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bones of foot showing plantarfasciosis

Plantar fasciitis vs Plantar fasciosis (What is the difference?)

As podiatrists, we encounter a myriad of foot ailments, each with its own set of symptoms, causes, and treatment approaches. Two conditions that often cause confusion among patients are plantar fasciitis and plantar fasciosis. While they share similarities in name and location, they are distinct conditions with different underlying causes and treatment strategies.

Let's delve into the nuances of these two conditions to better understand them:

Plantar Fasciitis:

Plantar fasciitis is a common foot condition characterized by inflammation of the plantar fascia, a thick band of tissue that runs along the bottom of the foot, connecting the heel bone to the toes. This inflammation typically occurs due to excessive strain or stress on the plantar fascia, leading to microtears and irritation.

Symptoms of Plantar Fasciitis:
  • Heel pain, particularly in the morning or after prolonged periods of rest.
  • Pain that worsens with activity, especially activities that involve standing, walking, or running.
  • Tenderness along the bottom of the foot, near the heel.

Plantar Fasciosis:

Plantar fasciosis, on the other hand, refers to a degenerative condition of the plantar fascia. Unlike plantar fasciitis, which involves inflammation, plantar fasciosis is characterized by the breakdown of collagen fibers within the plantar fascia, leading to thickening and scarring.

Symptoms of Plantar Fasciosis:
  • Persistent heel pain, which may be more intense and prolonged than in plantar fasciitis.
  • Pain that tends to linger throughout the day, rather than improving with rest.
  • Presence of heel spurs, which are bony protrusions that develop where the plantar fascia attaches to the heel bone.

Understanding the Difference:

While both conditions result in heel pain, the key difference lies in their underlying mechanisms. Plantar fasciitis involves inflammation, whereas plantar fasciosis involves degeneration and scarring of the plantar fascia. This fundamental distinction impacts the approach to treatment and management.

Treatment Options:

For plantar fasciitis, initial treatment typically focuses on reducing inflammation and alleviating pain through methods such as rest, ice therapy, stretching exercises, orthotic devices, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Physical therapy and corticosteroid injections may also be recommended in severe cases.

In contrast, treating plantar fasciosis often involves strategies aimed at promoting tissue regeneration and reducing scar tissue. This may include platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections, orthotic devices designed to offload pressure from the heel, and in some cases, surgical intervention to remove heel spurs or release tight fascia.


As podiatrists, it's essential to accurately differentiate between plantar fasciitis and plantar fasciosis to provide optimal care for our patients. While they may present with similar symptoms, understanding the underlying pathology guides us in developing tailored treatment plans to address the unique needs of each individual.

If you're experiencing heel pain or suspect you may have either plantar fasciitis or plantar fasciosis, don't hesitate to schedule an appointment with a qualified podiatrist for a comprehensive evaluation and personalized treatment recommendations.

Remember, early intervention is key to preventing further complications and restoring foot health. Your podiatrist is here to help you every step of the way towards a pain-free and active lifestyle.

Book Online to schedule your appointment today and take the first step towards relief!


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