Plantar Fasciitis or Joggers Heel: An early sign of diabetes?

Lets talk about Jeff, 45. He lives in Kanata with his wife Jill and his two daughters. He does little exercise in the winter, but enjoys jogging from April to September. He has put on a few pounds over the winter, which he blames to his lack of exercise and sweet tooth. After a few weeks into starting up running this spring, he stepped out of bed one morning and experienced a sharp stabbing pain in the bottom of his right foot close to his heel. Over the next few days he also noticed the pain would come on after long periods of sitting and standing. He was still able to run, although the first kilometre was painful. Concerned he might have to stop running, Jeff went to see his physiotherapist, who diagnosed him with Plantar Fasciitis.

Plantar fasciitis, or joggers heel, is one of the most common causes of heel pain. It involves pain and inflammation of a thick band of tissue, called the plantar fascia, that runs across the bottom of your foot and connects your heel bone to your toes.Plantar Fasciitis or joggers heel an early sign of diabetes

The causes of plantar fasciitis are not entirely clear. Risk factors include overuse, such as from long periods of standing, an increase in exercise and obesity.

Many treatments have been proposed for the treatment of plantar fasciitis. The effectiveness of most of these treatments has not been adequately investigated and consequently, there is little evidence to support recommendations for such treatments.

Furthermore, about 90 per cent of plantar fasciitis cases are self-limiting and will improve within six months with conservative treatment, and within a year regardless of treatment.

When considering the potential root cause of musculoskeletal problems that appear to come and go with or with out some sort of physical therapy intervention, it is often useful to consider the general health of the person.

Recent research has shown plantar fasciitis is increased in the early stages of type 2 Diabetes, suggesting the condition might be an indication of an underlying blood sugar problem. Common symptoms of early diabetes, or pre-diabetes, include:

  • Blurry vision
  • Increased Thirst
  • Stubborn wounds or infections
  • Fatigue
  • Sudden, weight gain or loss
  • Darkened areas of skin

If, like Jeff, you suffer from plantar fasciitis and exhibit some of the above symptoms, a good next step is to ask your doctor to check your blood sugar levels. If results show that you are pre-diabetic, then the condition can be easily controlled through diet and lifestyle changes, with the help of a naturopathic doctor or functional medicine practitioner. Ignoring any potential early warning signs, which may include plantar fasciitis could lead to full blown type 2 Diabetes, which is much harder to rebound from.


I hope you found this information from Ottawa Holistic Wellness Centre  useful. More importantly, I hope you do something with it.

Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is for educational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose or treat any disease. Please do not apply any of this information without first speaking with your doctor.

Dominick Hussey is an Osteopathic Manual Practitioner, a Functional Medicine Practitioner, a PDTR Therapy Practitioner and the Co-founder of Holistic Wellness Ottawa