Plantar fasciitis is caused by strain and injury to the plantar fascia, the ligament that connects the ball of your foot to the heel bone. The strain causes micro tears in the ligament, and this in turn leads to irritation or inflammation, and to pain in the heel area.*
You are more likely to develop heel pain from plantar fasciitis if you:
- Are between 40 and 60 years old (though young athletes also develop the condition)
- Participate in sports or activities that put stress on your feet – like running, basketball, or dancing.
- Have a job that involves long hours of standing or walking, especially on hard surfaces.
- Are overweight
- Have tight calf muscles or Achilles tendons.
- Overpronate, that is, if your ankle rolls more than normally inward toward the ground when you walk. (See this page on pronation for a video.)
- Have either high arches or flat feet.
- Walk or run a lot in shoes without proper arch support or shock absorption, or that have thin, soft soles. (See the shoes that are helping me with my plantar fasciitis.)
*Please note that other conditions can cause foot and heel pain. These include tarsal tunnel syndrome, nerve entrapments, stress fractures, fat pad necrosis, Reiter’s syndrome, ankylosing spondylitis, and arthritis. It is important to seek a medical diagnosis and treatment for your foot pain.
If you think you have any of these risk factors, and that you may have plantar fasciitis, learn more: