The most common symptom of plantar fasciitis is the painful first steps out of bed in the morning. When we sleep the plantar fascia contracts during the night since there is no weight placed on our feet. In the morning when we step out of bed, the plantar fascia stretches again to carry the load of our body. With a healthy and elastic fascia, this stretching is not a problem. However, if you are suffering from plantar fasciitis and you are experiencing inflammation, putting weight on you foot (or feet) after rest can be extremely painful. Other symptoms include:
The pain associated with plantar fasciitis normally starts as a dull ache and then progresses to a sharp, knife-like pain or constant throbbingfeeling that is worse when you put weight on your foot. The most tender areas tend to be in the centre of your heel and along the inside and bottom of your foot towards your toes, where your heel and arch meet. It isworsened when you move your toes upward.
At night your foot rests and your plantar fascia contracts (shortens). As a result, you will tend to experience the most pain in the morning when you take your first steps, because you are stretching and irritating the tissue after long periods of non-use. This is the same after sitting for long periods of time. Your tissues will relax and lengthen throughout the day with movement, however long periods of time on your feet or walking on hard surfaces can make them extremely sore at the end of the day.
As a result of a tight achilles tendon and calf muscles, you may shift your weight forward and walk on your toes or limp. This affects the way your foot contacts the ground and creates more stress on your plantar fascia which creates more pain. As the disease progresses, it takes longer for your pain to subside.
Bruising and Inflammation
You may occasionally (although not always) experience bruising, redness, warmth and/or puffiness (known as inflammation) on and around your heel, which can double the thickness of your plantar fascia, increase your discomfort and cause stiffness in your foot. These symptoms can also indicate other foot conditions.
The inflammation of the plantar fascia can instigateheel spurs around the attachment to the heel, where the most tension and irritation is experienced. Bone spurs are calcium deposits that produce bony, hook-shaped projections in the soft tissue on the underside of your heel bone. They can cause tenderness when walking, however many people experience no pain with them. Not all people with plantar fasciitis experience heel spurs, nor do all people who have heel spurs experience plantar fasciitis.
Signs of Nerve Damage
Numbness and burning in your foot is sometimes felt and is often associated with nerve damage.