How Does A Sports Doctor Diagnose Plantar Fasciitis?

Your medical history and physical examination are used to diagnose plantar fasciitis. During the examination, the doctor will look for sore spots in your foot. The location of your pain will help you figure out what’s causing it.


How is plantar fasciitis diagnosed? 


Your general practitioner will be the first doctor you see if you suspect you have plantar fasciitis. Your doctor will examine your foot and heel while taking into account the symptoms you’re having.

He’ll look for signs of plantar fasciitis, such as a high arch, increased tenderness around the heel bone, and worsened discomfort when flexing the plantar fascia in specific ways.

The next step in the diagnosis process is to take a series of x-rays. This enables the doctor to examine the ligaments, tendons, and bones for other causes of pain, such as a fracture, a bone spur, or arthritis. You may also be advised to get an MRI of your foot and heel.

If necessary, he will refer you to a podiatrist, or foot specialist.


Patient Interview


A doctor will inquire about a patient’s medical history and ask them to explain the onset of their symptoms, the pattern of pain, and how their symptoms affect their daily lives.


Physical Examination


The patient’s foot will be examined by a doctor, who will notice any swelling, tenderness, and pain points, as well as range of motion. In addition, their gait should be examined for signs of prolonged or late-stage pronation.


Imaging Tests


In most cases, no tests are needed. To ensure that another issue, such as a stress fracture, is not causing you pain, your doctor can recommend an X-ray or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

An X-ray can reveal a spur (a piece of bone protruding from the heel bone). These bone spurs were once commonly blamed for heel pain and surgically removed. Many people with bone spurs on their feet, on the other hand, do not experience heel pain.


Commonly recommended stretches include:


  • Place a tennis ball under the affected foot when sitting in a chair with your feet flat on the ground. Roll the tennis ball back and forth under the foot with gentle pressure.
  • Place hands against the wall at shoulder height, 18 inches away from a wall with feet about 6 inches apart. Lean into the wall without shifting your feet, flexing your foot and extending the Achilles tendon and calf muscles.
  • Sit with your legs straight in front of you on the cement. Wrap a belt or exercise harness around the ball of your foot and pull gently to force the foot to flex.



Are You Looking for a Sports Medicine Physician to Treat Your Plantar Fasciitis?

As you know, the plantar fascia is a thick band of tissue that runs across the bottom of the foot and connects your heel bone to your toes.  Plantar fasciitis is inflammation of this tissue, which can cause a stabbing pain usually felt at the heel.  Dr. Chen sees patients with plantar fasciitis at Saint Francis Memorial Hospital Center for Sports Medicine in Walnut Creek, California. He is a board-certified Pediatrician and Sports Medicine Doctor that specializes in the non-operative medical treatment of a wide variety of various musculoskeletal conditions.  Dr. Chen graduated from St. George’s University School of Medicine and went on to complete Pediatric residency training at the University of Medicine and Dentistry in New Jersey (Rutgers), then went on to fellowship training in Sports Medicine at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, one of the perennially top-ranked children’s hospitals in the nation. There he provided sideline coverage for NCAA Division I athletics at the University of Cincinnati and Miami University (OH). Being a part of The Center for Sports Medicine allows Dr. Chen quick access to a multidisciplinary team of orthopedic surgeons, podiatrists, physiatrists, and physical therapists to return you to your highest functional level quickly and safely. Click here to contact us for your next appointment!



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