Living with Plantar Fasciitis

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Living with Plantar Fasciitis

If you’ve ever experienced a sharp, stabbing pain in your heel, especially during your first steps in the morning, you might be living with a common foot condition called plantar fasciitis. 

At Total Foot and Ankle in Enid, Oklahoma, board-certified podiatrist Scott Shields, DPM and our dedicated team recognize the toll plantar fasciitis can have on your ability to walk, stand, or engage in daily activities comfortably. We take a patient-centered approach to care focused on treating the underlying cause of your heel pain, prioritizing conservative interventions for long-lasting relief.

In the meantime, we’ll take a closer look at what plantar fasciitis is, its causes, and practical tips for living well despite discomfort. 

What is plantar fasciitis? 

Plantar fasciitis is a condition characterized by inflammation of the plantar fascia, a thick band that runs across the bottom of your foot, connecting your heel bone to your toes. This inflammation leads to pain and discomfort, often concentrated in the heel area. Here’s what you need to know: 

Common symptoms

The hallmark sign of plantar fasciitis is pain, typically most intense in the morning or after periods of inactivity. As you move, the pain may decrease, only to return later in the day. 


Plantar fasciitis often develops due to overuse, wearing improper footwear, or having structural issues like high arches or flat feet. It can also be exacerbated by activities that put stress on your feet, such as running, standing for extended periods, or walking long distances. 

Practical tips for managing plantar fasciitis

While plantar fasciitis can be uncomfortable, there are practical steps you can take to manage it and continue living a fulfilling life. Here are some tips: 

Footwear matters

Invest in shoes with proper arch support, cushioning, and shock absorption. Avoid unsupportive footwear like flip-flops or worn-out shoes. 

Stretching exercises

Gentle stretching exercises can help alleviate the tightness in your plantar fascia. Rolling a tennis ball or frozen water bottle under your foot can provide relief. 


Custom or over-the-counter orthotic insoles can provide added support and cushioning to reduce strain on the plantar fascia. 


Applying ice to the affected area can help reduce inflammation and alleviate pain. Use a cold pack for 15-20 minutes several times a day. 

Rest and activity modification 

Reduce high-impact activities that exacerbate the pain. Incorporate lower-impact exercises like swimming or cycling into your routine. 

Physical therapy

Dr. Shields can guide you through exercises and techniques that strengthen your foot muscles and improve flexibility. 

Thriving despite plantar fasciitis

Living with plantar fasciitis doesn’t mean giving up on the activities you love. With some adjustments, you can continue to lead an active and enjoyable life: 

Low-impact activities

Engage in activities like swimming, yoga, or cycling that are gentle on the feet while providing opportunities for exercise and relaxation. 

Healthy diet and lifestyle 

Maintaining a healthy weight can reduce stress on your feet. A balanced diet and regular exercise can contribute to your overall well-being. 

Positive mindset 

Maintaining a positive attitude and focusing on what you can do rather than what you can’t is essential for thriving with plantar fasciitis. Embrace the support of friends and family to help you through challenging times.

Plantar fasciitis may bring discomfort, but it doesn't have to dictate your life. By understanding the condition, implementing practical strategies for managing it, and making adjustments to your daily routine, you can continue to live a fulfilling and active life. 

If you’re ready to learn more about plantar fasciitis and treatment options, contact us at Total Foot and Ankle to schedule your appointment with Dr. Shields today!