|Plantar fasciitis is a painful condition that results when the thick, fibrous band on the sole of the foot, which extends from the bottom of the heel bone (calcaneus) to the base of the toes (plantar fascia), becomes irritated and swollen (inflamed). Plantar fasciitis is the most common cause of heel pain. Sometimes, this condition is referred to as “heel spurs,” but that is really a misnomer, since there is no connection between the presence of a heel spur and plantar fasciitis.|
The plantar fascia holds the many foot bones in place, supports the arch of the foot, and acts as a shock absorber. Inflammation and/or degeneration of the plantar fascia can result from mechanical strain (traumatic fasciitis), abnormalities of foot structure (biomechanical plantar fasciitis), systemic inflammatory diseases, or unknown (idiopathic) causes.
Foot pain caused by plantar fasciitis may occur in several locations: (1) along the entire course of the plantar fascia due to microtears in the band, (2) at the plantar fascia's point of attachment to the calcaneus, (3) along the inside edge of the arch (medial band plantar fasciitis), (4) in the middle of the arch (central band plantar fasciitis), or (5) along the outer edge of the arch (lateral band plantar fasciitis). Both feet are involved in about one-third of cases.
Risk: The condition is most common in runners and other athletes and those with jobs that require prolonged walking or standing on hard surfaces. Obesity, pronation of the feet, flat feet (pes planus), heel spurs, leg length discrepancy, and reduced range of motion in the ankle are other risk factors. Suddenly switching from high-heeled to lower-heeled shoes, as well as wearing ill-fitting shoes, may precipitate the condition. Although the exact cause is unknown, repetitive microtrauma may play a role.
Incidence and Prevalence: Plantar fasciitis occurs in about 10% of the general population and represents 10–15% of foot problems requiring professional care (Singh). Women are twice as likely as men to get plantar fasciitis (Foye).
Source: Medical Disability Advisor