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Plantar Fasciitis

ARE YOU FEELING ANY OF THE FOLLOWING?
Pain or tenderness along the arch or the inside of the edge of the heel that occurs when:

  • Running

  • Jumping

  • Walking on the toes

  • Taking your first few steps after getting out of bed or after sitting for more than a few minutes

  • Beginning a game or workout

THIS CONDITION IS BROUGHT ON BY

  • Repeated and forceful stretching or pounding (on a hard surface)
  • Tight calf muscles
  • A sudden increase (more than 10% per week) in the intensity of a workout or sports activity
  • Faulty foot mechanics (flat arches, rigid arches, etc.)
  • Wearing shoes with little arch support or heel padding

image of the bottom of the human foot with location of the plantar fascia

The plantar fascia runs along the bottom
of the foot, from the heel to the toes.

TO RELIEVE PAIN AND SPEED RECOVERY
Unless your heel or arch pain is severe or you're unable to walk, you can try the following:

Shoes that have a firm arch support and well-cushioned heel, help reduce the tension in the Achilles tendon. Change shoes that show excess wear (change running shoes every 400 miles). If shoes are in good condition, but lack adequate support and cushion, try putting an additional arch support in both sides.

STRETCH - to reduce tension along the arch

Technique: Warm up until you start to sweat, stretch to a gentle pull, and hold without bouncing for 20-30 seconds.

Frequency: Do 2- 3 sets of repetitions per day, 6-7 days per week.

image depicting the calf stretch exercise

Calf Stretch
  • Stand with your feet pointed forward.

  • Keep your heels down and back leg straight.

  • Slowly bend your front leg until you feel a gentle upper calf stretch in the back leg.


image depicting the heel stretch exercise

Heel Stretch
  • Stand with your feet pointed forward and heels down.

  • Slowly bend your back leg until you feel a gentle lower calf or heel stretch along that leg.


image depicting the arch stretch exercise

Arch Stretch
  • Grab your toes and ball of the foot.

  • Pull the toes and foot back until you feel an arch stretch.


Foot Rub

STRENGTHEN - the arch to prevent injury
Frequency: Do three sets of ten repetitions, 3-4 days per week.

image depicting the towel crunch strengthening exercise

Towel Crunches
  • Spread out a towel in front of your foot.

  • Use your toes to pull the towel toward you.

CALL YOUR DOCTOR IF


If you are a registered University of Illinois student and you have questions or concerns,
or need to make an appointment, please call: Dial-A-Nurse at 333-2700

 

If you are concerned about any difference in your treatment plan and the information in this handout,

you are advised to contact your health care provider.

 

Visit the McKinley Health Center Web site at: http://www.mckinley.illinois.edu


HEd. III-222

© The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois, 2007.

03-02-07

plantar_fasciitis

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