Plantar fasciitis is pain and inflammation of the plantar fascia. Plantar fascia is comprised of tissue at the bottom of your foot that connects the heel bone to the toes. The plantar fascia is a thick fascial band and is a significant contributor to supporting your arch. Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common causes of heel pain.
Plantar fasciitis commonly causes stabbing/sharp pain that usually occurs with your first steps in the morning. As you day progresses, the pain typically decreases. Attacks may re-occur after long periods of standing or after rising from sitting.
The pain is often worse:
In the morning when you take your first steps
After standing or sitting for awhile
When climbing stairs
After intense activity
During walking, running, and jumping sports
Plantar fasciitis is common in athletes and can be caused by running or other sports. In addition, people who are overweight and those who wear shoes with inadequate support have an increased risk of plantar fasciitis. You may get plantar fasciitis if you walk or stand for long periods, or have a tight Achilles tendon or calf muscles. Plantar fasciitis is seen in both men and women.
You are more likely to get plantar fasciitis if you:
Run long distances, downhill or on uneven surfaces
Are obese or gain weight suddenly
Have a tight Achilles tendon (the tendon connecting the calf muscles to the heel)
Wear shoes with poor arch support or soft soles
Change your activities
You can improve your foot pain with rest and other care at home. It might take a few weeks to a few months for your foot to heal completely.
When the pain becomes significant, further treatment and proper diagnosis may be necessary with x-rays and MRI. Occasionally, people may have partial or complete tears of the plantar fascia that can be easily confused for plantar fasciitis.
Heel spurs can typically occur after experiencing chronic plantar fasciitis. They are boney ingrowth from the heel bone (calcaneus) into the plantar fascia. Heel spurs are typically a secondary response to inflammation and pain and are not a contributing factors to pain.