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) and runs the length of the arch, inserting at the base of the toes. Pain is often felt on the medial heel and sometimes in the arch. Typically, the pain is worse 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 over pronation of the foot while walking/running. Pronation is the necessary “rolling” in of the foot during the gait cycle to absorb shock. Too much pronation causes the arch to lengthen and stress the plantar fascia. On the other hand, high rigid arches that under pronate 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 coming back once the initial injury has subsided.