Preparing for your appointmentBy Mayo Clinic staff
While you may initially consult your family physician, he or she may refer you to a doctor who specializes in foot disorders or sports medicine.
What you can do
You may want to write a list that includes:
- Detailed descriptions of your symptoms
- Information about medical problems you've had
- Information about the medical problems of your parents or siblings
- All the medications and dietary supplements you take
- Questions you want to ask the doctor
List your questions from most important to least important in case time runs out. For plantar fasciitis, some basic questions to ask your doctor include:
- What is likely causing my symptoms or condition?
- Are there any other possible causes?
- Do I need any tests to confirm the diagnosis?
- What treatment approach do you recommend?
- How soon do you expect my symptoms to improve with treatment?
- Is there anything I can do now to help relieve my foot pain?
- Am I at risk of long-term complications from this condition?
- When should I be seen for a follow-up exam?
- I have other health conditions. How can I best manage them together?
- Should I see a specialist?
- Are there any brochures or other printed material that I can take home with me? What websites do you recommend visiting?
In addition to the questions that you've prepared to ask your doctor, don't hesitate to ask questions during your appointment.
What to expect from your doctor
Your doctor is likely to ask you a number of questions. Being ready to answer them may reserve time to go over any points you want to spend more time on. For instance, your doctor may ask:
- What are your symptoms, and when did you first notice them?
- Do your symptoms tend to occur at a particular time of day?
- What types of shoes do you usually wear?
- Are you a runner or do you participate in any sports that involve running?
- Do you have a physically demanding job?
- Have you experienced any injuries to your feet in the past?
- Besides your foot, do you feel pain anywhere else?
- What, if anything, seems to improve your symptoms?
- What, if anything, appears to worsen your symptoms?
- Have you had any recent infections?
- Do you have any chronic illnesses?
- What medications are you currently taking, including vitamins and supplements?
- Plantar fasciitis and bone spurs. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00149. Accessed Feb. 2, 2011.
- Sheon RP, et al. Plantar fasciitis and other causes of heel and sole pain. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed Jan. 27, 2011.
- Pasquina PF, et al. Plantar fasciitis. In: Frontera WR, et al. Essentials of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation: Musculoskeletal Disorders, Pain, and Rehabilitation. 2nd ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2008. http://www.mdconsult.com/das/book/body/208746819-6/0/1678/0.html. Accessed Feb. 2, 2011.
- Thomas JL, et al. The diagnosis and treatment of heel pain: A clinical practice guideline — Revision 2010. The Journal of Foot & Ankle Surgery. 2010;49(suppl):S1.
- Running and jogging injuries. American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine. http://www.sportsmed.org/secure/reveal/admin/uploads/documents/ST%20Running%20and%20Jogging%2008.pdf. Accessed Feb. 7, 2011.
- Stracciolini A, et al. Sports rehabilitation of the injured athlete. Clinical Pediatric Emergency Medicine. 2007;8:43.