During the physical exam, your doctor checks for points of tenderness in your foot. The location of your pain can help determine its cause.
Usually no tests are necessary. The diagnosis is made based on the history and physical examination. Occasionally your doctor may suggest an X-ray or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to make sure your pain isn't being caused by another problem, such as a stress fracture or a pinched nerve.
Sometimes an X-ray shows a spur of bone projecting forward from the heel bone. In the past, these bone spurs were often blamed for heel pain and removed surgically. But many people who have bone spurs on their heels have no heel pain.
Feb. 27, 2014
- Thomas JL, et al. The diagnosis and treatment of heel pain: A clinical practice guideline — Revision 2010. The Journal of Food & Ankle Surgery. 2010;49:S1.
- Frontera WR, et al. Essentials of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation: Musculoskeletal Disorders, Pain, and Rehabilitation. 2nd ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2008. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Oct. 11, 2013.
- Buchbinder R. Plantar fasciitis and other causes of heel pain. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Oct. 11, 2013.
- Plantar fasciitis and bone spurs. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00149. Accessed Oct. 14, 2013.
- AskMayoExpert. Plantar fasciitis. Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2013.