Doctors usually diagnose plantar fasciitis based on a medical history and a physical exam. Your doctor will check your feet for problems that affect how your feet work (biomechanical factors), such as a high arch, flat feet, abnormal gait, or tight Achilles tendon or calf muscles. Your doctor will also look for excessive tenderness and examine joint motion and looseness, muscle and tendon function, nerve function, and blood circulation.
Findings of a physical exam may include the following.
In a normal exam there is no pain, tenderness, or swelling in the heel area. Structure, function, and biomechanics are normal as well.
Abnormal findings that may point to plantar fasciitis include the following:
Your doctor usually will start nonsurgical treatment without further testing. X-rays and lab tests usually are not needed if the medical history and physical exam point to plantar fasciitis and your doctor does not suspect other problems.
Last Revised: July 13, 2011
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