Plantar fasciitis is an inflammation of the connective tissue on the bottom of the foot called the plantar fascia. This fibrous tissue attaches on the inside (medial aspect) of the heel bone (calcaneus), runs the length of the arch, and inserts at the base of the toes. Pain is often felt on the outside of the heel bone (medial aspect) and sometimes in the arch. Typically, the pain is worst in the morning with the first step out of bed and improves throughout the day as the tissue loosens.
The most common cause of plantar fasciitis is overpronation of the foot while walking/running. Pronation is the necessary “rolling” of the foot during the gait cycle to absorb shock. Too much pronation causes the arch to lengthen and to stress the plantar fascia. On the other hand, high rigid arches that underpronate have poor shock absorbing capability and the plantar fascia (and Achilles tendon) becomes tight. There are many different options to treat plantar fasciitis, but the underlying cause of the condition should be identified to prevent the pain from returning once the initial injury has subsided in the tissue.