All You Need to Know About Plantar Fasciitis

Feb 23, 2022

It’s a beautiful day for a morning jog and you spring out of bed ready to lace up your shoes and hit the trail. Only, when your foot hits the floor, a dull, throbbing pain radiates from your heel through the arch of your foot. 

While it could be that you simply forgot to stretch properly before your last run, it’s also possible that the discomfort you’re experiencing is caused by plantar fasciitis, an inflammation of an important ligament in your foot that supports your arch and helps you walk and run.

What Is Plantar Fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis is a leading cause of foot pain in adults ages 40 to 60. The American Association of Family Physicians estimates that approximately one in ten people will experience the condition at some point, while the National Center for Health Statistics suggests that nearly one million people around the world will be diagnosed in a given year. 

With numbers like these it’s clear that, while not life-threatening, plantar fasciitis affects a significant portion of the population, detracting from the quality of life and contributing to more significant health issues exacerbated by decreased mobility.

Plantar fasciitis. disorder of the connective tissue which suppo

What are the Symptoms?

People with plantar fasciitis usually experience pain on the bottom of the heel or in the arch of the foot, which many describe as a dull ache. If you find the first free steps very morning painful, but the ache fades by lunchtime, you may be in the early stages of plantar fasciitis. Don’t be fooled by the disappearing pains! Over time, the ache will persist for longer and longer periods as damage to the plantar fascia worsens. 

Eventually, the plantar fascia may begin to tear away from the heel bone entirely. Calcium deposits on the underside of the heel may begin to accumulate in the space between the ligament and bone, leading to a painful heel spur.

What Causes Plantar Fasciitis

We’re all familiar – at least in theory – with the bones and muscles that make up the human body, but many people often forget the importance of tendons, which connect muscles to bones, and ligaments, which run from bone to bone, in keeping us all in one piece. 

The plantar fascia, for example, is responsible for helping your foot to maintain its arch, which is important for balance and overall mobility. Stretching from the heel bone to the ball of your foot, this rigid piece of connective tissue plays a key role in walking mechanics. Plantar fasciitis occurs when the plantar fascia becomes stressed and inflamed, which can happen in many different ways:

    • Overuse: Runners and walkers take note. Failure to invest in supportive footwear designed specifically to cushion and protect your feet may have you sitting out more than a few races. Repeated stress from high-impact activities can lead to tiny tears in the plantar fascia which, in turn, lead to pain and discomfort.
    • Inappropriate footwear: Speaking of shoes, anything you put on your feet that forces them into an unnatural position or fails to provide proper support can lead to plantar fasciitis. If you’re fond of flip-flops or sky-high heels, you may want to do your feet a favor and consider other options.
  • Excessive Standing:  While it’s certainly true that humans weren’t designed to sit for eight hours a day, we’re also not equipped to stand for long periods, either. Without the chance to rest, the plantar fascia can swell and become inflamed.
  • Weight: Similar to long periods of standing, excess weight can place additional stress on the structures responsible for keeping us upright, including the plantar fascia. 

If you suspect lifestyle factors may be contributing to your foot pain, it may be worth consulting with your physician to discuss steps you can take at home to minimize the wear and tear on this important ligament. 

Heel spur, foot pain, man suffering from feet ache at home

How Can I Relieve Plantar Fasciitis Pain?

Over-the-counter pain relievers, such as ibuprofen can usually address the discomfort associated with plantar fasciitis but contact us if you find that the pain has gone from intermittent to constant, or you find yourself unable to function without them.

Treating Plantar Fasciitis

Fortunately, many of the most effective treatments for plantar fasciitis are minimally invasive and inexpensive. After evaluating your lifestyle and overall level of heath to identify the likely cause of your discomfort, we recommend any or all of the following to give your plantar fascia a chance to rest and recuperate:

  • Simple rest: Staying off your feet will allow the plantar fascia to heal any rips, tears, or other injuries that may be causing pain.
  • Changing footwear: If high-impact activity is putting unhealthy stress on your plantar fascia, we may suggest you invest in especially footwear with additional supports to cushion your arches and help your feet maintain stability. 
  • Custom orthotics: Where anatomical issues have led to uneven distribution of forces over the feet, custom orthotics can help with the redistribution, which reduces stress on the plantar fascia. 
  • MLS laser therapy: In rare instances where lifestyle adjustments, orthotics, and physical therapy have not helped, we may suggest laser therapy to accelerate the healing process for a damaged plantar fascia. 

Discover the Treatment Option That’s Right for You

For over 15 years, Michigan Foot and Ankle Specialists has provided comprehensive podiatric care to the Detroit-area community. If you suspect plantar fasciitis is causing your heel pain and interfering with your active lifestyle, schedule an appointment today!



7243 Chase Rd.
Dearborn, MI 48126


(313) 582-6222


Monday - Friday: 9am - 5pm


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