Plantar fasciitis is a condition characterized by inflammation in the plantar fascia, a thick band of tissue that connects the heel bone to the toes and runs along the bottom of each foot. It is the leading cause of heel pain and is usually a result of overuse or excessive stress on the feet.
Inflammation caused by plantar fasciitis can make walking painful. Stabbing pain is a common symptom that is typically felt during the first steps in the morning. After movement, the pain usually subsides, but it may reappear after prolonged periods of standing or when transitioning from a seated position to standing. Plantar fasciitis typically affects one foot at a time, although it can affect both feet simultaneously.
It’s unclear what causes plantar fasciitis. It occurs more frequently in overweight and people who run. In most cases, surgery is not necessary for treating plantar fasciitis.
Typically, plantar fasciitis creates a stabbing pain near the heel on the bottom of the foot. Though it can also be brought on by prolonged standing or getting up from a chair, the discomfort is typically at its greatest when taking the first few steps after waking up.
- Painful arch of the foot
- Swelling of the heel
- Tightness of Achilles tendon
The plantar fascia is a band of tissue that connect the heel bone to the toes’ base and provides support to the foot arch while walking by absorbing shock. However, the fascia can develop small tears due to tension and stress, which may cause inflammation or irritation. Despite this, the exact cause of plantar fasciitis remains unknown in many cases.
The exact risk factors for developing plantar fasciitis are still unclear, but there are some factors that can increase the likelihood of its development. These factors may include:
- Age: People between the ages of 40 and 60 are most likely to develop plantar fasciitis.
- Exercise: Long-distance jogging, ballet, and aerobic dancing are examples of activities that put a lot of strain on the heel and connected tissue and may accelerate the development of plantar fasciitis.
- Foot mechanics: The distribution of weight while standing can be affected by flat feet, high arches, or even unusual walking patterns, which can put additional strain on the plantar fascia.
- Weight: Obesity increases the pressure on the plantar fascia.
- Occupations: Plantar fasciitis can be more common in those who spend the majority of their working hours walking or standing on hard surfaces, such as factory employees, teachers, and others.