Plantar fasciitis is typically caused by the strain and irritation of the plantar fascia, a thick band of tissue that runs across the bottom of the foot and connects the heel bone to the toes. The exact cause of plantar fasciitis is not always clear, but several factors and activities can contribute to its development. Here are some common causes and risk factors:
Overuse or Repetitive Strain: Plantar fasciitis often occurs in individuals who engage in activities that involve repetitive impact on the feet, such as running, walking long distances, or standing for extended periods.
Foot Structure and Biomechanics: Abnormal foot mechanics, such as flat feet (pronation) or high arches, can contribute to the development of plantar fasciitis. These structural issues can lead to improper weight distribution and increased stress on the plantar fascia.
Tightness in the Achilles Tendon: A tight Achilles tendon can affect the alignment of the foot and increase stress on the plantar fascia.
Obesity or Excess Weight: Being overweight or obese can place additional strain on the plantar fascia, increasing the risk of inflammation and injury.
Improper Footwear: Wearing shoes with inadequate support or poor arch support, as well as sudden changes in footwear or wearing non-supportive footwear like flip-flops, can contribute to plantar fasciitis.
Occupational Factors: Jobs that require prolonged standing, walking on hard surfaces, or wearing inadequate footwear may increase the risk of plantar fasciitis.
Age: Plantar fasciitis is more common in individuals between the ages of 40 and 60, although it can affect people of all ages.
Muscle Imbalances or Weakness: Weakness or imbalances in the muscles of the foot and calf can contribute to increased stress on the plantar fascia.
Certain Sports Activities: Activities that involve running, jumping, or quick direction changes, such as basketball and ballet, can increase the risk of plantar fasciitis.
Medical Conditions: Some medical conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis and certain types of arthritis, can increase the risk of plantar fasciitis.
It’s important to note that plantar fasciitis can develop from a combination of factors, and what may trigger it in one person may not be the same for another. If you suspect you have plantar fasciitis or are experiencing persistent heel pain, come in to see one of our Doctor’s of Physical Therapy so we can get the right treatment for you.