Back to Blog

What Not to Do When You Have Plantar Fasciitis

Dr. Vivek David

This article was reviewed and approved by a medical professional.

Dr. Vivek David is a licensed orthopedic surgeon who specializes in joint replacement and lower limb reconstruction surgeries. With a rich experience of over 10 years in orthopedics, he has an excellent reputation for handling complex lower limb joint reconstruction and robotic surgeries.

Take control of your plantar fasciitis pain with these essential tips on what to do and what to avoid for the best results.

Plantar fasciitis is a painful foot condition that affects millions of individuals each year. Characterized by a sharp, stabbing pain in the heel of the foot, plantar fasciitis can make even the simplest of daily activities a challenge.

So, how do you manage this condition without exacerbating its symptoms? This article will show you the common things to avoid when you have plantar fasciitis.

What is Plantar Fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis is a painful condition caused by the inflammation of the plantar fascia, a thick band of tissue that runs across the bottom of the foot and provides support to the arch.

The plantar fascia helps to absorb shock and distribute weight as you walk, but if it becomes overworked, it can become inflamed, leading to pain and discomfort.

Common Misconceptions About Plantar Fasciitis

Despite its prevalence, there are many misconceptions about this condition that can lead to confusion and misdiagnosis.

Check out some of the most common myths that many have about plantar fasciitis:

Myth 1: Plantar Fasciitis is a Heel Spur

One of the most common misconceptions about plantar fasciitis is that it is a heel spur. A heel spur is a bony growth that can develop on the heel bone, and it is often associated with plantar fasciitis.

However, plantar fasciitis is not a heel spur, but rather an inflammation of the plantar fascia, the thick band of tissue that runs across the bottom of the foot and provides support to the arch.

Myth 2: Plantar Fasciitis Only Affects Older Individuals

Another common misconception about plantar fasciitis is that it only affects older individuals. While the risk of developing plantar fasciitis does increase with age, the condition can occur at any age and is not limited to older individuals.

Athletes, for example, are at risk of developing plantar fasciitis due to repeated stress and strain on the plantar fascia.

How to Diagnose Plantar Fasciitis

If you suspect that you may have plantar fasciitis, you must see a doctor for a proper diagnosis. A doctor performs a physical examination and reviews your medical history.

The doctor will order an X-ray or MRI to help diagnose the condition. Research shows that MRI (Medical Resonance Imaging) is the most sensitive imaging technique for diagnosing plantar fasciitis.

What Not to Do When You Have Plantar Fasciitis

1. Ignoring the Pain

One great mistake people make when they have plantar fasciitis is ignoring the pain. The pain may become tolerable over time, but this doesn't mean the underlying condition has improved. Ignoring the pain can make the condition worse and delay recovery.

2. Continuing to Engage in High-Impact Activities

People with plantar fasciitis should avoid high-impact activities like running, jumping, and intense workouts, which can worsen the condition.

Instead, ease back into a more active lifestyle with low-impact activities like swimming, cycling, and yoga. These activities ease pain and promote healing.

3. Overusing Anti-Inflammatory Medications

Though these medications help reduce swelling and pain, avoid overusing them. Overusing these medications leads to side effects.

Such effects include ulcers and stomach pain, which may interfere with healing.

4. Not Wearing Proper Footwear

Wearing shoes with good arch support and cushioning is essential for plantar fasciitis. Poor arch support places excessive stress on the fascia, worsening the condition.

Wear shoes that fit well and provide good support, especially when walking or standing for long periods of time – the right sneakers can reduce pain and promote healing.

5. Improper Stretching Techniques

Stretching the plantar fascia can help ease the pain. Yet you should avoid improper stretching techniques.

Stretching the calf muscles too much or too fast can worsen the condition. A physical therapist can teach you proper stretching, foam rolling, and other techniques to help you treat & manage your pain.

Avoiding these common mistakes can help speed up the healing process and get you back on your feet in no time. Remember to seek professional help and stick to your treatment plan. Also, give your foot the rest and care it needs to heal.

6. Trying Quick Fixes

Many people try quick fixes like over-the-counter pain medications and low-quality arch supports to reduce pain.

Unfortunately, these treatments only provide temporary relief. They also do not address the condition's underlying cause.

That is why you need to seek proper medical treatment to address the root cause of the problem.

7. Remaining Sedentary

Staying sedentary for long periods weakens the foot muscles, making plantar fasciitis worse.

Hence, stay active and engage in low-impact activities. Doing this will help promote healing and strengthen the foot. A study showed how common plantar fasciitis is in sedentary individuals.

8. Avoiding Physical Therapy

Physical therapy helps reduce pain and improves mobility in people with plantar fasciitis. A physical therapist can design a customized treatment plan for you and let you in on what not to do with plantar fasciitis.

The plan may include exercises, stretches, and massages to target the affected area. Avoiding physical therapy can delay recovery and make the condition worse.

9. Not Wearing Arch Supports or Orthotics

Arch supports and orthotics can help distribute weight across the foot. They also reduce pain caused by plantar fasciitis. Not wearing these devices can stress the plantar fascia and worsen the condition.

10. Self-Diagnosis and Self-Treatment

Self-diagnosis of plantar fasciitis isn't bad but it isn’t always the best. Indulging in self-treatment can be pretty dangerous. Thus, a need to seek the advice of a doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment.

Knowing When to Seek Medical Help for Plantar Fasciitis

While plantar fasciitis can be treated with home remedies, such as stretching exercises and rest, there are certain situations where it is necessary to see a doctor.

Here are some signs that you should seek medical attention for plantar fasciitis:

Persistent Pain

If you are experiencing pain that lasts longer than a few weeks, it is important to see a doctor. Chronic pain can be a sign of a more serious underlying condition and may require medical intervention to resolve.

Increased Pain

If the pain in your foot becomes more severe or frequent, it is time to see a doctor. This could indicate a more serious problem, such as a tear in the plantar fascia or a stress fracture.

Difficulty Walking

If you are having trouble walking or standing due to pain in your foot, you should see a doctor. This could be a sign of a more serious issue, such as a nerve problem or a muscle strain.

Foot Swelling

If you notice swelling in your foot, it is important to see a doctor. This could indicate an injury or inflammation, both of which require medical attention.

Limitations in Activity

If you are unable to perform daily activities, such as walking, running, or standing, due to pain in your foot, it is time to see a doctor. This could be a sign of a more serious condition that requires medical intervention.

It is important to seek medical attention for plantar fasciitis as soon as possible in order to prevent further damage and to ensure an accurate diagnosis.

Your doctor will be able to evaluate your symptoms and recommend the best course of treatment for your specific situation.

In conclusion, avoiding common mistakes when you have plantar fasciitis is crucial. Ignoring the pain, continuing high-impact activities, and overusing anti-inflammatory medications worsen the condition.

Not wearing proper footwear and improper stretching techniques can also worsen the condition. It would be best if you also avoided self-diagnosis and self-treatment.


What are some common activities to avoid with plantar fasciitis?

Some common activities to avoid with plantar fasciitis include running or jumping on hard surfaces, wearing shoes with inadequate support, and standing for long periods of time without proper foot support.

Is it okay to continue exercising with plantar fasciitis?

It is best to avoid high-impact exercises, such as running or jumping, until the pain subsides. Low-impact activities, such as swimming or cycling, can help maintain fitness while avoiding further strain on the plantar fascia.

What type of shoes should be avoided with plantar fasciitis?

Shoes with inadequate arch support or cushioning should be avoided. High heels and flip-flops should also be avoided as they put excessive strain on the plantar fascia. It is best to wear shoes with good arch support and shock absorption.

Can I still work if I have plantar fasciitis?

If your job involves standing for long periods of time, it is important to have proper foot support and to take breaks to stretch and rest your feet. If the pain becomes severe, it may be necessary to take time off work and seek medical attention.


"Diagnosis and Treatment of Plantar Fasciitis." Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 20 Jan. 2021,


"Plantar Fasciitis and Heel Spurs." Physiopedia,


"Plantar Fasciitis: Helpful Remedies." Elderly Fall Prevention,

Cutts, S, et al. “Plantar Fasciitis.” Annals of the Royal College of Surgeons of England, U.S. National Library of Medicine, Nov. 2012,

Evaluation and Treatment of Chronic Plantar Fasciitis.

Tahririan, Mohammad Ali, et al. “Plantar Fasciitis.” Journal of Research in Medical Sciences : the Official Journal of Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, U.S. National Library of Medicine, Aug. 2012,