Plantar Fasciitis (fash-e-i-tis) is one of the most common causes of heel pain, accounting for almost 15% of all foot-related complaints (Lutter, 1997).
Its predominantly effects the middle aged (40-50), with more women than men being affected...and with about 65% reported to be overweight. It is understood to be an overuse injury to the plantar fascia and the surrounding structures, which over time cause small tears and inflammation of the tissues. Those with Plantar Fasciitis describe pain that is worse in the morning, and after seated rest, upon walking.
The condition involves inflammation of the plantar fascia (a tough fibrous band of tissue that runs along the sole of the foot with attachments to the heel bone (calcaneous) and to the base of the toes. The plantar fascia provides support to the arch of the foot and has an important role in normal walking. Tension or stress in the plantar fascia increases when weight is placed on the foot (standing) and as one pushes off on the ball of the foot and toes (walking or running).
Inflammation and pain start in the fascia either as a result of an increase in activity level, the aging process, inadequate footwear, or working conditions, etc.
(See Causes below)