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How to Help Plantar Fasciitis Symptoms in One Week

Say goodbye to heel pain with these effective treatments and lifestyle changes for plantar fasciitis.

Plantar fasciitis is a common yet debilitating foot condition that affects millions of people worldwide. The big question is, can you help improve plantar fasciitis symptoms in just one week?

Curing plantar fasciitis in one week is difficult, unless it’s a mild condition or diagnosed early. In most cases, this chronic condition often requires a multi-faceted approach to treatment. The length of time it takes to cure plantar fasciitis can vary greatly depending on the severity of the condition, the underlying causes, and the individual's response to treatment.

However, if you have identified the symptoms early enough, there’s a 7-day treatment plan to get you back on your feet. But first, let’s discuss exactly what plantar fasciitis is and a few common misconceptions about it.

Understanding Plantar Fasciitis

Your feet consist of a whopping 26 bones and 33 joints, all working together to keep you balanced and moving forward. They also house over 100 different muscles, tendons, and ligaments. Your plantar fascia is one of the most essential components of this infrastructure – this flexible band of fibrous tissue helps you walk, sit, stand, and maintain your posture and stability. It runs along the bottom of the foot, supporting the arch. And when it becomes damaged or inflamed, a plantar fasciitis diagnosis is likely soon to follow.

Common Misconceptions About Plantar Fasciitis

There are some common misconceptions about plantar fasciitis. Some include that it's caused by having flat feet, high arches, or taut calf muscles. While some of these are true, you should know that the condition is often the result of a combination of factors. The factors range from overuse, age, and obesity, to high-impact activities like running.

But chiefly, many people develop plantar fasciitis from wearing the wrong footwear. Shoes and sneakers that lack proper arch support and/or heel cushioning place undue strain on the plantar fascia, triggering the injury.

If you’ve received a recent diagnosis, or you’re experiencing a flare-up, you likely want to treat it immediately. You’re in luck, because we’ve put together a 7-day guide on how to help your plantar fasciitis symptoms in just one week.

Step-by-Step Guide to Helping Plantar Fasciitis in One Week

Day 1: Initial Assessment and Rest

By the time you receive a diagnosis for plantar fasciitis, you’ve likely already been resting for a few days, or weeks, even. And though you may want to start rehabilitating immediately, one more day of proper rest is critical to a quick recovery. This means no running, jumping, exercising, or walking (unless it’s an emergency).

Fortunately, the first two steps on Day 1 are the easiest: RICE & night splints.

RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation)

The RICE method is a simple, effective treatment for plantar fasciitis and other soft tissue injuries. RICE stands for Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation, and is a widely recognized and recommended treatment for reducing pain, swelling, and inflammation.

Rest: You need to stay off your feet as much as possible while treating plantar fasciitis, as it’s more than likely that weight-bearing issues are the primary cause of the pain and inflammation in the first place. Rest will limit the strain on the plantar fascia and promote healing within the first 24 hours.

woman resting wearing her sneakers

Ice: Apply ice to the affected area to help reduce pain, swelling, and inflammation. Wrap a few ice cubes in a towel and apply to the affected area for 20 minutes on, then 20 minutes off. Repeat this cycle several times per day.

Compression: Before you put your feet up and begin the icing sequence, be sure to wrap your foot with a compression wrap to reduce swelling and improve circulation to the affected area. You may have to replace the compression wrap after a few icing cycles due to wetness, which is normal.

Elevation: Place your foot up on a pillow as you lay down or on a chair if you prefer to sit. This will limit the blood flow to the foot, which will reduce swelling. The less inflammation around the soft tissue, the easier the condition will be to treat in a few days. You should also place a pillow underneath your foot when sleeping to limit blood flow during those 6-8 hours.

Night Splints

Night splints can be highly effective in reducing pain and swelling associated with plantar fasciitis. The splint holds your foot in a stable position with the toes pointed up, which places the plantar fascia in a constant, gentle stretch and limits the possibility of straining it further. If your healthcare provider didn’t recommend one, you should give them a call before wearing one to ensure that it’s an appropriate treatment tool for your individual needs.

Anti-Inflammatory Medications

Anti-inflammatory medications, such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), can be an effective way to manage the pain and inflammation associated with plantar fasciitis. These medications work by blocking the production of certain chemicals in the body that cause inflammation, reducing pain and swelling.

Common NSAIDs used for plantar fasciitis include ibuprofen, naproxen, and aspirin, which you can buy over-the-counter at your local pharmacy or convenience store. Follow the directions on the bottle and check with your doctor before proceeding.

Lifestyle Changes

You can’t cure plantar fasciitis in a singular day, but mild cases can be resolved within a week. But if you want to make sure you don’t develop the condition again, you’ll need to make some adjustments to your daily habits & lifestyle.

The first, and arguably the most important change that needs to be made is your footwear. Regardless of whether you injured yourself playing a sport, standing too much, or simply having pre-existing foot problems, you need to pick up a pair of arch support sneakers that also provide ample heel cushioning. This needs to happen on Day 1 so that you can limit the damage done to the plantar fascia when walking, even if it’s just around your home.

woman wearing arch support sneakers

In the same vein, avoid wearing any shoes that place your foot in an unnatural position, like heels or unsupportive sandals.

Day 2: Cold Therapy and Taping

As the initial shock of the diagnosis settles, Day 2 will be focused on further pain and inflammation relief. We’ll use two methods: cold therapy (icing) and taping.

More Icing/Cold Therapy

Cold therapy, or more commonly known as icing, is a tried-and-true method for reducing inflammation and providing pain relief. The inflammatory phase of a soft tissue injury peaks around 24-72 hours after the initial injury, so it’s critical that you ice often during this time period, just as you did on Day 1. Remember: 20 minutes on, 20 minutes off. Repeat several times per day.

Taping Techniques

Taping is another effective method to support the inflamed area. There are a few different ways to tape your foot to support the arch and reduce strain on the plantar fascia. One popular method is the low-dye taping technique, which provides support to the arch of the foot, redistributing stress and offering relief.

Start by anchoring a strip of athletic or medical tape to the outside of the foot, just below the little toe. Pull it diagonally across the arch (underneath your foot), finishing below the big toe. Then, apply several horizontal strips, overlapping them, from the ball of the foot to the heel, ensuring the arch is lifted and supported. You can layer it with a compression wrap or compression sock to prevent the tape from coming off throughout the day as well.

By the end of Day 2, individuals should feel a noticeable reduction in pain and increased support in their foot's arch, setting the stage for the stretching and strengthening exercises that we’ll get into on Day 3 and beyond.

Day 3: Stretching the Plantar Fascia and Calf Muscle

Why and When to Stretch

Stretching is a crucial component in the treatment and management of plantar fasciitis. It “significantly reduced pain and improved gait in patients with PF'' in a randomized control trial conducted by several university scientists. It’s a common belief that you should begin stretching as soon as the injury occurs. But because the inflammatory phase lasts for up to 72 hours, stretching within that time frame can actually do more harm than good. It can cause the tissue to develop micro-tears, further delaying your recovery.

But once the inflammation has begun to subside, it’s time to make stretching a part of your daily routine. When done properly, it can reduce the tension and strain on the plantar fascia, which in turn reduces the pain that you’re feeling. Plus, they’ll improve your overall foot and leg health in the long-run.

How to Stretch Your Plantar Fascia

Because the plantar fascia and calf muscle are connected through the heel, the techniques used to stretch them are quite similar. To stretch your plantar fascia, sit on the edge of a chair, then bend over to reach your toes. Gently pull your toes upwards towards your shin until you feel a light stretch. Don’t pull too hard, as this could worsen the injury. Hold the stretch for 5 seconds, then release for 2-3 seconds. Repeat for a total of 10 reps at least 3 times per day on both feet, even if only one of them hurts.

Though you may find it difficult to believe, the tension in your calf muscle impacts the pain felt in your plantar fascia. So to limit this tension, and subsequently, the pain underneath your foot, you need to stretch your calf. To do so, stand facing a wall and place your hands against it for stability. Place one foot forward and the other 1-2 feet behind, gently leaning forward towards the wall while keeping your back heel on the ground. You should feel a stretch throughout the back of your lower leg, down into your Achilles tendon. Again, hold the stretch for 5 seconds, then release for 2-3 seconds. Repeat for a total of 10 reps at least 3 times per day on both legs.

Both of these stretching techniques will help to alleviate the tension in your entire lower leg, which in turn will get you back on your feet in a shorter amount of time. But over the long-term, stretching will significantly reduce the possibility of a second plantar fasciitis diagnosis, as well as other lower leg injuries.

Day 4: Strengthening Exercises

The Role of Strengthening in Long-Term Health

While stretching helps alleviate immediate pain and tension, strengthening exercises are crucial for long-term recovery and prevention of plantar fasciitis recurrence. You won’t be ready to return to activity in 1 week if you don’t strengthen the tissues and muscles in your feet and lower legs. Strong muscles protect the plantar fascia, resulting in improved arch support and less strain on the injured area. This means that you won’t have to deal with unexpected flare-ups or pain from simply walking or standing.

Specific Strengthening Exercises for Plantar Fasciitis

Targeted exercises can help strengthen the intrinsic muscles of the foot, providing better arch support and reducing the load on the plantar fascia.


One popular exercise is the towel curl. To perform this movement, sit on the edge of a chair with your feet flat on the ground and a towel spread in front of them. Using only your toes, attempt to scrunch the towel towards yourself, engaging the muscles of the foot. Another exercise involves marble pickups, which is exactly what it sounds like. Place a few marbles on the towel to prevent them from rolling all over the floor, then use your toes to pick up marbles and place them elsewhere. Though these exercises may seem childish and take a bit of practice to get the hang of, they’re instrumental in strengthening the plantar fascia and foot muscles.

Day 5: Upgrade to Arch Supports and Insoles

By Day 5, you should already be wearing a more supportive pair of shoes, even around your house. If you’ve been wearing them regularly, it’s likely that you’ve already noticed a reduction in pain when sitting, standing, and walking. But if not, you may need to supplement your footwear with arch supports or orthotics.

Benefits of Insoles and Braces

Insoles can be a game-changer, and are a cheaper and typically more accessible option than a new pair of sneakers. They slide directly into your shoes, providing a much-needed layer of arch support and cushioning.

Arch Supports and Orthotics

Curves & Pods arch support
Arch supports and orthotics can help distribute weight across the foot and reduce pressure on the plantar fascia. You can buy these devices over the counter or get them custom-made by a podiatrist, though that process may take longer than a week. If you choose to buy them over the counter, consult with your healthcare provider to ensure that they are safe and appropriate for your individual needs. Depending on the size of the insert, you may need to wear sneakers that are half or even full-size larger to accommodate the orthotic.

Day 6: Advanced Therapies and Massages

As the week progresses and the foundational treatments have been established, Day 6 brings more advanced therapies and massages. These treatments aim to further alleviate pain, promote healing, and ensure that your foot is prepared to return to regular activity.

Exploring Physical Therapy Options

In a perfect world, you wouldn’t need to visit a physical therapist (PT) to cure your plantar fascia. But because every condition is variable based on the cause and individual, we recommend visiting a PT or another trained therapist to tailor the treatment to your needs.

They may use techniques like ultrasound, electrical stimulation, or even laser therapy to reduce inflammation and promote healing in the plantar fascia. These modalities, combined with guided exercises and stretches, can accelerate recovery and ensure the foot regains its full range of motion without pain.

Self-Massage Techniques and Tools

Massaging the affected foot can provide immediate relief from plantar fasciitis pain. You can use your hands to apply pressure, kneading the arch and heel area with your fingers or knuckles. Similarly, you can place a tennis, golf, or lacrosse ball underneath your foot to focus on tight, tender spots. These simple tools can loosen the plantar fascia and associated muscles, further reducing pain and inflammation, pushing you closer to a full recovery.

Day 7: Medication and Long-Term Planning

As the week of intensive care for plantar fasciitis wraps up, Day 7 (and beyond) emphasizes the importance of both immediate pain management and long-term maintenance.

Understanding the Role of Anti-Inflammatories

Over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications, such as Ibuprofen, will be instrumental in reducing inflammation and providing pain relief as you return to activity. Topical gels, like Voltaren, can also be applied directly to the affected area, offering localized relief without the systemic effects of oral medication. You can also use heat therapy before exercise to warm up the muscles in the foot, which will reduce the likelihood of injury. After you’re finished moving around, apply ice to the area to limit swelling. Should you choose to take any medications for pain management, make sure to use as directed and be aware of potential side effects, especially with prolonged use.

Planning Ahead: What’s Next?

While the one-week treatment plan for plantar fasciitis offers a roadmap to significant relief, especially for mild conditions, the condition will require ongoing attention to prevent future flare-ups.


Continue to stretch and strength train regularly, wear supportive footwear as often as possible, and rest your feet after long bouts of standing, walking, running, or jumping.

When to See a Doctor

Ideally, you’ll be able to treat your condition in a matter of days or weeks without much medical intervention. However, you should visit a doctor as soon as possible if you experience any of the following:

Severe Pain or Swelling – If you experience severe pain or swelling in the affected area, you must see a doctor as soon as possible. 

No Improvement After One Week – You must see a doctor if you don't see any improvement after one week of treatment. 

Presence of Other Foot Conditions – According to findings, other problems with your foot could worsen plantar fasciitis symptoms. In the elderly, for example, the fascia loses its flexibility with time.


It's essential to take proper care of your feet and follow the recommended treatments. Doing this helps to speed up healing and avoid future complications. Once you have mastered treating your feet correctly, you already know how to help plantar fasciitis symptoms in one week.

If you are experiencing plantar fasciitis symptoms, you should immediately see a doctor. You can be on your way to pain-free feet in one week with the right treatments and lifestyle changes.


Is it possible to cure plantar fasciitis in one week?

It is unlikely to cure plantar fasciitis in one week, as it is a chronic condition that requires a multi-faceted approach to treatment, including rest, physical therapy, stretching, orthotics, ice therapy, and pain management. However, mild cases can be resolved in as little as 1-2 weeks.

Is plantar fasciitis a permanent condition?

In most cases, plantar fasciitis is a treatable condition and can be effectively managed with proper care and attention. However, the length of time it takes to achieve significant improvement can vary greatly depending on the individual's needs and the severity of the condition.

What lifestyle changes can I make to speed up the healing process?

Wearing proper footwear, maintaining a healthy weight, stretching regularly, avoiding high-impact activities, using orthotics, and getting adequate rest and sleep.

Can surgery cure plantar fasciitis?

In some cases, surgery may be necessary to cure plantar fasciitis. Yet, surgery is only recommended for severe cases of plantar fasciitis. "Severe" means plantar fasciitis that does not respond to other treatments. Surgery involves releasing the plantar fascia to reduce tension and relieve pain.


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