Plantar fasciitis is a common cause of heel pain that affects millions of people. This condition involves inflammation of the plantar fascia – the band of tissue that runs across the bottom of your foot. When plantar fasciitis flares up, it can be quite painful and debilitating. One of the most common questions patients ask is how long plantar fasciitis lasts before it goes away.
How Long Does Acute Plantar Fasciitis Last?
For most people, the first occurrence of plantar fasciitis is an acute episode. When promptly treated, acute plantar fasciitis will often resolve within 6 to 18 months. But there is a wide variability.
With consistent stretching, arch supports, rest, and avoiding reinjury, some find relief within just a few months. For others, acute symptoms can linger for over a year even with treatment.
Factors that influence how quickly acute plantar fasciitis improves include:
So while acute plantar fasciitis often resolves within several months, predicting your individual timeline isn’t easy. Your doctor can best analyze your specific prognosis.
How Long Does Chronic Plantar Fasciitis Last?
If plantar fasciitis is not properly treated in the acute phase, it can become a chronic condition. Chronic plantar fasciitis causes ongoing heel pain for at least 6 months or longer.
This more stubborn form is less likely to resolve on its own without consistent treatment. In fact, about 10% of patients progress to chronic plantar fasciitis that lasts for years.
Certain factors make chronic plantar fasciitis more likely:
With proper treatment, most chronic cases of plantar fasciitis can still be resolved in 6 to 18 months. However, some patients continue battling discomfort even with ongoing therapy. Preventing re-injury and controlling inflammation are key to reducing longevity.
In summary, the duration of plantar fasciitis can range substantially based on the treatment approach and whether it becomes a recurring chronic condition. Acute symptoms often resolve within several months when treated promptly but can last over a year in some cases.
Chronic plantar fasciitis may persist for many months or years if not managed correctly. Getting an accurate prognosis from your podiatrist and being vigilant with treatment are important for optimizing your individual timeline and outcome.
For many people, plantar fasciitis does eventually go away completely with the right treatment. But some may experience periodic flare ups and reoccurrences over their lifetime, especially if they reinjure the plantar fascia through high impact activities.
Factors that typically delay healing include repeated reinjury before the fascia has healed, inadequate rest, being overweight, poor foot support, and untreated biomechanical issues like flat feet. Prompt treatment and avoiding reaggravation speed recovery.
Stretching, arch supports, taping, anti-inflammatory medication, physical therapy, massage, orthotics, night splints, casts, braces, and shockwave therapy are treatments that can reduce the length of time plantar fasciitis lasts.
Having symptoms for over a year certainly puts you at risk of developing chronic plantar fasciitis. But with aggressive treatment, cases lasting this long can still be resolved eventually. Seeking care from a podiatrist is recommended if the condition persists beyond 12 months.
Surgery like plantar fascia release may be considered if very severe. Even after surgery, the recovery process can take 4-6 months to fully heal and resolve the pain. Therapy and rest are still needed post-surgery as well to prevent reinjury.