What is the Plantar Fascia?
The plantar fascia is a thick fibrous band on the bottom of your foot. It is attached to the heel bone (calcaneus) and fans forward toward the toes. It acts like a bowstring and supports the arch and several muscles inside the foot.
What is Plantar Fasciitis?
When there is increased stress on the arch, microscopic tears can occur within the plantar fascia, usually at its attachment on the heel. This results in inflammation and pain with standing and walking and sometimes at rest. It usually causes pain and stiffness on the bottom of your heel.
Improper and / or non-supportive shoes
Over-training in sports (repetitive microtrauma)
Lack of flexibility (decreased ankle dorsiflexion)
Weight gain (pregnancy)
Fat-pad atrophy (decreased cushion on bottom of heel)
Prolonged bed rest
Walking / running on hard surfaces
Biomechanical problems (flat feet, high arch feet)
Some people also have heel spurs on the bottom of their heels. It is not the spur that is causing the pain. Many people have heel spurs and no pain. Likewise, there are people who have plantar fasciitis who do not have heel spurs. The pain is due to the microtears in the plantar fascia, not the heel spur.
“first step” pain after getting out of bed or sittingpain after driving
pain on the bottom inside of your heel
deep aching pain
pain is worse when barefoot
First step pain occurs because the plantar fascia is permitted to relax when you are not walking on it, but when you step down on it; the fascia is put on immediate stretch. A certain amount of activity is needed to get the area to warm up and the pain may go away for awhile, but by the end of the day the pain may come back.