You are here : Home > Health Library > Plantar Fasciitis

Health Library
Adjust font size:git    
Plantar Fasciitis


Plantar fasciitis refers to the inflammation of the plantar fascia. It usually develops as a result of long hours of standing, walking or in active person, by long distance running.


What is Plantar Fasciitis?

  • Plantar fasciitis refers to the inflammation of the plantar fascia. Plantar fascia (Figure 1) is a tough ligament, which spans from the heel bone to the 5 toes, particularly to the ball of the foot and the first toe. It plays a role in supporting the arch of your foot.

What are the common causes?

  • Plantar fasciitis usually develop as a result of long hours of standing or walking or in active persons, by long distance running. In rare cases, it can be injured by accidentally stamping or landing strongly on hard ground.
  • Other common causes includes:
    • Having flat feet or overpronated feet
    • Having high arched and rigid feet
    • Being overweight
    • Wearing footwear inappropriate for your foot type.

What are the signs and symptoms?

You are most likely to experience the heel pain:

  • First thing in the morning upon stepping down from your bed
  • After exercise particularly running and with prolonged standing or walking
  • Standing up after prolonged sitting

What are the risk factors?

You are more at risk of developing plantar fasciitis if you:

  • Have overpronating arches of your feet, flat feet or high arch
  • Participate in long distance running or sudden increase in running mileage
  • Have faulty or inappropriate running shoes (inappropriate footwear)
  • Stand or walk for long hours at work
  • Are overweight
  • Have tight calf muscles

What types of treatment are available?


  • The physiotherapist may provide pain relief using modalities such as heat, ultrasound or electrical stimulation based on their assessment of your condition.
  • These modalities will only assist with the recovery, you will still need to perform the exercises such as calf stretching exercises and follow the advice given to get results.

How can I prevent it?

You can help to reduce the risk of developing plantar fasciitis by:

  • Wearing appropriate and well-fitted footwear for your run, exercise or daily activities/work
  • Doing a good warm up and also stretching exercises for the Achilles tendon and plantar fascia
  • Increasing intensity and duration of exercise gradually
  • Maintaining an appropriate weight

What can I do to help myself?

  • Should you feel that your heel pain is worsened after running or prolonged walking, you can reduce the inflammation by applying an ice pack over the heel.
  • Recovery from plantar fasciitis usually takes months. The recovery process is enhanced if you:
    • Seek treatment early
    • Change your footwear as advised
    • Do your exercises as prescribed by your physiotherapist
    • Follow advice given by your doctor or physiotherapist.

- Last updated 5 Sep 2011,10:49 am

The content of this website is provided for general informational purposes only and is not intended as, nor should it be considered a substitute for, professional medical advice. Do not use the information on this website for diagnosing or treating any medical or health condition. If you have or suspect you have a medical problem, promptly contact your professional healthcare provider.

Back to top