What Causes Plantar Fasciitis?

by | Feb 7, 2023

Everyday living is not always easy, and activities like walking, running, or standing for prolonged periods can begin to take their toll on the body. For some individuals, this activity can cause inflammation in the plantar fascia, leading to heel pain and discomfort. If you’re experiencing this kind of pain, it’s best to talk to our doctors to determine the underlying cause.

Depending on the cause of inflammation, you may need to make changes to your lifestyle or physical activity levels to protect your feet. In severe and rare instances, you may need a surgical procedure to relieve the pain and discomfort of plantar fasciitis.

What is Plantar Fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis is an inflammation of the plantar fascia, a band of tissue that connects your heel to your toes and runs along the bottom of your foot. When this tissue is overused or strained, it can cause heel pain or pain in the arch area that can range from mild to severe. You may also experience stiffness or tightness in the sole of your foot, and it can be difficult to walk or stand for long periods without feeling discomfort.

Most people also experience plantar fasciitis on one foot, even though it can affect both feet. The pain tends to worsen in the morning when you first wake up, and then gradually eases as your body warms up. Therefore, it’s important to visit our office to determine the cause of your plantar fasciitis.

The Most Common Causes of Plantar Fasciitis

Here are the plantar fasciitis causes and risk factors that can lead to pain and discomfort:

High Arched Feet

High arched feet can increase the amount of strain and tension on the plantar fascia. The strain and tension can eventually lead to inflammation and heel pain. So, if you feel your feet are arching too high, it is important to consult us. Failure to have it checked can lead to further pain and damage.

Flat Feet

Having flat feet is normal until it starts to cause pain and discomfort. Flat feet can put more pressure on the plantar fascia, leading to inflammation and heel pain. Wearing flat shoes may also put more strain on the feet, so wearing supportive shoes or orthotics can help to reduce the pain.

Wearing Ill-Fitting Shoes

Ill-fitting shoes can cause the plantar fascia to stretch too much and can lead to inflammation. Shoes should be supportive and well-cushioned, especially if you stand for long periods or are physically active.

Overweight or Obesity

Being overweight or obese can put extra pressure on the feet, especially if you are standing for long periods. This added weight increases the strain on the plantar fascia and can lead to inflammation and heel pain.

Being an Athlete

Athletes are more prone to getting plantar fasciitis due to the intensity of physical activity they partake in. To protect your feet, it’s important to wear supportive shoes that fit well and provide cushioning.

Often Working or Exercising on Hard Surfaces

Hard surfaces like concrete and asphalt can put more strain on your feet, leading to inflammation and heel pain. Therefore, exercising or working on softer surfaces is important whenever possible. You should also give your feet time to rest in between activities and wear supportive shoes.

Standing on Your Feet for Long Periods

Why would you stand on your feet for that long anyway? Maybe you’re working or maybe you’re a fan of shopping. Whatever it is, standing for long periods can cause extra strain on your feet, leading to heel pain and discomfort. If this is the case, it’s important to rest your feet from time to time and wear supportive shoes.

Exercising Without Stretching Your Calves

We are not saying that doing exercise is bad. But exercise should be done in the right way. Exercising without stretching and warming up is like asking for trouble. Stretching your calves can help reduce the strain on your plantar fascia, which will, in turn, reduce the pain and discomfort associated with plantar fasciitis.

Symptoms of Plantar Fasciitis

Some of the symptoms of plantar fasciitis include:

Heel Pain

The major symptom of plantar fasciitis is heel pain. This can range from a dull and aching sensation to a sharp, stabbing pain. The pain tends to worsen in the morning when you first wake up, and then gradually eases as your body warms up.


You may also experience swelling along the arch of your foot or around the heel area. This is due to the inflammation of the plantar fascia that results from overstretching or overuse.


The pain and swelling can also lead to stiffness in your foot, especially when you first wake up in the morning. Stretching your calf muscles and ensuring adequate rest can help reduce this symptom.

Tight Achilles Tendon

The Achilles tendon can become tight when you’re suffering from plantar fasciitis, as the fascia pulls on it. Stretching this muscle can help to reduce the pain and discomfort.

Doctor evaluating foot for plantar fasciitis and heel pain

How Do You Treat Plantar Fasciitis?

We have nonsurgical and surgical treatment options available. We will always try nonsurgical treatments first since only rare cases need surgery. The most common non-surgical treatments include:

  • Rest and Ice: Taking time off from activities that aggravate the condition and using ice to reduce swelling can help reduce pain and inflammation.
  • Physical Therapy: Exercises such as stretching, massage, ultrasound, electrical stimulation, and taping can help to strengthen the fascia and reduce pain.
  • Supportive Shoes: Wearing shoes with good cushioning, arch support, and heel stability can help to reduce strain on the fascia and relieve pain.
  • Custom Orthotics: Shoe inserts designed specifically for your feet can help to improve overall foot function and reduce strain on the plantar fascia.
  • Calf Stretch: Stretching the calf muscles regularly can help reduce tension on the plantar fascia.
  • Night Splints:  These are devices that you wear at night to stretch the calf and arch while sleeping.

Surgical treatments include:

  • Plantar Fascia Release: An incision is made in the fascia in order to relieve tension and promote healing.
  • Gastrocnemius Recession: A surgical procedure in which the calf muscle is lengthened to reduce strain on the plantar fascia.

Let Us Help You Get Rid of Plantar Fasciitis!

Plantar fasciitis is a very common foot condition that can cause pain and discomfort. Taking proper care of the feet and wearing supportive shoes can help reduce the symptoms associated with plantar fasciitis. There are also nonsurgical and surgical treatments available to those who suffer from more severe symptoms.

Regardless, it’s important to speak to our doctors to determine the best course of action. Taking care of your feet is important, so don’t wait too long to get treatment if necessary. Contact our office today to make an appointment to treat plantar fasciitis.