Plantar Fasciitis




Review Sections

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Plantar fasciitis is a sometimes debilitating heel pain in both active and sedentary populations. The etiology of plantar fasciitis is thought to be due to repetitive or excessive loads on the plantar fascia. Although the name “fasciitis” implies an inflammatory process, recent research indicates a noninflammatory, degenerative process (1) with thickening of the heel aponeurosis (2) may be the cause. It is a common condition, accounting for more than 600,000 outpatient visits per year in the united States(3).

(1) Aldridge T. Diagnosing heel pain in adults. Am Fam Physician 2004; 70(2):332-338.; (2) Cole C, Seto C, Gazewood J. Plantar fasciitis: evidence-based review of diagnosis and therapy. Am Fam Physician 2005; 72(11):2237-2242.; (3) Riddle DL, Schappert SM. Volume of ambulatory care visits and patterns of care for patients diagnosed with plantar fasciitis: a national study of medical doctors. Foot Ankle Int 2004; 25(5):303-310.

Clinical Reviews

Plantar Fasciitis: Prevention

Medline, CINHAL and MANTIS searches relating to prevention of plantar fasciitis (PF) returned only a handful of references. Plantar fasciitis is a common condition which is responsible for 1% of all visits to orthopedic surgeons and accounts for 15% of adult foot pain complaints. It is known for its recalcitrant nature and lengthy recovery time.

Plantar Fasciitis: Diagnosis

Plantar fasciitis (PF) is a condition that is relatively easy to diagnose based on patient history, observation and physical examination. Surprisingly few, if any, studies have been performed to test the sensitivity and specificity of the diagnostic protocols for PF.

Plantar Fasciitis: Therapy

Some authors state PF is primarily a self-limiting condition that will resolve in 80% of cases within one year with or without treatment. Whether the condition is self-limiting or not, the patient is usually experiencing pain sufficient to limit activity. It is the physician’s obligation to aid in restoration of function and return to full activity as quickly as possible with whatever safe and effective treatment options are available. When treating a patient with plantar fasciitis (PF) it is important for the physician to know, even when the patients respond well, resolution is often measured in weeks or months, not days. It is important for patients to understand the lengthy recovery time.

Medical Subject Heading (MeSH) Information

MeSH Term: Fasciitis, Plantar

Scope Note: Inflammation of the plantar fascia (aponeurosis) on the bottom of the foot causing heel pain. The etiology of plantar fasciitis remains controversial but is likely to involve a biomechanical imbalance. Though often presenting along with HEEL SPUR, they do not appear to be causally related.

MeSH Synonyms:
  • Fasciitis, Plantar
  • Plantar Fasciitis
  • Policeman's Heel
  • Heel, Policeman's
  • Heels, Policeman's
  • Policeman Heel
  • Policeman's Heels
  • Policemans Heel
  • Heel Spur Syndrome
  • Chronic Plantar Fasciitis
  • Fasciitis, Chronic Plantar
  • Plantar Fasciitis, Chronic
  • Fasciitis, Plantar, Chronic
Applicable MeSH Subheadings:
  • analysis
  • anatomy and histology
  • blood
  • chemically induced
  • classification
  • complications
  • diagnosis
  • diagnostic imaging
  • diet therapy
  • drug therapy
  • economics
  • epidemiology
  • etiology
  • genetics
  • immunology
  • metabolism
  • nursing
  • organization and administration
  • pathology
  • physiology
  • physiopathology
  • prevention and control
  • psychology
  • radiotherapy
  • rehabilitation
  • statistics and numerical data
  • surgery
  • therapy
  • urine
See Related MeSH Terms:

Informative Links

Arrow Plantar Fasciitis Information

Mayo Clinic Health Solutions' award-winning consumer Web site offers health information and self-improvement tools.'s medical experts and editorial professionals bring you access to the knowledge and experience of Mayo Clinic for all your consumer health information needs, from cancer, diabetes and heart disease to nutrition, exercise and pregnancy.

MedlinePlus: Heel Injuries and Disorders

MedlinePlus will direct you to information to help answer health questions. MedlinePlus brings together authoritative information from NLM, the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and other government agencies and health-related organizations.

Current Clinical Trials Relating to  Fasciitis, Plantar Provides patients, family members, and members of the public easy and free access to information on clinical studies for a wide range of diseases and conditions.


Photobiomodulation for Plantar Fasciitis

(Status: Active, not recruiting)


Plantar Fasciitis Foot Insole

(Status: Unknown status)


Heel Cushion for Plantar Fasciitis

(Status: Unknown status)


Plantar Fasciitis, Operation or Conservative Treatment

(Status: Active, not recruiting)


Fat Grafting and Retention for Heel Fat Pad Atrophy

(Status: Active, not recruiting)


Perforating Fat Injections for Plantar Fasciosis

(Status: Active, not recruiting)


Inflammatory Back Pain and Gluten Free Diet

(Status: Not yet recruiting)

91 Clinical Trials Returned