The plantar fascia is a ligament-like band running from your heel to the ball of your foot.
This band pulls on the heel bone, raising the arch of your foot as it pushes off the ground. But if
your foot moves incorrectly, the plantar fascia may become strained. The fascia may swell and its
tiny fibers may begin to fray, causing plantar fasciitis.
Flattened foot arch
Raised foot arch
Plantar fasciitis is often caused by poor foot mechanics. If your foot flattens too
much, the fascia may overstretch and swell. If your foot flattens too little, the fascia may ache
from being pulled too tight.
With plantar fasciitis, the bottom of your foot may hurt when you stand, especially
first thing in the morning. Pain usually occurs on the inside of the foot, near the spot where your
heel and arch meet. Pain may lessen after a few steps, but it comes back after rest or with
A heel spur is extra bone that may grow near the spot where the
plantar fascia attaches to the heel. The heel spur may form in response to the plantar fascia's tug
on the heel bone.
Bursitis is the swelling of a bursa, a fluid-filled sac that reduces
friction between a ligament and a bone. Bursitis may develop if a swollen plantar fascia presses
against a plantar bursa.
Medical History and Physical
Where and when does your foot hurt? Your podiatrist
may first ask about your symptoms. Then he or she may feel for damaged ligaments, inflamed tendons,
and displaced bones or joints. Your podiatric doctor may also watch you walk to see if your
symptoms are caused by incorrect foot movement.
TestingX-rays of your foot may be taken, or you may have a bone scan to confirm a suspected
heel spur or a stress fracture of the heel bone.