Sports, Pain​ & ​

Regenerative Institute

Plantar Fasciitis Q & A

Plantar fasciitis refers to an inflammation of the plantar fascia, a tough ligament connecting the heel bone to the toes, particularly to the base of the toes (ball of the foot) and the first toe. The plantar fascia plays a role in supporting the arch of your foot.


Causes of Plantar Fasciitis

The function of the plantar fascia is to absorb the impact of standing, walking, and running on the foot. This part of the body gets a lot of use, and too much pressure can damage the plantar fascia.


Plantar fasciitis will not necessarily have one single cause. Several risk factors can increase a person’s likelihood of developing the condition. These include:

  • age, as plantar fasciitis is especially common in people between the ages of 40 and 60 years
  • doing exercise, such as running, that repeatedly impacts the plantar fascia
  • having flat feet, high arches, or tight calf muscles
  • having overweight or obesity or being pregnant, all of which put more pressure on the feet
  • having certain medical conditions, such as arthritis
  • frequently standing for extended periods
  • often wearing high heeled shoes

Women are more likely than men to experience plantar fasciitis. It is not clear why, but it may be because certain risk factors for the condition — such as pregnancy and wearing unsupportive shoes — affect women more than men.


Symptoms of Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis causes pain and tenderness of the bottom of the foot. The tenderness is usually toward the heel, but the entire sole of the foot can be affected. A sign of abnormal tension or tightness that can lead to plantar fasciitis is a bony prominence (heel spur) that develops where the inflamed plantar fascia attaches to the heel bone (calcaneus).


Plantar fasciitis can make walking and running difficult. It can make the foot feel particularly stiff and sensitive in the morning or when rising after sitting or getting out of a car. Plantar fasciitis makes it difficult to walk barefoot on hard surfaces. Sometimes the bottom of the foot can feel warm, swollen, and tender.


Treatment of Plantar Fasciitis

The most effective treatment for plantar fasciitis is often rest and care at home. If home remedies do work, a doctor may recommend additional treatment. Most treatments are non-surgical, with doctors only recommending surgery if other treatments have not worked after a year.


You can also consider orthotics. An orthotic is a support or device that can help with musculoskeletal problems, which are those relating to the bones, muscles, and ligaments. Wearing supportive shoes and using orthotics, such as cushioned inserts and heel supports, can help with plantar fasciitis pain. These reduce the impact on the foot when standing or walking.