plantar fasciitis symptoms

Plantar Fasciitis Symptoms: 10 Most Common Signs

In Standard by Bigfoot

Your foot hurts. You’re not sure, but you have a hunch that you might just be one of the unlucky people suffering from plantar fasciitis. Well, you’re not alone. Plantar fasciitis symptoms are as varied and personal as there are people in the world, but there are a number of common signs sufferers share. If you are experiencing some of these common symptoms, then it’s likely you have plantar fasciitis.

Plantar fasciitis affects over 2 million people in the United States each year and rings up nearly $300 million in healthcare costs annually. That whopping number may shock you, but that’s only a fraction of the number of people around the world who are affected by this painful condition and the costs involved in its treatment. Many people have never heard of plantar fasciitis, yet it’s unfortunately quite common.

We have compiled a list of the 10 most common plantar fasciitis symptoms or signs that might indicate that you have this uncomfortable malady. Take our brief, interactive test to see how many symptoms you may have that patients have commonly reported related to plantar fasciitis.*

Plantar Fasciitis Symptoms Test: Top 10 Signs You Have Plantar Fasciitis

*This test is meant to provide information about plantar fasciitis. It is not intended to diagnose or treat any condition you may be experiencing. We recommend consulting a physician for an actual medical diagnosis and treatment plan.

Click the checkbox next to each plantar fasciitis symptom you are suffering from. If you are not experiencing a particular symptom, leave the checkbox blank. At the end of this short quiz, click on the “find totals” button to tally the number of symptoms you have.

Gradual Onset of Pain. When it started, it didn’t seem like a big deal. But, as the days and weeks went on, you couldn’t ignore the pain in your heal any longer and it started getting worse. Maybe you distance run, or you’re on your feet all day at work and your discomfort has slowly grown over time. That sounds a lot like the pain associated with plantar fasciitis. The discomfort and pain patients report in conjunction with plantar fasciitis is typically gradual in onset and is usually located over the inner or medial aspect of the heel.

Sudden Onset of Pain. On the other hand, some have reported that the beginning of their plantar fasciitis journey started with a single incident. For example, the pain may have started after missing a step, after jumping from a height or participating in a strenuous sporting activity. Although it’s more common for this condition to gradually set in, a single, dynamic event can cause plantar fasciitis.

First-Step Pain. Getting out of bed in the morning is hard enough for some. For those with plantar fasciitis, it’s that first step that hurts the most. Another very common symptom of this condition is that the pain in your foot is most severe upon arising from bed in the morning, or after periods of inactivity during the day such as sitting at a desk, driving long distances in a car and so on. If you’re noticing extreme tightness and pain in your heal during those first steps, it’s a good indication that you have plantar fasciitis.

All Warmed Up. Yes, those first few steps are painful, but then you say to yourself as the day goes on, “Ya know, this isn’t so bad now.” That’s pretty typical for plantar fasciitis. The degree of discomfort quite often decreases with more activity throughout the course of the day after a bit of warming up.

Too Hot To Handle. On the other hand, too much activity can cause your pain and discomfort to increase. If you’ve passed the more comfortable “warm up” phase of your day and you subject your foot to a prolonged period of standing or vigorous activity, you’re likely to feel increased discomfort and pain – a return to that pain from the first few steps. The pain usually isn’t as bad while you’re doing the activity as it is after the fact.

Barefoot Pain. There’s nothing like getting home and taking off your shoes after a long day. But then you take a couple of steps and the pain in your heel reminds you that you probably have plantar fasciitis. Patients with this condition often noted more severe pain walking in bare feet or in shoes with minimal or no padding at the sole.

Waiting…OK, Standing On Pins and Needles. Plantar fasciitis typically causes a stabbing pain in the bottom of your foot near the heel. Many patients report the stabbing or needle-like sensation and associate it with plantar fasciitis. This is especially evident when making sudden movements that cause additional stress and pull on the plantar fascia.

Stiff as a Board. One major complaint of those with plantar fasciitis besides the pain is the stiffness they feel in the bottom of the heel. This also develops gradually over time and usually affects just one foot, but can affect both feet.

Dull or Sharp?Is the pain you’re feeling a sharp, stabbing pain like mentioned above? Or is it a dull, throbbing pain? Some even describe the pain as a burning sensation or an ache on the bottom of the foot extending outward from the center of the heel. The pain-sensation plantar fasciitis symptoms are as varied and individual as the people who have this condition. Regardless of how you describe your pain (one of the above or something unique to you), it’s likely plantar fasciitis.

Bend But (please) Don’t Break. If the plantar fascia continues to be overused in the setting of plantar fasciitis, the plantar fascia can rupture. Typical signs and symptoms of plantar fascia rupture include a clicking or snapping sound, significant local swelling, and acute pain in the sole of the foot. If you’re at this point, you probably had plantar fasciitis and now it’s become something even more serious.

BONUS: Big Toe Bully True or False – “I often wear shoes that push my big toe in against my other toes and cause my foot to be compressed in some way”. If the answer is true, click the checkbox. When your footwear compresses your toes or foot, blood flow is restricted and can possibly cause necrosis, or the deadening of tissue…including your plantar fascia. Sure this isn’t necessarily a plantar fasciitis symptom, per se, (maybe more of a cause) but it is a symptom of the larger issue leading to your foot pain.


Not Clicked:

You’ve completed the plantar fasciitis symptoms test. Of course, this isn’t an official diagnosis, but it gives you a head start on what you should be looking for in terms of common plantar fasciitis symptoms.

It’s up to you and your physician to determine whether or not you have plantar fasciitis. Your doctor has the knowledge and tools to give you a precise diagnosis based on your exhibited plantar fasciitis symptoms. You may be screened with ultrasound, x-ray, MRI or other imaging tools to see the extent of your injury. Please consult your family physician or contact your coverage provider for a recommendation of a specialist in your area.

That said, use our “unofficial” score chart below to see where you come in compared to other patients who have reported these symptoms. The sooner you are aware of your condition, the sooner you can prevent further damage and begin treating it.

Unofficial Score Chart:

0 – 3 Plantar Fasciitis Symptoms: May or may not have plantar fasciitis. We recommend rest and preventive measures and close monitoring for a couple of weeks.

4 – 6 Plantar Fasciitis Symptoms: Likely to have plantar fasciitis. We recommend consulting a physician and begin rest and treatment immediately.

7 – 10 Plantar Fasciitis Symptoms: Consult your physician immediately and begin an aggressive plan of rest and treatment. Strong chance you have plantar fasciitis

What was your score? What has been your foot-pain experience and have you been diagnosed with plantar fasciitis? Maybe we missed some common plantar fasciitis symptoms; let us know in the comments section below.

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