Plantar Fasciitis

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Plantar Fasciitis Causes

Many things can cause irritation and inflammation, but it's most commonly caused by overuse. Excessive downward force is another common cause for plantar fasciitis. Repeated tearing of the plantar fascia affects its ability to support the arch of the foot. If the plantar fascia is strained by the way you walk or by repeated stress, it can become weak, swollen and irritated and will hurt to walk or stand.

Repetitive Strain

Plantar fasciitis is most commonly a repetitive stress injury caused by overuse, but also happens during a sudden shock or excessive downward force on the foot. There can be many different factors that cause plantar fasciitis. When walking with a normal step, the plantar fascia stretches as the foot strikes the ground. Repeated tearing of the plantar fascia affects its ability to support the arch. Normally when walking, the plantar fascia stretches (but only very little)as your foot hits the ground. If the plantar fascia is strained by the way you walk or by repeated stress, it can become weak, swollen and irritated, and it can hurt when you stand or walk.


The plantar fascia is similar to a rubber band by the way that it expands and contracts with movement. While this ligament moves, the movement is very minimal. Repetitive movements like walking or running that stretch the plantar fascia; if these movements are extreme or forceful, tearing of the plantar fascia will occur causing inflammation and pain. Women who are pregnant often experience plantar fasciitis, particularly during late pregnancy.

Active Lifestyles

Living active lifestyles or having physically demanding, high paced jobs increase the risk of plantar fasciitis due to the strain on their feet on a daily basis. Runners very commonly develop plantar fascia problems as well as factory workers and restaurant servers due to the long periods of time on their feet.

Medical Complications

Certain types of arthritis can cause inflammation to develop on the tendons, resulting in plantar fasciitis. This cause is particularly common among elderly patients. Diabetes is also a factor that can contribute to further heel pain and damage, particularly among the elderly.

Tight Muscles

Having tight muscles leading down to your feet can also cause issues. Having proper range of motion allows the muscles, tendons and ligaments to work harmoniously together without conflict. Birth defects or injuries can often cause an issue with muscle tightness, leading to an abnormal gait--which is the pattern of movement of limbs--which adds extra strain on your plantar fascia.


Wearing incorrect shoes is one of the main causes of strain on the plantar fascia. The plantar fascia's design is to naturally create an arch in the foot. The arch itself doesn't need support, but the heel and ball of your foot is where the support is needed to allow impact absorption to relieve stress on the plantar fascia itself. If wearing improper shoes the weight distribution can become impaired, and significant stress can be placed on the plantar fascia causing tears and inflammation.

Interrupted Healing

Another cause of pain is the shortening of the plantar fascia overnight due to its ability to rest and to heal. The plantar fascia will tighten up to the original length that it is designed to be and never any shorter. The pain in the morning when you stand is the re-injuring of the tendon. Take your time getting out of bed and warm up the muscles around the injured plantar fascia. Do some stretches and take it easy first thing in the morning and respect the pain. Relieve some of the pressure and wear slippers that provide some padding to help with impact absorption, and if needed buy some crutches and stay off your feet. Just like bones being fractured, sprains are a fracture to the tendon and should be treated the same way. Alleviating most of the weight that's on your foot during a day, by staying off of it and reducing movement altogether will help speed up the recovery process.