Plantar Fasciitis - Injection

This is an injection of medication given directly into the heel to help relieve pain associated with plantar fasciitis.

This is an injection of medication given directly into the heel to help relieve pain associated with plantar fasciitis.

Plantar fasciitis is the most common cause of heel pain. It happens when there is structural damage and/or inflammation in a tight band of tissue that runs along the bottom of your foot (plantar fascia). The plantar fascia is attached to the heel bone. It helps maintain the arch in your foot.

A plantar fascia injection delivers medicine directly into the plantar fascia to ease heel pain.

  • Most injections contain a drug to numb the pain (local anesthetic) and a steroid to reduce inflammation.
  • The local anesthetic gives relief right away, but that relief is usually not long-lasting.
  • When effective, steroid medicine usually gives longer lasting pain relief.

Plantar fasciitis can be caused by an injury to the plantar fascia. Overuse, such as with running, jogging or prolonged standing are often to blame. The following increases your risk:

  • Obesity, weight gain and pregnancy
  • Aging and weakening of the heel pad
  • Sudden changes in usual weight-bearing activities
  • Changes in running habits
  • Improper footwear and certain foot conditions (i.e., flat feet, tight calf muscles)
  • Walking barefoot on hard surfaces and standing for long periods of time

The heel pain caused by plantar fasciitis is typically worse when you first get up. It may subside after you have walked for a while, but return later or worsen with prolonged standing, walking or running. The pain may also be worse at the beginning of a workout, but slowly diminish as you exercise. If you have heel pain, discuss treatment options with your healthcare provider.Treatment options may include:

  • Rest and modify your activities as much as possible.
  • Applying ice several times a day as recommended by your healthcare provider. Do not use ice longer than 15 minutes at a time and do not apply ice directly to your skin. People with diabetes or problems with their nerves or circulation should not use ice without their healthcare provider's direction.
  • Take over-the-counter medication as recommended by your healthcare provider.
  • Wear supportive footwear. It is helpful to avoid flat shoes and walking barefoot.
  • Physical therapy can help you learn about specific stretching exercises.
  • Wear a walking cast during the day or splint at night.
  • If you are overweight, try to lose some of the extra pounds.

If there is no improvement after several weeks, your doctor may recommend a steroid injection. Typically, the plantar fascia is injected from the inner side of the heel. This helps to decrease the pain and chance of injury to the heel's fat pad.

  • The procedure takes about 15 to 30 minutes.
  • The injection may hurt. It is advisable to have someone with you to drive you home.

Make an appointment with your healthcare provider if you have pain in your heel(s).

  • Bring a copy of your medical history (past illnesses, surgeries and hospitalizations).
  • Make a list of your medications (including over-the-counter).
  • Write down any questions, symptoms or concerns you want to talk about.

Here are some questions to ask your healthcare provider before having a plantar fascia injection.

  • What is causing my heel pain?
  • Why are you recommending a plantar fascia injection? What are my other options?
  • What are the risks to having a plantar fascia injection?
  • When might I start to see improvement in my symptoms?
  • How can I prevent this from happening again?
  • What are my follow-up plans and what symptoms should I report before my next appointment?

Make sure you understand your treatment plan, any possible alternatives and what medications are recommended (including possible side effects). Remember to arrange for transportation to and from the office.


Also known as:

Plantar Fasciitis - Injection
Heel Pain
Foot Pain
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