Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar Fasciitis Health Summary
Inflammation of the plantar fascia (fibrous connective tissue on the bottom of the foot) is referred to as plantar fasciitis. Causes may include injury, arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, and diffuse idiopathic skeletal hyperostosis. Symptoms sharp, severe foot and heel pain, difficulty bearing weight on the foot, difficulty walking especially in the morning, and swelling. Treatment may involve orthotics, cortisone injections, physical therapy, or medication.
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Plantar Fasciitis Overview

The fibrous tissue that surrounds muscle and separates various tissues of the body is referred to as the fascia. The bottom, or plantar, surface of the foot has a strip of this tough tissue, referred to as the plantar fascia, stretching from the heel to the front of the bottom of the foot. This "bowstring-like" plantar fascia that stretches underneath the sole that attaches at the heel can become inflamed by disease or injury. Inflammation of the plantar fascia is referred to as plantar fasciitis.

Picture of the metatarsal (foot) and calcaneus (heel) bones, the plantar fascia ligament, and the Achilles tendon of the lower leg and foot

Plantar Fasciitis Causes

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Plantar fasciitis most commonly occurs in people between 40 and 60 years of age. Plantar fasciitis can occur alone from injury or may be related to underlying diseases that cause arthritis (inflammation of the joints) such as reactive arthritis (formerly called Reiter's disease), ankylosing spondylitis, and diffuse idiopathic skeletal hyperostosis. Sometimes plantar fasciitis occurs for unknown reasons.


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