The plantar fascia is a band that travels beneath the heel to the front part of the foot. A strain on this area is quite common. An individual with a plantar fascia strain might be due to a traumatic event or gradually develop over time.
The signs and symptoms of a plantar fascia strain typically include the following:
- Localized pain and tenderness on the plantar fascia that travels from the heel all the way to the forefoot beneath the foot
- Abrupt piercing pain at the time of injury beneath the heel or arch of the foot
- A lump or nodule might be present in the plantar fascia which indicates a partial rupture
Management of a plantar fascia strain
Adequate rest is vital to allow the injury time to heal. Since it is difficult to rest the foot, crutches are used if needed to alleviate the weight from the affected leg.
Place an ice pack as soon as possible and every 2-3 hours for 15 minutes at a time. After some time, this can be reduced once the acute phase has passed which is 48 hours or more depending on the severity of the injury.
Taping of the arch of the foot can provide support. A simple taping technique helps reduce the load on the fascia to promote healing. Electrotherapy such as ultrasound is also used to minimize the pain, swelling and inflammation.
After the early acute phase, sports massage can be performed which might be beneficial to reestablish the plantar fascia to its early state and improve flexibility.
Stretching and strengthening exercises for the ankle is vital to restore strength in the plantar fascia. Additionally, stretching exercises for the calf muscles is also required. In case the fascia is too tight, a night splint should be used at night. In most cases, a plantar fascia strain typically heals within 2-3 weeks.
Quick Note / Disclaimer
The material posted on this page on plantar fascia strain is for learning and educational purposes only. To learn to recognize and manage strains including on the plantar fascia, register for a first aid and CPR course with Vancouver First Aid.