Plantar Fascia Pain
What Is Plantar Fasciitis?
Plantar fasciitis causes pain in the bottom of the heel. The plantar fascia
is a thin ligament that connects your heel to the front of your foot.
It supports the arch in your foot and is important in helping you walk.
Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common orthopedic complaints. Your
plantar fascia ligaments experience a lot of wear and tear in your daily
life. Normally, these ligaments act as shock absorbers, supporting the
arch of the foot. Too much pressure on your feet can damage or tear the
ligaments. The plantar fascia becomes inflamed, and the inflammation causes
heel pain and stiffness.
What Causes Plantar Fasciitis?
You are at a greater risk for developing plantar fasciitis if you are overweight
or obese. This is due to the increased pressure on your plantar fascia
ligaments, especially if you have sudden weight gain. Women who are pregnant
often experience bouts of plantar fasciitis, particularly during late
If you are a long distance runner, you may be more likely to develop plantar
fascia problems. You are also at risk if you have a very active job that
involves being on your feet often, such as a factory worker or a restaurant
server. Active men and women between the ages of 40 and 70 are at the
highest risk for developing plantar fasciitis. It is also slightly more
common in women than men.
If you have foot problems, such as very high arches or very flat feet,
you may develop plantar fasciitis. Tight Achilles tendons (the tendons
attaching the calf muscles to the heels) may also result in plantar fascia
pain. Simply wearing shoes with soft soles and poor arch support can also
result in plantar fasciitis.
Plantar fasciitis is not caused by heel spurs. A heel spur is a hook of
bone that can form on the heel bone (calcaneus) of the foot. One out of
every 10 people has a heel spur, but only one out of 20 people with heel
spurs experience pain, according to OrthoInfo.
What Are the Symptoms of Plantar Fasciitis?
The major complaint of those with plantar fasciitis is pain and stiffness
in the bottom of the heel. This develops gradually over time. It usually
affects just one foot, but can affect both feet. Some people describe
the pain as dull, while others experience a sharp pain, and some feel
a burning or ache on the bottom of the foot extending outward from the heel.
The pain is usually worse in the morning when you take your first steps
out of bed, or if you’ve been sitting or lying down for a while.
Climbing stairs can be very difficult due to the heel stiffness.
After prolonged activity, the pain can flare-up due to increased inflammation.
Pain is not usually felt during the activity, but rather just after stopping.