What Causes Plantar Fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis is the number one cause of heel pain among our patients here at Foot & Ankle Associates of Cleveland. Plantar fasciitis occurs when the plantar fascia, the long, flat ligament that stretches across the bottom of your foot, becomes inflamed.

There are several ways you can irritate your plantar fascia:

  • Wearing unsupportive shoes. When you wear shoes that don’t have much in the way of arch support, it can put too much stress on that ligament.
  • Being overweight. There’s a strong correlation between obesity and plantar fasciitis. When it’s called upon to support extra pounds, the plantar fascia can become irritated.
  • Pronation problems – your ankles tend to turn inward when you walk.
  • Biomechanical issues such as tight calf muscles, a tight Achilles tendon (just above your heel), high arches, or flat feet can stress the plantar fascia.
  • Deterioration – the actual breakdown of the plantar fascia tissue due to age or injury.
  • Overuse – standing or walking for many hours a day, especially on hard surfaces. Plantar fasciitis is also common in runners who suddenly increase their pace or the number of miles they run.

What to do about it

The first few steps when you get out of bed in the morning typically hurt a lot. As the plantar fascia stretches out over the day, the pain usually lessens only to return at the end of the day. This kind of persistent heel pain can last several months, so don’t delay treating it. Our expert podiatrists, Dr. Megan L. Oltmann and Dr. Craig B. Frey, typically prescribe some combination of icing, stretching exercises, anti-inflammatory medications, and custom orthotics to systematically knock out your heel pain. Call us at our office in Solon, Ohio at (440) 903-1041 for an appointment or contact us online. We’re located in Cuyahoga County but welcome patients from all over Summit, Portage, and Geauga Counties as well.