Symptoms of plantar fasciitis
Typical symptoms of plantar fasciitis include:
- Pain that feels like “stabbing” near the heel of the foot
- Heel pain that is often worse after inactivity, such as:
- When first arising in the morning
- After a long ride in a car
- After prolonged sitting or standing
- Heel pain that is relieved by walking
Plantar fasciitis diagnosis
When you see your doctor for heel pain, you will probably be asked about your medical history and symptoms. Next, your doctor will examine your foot and look for these symptoms of plantar fasciitis:
- Tenderness on the sole of your foot, especially at a point just in front of the heel bone
- Increased pain when the doctor pushes on the area of the plantar fascia while you point your toes upward. The pain lessens when you point the toes down
- Limited ability to bend your ankle up
- A high arch
In most cases, plantar fasciitis diagnosis can be made without additional tests or imaging studies. However, in some cases, imaging tests might be recommended to rule out other conditions, such as a pinched nerve or a stress fracture. Other tests may include:
- X-rays: These can reveal problems with the bones, such as arthritis or fractures.
- Other studies: Other tests like ultrasound or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) are rarely needed to diagnose plantar fasciitis. An MRI may be recommended if the symptoms do not resolve with the initial forms of treatment.
X-rays may reveal the presence of heel spurs. These are bony formations that protrude off the heel bone. These do not cause plantar fasciitis pain, and the presence of heel spurs does not confirm a diagnosis of plantar fasciitis.
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