Resuming sports participation after plantar fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis in athletes is often the result of overtraining. You will need to reduce your level of activity or switch to another type of activity that puts less stress on your feet. This, combined with stretching, anti-inflammatory drugs, and ensuring that you have good-quality footwear, will allow your condition to improve. It may take several months for your pain to go away completely.

If you are unable to completely change your activity, your doctor may give you corticosteroid shots to help you manage the pain.

Increase your activity level gradually, and use an orthotic device in your shoe. If symptoms of plantar fasciitis do not come back, you may return to full activity.

If you have had surgery for plantar fasciitis, increase your activity level only when pain and tenderness have gone away. You may be able to start exercises such as cycling and swimming before you can add walking or running. Most people are able to return to running in about 5 to 12 weeks.1


  1. Wapner KL, Bordelon RL (2003). Heel pain. In JC DeLee, D Drez Jr, eds., DeLee and Drez's Orthopaedic Sports Medicine, 2nd ed., vol. 2, pp. 2446–2474. Philadelphia: Saunders.

Last Updated: July 16, 2009

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