Heel Pain (Plantar Fasciitis)

What is plantar fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis or plantar fasciitis is a pathology of the foot characterized by injury to the foot caused by stretching or rupture of the plantar fascia, a fibrous membrane that makes up the floor of the foot and extends from the heel bone to the base of the toes. It can cause severe pain in the heel and arch of the foot and become disabling. Care by a health professional, in particular a podiatrist, is then recommended.

What are the symptoms of plantar fasciitis?

Inflammation of the arch of the foot can cause:

  • heel pain that varies in severity from case to case, especially when you wake up in the morning. This pain may subside during the day
  • pain when sitting for a long time.
  • pain when walking.
  • pain when pressing on the heels or even feeling them.
  • burning or hot sensations in the heel.
  • difficulty going up and down stairs.

What are the causes of plantar fasciitis?

There are many causes of plantar fasciitis:

  • practicing a sport without a warm-up phase of the muscles and tendons. These sports include jogging, tennis, skiing, team sports, etc.,
  • standing or walking for a long time on hard surfaces
  • wearing unsuitable shoes with soles that are too hard or too soft and which poorly support the heel and the arch of the foot, thus creating a biomechanical imbalance,
  • flat, hollow or off-center feet,
  • a fall on the heel causing trauma to the foot,
  • obesity,
  • aging of the fascia.

What are the long-term consequences of plantar fasciitis?

Left untreated, plantar fasciitis can develop into Lenoir’s spine or heel spur and the pain can then become chronic. This is a small, fairly large bone growth that appears at the junction between the plantar fascia and the heel bone under the foot. This thorn exerts local pressure requiring excision. However, the pain caused is more due to the inflammation of the fascia than to the Lenoir spine. However, this does not disappear when the fascia heals.

How to diagnose plantar fasciitis?

Symptoms associated with plantar fasciitis may be reminiscent of other pathologies of the foot such as:

  • Achilles tendonitis;
  • heel fracture;
  • Baxter’s neuritis;
  • posterior tibial tendonitis;
  • Morton’s neuroma.

This is why, and in order to avoid any possible confusion, the podiatrist will generally carry out three steps including, if necessary, other additional examinations of the foot.

First, the podiatrist will ask you questions about your family and personal history, your sports activities, and the symptoms you are experiencing. Then he will feel the structure of your foot to determine the source of the pain. Finally, he will perform one or more other examinations such as:

  • biomechanical examination of the foot to determine gait and posture.
  • digital radiology of the foot to detect the presence of Lenoir’s spine.
  • ultrasound of the foot to look for tissue damage in tendons, muscles and nerves.
  • magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to determine the presence of a torn plantar fascia.

Following this diagnosis, the podiatrist can prescribe the treatment adapted to your situation.

What are the treatments for plantar fasciitis?

The main treatment for plantar fasciitis is to reduce pain and inflammation with pain relievers and anti-inflammatory drugs. The podiatrist can use steroid injections if necessary.

There are also other complementary treatments such as:

  • applying ice to the affected area;
  • rest ;
  • massage of the plantar fascia;
  • wearing a splint at night;
  • physiotherapy;
  • wearing shoes that provide better support for the foot.

Make an appointment 


Untreated plantar fasciitis can turn your life into hell. As soon as you experience foot pain, contact us so that our podiatrist can treat your foot.

PodiatreMD is a network in downtown Montreal, on Rue Jean-Talon (corner Lucerne), Laval, West Island, Gatineau and Ottawa. We are here to serve you. Our staff are as warm as they are competent and will know how to meet your needs.