Patients who are affected with plantar fasciitis typically experience intense pain in different areas and in different degrees:
• At the bottom of your foot, near your heel: people with plantar fasciitis say that the pain could either be dull, sharp, or a burning or aching sensation, and it could affect one or both of your feet.
• When you perform physical activity: even the simple act of taking a few steps as soon as you wake up in the morning can be agonizing for people with this condition because the plantar fascia band suddenly elongates and stretches and pulls on your heel.
If you have been sitting or standing down for long periods of time, there could be pain once you start moving again. Fortunately, a few minutes of walking can help in making the pain subside.
• Intense pain after (not during) physical exercise or activity: plantar fasciitis is not only common among runners, especially those who do long distance running, run downhill or run on uneven surfaces, but it also targets people who have jobs that require them to be on their feet for most of the time, such as factory workers or restaurant servers.
Signs Your Doctor Looks for If You Have Plantar Fasciitis
If you or someone you know is affected with this crippling pain, consult a physician or a podiatrist (doctors who diagnose and treat concerns regarding the structures of your leg ) immediately.
According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS), you will have to describe your symptoms and talk about your concerns first, then your physician will proceed to examining your foot and looking for these potential indicators of plantar fasciitis:
• A high arch
• An area of maximum tenderness at the bottom of your foot and just in front of your heel bone
• Pain that becomes worse once you flex your foot and your physician pushes on the plantar fascia, although the pain can improve when you point your toes down
• A limited upwards motion of your ankle
Imaging Tests That Can Help Diagnose Plantar Fasciitis
Your physician may also recommend you to undergo imaging tests to ensure that the heel pain is caused by plantar fasciitis alone and not another illness or ailment. These tests include:
• X-rays: by providing clear images of bones, they can be helpful in making sure that the heel pain is not caused by other conditions such as fractures or arthritis. Plus, if you have heel spurs that were undetected, an X-ray can spot them.
• Other imaging tests such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), ultrasounds, blood tests, bone scans and vascular testing: an MRI scan could be ordered by your physician if heel pain has not been relieved by initial treatment methods. Take note, however, that these other types of imaging tests are rarely ordered and are not frequently used to diagnose plantar fasciitis.