Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis is a common foot condition that affects about 10% of the population. It is inflammation of the plantar fascia, which is the connective tissue that runs along the bottom of your foot. You experience pain when you put weight on your foot, particularly when taking your first steps in the morning. The pain can be felt at the heel, or along the arch and the ball of the foot.

Risk Factors include:

  • Impact/weight bearing activities such as prolonged standing, running, etc
  • Improper shoe fit
  • Decreased calf muscle flexibility
  • Tendency to have a flat foot (pronation)
  • Pes cavus OR pes planus deformities
  • Previous foot injuries
  • Age (over 40 years)
  • Elevated BMI > kg/m2

Signs & Symptoms:

  • Heel pain with first steps in the morning or after long periods of non-weight bearing
  • Tenderness to the anterior medial heel
  • Limited dorsiflexion and tight achilles tendon
  • Pain with prolonged standing
  • Pain after an intense weight-bearing activity such as running
  • Pain when walking barefoot or in shoes with poor support

PT Interventions:

  • Stretching exercises to improve the flexibility of your ankle and the plantar fascia
  • Soft tissue mobility
  • Application of ice to decrease pain and inflammation
  • Strengthening muscles of foot/ankle
  • Iontophoresis (a gentle way to deliver medication through the skin)
  • Taping of the foot to provide short-term relief

Other Interventions:

  • Use of a night splint to maintain correct ankle and toe positions
  • Selection of supportive footwear and/or shoe inserts that minimize foot pronation and reduce stress to the plantar fascia


What to do about it?

Click for some exercise ideas!