Plantar Fasciitis - Office Visit

This is an office visit to evaluate heel pain. Plantar fasciitis is the most common cause of heel pain.

This is an office visit to evaluate heel pain. Plantar fasciitis is the most common cause of heel pain.

Plantar fasciitis is the most common cause of heel pain. It happens when there is structural damage and/or inflammation in a tight band of tissue that runs along the bottom of your foot (plantar fascia). The plantar fascia is attached to the heel bone. It helps maintain the arch in your foot.

Plantar fasciitis can be caused by an injury to the plantar fascia. Overuse, such as with running, jogging or prolonged standing are sometimes to blame. The following increases your risk:

  • Obesity, weight gain and pregnancy
  • Aging and weakening of the heel pad
  • Sudden changes in usual weight-bearing activities
  • Changes in running habits
  • Improper footwear and certain foot conditions (i.e., flat feet, tight calf muscles)
  • Walking barefoot on hard surfaces and standing for long periods of time

The heel pain caused by plantar fasciitis is typically worse when you first stand up. It may subside after you have walked for a while, but return later or worsen with prolonged standing, walking or running. The pain may also be worse at the beginning of a workout, but slowly diminish as you exercise. If you have heel pain, discuss treatment options with your healthcare provider. Treatment options may include:

  • Resting and modifying your activities as much as possible.
  • Applying ice several times a day as recommended by your healthcare provider. Do not use ice longer than 15 minutes at a time and do not apply ice directly to your skin. People with diabetes or problems with their nerves or circulation should not use ice unless directed to so by their healthcare provider.
  • Taking over-the-counter medication as recommended by your healthcare provider.
  • Wearing supportive footwear. It is best to avoid flat shoes and barefoot walking.
  • Physical therapy can help you learn about specific stretching exercises.
  • Wearing a walking cast during the day or splint at night.
  • If you are overweight, trying to lose some of the extra pounds.

If there is no improvement after several weeks, your doctor may recommend a steroid injection or walking cast. Surgery is a last resort and is rarely needed. Surgery is not usually recommended unless many months of conservative treatment is unsuccessful.

Make an appointment with your healthcare provider if you have pain in your heel(s).

  • Bring a copy of your medical history (past illnesses, surgeries, and hospitalizations).
  • Make a list of your medications (including over-the-counter).
  • Write down any questions, symptoms, or concerns you want to talk about.

Here are some questions to ask your healthcare provider:

  • What is causing my heel pain?
  • What are my treatment options? Are there any alternatives?
  • Are there any treatment risks?
  • When might I start to see improvement in my symptoms?
  • How can I prevent this from happening again?
  • What are my follow-up plans and what symptoms should I report before my next appointment?

Make sure you understand your treatment plan, any possible alternatives, and what medications are recommended (including possible side effects).


Also known as:

Plantar Fasciitis - Office Visit
Heel Pain
Foot Pain
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