Not ALL heel pain is plantar fasciitis

Watch our video to learn why it stands to reason that not all #HeelPain is #PlantarFasciitis.

With 24 years clinical experience, Dr Foot knows a thing or two when it comes to heel pain—the causes and the common misdiagnoses.

He says, “The foot is a really complicated area of the body. There’s a lot more to the foot than just the fascia. So it stands to reason that not all heel pain can be attributed to the one condition—plantar fasciitis.

The plantar fascia ligament runs along the bottom of the foot. “Fasciitis” is Latin for ‘inflammation of the fascia’. Yet it’s NOT ALWAYS inflammation that’s the cause of heel pain.

Without the right diagnosis, how can we expect our heel pain to get better?

Typical symptoms of plantar fasciitis include:

  • Stabbing pain and stiffness in the underside of the heel
  • Heel pain that’s more intense in the morning or after sitting for lengthy periods
  • Pain in the heel after standing for hours
  • Pain that increases after activity
There’s something special about shoes, they give you a high like nothing else.Edgardo Osorio, Aquazzura Fashion Designer

When making a diagnosis, clinicians need to consider ALL the possible causes of heel pain and not assume that every case of heel pain is plantar fasciitis.


Not all heel pain is plantar fasciitis

Not all heel pain is plantar fasciitis. It can't be. Have a look at this foot. The foot and the leg is really complicated. Look at all these tendons, these bones, ligaments in this region. Look at the heel.

This is a really complicated area. It's one of the things that when I'm lecturing to other doctors, I'm talking to them about how very complex this region is. There's more that a fascia, so it stands to reason that it can't all be the one condition.

What we need to do is make sure that we diagnose the right condition. Now, fasciitis means an inflammation; it isn't always inflamed that's causing the pain. We need to make sure that we get the diagnosis right, so that we can head you in the right direction for treatment.


Founder of A Step Ahead Foot + Ankle Care in Sydney, and former president of the Australasian Podiatry Council, Dr Brenden Brown (A.K.A Dr Foot) is a wealth of knowledge on how to take care of your feet, including how to find the best shoes.

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