Plantar fasciitis is irritation and swelling of the thick tissue on the bottom of the foot.
Plantar fasciitis is irritation and swelling of the thick tissue on the bottom of the foot. Causes • The plantar fascia is a very thick band of tissue that connects the heel bone to the toes. This band of tissue is what creates the arch of the foot. When the fascia is overstretched or overused, it can become inflamed. When the fascia is inflamed, it can be painful and make walking more difficult. Risk factors for plantar fasciitis include: • Foot arch problems (both flat feet and high arches) • Obesity • Repetitive loading on the feet from long-distance running, especially running downhill or on uneven surfaces • Sudden weight gain • Tight Achilles tendon (the tendon connecting the calf muscles to the heel) • Shoes with poor arch support or soft soles Plantar fasciitis typically affects active men ages 40-70. This condition is one of the most common orthopedic complaints relating to the foot. Plantar fasciitis is commonly thought of as being caused by a heel spur, but research has found that this is not the case. On x-ray, heel spurs are seen in people with and without plantar fasciitis. Symptoms • The most common complaint is pain in the bottom of the heel, which is usually worse in the morning and may improve throughout the day. By the end of the day the pain may be replaced by a dull ache that improves with rest.