Plantar fasciitis (say "PLAN-ter fash-ee-EYE-tus") is the most common
cause of heel pain. The
plantar fascia is the flat band of tissue (ligament) that
connects your heel bone to your toes. It supports the arch of your foot. If you
strain your plantar fascia, it gets weak, swollen, and irritated (inflamed). Then your heel or the bottom of your foot
hurts when you stand or walk.
Plantar fasciitis is common in
middle-aged people. It also occurs in younger people who are on their feet a
lot, like athletes or soldiers. It can happen in one foot or both feet.
is caused by straining the ligament that supports your arch. Repeated strain
can cause tiny tears in the ligament. These can lead to pain and swelling. This
is more likely to happen if:
- Your feet roll inward too much when you walk
(excessive pronation ).
- You have high arches or flat
- You walk, stand, or run for long periods of time, especially
on hard surfaces.
- You are overweight.
- You wear shoes
that don't fit well or are worn out.
- You have tight
Achilles tendons or calf muscles.
Most people with plantar
fasciitis have pain when they take their first steps after they get out of bed
or sit for a long time. You may have less stiffness and pain after you take a
few steps. But your foot may hurt more as the day goes on. It may hurt the most
when you climb stairs or after you stand for a long time.
have foot pain at night, you may have a different problem, such as arthritis, or a nerve problem such as
tarsal tunnel syndrome.
will check your feet and watch you stand and walk. He or she will also ask
- Your past health, including what illnesses or
injuries you have had.
- Your symptoms, such as where the pain is and
what time of day your foot hurts most.
- How active you are and
what types of physical activity you do.
Your doctor may take an X-ray of your foot if he or she
suspects a problem with the bones of your foot, such as a