Plantar fasciitis is a common cause of heel pain, estimated to affect 10% of people over the course of their lives. Symptoms are typically sharp, stabbing pain with pressure, or when standing after periods of rest. In some cases, pain can radiate up the leg causing discomfort in the ankle and calf. Pain is typically worse in the morning and the first steps of the day, and usually worse after exercise but not during exercise. Plantar fasciitis is common in runners, those that are overweight, those who stand or walk for long periods, and those with foot alignment issues. Tight calves are also known to increase risk of developing plantar fasciitis
The plantar fascia, which is the part of the foot that’s inflamed with plantar fasciitis, is a tendon that attaches to the base of the heel bone and extends into five bands that attach to each toe on the bottom of the foot. It is affected by overuse through repetitive strain due to both too much or too little movement and exercise. Small injuries to the tendon over time causes inflammation and pain. Often a spur, which is a little bony growth, develops on the heel bone as well. Plantar fasciitis can also be caused by arthritic conditions such as ankylosing spondylitis and psoriatic arthritis.