Plantar Fasciitis 101: All The Basics You Need To Know

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If you are experiencing pain in your heel, you are likely suffering from plantar fasciitis. This condition is caused by inflammation of the band of tissue that extends from the heel to the toes. In this article, we will discuss all of the basics you need to know about plantar fasciitis. We will cover what causes the condition, how to treat it, and steps you can take to prevent it from happening again. Read on.

What Is Plantar Fasciitis?

One of the most common forms of foot pain is plantar fasciitis. The plantar fascia is a thick band of tissue that runs along the bottom of your foot from your heel to your toes. When this tissue becomes inflamed, it can cause significant pain and discomfort. The most common orthopedic complaint is plantar fasciitis. Over time, your feet experience too much pressure and the heel becomes inflamed leading to pain in both areas of your body. The plantar fascia ligaments get too much pressure and can be damaged or even torn when you put your weight onto them during everyday activities such as walking, running, and more.


The most common symptom of plantar fasciitis is heel pain. The pain is often described as a dull, aching sensation that may be sharp or stabbing. The pain is usually worse in the morning after you’ve been asleep for several hours and becomes more tolerable as the day goes on. You may also experience swelling, stiffness, and tenderness on the bottom of your foot around the heel bone. When you constantly move your foot, the pain can flare up due to increased irritation or inflammation. People with plantar fasciitis don’t usually feel any discomfort during activities but rather just after stopping.

Risk Factors

Some risk factors can increase your chances of developing plantar fasciitis, such as:

  • Age.

Plantar fasciitis is most commonly diagnosed between the ages of 40 and 60. However, it can also be seen in younger people who are on their feet a lot, such as athletes or soldiers.

  • Some types of exercise.

People who are physically active or do a lot of running, jumping, and standing are at a higher risk for developing plantar fasciitis. This is because these activities put stress on the foot and can cause the plantar fascia to become inflamed.

  • Foot mechanics.

If the way you walk or run causes extra stress on your foot, this could lead to plantar fasciitis. People with high arches or flat feet are at a higher risk for developing the condition because their stride puts too much pressure on their feet.

  • Obesity.

People who are overweight or obese are also at a higher risk for developing plantar fasciitis. This is because extra weight can put stress on the feet and cause the plantar fascia to become inflamed.

  • Occupations that keep you on your feet.

People who have jobs that require them to be on their feet all day, such as nurses, teachers, and waiters, are also at a higher risk of developing plantar fasciitis.

Testing And Diagnosis

Most doctors can diagnose plantar fasciitis just by talking to you and examining your feet. During the exam, your doctor will check for points of tenderness in your foot. Tender areas on or near the plantar fascia may indicate the presence of plantar fasciitis. Your physician may also order imaging tests to confirm a diagnosis, rule out other causes of heel pain or assess damage to your heels. X-rays provide clear images of bones. They are useful in ruling out other causes of heel pain, such as fractures or arthritis. Heel spurs can be seen on an x-ray. Other imaging tests, such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and ultrasound, are not routinely used for plantar fasciitis, but they may be ordered if the diagnosis is uncertain or to check for other problems.


Plantar fasciitis generally falls into one of two categories, nonsurgical or surgical. Nonsurgical treatment is the most common and includes a combination of rest, ice, compression, and elevation (RICE), stretching exercises, orthotics (it can be customized), and more. If nonsurgical treatment does not relieve symptoms after several months, then surgery may be recommended. The most common surgical procedure for plantar fasciitis is called a plantar fascia release. This surgery involves cutting the band of tissue that connects the heel bone to the toes to release the tension on the fascia. Other surgeries that may be used include corticosteroid injections, extracorporeal shock wave therapy, and bursal release.

So, there you have it. Everything you need to know about plantar fasciitis, from what it is, to how to test for and treat it. If you’re experiencing any of the symptoms listed above, don’t hesitate to call us today and schedule an appointment. We can help get you on the road to recovery.

Do You Need Help Treating Plantar Fasciitis?

The Shoe Doctor in Dublin, California has specialized in providing custom orthotics for over 20 years. The right custom orthotic insoles can greatly reduce foot, knee, and hip pain while increasing performance and comfort. Russell at The Shoe Doctor will help educate and assist you in finding the perfect solution for your particular situation. We will create a 3D map of your feet and make custom orthotics for your hiking boots, everyday shoes, and everything else in between. These orthotics, along with our expert advice, will get you using orthotics like a pro, and have you performing at the peak of your abilities in no time!  If you are in the San Francisco Bay Area, give The Shoe Doctor a call to get the best custom orthotics in the area! We are here to assist you, schedule your free consultation here!


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Russell Pate

Russell Pate

Russell has been a Certified Pedorthist for over 28 years.

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