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Symptoms and Signs of Plantar Fasciitis

Doctor's Notes on Plantar Fasciitis

Inflammation of the fibrous tissue (plantar fascia) on the bottom of the foot is referred to as plantar fasciitis. The plantar fascia stretches underneath the sole of the foot from the heel to the toes. Inflammation of the plantar fascia may occur due to injury or disease.

Symptoms of plantar fasciitis may come on gradually or appear acutely following an athletic activity such as running, and may include heel pain and tenderness of the sole of the foot; difficulty in weight-bearing on the involved foot, making it difficult to walk, especially the first few steps after awakening from sleep; burning, sharp, heel pain, which can be severe; warmth and swelling of the bottom of the foot; and swelling and tenderness at the insertion of the plantar fascia to the heel, on the bottom of the foot.

Medical Author: John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP
Medically Reviewed on 3/11/2019

Plantar Fasciitis Symptoms

Symptoms of plantar fasciitis include the following:

  • Heel pain and tenderness of the bottom (sole) of the foot.
  • This heel pain can lead to difficulty in weight-bearing on the involved foot, making it difficult to walk, especially the first few steps after awakening from sleep.
  • The heel pain is described as a burning pain, is often sharp, and can be severe.
  • Plantar fasciitis is sometimes also associated with warmth and swelling of the bottom of the foot.
  • The symptoms may come on gradually or appear acutely following an athletic activity.
  • Signs of plantar fasciitis include swelling and tenderness at the insertion of the plantar fascia to the heel, on the bottom of the foot.

Plantar Fasciitis Causes

  • Plantar fasciitis is a condition that most commonly occurs in people between 40 and 60 years of age.
  • Plantar fasciitis can occur alone from injury or may be related to underlying diseases that cause arthritis (inflammation of the joints) such as
  • Sometimes plantar fasciitis occurs for unknown reasons.

Burning or Swollen Feet? What Foot Pain Says About Your Health Slideshow

Burning or Swollen Feet? What Foot Pain Says About Your Health Slideshow

Are your feet and toes often cold? Poor blood circulation, known as peripheral arterial disease (PAD), may be the reason. PAD is often the result of an underlying disease, such as high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, hypothyroidism, hyper-cholesterol, and anemia. Smoking is also strongly linked to PAD. Peripheral neuropathy may also make your feet feel cold. Common in fair-skinned females, Raynaud's disease makes hands and feet appear blotchy and bluish in cold weather. This may be associated with rheumatoid arthritis, 'Sjögren's disease, or lupus, and is known as Raynaud's phenomenon. Your doctor can check and see if you may have one of these underlying conditions or if you just have cold feet.

REFERENCE:

Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.