A painful disorder in which the tissue that runs across the bottom of your foot and connects your heel bone to your toe becomes inflamed or even torn. It usually causes a stabbing pain in the bottom of your foot near the heel. Plantar Fasciitis is an inflammation caused by excessive stretching of the plantar fascia.
Your plantar fascia is in the shape of a bowstring, supporting the arch of your foot and absorbing shock when you walk. If tension and stress on this bowstring become too great, small tears can occur in the fascia. Repeated stretching and tearing can irritate or inflame the fascia, although the cause remains unclear in many cases of plantar fasciitis.Plantar Fasciitis often leads to heel pain, heel spurs, and/or arch pain. The excessive stretching of the plantar fascia that leads to the inflammation and discomfort can be caused by the following:
- Over-pronation (flat feet) which results in the arch collapsing upon weight bearing
- A foot with an unusually high arch
- A sudden increase in physical activity
- Excessive weight on the foot, usually attributed to obesity or pregnancy
- Improperly fitting footwear
Over-pronation (Flat feet) is the leading cause of plantar fasciitis. It is a genetic condition in which some people do not develop arches in their feet. It occurs in the walking process, when a person’s arch collapses upon weight bearing, causing the plantar fascia to be stretched away from the heel bone. Arches can also fall over time as the tendon that turns along the inside of the ankle and helps support the arch weakens with wear and tear, especially if using improper footwear. Flat feet can lead to problems in ankles and knees due to misalignment.
Plantar fasciitis is more common in runners. People who are overweight and those who wear shoes with inadequate support also have an increased risk of plantar fasciitis.
A good orthotic with flexible arch support and rear-foot posting is an effective device to reduce the over-pronation and allow the condition to heal.
Every time your foot strikes the ground, the plantar fascia is stretched. You can reduce the strain and stress on the plantar fascia by wearing shoes and orthotics that support your arch to prevent over-stretching of the plantar fascia.