Background: Plantar heel pain is a common disorder of the foot. The purpose of this study was to explore the relationship between duration of symptoms in plantar fasciitis patients and demographic factors, the intensity and location of pain, extent of previous treatment, and self-reported pain and function. Methods: The charts of patients presenting with plantar heel pain between June 2008 and October 2010 were reviewed retrospectively and 182 patients with a primary diagnosis of plantar fasciitis were identified. Patients with symptoms less than 6 months were identified as acute and patients with symptoms greater than or equal to 6 months were defined as having chronic symptoms. Comparisons based on duration of symptoms were performed for age, gender, body mass index (BMI), comorbidities, pain location and intensity, and a functional score measured by the Foot and Ankle Ability Measure (FAAM). Results: The two groups were similar in age, BMI, gender, and comorbidities. Pain severity, as measured by a visual analog scale, was not statistically significant between the two groups (6.6 and 6.2). The acute and chronic groups of patients reported similar levels of function on both the activity of daily living (62 and 65) and sports (47 and 45) subscales of the FAAM. Patients in the chronic group were more likely to have seen more providers and tried more treatment options for this condition. Conclusion: As plantar fasciitis symptoms extend beyond 6 months, patients do not experience increasing pain intensity or functional limitation. No specific risk factors have been identified to indicate a risk of developing chronic symptoms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)693-698
Number of pages6
JournalFoot and Ankle International
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2012


  • Functional limitation
  • Heel pain
  • Plantar fasciitis


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