Living with plantar fasciitis is no fun at all. The unmistakable stabbing pain in the bottom of your foot brings discomfort to everything from house chores to walking around a mall. If you live an active lifestyle or have a job where you’re on your feet a lot, plantar fasciitis can be even more difficult to manage, especially during a flare up.
But what causes plantar fasciitis to flare up? In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know, from the causes of plantar fasciitis flare up to the symptoms. We’ll also offer up some tips for treating a flare up and seeking some much-needed relief from the constant pain in your feet.
So, put your feet up and learn what causes plantar fasciitis to flare up, and how to manage this condition. By the end of the article, you’ll be in a much better position to take control of your plantar fasciitis and take steps toward a blissful, pain-free life.
Plantar Fasciitis Flare-Up Symptoms
Let’s start by discussing the most common plantar fasciitis flare up symptoms. By understanding the symptoms, you can start treating your flare up faster, leading to quicker relief from the pain.
Sharp Pain in the Heel or Bottom of the Foot
One of the most common plantar fasciitis flare up symptoms is the presence of sharp, stabbing pain in the heel or the bottom of the foot. This pain is usually most intense with the first few steps taken in the morning or after extended periods of rest.
It may gradually subside as your foot warms up with activity, but will intensify again after extended periods of standing or walking. The pain is usually described as a deep ache or a burning sensation and can have a big impact on your mobility and day-to-day movements.
Swelling or Redness in the Surrounding Area
Regardless of what causes plantar fasciitis to flare up, the bottom of your foot usually show signs of inflammation like swelling and redness. Swelling usually occurs in the heel region or along the plantar fascia, causing the foot to appear slightly swollen or puffy.
You might also notice redness in your heel, which is a sign of increased blood flow to the area. These signs of inflammation are commonly seen alongside the pain and discomfort associated with plantar fasciitis flare ups.
Increased Sensitivity to Touch or Pressure
During a flare up, you may find that your foot becomes more sensitive to touch or pressure. Even light pressure or gentle palpation along the plantar fascia or heel region can lead to pain or discomfort. This heightened sensitivity may make it challenging to wear certain types of shoes or perform activities that involve impact or pressure on the foot.
One of the most common plantar fasciitis flare up symptoms is difficulty walking. You might notice that the pain is most severe when you take your first few steps after resting, such as when you wake up in the morning or when you stand up from your desk chair. It’s common for people with plantar fasciitis to try to change the way they walk and favor their unaffected foot, which can lead to further issues with walking and mobility down the line.
What Causes Plantar Fasciitis to Flare Up?
So, what causes plantar fasciitis to flare up? There are a lot of different factors that may be involved in a flare up - let’s take a look at the common ones.
Weight and Health Conditions
Excess body weight can put additional strain on the feet, including the plantar fascia, leading to an increased risk of plantar fasciitis flare ups. The extra load on the foot structures can increase inflammation, pain, and discomfort.
Other health conditions like obesity, diabetes, and arthritis can also lead to a flare up of plantar fasciitis. These conditions can affect foot mechanics, impair circulation, and delay healing, leading to an increased risk of flare ups.
Footwear and Orthotics
Improper or inadequate footwear can also trigger a plantar fasciitis flare up. Wearing shoes with insufficient arch support, poor cushioning, or not enough shock absorption can place excessive stress on the plantar fascia, leading to inflammation and pain.
Old shoes with worn-out soles, or footwear that doesn’t fit properly, can alter foot mechanics and worsen plantar fasciitis. Orthotic devices, such as shoe inserts or custom-made orthotics, can help provide proper arch support and alignment, reducing the risk of flare ups.
Changes in Exercise or Activity Level
Sudden changes in exercise or activity level can strain the plantar fascia and contribute to flare ups. If you significantly increase the intensity, duration, or frequency of your workouts without allowing the feet time to adjust, you risk developing an overuse injury like plantar fasciitis.
Similarly, starting an intense exercise program or engaging in activities that involve repetitive impact or strain on the feet, such as running or jumping, can trigger or worsen plantar fasciitis symptoms.
Hard or Uneven Surfaces
Walking or standing on hard surfaces for prolonged periods, such as concrete or tile floors, can increase the stress on the plantar fascia and potentially lead to flare ups. The lack of cushioning and shock absorption in these surfaces can cause trauma and microtears in the plantar fascia, resulting in inflammation and pain.
Walking or running on uneven terrain can also disrupt normal foot mechanics, which strains the plantar fascia and increases the likelihood of flare ups.
Cold Weather Conditions
Believe it or not, cold weather is also one of the causes of a plantar fasciitis flare up. Low temperatures can cause muscles and connective tissues to tighten, reducing flexibility and increasing the risk of strain or injury to the plantar fascia. Cold weather can also decrease blood circulation, which slows down the healing process and prolongs your plantar fasciitis symptoms.
Tight Muscles (Calves, Achilles, and More)
Tight muscles in the lower leg, including the calves and Achilles tendon, can exert excessive strain on the plantar fascia, leading to flare ups. Regular stretching exercises and learning how to release tight calves and how to increase ankle mobility can help alleviate tension and reduce the risk of flare ups.
How Long Does a Plantar Fasciitis Flare-Up Last?
So, how long does a plantar fasciitis flare up last? It depends on a few factors, including the severity of your flare up, and varies from person to person.
Typical Duration of a Flare-Up
On average, a flare up can last anywhere from a few weeks to several months. Some people experience shorter flare ups that resolve within a few weeks, while others may have more persistent symptoms that last for several months or longer.
Factors That Can Influence Recovery Time
Some of the main factors influencing your recovery time from a flare up can include:
- How quickly you start treating your flare up
- How much you are able to rest and recover vs staying active
- How severe your plantar fasciitis is to begin with
- Whether you have any underlying health conditions like obesity or diabetes
- Your age, overall health, and body’s ability to heal
Plantar Fasciitis Flare-Up Treatment: Ways to Minimize the Pain
Now that we know what causes plantar fasciitis to flare up and how long it takes to recover, what can you do to treat a flare up and speed up your recovery time? Here are a few simple, effective plantar fasciitis flare up treatment options.
Tips for Immediate Relief: Ice and NSAIDs
One of the best plantar fasciitis flare up treatments is ice. Applying ice to the affected area for 15-20 minutes several times a day can help reduce swelling and numb the area, providing temporary relief. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen or naproxen, can also be used to help reduce pain and inflammation.
Rehab Exercises & Stretches for Plantar Fasciitis Flare-Ups
Adding specific exercises and stretches to your daily routine can also be a valuable plantar fasciitis flare up treatment. Stretching helps to strengthen your muscles, ligaments, and tendons, and increases blood flow to tissues to promote healing.
Use specially-designed flexibility equipment like the revolutionary CastleFlexx to unlock the benefits of assisted stretching without needing expensive physical therapy sessions. The CastleFlexx is a unique, ergonomically-designed stretching tool that will completely change the way you stretch.
While unassisted stretches can bring some benefits, it’s easy to perform these incorrectly, which means you’re wasting your time and may even be worsening your plantar fasciitis. Our customers tell us that the CastleFlexx is the best stretching equipment for plantar fasciitis because it’s easy to use, comfortable, and allows you to target the fascia directly. Learn more about the CastleFlexx and what is fascial stretch therapy in our guide.
The CastleFlexx is an incredibly versatile device. Not only can it counteract the causes of plantar fasciitis flare up, but it can also reduce your shin splints recovery time, treat tight calves and knee pain, and release tight hamstrings and knee pain.
You can also use the CastleFlexx to learn how to prevent shin splints, how to stretch shin splints, reduce how long it takes to get flexible, and perform stretches for tight glutes that will change your life!
Deep Tissue Work
Deep tissue massage and self-massage techniques can reduce how long does a plantar fasciitis flare up last. Try using a tennis ball or a frozen water bottle to roll under the arch of your foot to relieve tension, break up adhesions, and promote blood flow to the area.
Applying gentle pressure to the sole of the foot and using circular or longitudinal motions can help target trigger points and reduce your discomfort.
Preventive Measures for Future Flare-Ups
Taking preventive measures can help eliminate what causes plantar fasciitis to flare up in the first place. Start by:
- Wearing supportive shoes with good arch support and cushioning
- Avoiding sudden increases in physical activity level or intensity
- Regularly stretching your plantar fascia, calf muscles, and Achilles tendon
- Maintaining a healthy bodyweight
- Avoiding walking or standing on hard or uneven surfaces for extended periods
Parting Thoughts on What Causes Plantar Fasciitis to Flare Up
Hopefully we’ve taught you something about the causes of plantar fasciitis flare ups, as well as how long does a plantar fasciitis flare up last and the steps you can take to recover quickly. A flare up of plantar fasciitis can make life more miserable with every step you take, but it doesn’t have to control you!
By following our tips, you can reduce your flare ups and regain control over your plantar fasciitis. Stretching with the CastleFlexx is certainly a great place to start! This miracle device is the easiest way to overcome a flare up of plantar fasciitis as quickly as possible, and brings thousands of other health benefits as well.
Step freely, without pain. Overcome every plantar fasciitis flare up with the CastleFlexx!