Will Plantar Fasciitis Resolve on Its Own?

Apr 02, 2024
Will Plantar Fasciitis Resolve on Its Own?
Plantar fasciitis can heal on its own for many people but depends on several factors, including early intervention and treatment. Here’s what you should know about the painful condition and when you may require medical intervention.

Plantar fasciitis is a common condition characterized by sharp and stabbing pains in the bottom of the foot or heel. Pain is often most severe when taking the first morning steps. 

Dr. Eric Gilbertson, DPM, FACFAS, a double-board-certified podiatrist at Renew Foot & Ankle, LLC, in Grand Rapids and Bigfork, Minnesota, often encounters patients who want to know if plantar fasciitis will resolve on its own or if medical intervention is necessary.

What is plantar fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis occurs when the plantar fascia, a thick band of tissue that runs across the bottom of your foot and connects your heel bone to your toes, becomes inflamed. The condition is often the result of a repetitive strain injury to the ligament of the sole of the foot. Such strain can be caused by excessive running or walking, inadequate foot gear, or a natural predisposition due to the foot's arch type.

Can plantar fasciitis heal on its own?

The question of whether plantar fasciitis can resolve itself is complex and depends on several factors, including the severity of the condition, the patient's lifestyle, and any underlying health issues. For many, the condition may improve over time with simple home treatments and modifications in activities.

Research suggests that about 80% of plantar fasciitis cases improve significantly within a year without surgical intervention. However, the key to recovery lies in early intervention and consistent application of recommended treatments.

Factors influencing non-surgical recovery

Several factors can influence the likelihood of recovery from plantar fasciitis without medical intervention:

Early diagnosis and treatment

Recognizing the symptoms early and starting with conservative treatments, such as rest, ice, and stretches, can significantly enhance recovery chances.

Lifestyle modifications 

Adjusting activities to avoid actions that exacerbate the pain, such as reducing time spent on feet or avoiding hard surfaces, can help in the healing process.

Proper footwear

Wearing shoes with adequate support and cushioning can alleviate stress on the plantar fascia.

Weight management

Excess weight can increase the strain on the plantar fascia, so maintaining a healthy weight may improve symptoms.

Consistency in treatment

Adhering to prescribed treatment regimens, such as stretching exercises and wearing night splints, can facilitate recovery.

Medical treatment options

While many cases of plantar fasciitis improve with conservative treatments, some may require additional intervention.

Treatment options include:

  • Physical therapy to strengthen the foot and improve its functionality
  • Orthotic devices that distribute pressure more evenly across the foot
  • Medications to reduce pain and inflammation
  • Corticosteroid injections to reduce inflammation

Surgery is considered when conservative treatment methods have not relieved the pain.

Get a personalized treatment plan

For many, plantar fasciitis will improve over time without medical intervention. But if you're suffering from it, consult with Dr. Gilbertson to develop a personalized treatment plan. Call the office or schedule an appointment online to determine the best course of action for treatment.