Plantar Fasciitis Diagnosis
How to Diagnos Plantar Fasciitis
Diagnosing plantar fasciitis is usually straightforward; if you have pain at the front of your heel, you probably have plantar fasciitis. However, there are a few steps your doctor will take to ensure the diagnosis is accurate, and confirm there is not another condition mimicking your plantar fasciitis symptoms.
Exams and Tests to Diagnose Plantar Fasciitis
Your doctor can diagnose plantar fasciitis and manage your treatment. But if you are already under the care of an orthopedic surgeon or podiatrist for a foot condition, he or she should manage your plantar fasciitis diagnosis and treatment.
Your exam will start with your doctor examining your calves and feet, including pushing on the painful point in your heel. He or she will look to see if your arches are particularly high or if your calves are particularly tight—both common in plantar fasciitis patients.
Your doctor will ask various questions about your plantar fasciitis symptoms.
- When do you feel your heel pain the most? (If it is the worst in the morning, it is probably plantar fasciitis.)
- What are your exercise habits? (People who exercise experience more plantar fasciitis than those who don't.)
- What does your pain feel like when you exercise? (Usually, exercisers experience little or no foot pain while exercising; but it returns in the hours that follow their workout.)
- Have there been any recent changes in your life? (Many new moms often develop plantar fasciitis, as do people who buy new shoes, change jobs, or start new hobbies. They change the burdens put on their feet and can injure their plantar fascia ligament.)
- Does the pain ease when you point your toes downward? (If the pain grows fainter, it is most likely plantar fasciitis.)
Your doctor will also take x-rays of your foot. Although plantar fasciitis does not show up on x-rays, your doctor needs to make sure you don't have a fracture or another condition that's causing the pain.
After Your Plantar Fasciitis Diagnosis
Once you have a positive plantar fasciitis diagnosis, there are numerous treatment options to relieve your pain and discomfort. If you're like most people, you can count on pain relief with physical therapy, medication, and self-care. After a few months, you'll probably significantly reduce your plantar fasciitis symptoms.