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Pros and Cons of Cortisone Injections for Plantar Fasciitis

Learn more about the pros and cons of cortisone injections in treating plantar fasciitis, the potential side effects, and how it may help you.

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By Janik Sundstrom
Romi Hector
Edited by Romi Hector

Updated February 17, 2023.

A cortisone injection in the plantar fascia in the foot, usually in the area where the most pain is experienced, can help relieve symptoms associated with plantar fasciitis. Cortisone can be injected into painful areas of the body, subsequently reducing inflammation. The injection may be slightly painful, and your doctor may use a local anesthetic before performing the procedure. 

» What other treatments can you try for plantar fasciitis? Consider investing in plantar fasciitis custom orthotics, but make sure to read product reviews before purchasing

Pros of Corticosteroid Injections

Cortisone injections have been proven to relieve pain in the plantar fascia and may reduce symptoms quickly in severe cases. Corticosteroid injections can provide effective relief from pain and inflammation in the short term. For most people, this treatment lasts between six weeks and six months. This treatment strategy is effective for individuals experiencing high levels of pain in their feet.  Corticosteroid injections used in conjunction with proven conservative management strategies will allow you to complete stretching and strengthening exercises with effective pain control. 

Cons of Corticosteroid Injections

Corticosteroid injections for plantar fasciitis will only provide short term pain relief and do not provide a cure for plantar fasciitis. The injection reduces symptoms of pain and inflammation, but it does not address the primary cause of pain. Some side effects of corticosteroid injections include skin thinning in the foot, discoloration, fat pad atrophy, increased blood sugar levels, and a plantar fascia rupture in severe cases. Cortisone injections can prove to be expensive and require a day or two to effectively lower pain levels in the foot. 

Corticosteroid injections can cause a host of side effects. These include:

  • Dizziness
  • Headaches
  • Damage to nerves and muscles
  • Acne
  • Increased healing time of wounds

Should You Get Cortisone Injections for Plantar Fasciitis?

Conservative methods for treating plantar fasciitis should be considered and tried for roughly 6–9 months due to the potential risks and recovery time associated with the injection. Usually, the doctor will advise exhausting conservative management strategies before having a corticosteroid injection.

If you decide to get the injection, you will be required to do some after care. It is important to provide the soles of the feet with enough support and cushioning after the injection has been administered to limit any immediate pain after the procedure. Increase activity gradually over time.

» Looking for alternative treatment methods? Check out the best herbs and exercises for relieving plantar fasciitis pain