Orthopedics: Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis is inflammation of the thick tissue on the bottom of the foot. This tissue is called the plantar fascia. It connects the heel bone to the toes and creates the arch of the foot. The most common complaint is pain and stiffness in the bottom of the heel. The heel pain may be dull or sharp. The bottom of the foot may also ache or burn. The pain is usually worse in the morning when you take your first steps, after standing or sitting for a while, when climbing stairs, after intense activity.

The pain may develop slowly over time, or suddenly after intense activity.

Plantar fasciitis is seen in both men and women. However, it most often affects active men ages 40 - 70. It 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.

Causes:

Plantar fasciitis occurs when the thick band of tissue on the bottom of the foot is overstretched or overused. This can be painful and make walking more difficult.

You are more likely to get plantar fasciitis if you have:

  1. Foot arch problems (both flat feet and high arches)
  2. Long-distance running, especially running downhill or on uneven surfaces
  3. Sudden weight gain or obesity
  4. Tight Achilles tendon (the tendon connecting the calf muscles to the heel)
  5. Shoes with poor arch support or soft soles

Note: We are giving only a brief description of each disease for your quick reference with some best related photographs where needed.