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May you Suffer from Plantar Fasciitis?

Updated on May 11, 2017
Aron Mejias MD profile image

I have devoted my life to studying human behavior and social evolution. I love sharing the best of my knowledge with those interested.

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What is Plantar Fasciitis?

By: Dr. Aron Mejias, MD.

Plantar fasciitis is a pain localized under the sole of the foot. It’s caused by the inflammation of a fibrous ligament known as plantar fascia. Plantar Fasciitis Symptoms are characterized by pain localized under the sole at the arch of it or in the heel. Plantar fasciitis is the most common causes of heel pain, approximately 1 out of 10 person experiment heel pain in the USA. Typically, the patient complains of a sharp pain in the heel that has more intensity early in the morning with the first steps of the day.


The causes of plantar fasciitis are considered to be consequences of multiples plantar traumas that produce micro-tears. Either these micro-tears can enlarge, or repetitive micro-tears can degenerate the ligament called Plantar Fascia and becomes symptomatic. Some risk factors are obesity, prolonged standing occupations, aging, wearing inadequate shoes, excessive training or incorrect gym equipment use.

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How to tell if you may have plantar fasciitis?

The most characteristic plantar fasciitis symptoms is a history of intense sharp pain in the heel with the first steps after wake up or during the first couple of steps after long periods of rest; the pain can be localized in the foot sole. In the beginning, the pain improves after walking, but as the ambulation activity increases, the pain will be triggered. Eventually, the pain can appear even during rest. The history of having increased the amount and/or intensity of exercise is frequently present. Wearing a new pair of shoes can sometimes be associated as a trigger for it. It's paramount to determine if the pain onset is linked to the job or work environment since it can be used for worker compensation and/or worker disability privileges.

The pain of plantar fasciitis can be reproduced most of the time by palpation over the heel at the point where the ligament joins the heel bone. Additionally, the pain can sometimes be reproduced by dorsiflexion of the toes. Performing this two maneuvers is how you can think, If you may have plantar fasciitis. There are many other reasons for sole pain, and a proper medical examination may be needed to rule them out.

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What you should expect during medical consultation

During medical consultation, usually neither laboratory test is needed nor do any imaging studies. Plantar fasciitis is diagnosed most of the time by proper medical history and physical examination. However, X-rays and/or Ultrasonography can be necessary to further evaluation of the ligaments and foot elements.

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Plantar Fasciitis treatment

Plantar fasciitis is typically a self-limiting condition. Initially, over the counter medicine, ice bath and ice pack are the first home remedies. Anti-inflammatory therapy and activity modification, proper rest and wearing appropriate shoes can help to improve the condition further. If the pain persists or it’s affecting your daily life, your physician can prescribe a medical treatment. In very rare cases, surgical treatment is needed to resolve the pain completely.

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Plantar fasciitis in a nutshell

Plantar fasciitis is a pain localized under the sole of the foot. It’s caused by the inflammation of a fibrous ligament known as plantar fascia. Plantar fasciitis' pain can be reproduced most of the time by palpation over the heel at the point where the ligament joins the heel bone. Additionally, the pain can sometimes be replicated by dorsiflexion of the toes. Performing this two maneuvers is how you can think, If, you may have plantar fasciitis. There are many other reasons for sole pain, and a proper medical examination may be needed to rule them out

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© 2016 Dr Aron Mejias MD

Have you ever suffered from foot pain?

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    • lions44 profile image

      CJ Kelly 9 months ago from Auburn, WA

      Had a terrible bout of plantar back in 2001-2002. Took more than a year of work to relieve the pain. But it was worth it. Have not really had a bad bout since then. Used various exercise (towel stretch, toe lift, and ball). Plus, heel inserts/orthotics were enormously helpful. Could not walk w/o them.