Recovering from a Plantar Fascia Tear: A Physiotherapy Treatment Plan that Works

plantar fascia tear

More than 61% of patients with plantar fasciitis experience pain every day. If you recently experienced a plantar fascia tear, you’ll need a physiotherapy treatment plan to help you heal. Otherwise, you could experience re-injury.

You’re likely on your feet every single day. With these 10 tips, you can improve your comfort and reduce your pain as much as possible.

Without proper treatment, however, the pain could impact your overall quality of life. If you play sports, you might not find yourself back on the field for a while.

Here are 10 tips to help you recover from a plantar fascia tear.

With these tips, you can start healing before the pain takes over your life.

1. Get Some Rest

One of the most important steps you can take to heal from a plantar fascia tear is to not take a step. Instead, give your foot the chance to rest. Taking the pressure off your foot by sitting still can relieve the stress and strain from the tear.

If your feet hurt after sitting, try using the RICE method. RICE is designed to treat acute musculoskeletal injuries. It stands for:

  • Rest
  • Ice
  • Compression
  • Elevation

However, you might also use the POLICE method to treat acute plantar fasciitis. POLICE stands for:

  • Protection
  • Optimal loading
  • Ice
  • Compression
  • Elevation

First, make sure to protect your foot so it can rest and heal. You should also give yourself the chance to rest before exercising.

The protection phase will last for three to five days after you sustain your injury. However, your physiotherapist might suggest you rest longer. They can help you determine when it’s time to start optimal loading.

Optimal loading includes gentle stretches to strengthen your foot and ankle.

2. Stretch It Out

After sustaining a plantar fascia tear, you’ll need to stretch the muscles around your foot and ankle. Stretching the plantar fascia can improve your mobility. Daily exercises can also help promote optimal healing.

First, try the plantar fascia wall stretch. This stretch involves placing your toes against a wall and your heel against the floor. Then, stretch it out.

This stretch is the easiest way to gently elongate your plantar fascia.

You can also use a towel to stretch your calf muscles. By giving your calf muscles some attention, you can improve flexibility and mobility for your foot and ankle muscles.

3. Strengthen Those Muscles

Are the muscles that support your ankle and foot feeling weak? In some cases, weak plantar muscles can contribute to your pain. In order to heal, you’ll want to strengthen the muscles that support your foot, including your:

  • Calf
  • Anterior tibialis
  • Posterior tibialis

Try stretching these muscles by placing a towel or tissue on the floor. Then, use your toes to pick it up. This stretch will contract the muscles in your foot while supporting your foot’s natural arch.

Make sure to check in with your physiotherapists, too. They can provide you with a list of strengthening exercises that are ideal for your injury.

4. Ice It

If you’re looking for aching feet remedies, try an ice bottle massage.

During the early stages of managing your injury, ice can help control the inflammation. Inflammation is the body’s natural way to react to injury or illness. Too much inflammation, however, can cause pain and swelling.

An ice bottle massage can help provide your foot with the ice it needs to ease the inflammation away.

At the same time, this is an effective method for massaging your plantar fascia.

First, freeze a bottle of water. Then, slowly roll it underneath your foot for 10 minutes. You can use this remedy throughout the day, especially if your feet hurt after sitting for long periods.

5. Add an Insert

Any change to the arch in your foot can add to your heel pain. Consider speaking to your doctor or physiotherapist to determine if your arch has fallen. You might also have an abnormally high arch, which could contribute to your pain.

A shoe insert or orthotic can help support the arch of your foot. Orthotic insoles for plantar fasciitis will help to rest the plantar fascia and speed up healing time. As a result, you can ease the pressure off your plantar fascia while it’s healing.

Consider looking into custom-molded shoe inserts if a simple shoe insert doesn’t help.

6. Tape It

Kinesiology taping can also help you heal from a plantar fascia tear. Taping will support your foot’s natural arch and provide your foot and ankle with neural stimulation.

Check with your physiotherapist before using kinesiology tape. They can demonstrate the appropriate techniques and make sure it’s safe for your injury.

7. Switch Your Shoes

Wearing the wrong shoes can slow down the healing process.

First, try to avoid high heels. Instead, choose more sensible shoes that will support your foot. Walking around barefoot might contribute to your pain, too.

Instead, try to wear supportive shoes at all times. The additional support will remove unnecessary pressure from your plantar fascia. Then, you can give your foot the chance to heal.

8. Get Physical

Approximately 10% of the United States population experiences heel pain. That pain results in 1 million visits to medical professionals for plantar fasciitis treatment every year.

Make sure to speak with your physiotherapist about the treatment options that are ideal for your condition.

For example, they might suggest:

  • Dry needling
  • Kinesio-taping
  • A selection of exercises
  • Shoe recommendations
  • Massage therapy
  • Acupuncture

An experienced physiotherapist can help you find the right combination of treatments for your plantar fascia tear.

9. Shed the Extra Pounds

Additional weight can also add extra stress to your plantar fascia. In order to ease your pain, try to maintain a healthy weight. Losing the extra pounds can remove pressure from your foot, making it easier for you to heal.

10. Switch Sports

Certain sports can also contribute to your pain. Are you waking up with foot pain in the morning after a game? If so, you might want to consider changing your sport.

Instead of walking or jogging, try a low-impact sport like swimming or biking.

Get on the Right Foot: 10 Tips for Treating a Plantar Fascia Tear

Ready to get on the right foot? With these 10 tips, you can start treating your plantar fascia tear straight from home. Don’t forget to talk with your physiotherapist to determine additional treatment options to ease your pain.

Searching for more ways to heal? Explore the Physical Therapy section of the blog for more tips.


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