DefinitionThe plantar fascia is a thick band of tissue attached to the heel bone. It supports the arch of the foot. Plantar fasciitis is inflammation of the plantar fascia.
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CausesPlantar fasciitis is caused by small, repetitive trauma to the plantar fascia. This trauma can be due to activity that puts extra stress on the foot.
Risk FactorsPlantar fasciitis is most common in people who are 40-60 years old. Other risk factors that increase your chance of getting plantar fasciitis include:
- Physical exertion, especially in sports such as:
- A sudden increase in exercise intensity or duration
- Physical activity that stresses the plantar fascia
- People who spend a lot of time standing
- A sudden increase in activities that affect the feet
- Obesity or weight gain
- Pre-existing foot problems, including an abnormally tight Achilles tendon, flat feet, or an ankle that rolls inward too much
- Poor footwear
- Heel spurs
SymptomsSymptoms of plantar fasciitis may start gradually or happen suddenly. They include:
- Pain on the sole of the foot near the heel
- Heel pain when taking the first steps in the morning
- Tenderness when touching the sole or heel
- Pain that increases over a period of months
DiagnosisYou will be asked about your symptoms and medical history. A foot exam will be done. This will usually make the diagnosis. Imaging studies of the foot may be done to help rule out stress fractures or other bone abnormalities. These include:
- MRI scan
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