Prevea Health

Plantar Fasciitis


Plantar fasciitis is a common foot disorder that affects more than two million people every year, especially runners. It is inflammation of the plantar fascia, a thick band of tissue on the bottom of the foot. The most common area of pain is directly on the bottom of the heel, although some people may only have pain in the arch of the foot. Diagnosis of plantar fasciitis is typically done through a physical examination, which includes listening to the patient history, palpation of the heel and possibly x-rays.

Common Causes

  • Flat feet or high arches
  • Tight calf muscles
  • Tight Achilles tendon
  • Weight changes
  • Sudden change in activity
  • High impact activities such as running or jumping

Typical Symptoms

  • Foot pain immediately upon getting out of bed in the morning, which lessens as you move around
  • Pain under the heel with extended standing
  • Foot pain after sitting for any amount of time
  • Foot pain with exercise

Treatment may include

  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Calf stretching
  • Core strengthening
  • Icing
  • Night splint
  • Steroid injection

Athletes need to be evaluated for proper shoe wear and may need to add custom orthotics to help prevent or treat plantar fasciitis. Some flat-footed people may need to be in a stability or motion control shoe, and some athletes with high arches may need a cushioned shoe.

Athletes also need to make sure their shoes are replaced within the proper timespan. It is recommended to use your running or workout shoes only for running and exercising and if you use them for any daily activity, you will need to change them sooner.