our Health Index for More Subjects, Conditions and
of the foot's plantar fascia
fash-ee-EYE-tus" is the most common cause of a
pain in your heel.
The plantar fascia is
the flat band of tissue (called a ligament) that
connects your heel bone to your toes. It supports the
arch of your foot. It's
made of collagen, a rigid protein that's not very
Normally, the plantar fascia acts like
a shock absorber supporting the arch in your foot. If
tension becomes too much, it can create small tears in
the ligament. Repetitive stretching and tearing can
cause the fascia to become irritated or inflamed. Thus
the "–itis" of fasciitis. (-itis means
Plantar fasciitis causes a stabbing
pain in the bottom of your foot near the heel. Pain is
usually worst in the morning with the first few steps
after waking up. It can also be triggered by long
periods of standing or getting up from sitting. It is
most common between the ages of 40 to 60.
Activities that place a lot of stress
on your heel and its attached tissues such as
long-distance running, ballet dancing and aerobics can
contribute to its onset.
With runner’s, plantar fasciitis
tends to strike those who over train, neglect to
stretch their calf muscles, or overdo hill work and
Plantar fasciitis can also be caused
by biomechanical flaws, including flat, high-arched
feet and a tight Achilles tendon. It can be caused by
sudden increases in training mileage; wearing worn
running shoes; running on hard surfaces, like asphalt
or concrete; or wearing high heels all day and then
switching into flat running shoes.
Being flat-footed, having a high arch
or even having an abnormal pattern of walking can
affect the way your weight is distributed when
standing and puts added stress on this ligament.
Excess pounds can put extra stress on
your plantar fascia.
Occupations that enforce you to stand
for a long time – Factory workers, teachers and
others that walk and stand on hard services can damage
If you change the way you walk to
minimize the problem, you might also develop foot,
knee, hip or back problems.
Ignoring this may result in chronic heel pain that
hinders your regular activities.
Plantar Fasciitis Medical
Treatment: Treatment consists of orthotics, foot
taping, cortisone injections, night splints, and anti-inflammatories.
These will decrease symptoms significantly in about 95
percent of sufferers within six weeks. For more
stubborn cases, physical therapy may be prescribed;
six months of chronic pain may benefit from shock-wave
therapy, an FDA-approved plantar-fasciitis treatment.
Watch this very short video on how to
help this problem. Most people go to their health care
practitioner month after month. Find out the
exercises for plantar fasciitis that you can do
Watch this video by Dr. Berg
for Plantar Fasciitis
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