The symptoms of plantar fasciitis often appear over the course of a day or days. For example, a person may go for a jog and notice a twinge of pain in one heel that goes away, but gets worse later in the week during the next workout. Plantar fasciitis symptoms are described below.
Sharp heel pain. A sharp pain at the inside of the heel (just behind the arch of the foot) is a hallmark of plantar fascia.
Pain after prolonged rest. The pain is typically most noticeable when getting out of bed in the morning or getting out of a chair after sitting down for a long period of time. This pain occurs because the plantar fascia shortens when the foot is at rest. Walking and standing a short while usually elongates the plantar fascia, causing the heel pain to lessen or go away.
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Pain after prolonged activity. Just as prolonged rest can cause the fascia to tighten, prolonged activity can strain the fascia and cause it to weaken, resulting in pain.
Heel tenderness. Pressing the bottom of the heel is painful.
Pain when flexing. Flexing the foot and toes upward, toward the shin (dorsiflexion), may be uncomfortable or painful. This symptom may be worse if the person also has a tight Achilles tendon.
Foot tingling or burning. Occasionally people report a tingling or burning sensation in the affected foot, possibly indicating a nerve is being irritated or squeezed.
Limping. A person may try to avoid putting weight on the affected heel while walking.
Researchers estimate up to one-third of plantar fasciitis patients get it in both feet.3,4,5,6 Most people get plantar fasciitis in just one foot.
The symptoms of plantar fasciitis often appear after a person has changed his or her routine. For example, he or she started wearing new shoes, working out more, or exercising on a new surface.
- Sadat-Ali M. Plantar fasciitis/calcaneal spur among security forces personnel. (Abstract only.) Mil Med 1998;163:56-57
- Furey JG. Plantar fasciitis: the painful heel syndrome. J Bone Joint Surg Am 1975;57:672-673. As cited in Buchbinder R. Clinical practice. Plantar fasciitis. N Engl J Med 2004;350:2159-2166.
- Lapidus PW, Guidotti FP. Painful heel: report of 323 patients with 364 painful heels. Clin Orthop 1965;39:178-186. As cited in Buchbinder R. Clinical practice. Plantar fasciitis. N Engl J Med 2004;350:2159-2166.