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Plantar Fasciitis

What Is Plantar Fasciitis?

The fibrous tissue that surrounds muscle and separates various tissues of the body is referred to as the fascia. The bottom, or plantar, surface of the foot has a strip of this tough tissue, referred to as the plantar fascia, stretching from the heel to the front of the bottom of the foot. This bowstring-like plantar fascia stretches underneath the sole of the foot and attaches at the heel. This fascia can become inflamed by disease or injury. Inflammation of the plantar fascia is referred to as plantar fasciitis.

Picture of the metatarsal (foot) and calcaneus (heel) bones, the plantar fascia ligament, and the Achilles tendon of the lower leg and foot

What Are Causes of Plantar Fasciitis?

Patient Comments

Plantar fasciitis is a condition that most commonly occurs in people between 40 and 60 years of age. Plantar fasciitis can occur alone from injury or may be related to underlying diseases that cause arthritis (inflammation of the joints) such as reactive arthritis (formerly called Reiter's disease), ankylosing spondylitis, and diffuse idiopathic skeletal hyperostosis. Sometimes plantar fasciitis occurs for unknown reasons.

What Are Plantar Fasciitis Risk Factors?

Risk factors for plantar fasciitis include female gender, being overweight, occupations requiring walking or standing on hard surfaces, and running for exercise. Someone who has a foot with a very high or flat arch is also more likely to develop plantar fasciitis.

Last Reviewed 11/21/2017

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Patient Comments & Reviews

The eMedicineHealth doctors ask about Plantar Fasciitis:

Plantar Fasciitis - Causes

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Plantar Fasciitis - Symptoms

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Plantar Fasciitis - Treatment

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Plantar Fasciitis - Outlook and Prognosis

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Arch pain is a common symptom of plantar fasciitis.

Plantar Fasciitis Symptom

Arch Pain

Injury to the plantar fascia is a common cause of arch pain. The plantar fascia is the thick, connective tissue which supports the arch on the bottom of the foot. It runs from the calcaneus (heel) forwards to the heads of the metatarsals. When the plantar fascia is damaged, the resulting inflammatory response may become a source of arch pain.

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