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What Happens If You Leave Plantar Fasciitis Untreated?

What happens if you leave plantar fasciitis

If left unaddressed, plantar fasciitis can worsen and lead to significant complications. Some potential complications include the development of heel spurs, tears in the ligaments, and other issues that can impact the knee, hip, and back. It is crucial to seek proper treatment and care to prevent these potential complications from arising.

When it comes to alleviating foot pain and inflammation, conservative treatment methods are often effective. These include taking the time to allow the foot to rest, applying ice to reduce swelling, and engaging in stretching exercises. By implementing these simple yet beneficial strategies, individuals can find relief and promote healing in their feet.


Approximately 2 million individuals in the United States experience the discomfort of plantar fasciitis annually. This prevalent condition manifests as pain on the underside of the foot or heel.

The most common symptom is a sharp or dull pain in the bottom of your heel. This pain is usually worse when you wake up or stand up after sitting or sleeping.

In some cases, the pain may spread from your heel to the arch of your foot or the back of your ankle. A healthcare provider will diagnose plantar fasciitis by asking about your symptoms and performing a physical exam.

If your foot doctor determines that you have plantar fasciitis, they may prescribe a variety of treatments. These include at-home remedies and over-the-counter medicines that are designed to relieve pain and encourage healing of microtears in your foot. They also may recommend physical therapy and other exercises to stretch your feet. You might also need ice or heat therapy to reduce inflammation and promote healing.


Plantar fasciitis is caused by excessive stress on the plantar fascia, a thick, fibrous band of tissue that runs along the bottom of your foot. This tension increases when you stand, place weight on your feet or push off the ball of your foot and toes.

Overtime, the constant stretching and tearing causes microtears in the plantar fascia. These tears cause a loss of elasticity and resilience in the plantar fascia, which can then become irritated by routine activities.

Symptoms usually start with pain when you take your first steps in the morning. The pain can get worse as the day goes on, especially if you stand or walk for long periods of time.

Treatment options include rest, icing, anti-inflammatory drugs and physical therapy. Using arch supports in your shoes, replacing worn-out athletic footwear and stretching exercises are also helpful.


Plantar fasciitis is generally treated with rest, stretching exercises, and anti-inflammatory medications. It can also be helped by wearing shoes that are fitted with orthotics (insoles) to support your foot and heel.

X-rays or MRI scans may be recommended if your pain is not relieved by simple treatments. These tests can show if there are other problems causing the pain, such as a stress fracture or a bone spur on the heel.

Over-the-counter pain relievers, such as ibuprofen and naproxen, reduce inflammation and may help heal the tiny tears in the plantar fascia. Targeted anti-inflammatory creams can also be used to ease the pain.

Using cold therapy, such as applying an ice pack or bag of frozen water to the bottom of your feet, can help decrease swelling and reduce pain. This is best done for about 20 minutes 3 times a day.


If you leave plantar fasciitis untreated, it can lead to pain that keeps you from walking. It can also increase the risk of lumps of calcium collecting on your heel bone, called bone spurs.

When this happens, it can make the condition worse and put extra strain on your knees, hips, and back. In severe cases, surgery can be needed.

Fortunately, most people who have plantar fasciitis will improve with nonsurgical treatment, such as stretching, home treatments, and physical therapy. However, rare situations may require steroid injections or surgery.

The most important thing to do is stay consistent with your treatment and care routine, especially if you haven’t seen any improvement or the pain is getting worse. If you’re not sure what’s wrong, make an appointment with a podiatrist, who will be able to check for other injuries and recommend treatments or techniques that can speed up your recovery.


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