Up To 75% OFF EVERYTHING + FREE shipping

Can Plantar Fasciitis Cause Knee Pain?

Learn about how the lower body is connected, whether foot problems can cause knee pain, and what you can do to fix this.

a man in a white shirt and blue and pink suspenders
By Babafemi Adebajo
Joel Taylor
Edited by Joel Taylor

Updated February 17, 2023.

The hip, knee, and ankle form a kinematic chain that ensures proper movement. When one is affected, the chance of the others being affected increases dramatically, which means that foot problems can cause knee problems. With a case of plantar fasciitis, calcium lumps collected on the heel bone can change the way you walk, resulting in ankle and knee pain.

How Plantar Fasciitis Causes Knee Pain

Plantar fasciitis starts as pain that is relieved by rest but worsens with walking. As the inflammation worsens, the pain becomes more prolonged. If left untreated, it becomes chronic pain in the heel which worsens with pressure.

Knee pain and plantar fasciitis are linked for the following reason: To reduce plantar fasciitis pain, the body’s biomechanics are naturally adjusted. This changes the way you walk and places extra strain on the spine and knees, which results in pain.

Treatment and Management of Plantar Fasciitis

The earlier the treatment of plantar fasciitis begins, the better the prognosis. The first line of management is rest. You need to get off your feet and treat the inflamed fascia with ice. If that doesn’t work, you can use non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs) to address the stabbing pain that comes from plantar fasciitis. Additionally, with the prescription of Upstep's podiatrists, you can receive custom orthotics for heel pain through our online store.

Physical therapy management is also effective and aims to relieve pain, prevent deformity, and maintain optimal body mechanics. Its approach includes a combination of the following:

  • Stretching and strengthening exercises
  • Use of orthotics
  • Ultrasounds
  • Iontophoresis (introducing medicinal compounds through the skin via electricity)
  • Night splints
  • Joint mobilization and manipulation

How to Prevent Knee Pain

While knee pain can result as a secondary effect of plantar fasciitis, this will only happen when it is left untreated for long and doesn't heal on its own. Upstep designs amazing orthotics for heel pain to tackle the problem early and prevent worsening. While all knee pain cannot be prevented, knee pain from plantar fasciitis can be stopped before it begins by treating the condition as soon as symptoms manifest.