How do I know if my heel pain is Plantar Fasciitis?

Heel pain is often diagnosed as Plantar Fasciitis, and to be fair, Plantar Fasciitis is a common cause of heel pain. However, there are many causes of heel pain and it is important to get the correct diagnosis to avoid wasting your time doing exercises or trying out treatments that will not work.

Here are 3 signs your heel pain is probably Plantar Fasciitis.

It hurts first thing in the morning.

With Plantar Fasciitis, the pain is most intense on taking that first step, easing off as you walk around. The same sensation is felt if you sit down for a while then stand up or getting out the car after a long drive. If it is not too painful first step, but then increases as you walk around, it is NOT Plantar Fasciitis

It is more painful after activity.

Plantar Fasciitis pain tends to be less painful while you are walking or running, but then becomes more painful afterwards with these activities, especially towards the end of the day and the following morning. If the pain is increasing with exercise and normal activity, there is likely to be another cause. It is worth noting that low impact exercise, such as cycling or swimming, does not usually increase plantar fascia pain as loads on the fascia are low. If pain increases during these activities it is probably not Plantar Fasciitis.

The pain is under the heel.

Plantar Fasciitis pain is usually felt under the heel and often described as a dull ache. It sometimes spreads along the bottom of the foot to the toes. Pain in other areas such as the back or sides of the heel that is sharp, burning or throbbing is probably not Plantar Fasciitis.

What else could be causing my heel pain?

There are multiple causes of heel pain, including muscular strains, referred pain, trapped nerve, or stress fractures, and listing them all is a subject for another blog! It is important to get a correct diagnosis and the right treatment plan to deal with your heel pain so you avoid wasting precious time chasing the wrong solutions. At Active Podiatry we are specialists in the diagnosis and management of heel pain. Once we have found the cause we can then work with you on an individual treatment plan to relieve your heel pain quickly and help you get back to your favourite exercise activity as soon as possible.

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