them for a whole shift at work. By the end of 6 weeks, I was wearing them through both of my jobs, my commute, and school. I haven't had any problems since I used the orthotics like my podiatrist said.

My aunt had it at the same time, and she just went the Birkenstock route, like her doctor said was fine, and she still has problems to this day because she didn't want to spend the money.

I would stay with what the podiatrist says, and if they say you need custom orthotics, as soon as you can afford it I would! I know each person is different, but a lot of it comes from how we hold our ankles and if they roll (pronate or supinate). So, there is more to it than just the bottom of the feet.

Good luck! I know how badly this can hurt. I hope some of the advice here helps.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

Ok here is the reality. Shoes ruin your feet.
Especially gym shoes.
You know how you DON'T solve that problem? By buying more gym shoes with, this time coupled with "custom orthotics" that are "customized" to the already damaged shape of your foot.
It blows my mind how many people never get this and wonder why they have issues their entire lives.

You can fix plantar fasciitis by GOING BAREFOOT. It will take about 2 weeks for your feet to readjust to their natural walking positioning. They will be sore in that process.
And magically, you will notice that you no longer have pain there, as you have corrected the root cause of the problem...which was wearing gym shoes and custom orthotics to begin with.

Ps: yes, I had it, I made that mistake, and with the help of my very forward thinking chiropractor, that is how we solved the problem.

Good luck.


answers from Jacksonville on

Other than changing your shoes, have you done anything to actively "treat" it? There are stretches and exercises and ideas about how to properly ice it online. Easy enough to google them.

I had it many years ago, and treated it promptly with appropriate stretches and icing, and it went away in short order (probably 2 weeks?). Be careful about the shoe choices you make going forward. Wearing a shoe with a stacked heal or thick heel/sole may make it feel better while you are wearing the shoe, but it allows the tendons to tighten up even further which just makes it worse in actuality.

Good luck. And how is your son? Did you get his ankle x-rayed yet? You can try some of the online home remedies/stretches before seeing a doctor or orthopoedic specialist about this condition of yours you've neglected for a year. This is something that can wait longer. Your son's ankle, not so much... ya know?


Freeze a can of soda, put a sock on it, and roll it with your foot back and forth for 10 minute increments off and on throughout the day. Roll your entire foot on it, including the heel, but concentrating on the arch of your foot.



answers from Burlington on

It was more expensive, but I spent $200 on custom orthotics through my podiatrist for my plantar faciitis and it was the best $200 I've ever spent. They were excruciating to wear for the first few days, but once I got through that, they gradually felt better until I didn't even notice them anymore. Now I feel really weird if I put my sneakers on without them - like I'm falling over or something! The nice thing is that I can just buy whatever cheapy sneakers I want, instead of expensive specific ones, because the orthotic provides all the arch support, but the bad thing is that it's hard to find sandals to wear in the summer - nothing with an open heel, or the orthotic will fall out! I'm a sneaker type of person anyway and have found some sandals with fabric that goes around the back of the heel, so I'm good. I've been wearing them long enough, that I could probably try going without them for a while, but I'm afraid it'll come back, and I don't mind the orthotics at all, so I keep wearing them. Different things seem to work for different people. I agree that it's worth a trip to your doctor first, just to make sure it's what you think it is. Good luck!

For Updates and Special Promotions
Follow Us

Related Questions