I have read that it will take at least as long to heal from plantar fasciitis as the amount of time you have had it before starting treatment. Clearly, this is in no way a scientifically viable theory, but it is a useful way to begin to think about the problem.
Basically, the earlier you begin treatments the shorter your recovery time is likely to be. This really can’t help most of us with painful heels, who are little too far down this road already, but it can help us to spread the word among our friends and family about awareness of the symptoms of plantar fasciitis.
For the majority of us, recovery is going to be a long term process. No one with a badly sore heel wants to hear this but it is clear that it usually takes months or years to heal from plantar fasciitis.
I don’t know why this is and will explore it more in future posts — maybe because we have to use our feet so that it is hard to truly rest them, maybe because we tend to push too hard as soon as we feel a bit better, or maybe because there is a conflict of interest between wanting to be generally healthy physically and needing to rest your foot.
It is common for the pain to lessen in a few weeks, with treatment, but in my experience, it was only the acute pain that toned down after those first weeks of complete rest, multiple daily icing and stretching, ibuprofen, arch supports, etc. I have been treating my plantar fasciitis, earnestly, since June 2012, for about five months now, and things are much better than they were. I can hike a couple of hours now, and I am back to walking 30 minutes or so from work each day on hard city streets (with great shoes), but I am not “healed.” I can feel it improving very slowly, but I have the feeling this will take a year or more to really resolve, which is quite common. Unfortunately, some people keep the problem chronically, for years on end. I hope to avoid that, and to help you avoid that!
- Start treatments as soon as you can.
- Be as patient as you possibly can. For the great majority of us, this is going to take a while.