When to See a Doctor – Understanding the Severity of Your Plantar Fasciitis

Pain from plantar fasciitis can disrupt day-to-day activities. In addition, it can also cause problems with other parts of your body.

Most people find relief from the pain of plantar fasciitis with ice, rest and over-the-counter pain medications. However, it’s important to know when you should make an appointment with a doctor.

1. Pain that persists for more than a week

If you have pain that lasts more than a week and doesn’t respond to over-the-counter NSAID pain relievers, it’s crucial to seek professional help. Schedule an appointment with your doctor or visit Doubleview Podiatry at doubleviewpodiatry.com.au for specialized care and expert advice on managing plantar fasciitis. This ensures proper diagnosis and treatment to prevent recurrence or worsening of your condition 

Your doctor will start by asking you about your symptoms and examining your foot. They’ll ask you to describe the location of the pain and when it occurs throughout the day. This information will help them determine if the pain is caused by plantar fasciitis or another condition.

Your doctor may recommend that you take a break from the activity that causes your pain for a week or so. This will give your plantar fascia time to heal. They might also suggest that you try wearing orthotics to redistribute the weight of your feet evenly. They might also suggest that you wear a night splint to keep your heel loose while you sleep. This can help you sleep better, which will also reduce the amount of stress on your plantar fascia.

2. Pain that worsens with activity

If the pain from your plantar fasciitis gets worse, it is important to see a doctor. This is especially true if you notice the pain is getting worse with activity or exercise. This indicates that the fascia is being damaged more with each step, which is not good.

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Most people develop plantar fasciitis after straining the plantar fascia ligament. This ligament stretches from the heel bone to the toes and helps keep the arch of your foot in shape. The damage to the fascia is usually from repetitive stress on the feet, such as long periods of standing or walking, or from sudden, increased activity.

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To diagnose plantar fasciitis, a doctor will take your medical history and do a physical exam. They will check where the pain is located and when it is most painful. They may also do a simple test to check how your foot moves as you stand and walk. X-rays and an ultrasound are sometimes used to make sure another problem is not causing the pain, such as a heel spur (bony growth on the heel). A physical therapy regimen may be prescribed to help ease the pain.

3. Pain that is accompanied by swelling

If you have a heel pain that’s accompanied by swelling, see your doctor right away. It may mean your injury is more serious than you think, and it’s important to catch it early.

Heel pain is a common condition that affects the plantar fascia, a thick band of tissue that runs from your heel bone to your toes. Many people with this condition develop bony growths, called heel spurs, which can also cause pain. While doctors once thought these spurs caused plantar fasciitis, they now know that the pain is actually from the fascia, and that the spurs are a result — not the cause — of the pain.

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Your doctor will evaluate your foot and the history of your heel pain. They’ll ask you about your activity level and how long the heel pain has been happening. They’ll also do a physical exam and order an X-ray or ultrasound evaluation. X-rays and ultrasound can help your doctor see if the plantar fascia is inflamed, if there are any calcifications or if you have heel spurs. They might also recommend a home treatment such as rest, icing and stretching your foot and calf muscles several times a day.

4. Pain that is accompanied by fever

If you are experiencing pain in your heel that is accompanied by a fever, you should not ignore this symptom. This could indicate that the plantar fascia ligament has become inflamed and needs medical attention.

If the ligament becomes strained, it can cause a lot of pain when you stand and walk. This pain is usually worst when you first wake up in the morning or after periods of rest. It may also get worse as you continue to exercise or wear shoes that do not provide enough support.

Plantar fasciitis is most common in adults who are overweight, exercise often, or wear inappropriate footwear. However, it can also occur in children who spend a lot of time on their feet playing sports or engaging in active hobbies such as dancing.

It can be difficult to know when a symptom should set the alarm bells ringing. However, it is always best to be safe rather than sorry and visit your doctor if you are worried about your health. This will ensure that any serious issues are treated early and that you do not experience further complications.

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5. Pain that is accompanied by a burning sensation

The pain of plantar fasciitis is usually concentrated around the heel, making it feel like a sharp or stabbing sensation. It is triggered by walking, climbing stairs, and other forms of activity that cause the foot to hit hard surfaces. It is often aggravated by poor-fitting shoes with minimal arch support. High-impact physical activities (like running or jumping) and occupations that involve prolonged periods of standing can also increase your risk of developing plantar fasciitis. Preexisting conditions, such as lupus or rheumatoid arthritis, can also exacerbate the symptoms.

A doctor can diagnose the condition based on a physical exam of the foot and ankle, your medical history, and your symptoms. During the examination, your provider will ask questions about what triggers the pain and at what time of day your foot hurts the most.

To help ease your pain, your doctor may recommend a combination of treatment methods. These include using ice to reduce inflammation, wearing comfortable shoes that offer adequate arch support, and stretching your feet and calves daily. Your doctor may also prescribe NSAIDs to decrease inflammation and swelling.

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